• Short Summary

    Former NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns, the
    longest-serving head of the Western defence alliance and a
    monument of the Cold War era, has died at the age of 90, a
    NATO spokesman said on Wednesday.

  • Description


    (U5) UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - 1972)(REUTERS)


    1.
    ZOOM OUT: NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JOSEPH LUNS AND BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY LORD CARRINGTON IN MEETING
    0.05

    2.
    SV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUNS LEAVING MEETING SAYING: "There has been some progress here and there but we are not yet out of the woods."
    0.19


    UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, AUSTRALIA (FILE - 1979) (REUTERS)


    3.
    SV: U.S PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER AND SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE SOVIET UNION LEONID BREZHNEV EXCHANGE DOCUMENTS AND EMBRACE EACH OTHER
    0.35


    IN-FLIGHT (FILE) (REUTERS)


    4.
    VARIOUS: CRUISE MISSILES IN FLIGHT AND SIMULATED TRAJECTORY OF MISSILE HITTING TARGETS (4 SHOTS)
    0.45

    5.
    VARIOUS OF SOVIET MISSILES AND TANKS (3 SHOTS)
    0.52


    UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION (FILE) (REUTERS)


    6.
    SV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUNS SAYING "I very much hope that there will be a talk and it will be well-balanced and we will not favour in some way one or the other parties and it is not at all excluded that finally this will come about."
    1.06


    UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, BELGIUM (FILE - 1982) (REUTERS)


    7.
    SV: LUNS CHATTING TO US SECRETARY OF STATE ALEXANDER HAIG BEFORE A NATO MEETING
    1.15


    WEST GERMANY (FILE - 1982) (REUTERS)


    8.
    MV; LUNS UNFURLS FLAG AT A NATO INAUGURATION CEREMONY
    1.27







    Initials



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Former NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns, the
    longest-serving head of the Western defence alliance and a
    monument of the Cold War era, has died at the age of 90, a
    NATO spokesman said on Wednesday.


    A former Dutch foreign minister, Luns was appointed
    secretary-general of NATO in October 1971 and went on to
    rebuild the Atlantic Alliance's defences to face what was
    viewed as a growing Soviet threat.

    He presided over the controversial 1979 decision to deploy
    U.S. cruise and Pershing 2 missiles in Western Europe which
    nearly split the alliance, prompting massive demonstrations,
    but eventually led to arms control agreements with the Soviet
    Union.

    He was succeeded by Britain's Lord Carrington in May 1984.

    The veteran diplomat, born in Rotterdam, signed the 1957
    Treaty of Rome that founded the European Economic Community --
    now the European Union -- on behalf of the Netherlands.

    He served in the Dutch foreign service before achieving
    political office.

    NATO spokesman Mark Laity said Luns, who lived in
    retirement outside Brussels, died during the night. He did not
    give the cause of death.

    A senior NATO official who joined the organisation during
    Luns's last years as secretary-general described him as "a man
    of colourful character, regal personality and an ability to
    use his sense of humour to get out of a tight corner".

    Luns retired in 1984 at the age of 72, after expressing
    optimism over prospects for peace in Europe despite increased
    East-West tensions over nuclear weapons.

    As NATO's chief administrator, he was in charge when the
    first U.S. medium-range nuclear missiles were deployed in 1983
    in Germany and Britain, after U.S.-Soviet arms reduction talks
    in Geneva failed to make headway.

    The Soviet Union walked out of the talks in December 1983
    and cut off all other arms control negotiations in protest at
    the deployment, prompting fears of an East-West confrontation.

    But the Kremlin agreement to resume the negotiations in
    March 1985 was seen as a success for NATO's firm line.

    Under Luns, NATO took part in the Conference on Security
    and Cooperation in Europe, which led to the 35-nation Helsinki
    declaration of 1975 on East-West political, military, economic
    and cultural relations. There were long follow-up meetings in
    Belgrade and Madrid.

    The Western alliance also engaged in slow-moving Vienna
    talks on troop reductions in Central Europe and took an active
    consultative role in the U.S.-Soviet arms negotiations.

    Luns also saw Spain become the alliance's 16th member, a
    move confirmed after his retirement by a cliff-hanging Spanish
    referendum in March 1986.

    After Luns took over from Italy's Manlio Brosio in 1971,
    NATO's main preoccupation was what it considered the extensive
    growth in Soviet military capabilities.

    Repeatedly, Luns said that NATO doctrine remained based on
    the twin pillars of deterrence and detente.

    He never minced his words and often spiced his thoughts
    with a dose of quirky humour, characteristics which
    occasionally caused him trouble.

    When Helmut Kohl won the West German chancellorship in
    March 1983, Luns said the Conservative victory was a boon to
    NATO and to peace. West German opposition leaders took strong
    exception to his words. One said Luns had "greatly exceeded
    his competence and severely harmed the alliance".

    A likeable and persuasive man, Luns was viewed by some as
    a diplomat's diplomat.

    Well over six feet (1.83 metres) tall, he was once
    described as the only man who could look the late French
    President Charles de Gaulle in the eye. His encounters with de
    Gaulle were frequent and often heated.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9SD1MZHZKLMWDA0OYUHOKZV42
    Media URN:
    VLVA9SD1MZHZKLMWDA0OYUHOKZV42
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1972
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:27:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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