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Willy Claes
""Willy Claes - Filip Naudts.jpg
Willy Claes by "Filip Naudts
8th "Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
In office
17 October 1994 – 20 October 1995
Preceded by "Sergio Balanzino (Acting)
Succeeded by "Sergio Balanzino (Acting)
President of the "Party of European Socialists
In office
November 1992 – October 1994
Preceded by "Guy Spitaels
Succeeded by "Rudolf Scharping
"Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
7 March 1992 – 10 October 1994
Prime Minister "Jean-Luc Dehaene
Preceded by "Mark Eyskens
Succeeded by "Frank Vandenbroucke
Personal details
Born (1938-11-24) 24 November 1938 (age 79)
"Hasselt, Belgium
Political party "Different Socialist Party
"Alma mater "Free University of Brussels

Willem Werner Hubert "Willy" Claes[1] (Dutch: "[ˈʋɪli klaːs]; born 24 November 1938) is a former Belgian "politician who served as the "eighth Secretary General of NATO, from 1994 to 1995. Claes was a member of the "Flemish Socialist Party.

Claes was born in "Hasselt, Belgium. He graduated in political and diplomatic sciences at the "Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Willy Claes began his political career in the Hasselt city council. In 1968, he was elected to the "national parliament. In 1972, he entered the "cabinet for the first time as minister of education. Between 1973 and 1992, he was minister of economic affairs of Belgium three separate times. He also served as deputy prime minister five times, and was an important negotiator in the formation of coalition governments during the 1980s.

Claes was "Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1992 until 1994, during which period he presided over Belgium's withdrawal from the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during the "Rwandan genocide. Belgium's withdrawal is thought to have dramatically worsened the situation on the ground, leading to thousands of deaths.

Claes was also Secretary General of "NATO from 1994 until 1995, when he resigned after the discovery of a bribe of over 50 million "Belgian francs (BEF) that was accepted during contract negotiations with "Agusta helicopters during the time he was minister of economic affairs. A criminal trial was handled by the Court of Cassation, which is responsible for cases involving minister in function. Claes received a 60 000 BEF fine, a three-year probationary sentence and a five-year prohibition on running for public office. An appeal at the "European Court of Human Rights resulted in the confirmation of the Belgian sentence.



  1. ^ Decan, Rik, Wie is wie in Vlaanderen 2000-2002, Brussel: BRD, 1999.
  2. ^ "De Belgische Kamer van volksvertegenwoordigers". 

External links[edit]

"" Media related to Willy Claes at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
"Mark Eyskens
"Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
"Frank Vandenbroucke
Party political offices
Preceded by
"Guy Spitaels
President of the "Party of European Socialists
Succeeded by
"Rudolf Scharping
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
"Sergio Balanzino
"Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Succeeded by
"Sergio Balanzino
) )