Jan Kavan

January Kavan ( born October 17, 1946 in London) is a Czech Social Democratic politician and diplomat of the CSSD. He is a former Czech Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and served as President of the 57th General Assembly of the United Nations.

Early life and exile ( to 1989)

Kavan was born the son of an English teacher and as a Czechoslovak diplomat in London. His father was recalled to the seizure of power by the communists in 1950 and sentenced to Prague in the show trial of Rudolf Slansky 's group to 25 years in prison. His father died after discharge in 1960 at the age of 46 years at the detention consequences. These experiences shaped Kavan.

He was in the 1960s a leader of the student movement during the Prague Spring, and therefore emigrated to the crackdown by the Soviets in 1968 from Czechoslovakia, he settled in London. There he studied politics and international relations. Later Kavan founded in the UK, an independent news agency, the Palach Press Agency, which was the main distribution medium of Charter 77 in Western Europe. Therefore, it deprived the communists in 1979, the Czechoslovak citizenship.


Kavan returned during the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, back to Prague. He was elected to the Czechoslovak parliament in the first democratic elections in 1990, this he belonged to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992. In 1993, Kavan at the CSSD and was elected in 1996 in the newly created Senate. His focus was foreign policy, so he was first appointed as Secretary of State under Miloš Zeman and 1999 also Deputy Prime Minister after the election victory of the Social Democrats in 1998.


Kavan was from January 2002 briefly Czech representative to the EU Constitution convent, came from this post but in the summer of the same year back. Previously already ended in July 2002, his term of office in the Czech government. In the following elections he could win a seat and remained a deputy until 2006. From 10 September 2002 to 16 September 2003, he also served as President of the General Assembly of the UN.