Sverker Åström started his career in foreign service as an attaché at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He served in the Swedish Mission, first to the Soviet Union and then in Kuybyshev from 1940 to 1943. He became secretary of legation at the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C in 1946. He became a division head at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at Stockholm in 1948. From 1964 to 1970, Mr. Åström was Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations. In 1970, he became Sweden's chief negotiator on the European Economic Community (EEC) Treaty, and from 1972 to 1977, he served as Sweden's State Secretary for Foreign Affairs. From 1978 to 1982, he was Sweden's Ambassador to France.
This interview, conducted on 11 November 1990, after he retired from diplomatic service, focuses on the events surrounding the Congo Crisis of 1960. Mr. Åström recalls Dag Hammarskjöld's election to Secretary‑General, how both Hammarskjöld and his successor, U Thant, dealt with the Congo Crisis and the withdrawal of the First United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I) in Lebanon in 1967, and how those actions affected future peacekeeping missions.