Alex Quaison-Sackey was undoubtedly the most distinguished, effective and best known career diplomat in the Diplomatic Service of Ghana in the early years of the country’s independence. Recruited and trained together with eight others (“the faithful nine”) as pioneer career diplomats in the Foreign Service of Ghana, he soon demonstrated exceptional qualities of efficiency, hard work and dedication to duty, coupled with erudition and eloquence, finesse and elegance, poise and suavity, obstructiveness and friendly disposition, astuteness and geniality, affableness and conviviality, dignified bearing and sartorial flair – diplomat par excellence. He was readily selected above his colleagues for appointment as the country’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations – New York.

As Ghana’s representative from 1959 – 1965, he played a leading role in articulating Ghana’s foreign policy, particularly on such issues as decolonialization, African Unity and apartheid in South Africa. In the process he helped in no small measure to put Ghana firmly on the international radar. He was extremely popular both in and outside UN circles, earning for himself the nickname “Popular Alex”, particularly within the African-American community.

The crowning glory of his career – a very historic event – was his appointment in December 1964 as the first Black and youngest President of the UN General Assembly. He brought great honour to Ghana and Africa by his sterling performance at the UN.

  • The Makings of A Diplomatist: The Memoirs of Alexander Quaison-Sackey (Hardcover)

    The book is a thrilling – albeit incomplete – life story, elegantly written. Starting from the author’s elementary school days at his birthplace, Winneba, where he obtained a distinction certificate at the Standard 7 school leaving Examinations, the Book takes the reader through the author’s sojourn at Mfantsipim Secondary School where he became Senior Prefect in his final year through Achimota College, where he became President of the Students’ Christian Movement (SCM), through Exeter College Oxford University where he served as President of the West African Students’ Union (WASU) through his years as a Labour officer in Ghana, his training as a pioneer career diplomat followed by a two-year stint as Head of Chancery in the Ghana High Commission in London up to his appointment as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations where he created history by becoming the First Black African to assume the Presidency of the UN General Assembly. A discerning factor in this historical account is obviously the author’s natural leadership endowment which was manifested again later in his accession to the lay Presidency of the Methodist Church of Ghana (not recorded in the Book).

    The greater part of the Book gives an exciting and insightful bird’s eye view of the author’s exertions at the UN during his tenure as Ambassador and Permanent Representative on such then burning issues as decolonisation, the Congo Crisis, Apartheid in South Africa, Cuban Missile Crisis, Arab-Israeli Conflict and the UN Financial Crisis of 1964 which nearly paralysed the Organisation. These are all issues of historical interest, particularly for research students in international affairs.

    The book ends with the author’s post-UN appointment as Foreign Minister of Ghana, his later incarceration, and subsequent release which enabled him to proceed to London to complete his law studies. Altogether a very interesting and instructive personal history that makes compelling and absorbing reading.

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