NATO – 2.11 – Dirk Stikker (Secretary-General, 1961-1964)


Dirk Stikker

The Official Story

(3rd Secretary General of NATO, 1961-1964)


Dirk Uipko Stikker GBE (5 February 1897 – 23 December 1979) was a Dutch politician and diplomat of the defunct Liberal State Party (LSP), co-founder of the defunct Freedom Party (PvdV) and of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), and businessman. Stikker was known for his abilities as a manager and negotiator. Stikker continued to comment on political affairs as a statesman until his death. He holds the distinction as the first Secretary General of NATO from the Netherlands.


Stikker entered politics in 1945, when he was elected to the Senate of the States General. On 23 March 1946, he co-founded the Partij van de Vrijheid (PvdV, Freedom Party), together with some former members of the pre-war Liberale Staatspartij (LSP, Liberal State Party). On 24 January 1948, the PvdV was absorbed by the Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD, Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy), which is as of 2022 the country’s most important Liberal party. Stikker was the VVD’s first chairman.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

In 1948, Stikker became minister of foreign affairs in the first government led by Willem Drees, holding that position until 1951. After his party adopted a no-confidence motion over the government’s colonial policy in New Guinea, Stikker resigned on 23 January 1951, prompting the cabinet’s fall. He returned to that position less than two months later. The Netherlands played an important role in the creation of NATO and the European Coal and Steel Community during Stikker’s time in office as minister of foreign affairs.


After his ministerial office, Stikker was ambassador to the United Kingdom (1952–1958) and head of the Dutch Permanent Representation to the North Atlantic Council and to the Organization for European Economic Co-operation, the predecessor of the OECD (1958–1961).

Secretary General of NATO

On 21 April 1961 he succeeded Paul-Henri Spaak to become the third Secretary General of NATO. He resigned due to poor health on 1 August 1964.

Source: Wikipedia

The Truth


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