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Mogens Lykketoft

Mogens Lykketoft
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Assumed office
16 September 2015
Preceded by Sam Kutesa
Speaker of the Folketing
In office
29 September 2011 – 3 July 2015
Monarch Margrethe II
Preceded by Thor Pedersen
Succeeded by Pia Kjærsgaard
Leader of the Danish Social Democrats
In office
14 December 2002 – 12 April 2005
Preceded by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Succeeded by Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
In office
21 December 2000 – 27 November 2001
Preceded by Niels Helveg Petersen
Succeeded by Per Stig Møller
Finance Minister of Denmark
In office
25 January 1993 – 21 December 2000
Preceded by Henning Dyremose
Succeeded by Pia Gjellerup
Taxation Minister of Denmark
In office
20 January 1980 – 10 September 1981
Preceded by Karl Hjortnæs
Succeeded by Isi Foighel
Personal details
Born (1946-01-09) 9 January 1946
Copenhagen, Denmark
Political party Socialdemokraterne
Spouse(s) Aase Toft (1967–1979)
Helle Mollerup (1980–1986)
Jytte Hilden (1987–2004)
Mette Holm (2005–present)
Children Maja Lykketoft
Kit Lykketoft
Alma mater University of Copenhagen
Religion Lutheran/Church of Denmark
Website Official website

Mogens Lykketoft (Danish pronunciation: ; born 9 January 1946) is a Danish politician and a leading figure in the Social Democratic Party.

In December 2002 he succeeded Poul Nyrup Rasmussen as party leader of the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne). After losing the 2005 Danish parliamentary election he resigned as leader of his party. In the Cabinets of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen I, II, III and IV which governed from 1993 to 2001, he held positions as Finance Minister and Foreign Minister. During the cabinet of Helle Thorning Schmidt from 2011 to 2015 he was Speaker of the Folketing (Danish Parliament).

In June 2015 he was unanimously elected the President of the United Nations General Assembly presiding over the 70th session of the General Assembly beginning 15 September 2015.[1][2]


  • Personal life 1
  • Political career 2
  • Israel/Palestine visit 3
  • Publications 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Personal life

Lykketoft was born out of wedlock and put up for adoption. He was adopted twice, since his first adoptive father died when he was only a few months old. The second time he was adopted by shopkeeper Axel Lykketoft and Martha Lykketoft. He was the only child in the family and had, according to himself, a safe and secure childhood.[3]

Lykketoft matriculated in mathematics from Frederiksberg Gymnasium, an upper secondary school, in 1964 and went on to study at the University of Copenhagen. In 1971 he became Cand.polit. (a Master's degree in economics by the University of Copenhagen)

He was married for the first time in 1967 to librarian Aase Toft. The family lived in Albertslund and was next-door neighbors to his good friend Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and his family. in January 1979 Aase Lykketoft died from an intracranial hemorrhage. He has two children from his first marriage, Maja, born in 1969, and Kit, born in 1972. He also has five grandsons.[4]

Two years after his first wife died he got married for the second time, this time to Helle Mollerup, the ex-wife of Poul Nyrup.[5] In 1986 he divorced Helle Mollerup and later married MP Jytte Hilden. From 1993 to 1997 they were both ministers in the Cabinets of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (I, II, III). They divorced in 2004.[6] Since 2005 Lykketoft has been married to author Mette Holm. They have written three books together.[7]

Political career

At Copenhagen University Lykketoft became a member of academic year 1968/69.

From 1975 to 1981 he was department head in "The Economic Council of the Labour Movement", a Danish think tank made up of trade union leaders and Social Democratic MP´S.[8] He had been working at the think tank since 1966.

On January 20, 1981 Prime Minister Anker Jørgensen picked him to be Taxation Minister. He was minister for less than 20 months before the Social Democratic government resigned.

In the 1981 general election he became MP for the Copenhagen County constituency. He has been member of the Folketing (the Danish parliament) ever since, standing for election eleven times. Since 2007 he has been representing Greater Copenhagen greater constituency.[9]

in 1987 he unsuccessfully tried to be kingmaker at the election of a new leader of the Danish Social Democrats. The attempt put him in opposition to the new leader Svend Auken. Five years later he was more successful when his new candidate, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, challenged and defeated Auken at an extraordinary congress of the Social Democrats.[5]

After the resignation of the Conservative/Liberal government in January 1993 Lykketoft became Finance Minister in the cabinets of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (I, II, III, IV). He is the longest serving Finance Minister in modern Danish history.[5] He became Foreign Minister in December 2000 and continued as such until the government lost the general election of 2001.

After Poul Nyrup resigned Lykketoft was elected Leader of the Social Democrats, a position he held until he failed to unseat the Liberal/Conservative government of Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the general election of 2005. From 2005 to 2011 he was the Foreign Policy Spokesman for the Social Democratic parliamentary group.

In October 2009 he became member of "the Præsidium of the Folketing" (the unified leadership of the Danish parliament). And after the election victory of the Socialist-Social Democrat-Social Liberal coalition in the 2011 general election he became President of the Parliament of Denmark.[10]

As President or Speaker of the Folketing he has been on official visits to Turkey (2014), Island (2014), Slovakia (2013),[11] Greece (2013), The Bundestag in Berlin (2013) and The United States Congress in Washington (2012). He has also been on work visits to Mexico (2014), Palestine (2014),[12] Mongolia (2013), Burma, (2013), Albania (2012), Bulgaria (2012), Vietnam (2012) and Indonesia (2012).[13]

In 2013 Lykketoft was nominated to the position of President of the United Nations General Assembly by the Danish government. He was the only official candidate for the WEOG group. When elected he will not resign as a Danish MP but rather take a leave of absence returning to the Folketing after his UN appointment has ended. He will run for office in the upcoming Danish general election.[14]

Israel/Palestine visit

During his February 2014 visit to Palestine he did not at the same time meet with Israeli officials, this made the speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein express regret of the fact that Lykketoft unlike other world leaders decided not to include Israel in his visit of the region. Edelstein further said: "I do not understand how a visit to Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, goes along with Denmark's democratic values." [15][16]

Lykketoft said that he was keen to hear both part in the conflict and he had tried to schedule a meeting with the speaker of the Knessest. But he was told that Edelstein was unable to meet him during his visit. During an interview Lykketoft stated: "There was this Israeli reaction from the spokesman in the foreign ministry that it was kind of diplomatically impolite to go to Palestine without having an arrangement with the Israeli side." [17]

In December 2014 he was asked his opinion about the Swedish recognition of an independent Palestine state. He answered the interviewer:"I think the movement in European parliaments and from the government of Sweden to recognize the State of Palestine is a reaction to the observation that the present Israeli government has no intention to contribute to formation of a sovereign Palestinian state, while this is expressed by the vast majority of member states in the United Nations through numerous resolutions." [18]


  • Editor of "Magtspil og Sikkerhed" (Power Play and Security), 1968
  • Editor of "Kravet om lighed" (The Demand for Equality), 1973
  • Author of "Skattereform '78?" (Tax Reform '78?), 1978
  • Co-author of "Anno 2001 – en socialdemokratisk science fiction" (Anno 2001 – Social Democratic Science Fiction), 1986
  • Author of "Sans og samling – en socialdemokratisk krønike" (Sense and Cohesion – A Social Democratic Chronicle), 1994
  • Author of "Den danske model – en europæisk succeshistorie" (The Danish Model – a European success story), 2006
  • With Mette Holm
    • "Kina drager" (China allures), 2006
    • "Kina – Kapitalisme med særlige kinesiske kendetegn" (China – Capitalism the Chinese way), 2008
    • "Burma Myanmar", 2012


  1. ^ "Danish parliament speaker to head UN General Assembly". Global Post. November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ "President Ashe meets with H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of the Parliament of Denmark". June 23, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Mogens Lykketoft: I am adopted (in Danish)". B.T. March 31, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Grandfather with opinions (in Danish)". AOK. October 1, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "The Man in the Shadows (in danish)". Berlingske Tidende. November 23, 2002. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Five pieces of the man that almost won (in Danish)". Information. January 6, 2006. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lykketoft married in Grenland (in danish)". Berlingske Tidende. July 26, 2005. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ "AE's english information page". AE. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mogens Lykketoft – Member of the Danish Parliament". Folketinget. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Welcoming address Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of the Danish Parliament". Cultural Diplomacy News. September 8, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Paška and Lykketoft warn against rise in radicalism". The Slovak Spectator. February 9, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Danish Parliament Visit". SOS Childrens Village Palestine. October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Traveling activities of Mogens Lykketoft (in Danish)". Folketinget. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Denmarks lykketoft faces new milestone with UN post". Anadolu Agency. November 28, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Head of Danish Parliament to Visit PA, Skip Israel". Arutz Sheva. February 7, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Danish Speaker Downplays Decision to Skip Visit to Israel". Arutz Sheva. February 11, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mogens Lykketoft, Danish Speaker of the Parliament, on the Israeli Knesset, settlements and establishing a Palestinian state". Middle East Monitor. March 18, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Conflict Over Crimea is Dangerous for Europe". Fair Observer. December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 

External links

  • Lykketoft finale – Documentary about Lykketoft running for Prime Minister
  • Sound file with the danish pronunciation of his name
Political offices
Preceded by
Karl Hjortnæs
Tax Minister of Denmark
20 January 1981 – 10 September 1982
Succeeded by
Isi Foighel
Preceded by
Henning Dyremose
Finance Minister of Denmark
25 January 1993 – 21 December 2000
Succeeded by
Pia Gjellerup
Preceded by
Niels Helveg Petersen
Foreign Minister of Denmark
21 December 2000 – 27 November 2001
Succeeded by
Per Stig Møller
Preceded by
Thor Pedersen
Speaker of the Folketing
15 September 2011 – 3 July 2015
Succeeded by
Pia Kjærsgaard
Party political offices
Preceded by
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Leader of the Danish Social Democrats
Succeeded by
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
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