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Fridtjof Nansen - A man of action and vision

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Uploaded on Oct 12, 2010

Born in Norway in 1861, Fridtjof Nansen was a scientist, polar explorer, diplomat, statesman and humanist, with a deep compassion for his fellow human beings.

In 1920, shortly after the end of World War I, Nansen was appointed chairman of the Norwegian delegation to the Geneva-based League of Nations, a position he held until his death in 1930. He was soon put in charge of the League's first large-scale humanitarian task -- the repatriation of 450,000 prisoners of war. He succeeded by enlisting the support of governments and voluntary agencies.

Recognized as a charismatic leader, Nansen was in 1921 appointed the first High Commissioner for Refugees by the League. He immediately undertook the formidable task of helping repatriate hundreds of thousands of refugees as well as helping them to acquire legal status and attain economic independence.

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