GENEVA: Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, a former UN High Commissioner for Refugees and uncle of Prince Karim Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, died in the United States on Monday. He was 70.
The prince died in a Boston hospital after a long illness, an official of one of his foundations told AFP. After a career in the United Nations that spanned nearly 40 years, the prince devoted himself to defence and environmental issues.
Born in Paris in January 1933, Prince Sadruddin was the younger son of Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III. After studies at Harvard University, the prince began his UN career in 1958, serving as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 1965 to 1977. He also served during 1990-1991 as personal representative of the then UN secretary-general, Javier Perez de Cuellar, for humanitarian assistance during the first Gulf war.
An avid collector of Islamic art, the prince was also a founding publisher of The Paris Review Literary Journal, and wrote extensively on nuclear disarmament, humanitarian and environmental issues. He served on the boards of several environmental groups, and as a vice president of WWF International. Of Indian origin with a French mother, Sadruddin belonged to one of the richest families in the world. He married Catherine Aleya Sursock in 1972.