Hans Haekkerup, former Danish defense minister and UN envoy to Kosovo, dies at 68

Hans Haekkerup, a former Danish defense minister who served as the U.N.'s envoy to Kosovo in 2001, has died. He was 68.

A veteran Social Democratic politician, Haekkerup died on Dec. 22 after a long illness, party spokesman Martin Justesen said. A burial was held Monday.

Haekkerup was first elected to the Danish Parliament in 1979, and served as defense minister from January 1993 until he was appointed to replace Bernard Kouchner of France as the U.N.'s top official in Kosovo in January 2001. Haekkerup left that job after just one year.

As chief U.N. administrator he oversaw Kosovo's first general election, a milestone on its path toward independence, which it declared seven years later.