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In 1928, Hans Blix was born in Uppsala, Sweden and attended the University of Uppsala. After graduating from Uppsala, he studied at Columbia University, where he was also a research graduate. Dr. Blix then earned his Ph. D. from Cambridge University in law. In 1959, Dr. Blix became Doctor of Laws at Stockholm University and in 1960 became an associate professor in International Law. In 1987 he received an honorary doctorate from Moscow State University and earned the Henry de Wolf Smyth Award in 1988.

In 1963, Dr. Blix worked as a part of Sweden's foreign ministry and became its head in 1978. He has worked in various offices as it deals with nuclear issues, including a campaign to encourage Sweden to retain its nuclear energy program.

Also in 1961, Dr. Blix started his career with the United Nations as a member of his country's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. He served in this post until 1981. From 1962 to 1978, Dr. Blix was a part of the Swedish delegation to the Confrence on Disarmament in Geneva.

In 1981, Dr. Blix became the director general of the Internation Atomic Energy Agency. He served in this post until he retired in 1997. It was during this time period that Blix was first charged with taking a look at and enforcing a Security Council resolution against Iraq, UN Resolution 687. The IAEA was charged with the inspections of Iraq's nuclear program.

In January of 2000, he was named Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission or UNMOVIC.


Information taken from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/ExecChair/ExeChBi.htm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2268819.stm

In William Gibson's 1993 novel Virtual Light, Hans Blix is a character that appears briefly, but has an important role in the plot of the book. Hans Blix (which may be an alias), is a courier whose job is to carry a small object of great value. Along with his name, his citizenship is somewhat questionable: he is naturalized as a Costa Rican citizen, with Costa Rican citizenship in the world of Virtual Light being something like Panamanian Registry. Blix is a shadowy figure, whose sole job seems to be to guard a pair of futuristic sunglasses while attending billionaire Cody Harwood's never-ending party. He fails at this job, by the bad chance of offending one of the novel's protagonist, who steals the object he is supposed to be guarding. This leads to his punishment through a rather grisly execution.

All of the above is just a summary of what, being a Gibson novel, would have to be read to be appreciated. And none of it is really that important, except for one reason: Hans Blix, the minor character in a William Gibson novel, shares the name of the UN Weapon Inspector who would play a large role in world politics ten years after the writing and publishing of the book. "Hans Blix" is by no means a common name, so that while reading the book, the name is very jarring. Especially if the reader is reading a Gibson novel in the right mindset, which is the mild paranoia that this could all be happening. However, I can't think of any specific connection between the historical Blix and Gibson's Blix. In fact, Gibson's Blix is an objectionable person, while Gibson would probably not find the historical Blix so. The historical Blix was already a somewhat prominent figure at the time of Virtual Light's writing, so my best guess (other than it being a true coincidence) is that Gibson read his name in a news story, and then consciously or subconsciously worked it into the book. That Blix would later become a key player in a historical event was merely a coincidence.

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