Kouchner, Bernard

Kouchner, Bernard

(bârnär` ko͞oshnâr`), 1939–, French physician, diplomat, and politician. A gastroenterologist by training, he earned his medical degree in France in the late 1960s. He practiced first at Cochin Hospital, Paris, and then as a volunteer doctor with the International Red Cross during the BiafraBiafra, Republic of,
secessionist state of W Africa, in existence from May 30, 1967, to Jan. 15, 1970. At the outset Biafra comprised, roughly, the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of the Federation of Nigeria, where the Igbo people predominated.
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 crisis. An advocate of "humanitarian intervention," Kouchner was (1971) a founder of Doctors Without BordersDoctors Without Borders,
Fr. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), international organization that provides emergency medical assistance to people suffering from a natural or societal disaster, such as an earthquake, disease epidemic, or war.
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 and served as its president until 1979. That year he founded a similar humanitarian group, Doctors of the World, was its president (1980–88), and organized medical operations in such nations as Malaysia, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Somalia. A Socialist, he also has been active in French politics. He served as a state minister with responsibilities for humanitarian affairs (1988–93) and health (1992–93), and was also (1994–96) a member of the European Parliament. Between appointments as France's health minister (1997–99, 2001–2), Kouchner served (1999–2001) as chief of the UN administration in Kosovo. From 2007 to 2010 he was foreign minister under conservative French president Nicolas SarkozySarkozy, Nicolas
(Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa) , 1955–, French politician, president of France (2007–12), b. Paris. The son of a minor Hungarian aristocrat who immigrated to France and married the daughter of Greek immigrants, Sarkozy became a
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. Kouchner has written several books.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Due to its good connections to some people loved by the French media such as Bernard Kouchner, Bernard Henry Levy and some NGOs -- some confessional others not -- Urgence Darfour obtained a commitment from Nicolas Sarkozy as well as from the socialist candidate, SE[umlaut]golE ne Royal.