Alva Reimer Myrdal
(1902 - 1986)
Swedish diplomat, government minister, author, and advocate of nuclear
disarmament. She was the corecipient with Alfonso Garcia Robles of Mexico
of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1982.
Alva Reimer married the Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal in 1924. After
a career as a teacher, she served as principal director of the United
Nations Department of Social Welfare during 1949-50 and became director
of the UNESCO Department of Social Sciences in 1951. From 1955 to 1961
she served as ambassador of the Swedish government to India, with related
duties in neighbouring Burma (Myanmar) and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). In 1961
Myrdal was named special disarmament adviser to the Swedish foreign
minister. A year later she was elected to Parliament as a Social Democrat
and was named head of the Swedish delegation to the Geneva Disarmament
Conference. In 1966 she became minister with portfolio covering disarmament
and church affairs, holding that post and the one in Geneva until 1973.
Subsequently, she wrote and spoke frequently on behalf of disarmament;
her publications include The Game of Disarmament: How the United States
and Russia Run the Arms Race (1976). In addition to the Nobel Prize,
Myrdal received the West German Peace Prize (1970; jointly with her
husband), the Albert Einstein Peace Prize (1980), and the Jawaharlal
Nehru Award for International Understanding (1981).