In 2004 he received the "Homo of the Year"-award from the Swedish gay oriented magazine QX. In 2006 he was one of the co-hosts of the Swedish TV-series Böglobbyn ("The Gay Lobby") on Sveriges Television. However he decided to leave the series after just two episodes had been broadcast.
In 2011 Åström was awarded the congress price from the Green Party recognizing his contributions for the global environment through the UN Environment Conference in Stockholm 1972.
Åström was born in Uppsala, the son of John Åström, a lawyer, and his wife, Brita (née Kugelberg). His father died shortly before the Kreuger Crash in 1930.
Åström studied at Uppsala University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1935 and a Candidate of Law in 1939. Åström was a member of the National Student Association in Uppsala, an organization affiliated with the pro-Nazi National League of Sweden, from 1932 to 1937.
Following his studies, Åström was employed as an attaché at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. From 1940 to 1943 he served at the Swedish mission to the Soviet Union, first in Moscow and then in Kuybyshev. In 1946 he became secretary of legation at the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C. He returned to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1948 and became its head of division in 1949. From 1953 to 1956 he served as councillor (Swedish: beskickningsråd) at the Swedish embassy in London, and from 1956 to 1963 he was head of the political division and a foreign affairs councillor (Swedish: utrikesråd) at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
In 1964, Åström succeeded Agda Rössel as Sweden's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He stayed on this post until 1970, when he became Sweden's chief negotiator on the EEC treaty in Brussels. Thereafter he served as Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1972 to 1977, and as Swedish ambassador to France from 1978 until his retirement in 1982.
Although Åström was a close friend of Olof Palme, the former Prime Minister of the Social Democratic Party, Åström was never member of, or attached to, a political party.
Åström's autobiography, Ögonblick: från ett halvsekel i UD-tjänst ("Moments: From Half a Century in the Duty of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs"), was published in 1992.
Britain, Sweden and the Cold War: Understanding Neutrality (St. Antony's) by Juhana Aunesluoma
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (September 6, 2003)
Amazon: Britain, Sweden and the Cold War: Understanding Neutrality
Juhana Aunesluoma considers the ways in which Scandinavia's, in particular neutral Sweden's, relationship was forged with the Western powers after the Second World War. He argues that during the early cold war Britain had a special role in Scandinavia and in the ways in which Western oriented neutrality became a part of the international system. New evidence is presented on British, American and Swedish foreign and defense policies regarding neutrality in the cold war.
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