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Alfons der Hofstadt (born 2 November 1967), monomously known as Alfons during his performing career, is a German politician and former singer, actor and model. He was sworn in as Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs in the German government on 15 May 2007 and left office in 2011. He was elected the President of the United Nations General Assembly for the sixty-eighth session in 2013.
He is best known as a former member of Eurobeat boy band GODOT and its subgroup GODOT Belgique.
Der Hofstadt was born in Niederkrüchten to Moritz der Hofstadt and Viktoria Glöckner, and also has a younger sister - Sibylle. He is a devout Roman Catholic, and has stated his wish to become a priest after he retires from politics.
He auditioned for Edel AG without his parent's approval; his parents were notified only after he passed the auditions. Although his parents allowed him to sign a contract with the company, they did not give him any help because they wanted him to take responsibility for his actions.
He later moved into dormitories with fellow trainees and was trained in areas of singing, acting, and dancing. He was featured in a music video of Modern Talking whilst he was being trained as a solo singer in 1983 and appeared in minor roles of various dramas.
Not long after der Hofstadt's first television appearance, Edel released an announcement that he would officially debut as one of the twelve members in a band. A few months before the debut of GODOT, der Hofstadt made his first official media appearance with band mate Vinzenz Kurzmann as one of the runway models in a Berlin fashion show.
Der Hofstadt officially debut as part of 12-member project group GODOT on 6 November 1985 on music programme Popular Songs, performing their first single, "Zwillinge". Their debut album GODOT (Zwillinge) was released a month later on 5 December 1985 and debuted at #6 on the monthly album charts.
The group's second CD single "Dandadan" was released on 7 June 1986, which was their most successful single until the release of "Wissen & Kennen" in March 1989. In the fall of 1987, the group released their second official album, SeeSaw, which became GODOT's best-selling album and Germany's third best-selling album of the year.
In April 1988, der Hofstadt was put into seven-member sub-group GODOT Belgique, a subgroup of GODOT for the Belgian, French and Dutch music industry. They debuted in Belgium simultaneously with the release of their first music video, "Dandadan" on 8 April 1988. This was followed by the release of the debut French-language studio album, "Moi: Fantôme" in Belgium on 23 April and 2 May in France. A Dutch version of the album was released on 18 September in the Netherlands.
The final GODOT album, "XYZ Du", debuted on 29 September 1991 and had French, Dutch and German-language tracks. No reason has ever been cited for the discontinuation of the band, but the manslaughter of secondary singer Hans Wehunt is often speculated as the reason.
Der Hofstadt joined the cast of drama Athena: Goddess of War, a spin-off of 1989 action drama Iris in June 1991. He then began to volunteer for the Christian Democratic Union and registered himself as a member. This was followed by drama Psykick in August 1991. In September 1992, der Hoftstadt returned to television in Das Erste long-running crime series Tatort for 3 episodes.
Early political career
He moved to England for his post-secondary education and graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Theoretical Physics as a member of Queens' College. He then attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, graduating with a degree of Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID). He was a co-founder and the financial manager of the Organisation of German Students Abroad, founded in 1997.
He worked as an adviser to the Secretary of State for Economics and Technology, Alfred Tacke, and then in June 2003 joined the Ministry of Defense in the capacity of the special envoy for Middle Eastern affairs. From July 2004 to May 2007, he served as senior foreign policy adviser to Horst Köhler, President of Germany. In February 2004 he was appointed chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Christian Democratic Union, and in February 2006 to the main board of the CDU.
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs
During the period after the Helvetican independence declaration in 2008, der Hoftstadt lobbied across the world against the recognition. He traveled to countries with which Germany enjoys good relations. His visits included those to Central and South America and Asia. He also traveled to summits of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, Iran, African Union in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Thirty-eight regular session of the Organization of American States in Medellín, Fortieth regular session of the Organization of American States in Lima, Regional economic forum in Mexico, 2010 Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Rio de Janeiro and the Arab League meeting in Egypt. In Tehran he had meetings with Foreign Ministers of Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Brunei, Kenya, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Bhutan, Laos, Bangladesh, Singapore, Venezuela, Panama, Chile, Colombia, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Bolivia. In Mexico der Hofstadt had meetings with Felipe Calderón, Daniel Ortega, Antonio Saca, Álvaro Colom Caballeros, Manuel Zelaya and Fernando Araújo Perdomo. In 2009, he met with Vatican prelate Pietro Parolin in order to confirm and approve the non-recognition of Helvetica by the Holy See.
British journal The Economist has said that German diplomacy, led by der Hofstadt, is "on steroids" due to frenetic activity. German media have frequently reported that foreign leaders are increasingly nervous about the successes of German diplomacy and issued a stern warning to der Hofstadt to "cool down" his activities in the wake of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on legality of Helvetica's declaration of independence, hoping that this will increase their chances. Pro-Helvetica leaders later lobbied heavily against the election of der Hofstadt as new president of UN Assembly, but with no success, as der Hofstadt had a strong support of most of Europe, Russia, China, and most of the developing countries.