Walter Schwimmer is an Austrian politician and diplomat. From 1971 to 1999 he was a member of the Austrian Parliament (National Council), serving as a chairperson of several committees (Justice, Health, Housing and Construction) and deputy leader of the Austrian People’s Party. From 1 September 1999 to 1 September 2004, Schwimmer was Secretary General of the Council of Europe. He also chaired the Interparliamentary Union of Friendship of Austria and Israel in the Parliament of Austria (1976-1999) and member of the National Counsel of the Association Asia-Israel (1973-1999), serving as its vice-president (since 1977) and president (1982-1999). Currently Schwimmer acts as a consultant on International Relations and European Affairs, Honorary Secretary General of the Maison de la Mediterranee, Chairman of the International Coordination Committee and Co-Chairman of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations.