Northern Ireland news

Former Irish diplomat honoured by Queen's University Belfast

Anne Anderson was awarded an honorary degree by QUB chancellor secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton at a ceremony in New York

A FORMER diplomat and Ireland's first female Ambassador to the US has been honoured by Queen's University Belfast for distinction in public service.

Anne Anderson was awarded an honorary degree by QUB chancellor secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton at a ceremony in New York.

Ms Anderson joined the Department for Foreign Affairs in 1972 and during her distinguished 45-year career was one of the most senior women in the Irish foreign service.

She served as permanent representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva from 1995 to 2001, during which time she was elected as chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights - the fourth woman to earn the honour, the first being Eleanor Roosevelt.

She was also the first female ambassador to represent her country in five postings. She currently serves as chair of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Group on the Peacebuilding Fund.

Ms Anderson said she was "privileged to receive this honorary degree from a university that plays such a fundamental role in Northern Ireland".

"I cherish the connections I have with Northern Ireland and look forward to strengthening these as a Queen's honorary graduate," she said.

Mrs Clinton said after recently celebrating International Women's Day and as "we look forward to St Patrick's Day next week, it feels extremely fitting that we are honouring a trailblazer for Irish feminism".

"Anne Anderson has spent her career breaking glass ceilings in her home country and on the world stage," she said.

"I'm thrilled that we're welcoming her into the Queen's University family."

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