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News Release

UU To Honour Paddy Ashdown

22nd March 2006


Rt Hon Lord Ashdown

Rt Hon Lord Ashdown

The University of Ulster is to confer an honorary degree on former Liberal democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, in recognition of his contribution to peace-keeping in his role as the international community’s High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He will receive the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) at a ceremony in the Millennium Forum this summer.
 
The Rt Hon Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG was born in New Delhi in 1941, and moved to Northern Ireland at the age of four. He later attended Bedford school in England, where his Irish accent gained him his nickname of ‘Paddy’.
 
Between 1959 and 1972 he served as an officer in the Royal Marines, and saw active service in Borneo, the Persian Gulf and Northern Ireland.
 
He joined the Foreign Office in 1972, and was posted to Geneva where he was responsible for the UK’s relations with several UN agencies. In 1983, he won the seat of Yeovil in the Liberal interest, beginning a long political career which saw him elected leader of the Liberal Democrats in 1988, serving in that role until 1999. He stood down from the Commons in 2001, and was elevated to the peerage in the same year.

He was made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2000 and a peer in 2001
 
In 2002, Lord Ashdown was appointed as UN High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, serving with distinction until 2005.
 
Lord Ashdown became a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 2006 New Year Honours List in recognition of his work in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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