A SENIOR United Nations official has been honoured by a North-East university.

Baroness Valerie Amos, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, was made an honorary Doctor of Civil Law by Durham University in a ceremony at Durham Cathedral today (Thursday, January 10).

She said: “It’s a great privilege to be honoured by Durham University, a university with a long and proud history where there is a strong commitment to the principles of social justice.”

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Baroness Amos was made a Labour life peer in 1997 and served as Leader of the House of Lords and Secretary of State for International Development. She has also been British High Commissioner to Australia and European Union Special Representative to the African Union.

Professor Chris Higgins, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, presented the honorary degree, standing in for Chancellor and opera singer Sir Thomas Allen, who was ill.

Also honoured was Ken West, a pioneer of natural burials. Mr West was made an honorary Master of Arts.

Prof Higgins said: “All of our honorary degree recipients have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields and are a real example to our students of what can be achieved with drive, determination and skill.”