British peer Valerie Amos new head of UN aid office

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The British High Commissioner to Australia, Valerie Amos, has been appointed the new head of the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, officials said Friday.

She will take over the New York-based post from another Briton, John Holmes, who is leaving at the end of August, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Amos, 56, who was born in Guyana, was the first black woman to hold a British cabinet post when she was appointed secretary for international development in 2003. In that role, she took part in negotiations about African conflicts.

In 1997, she was made a Labour Party life peer, and sat in the House of Lords, where she became leader of the House in 2003.

© 2010 AFP

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