Senior British diplomat named by Ban Ki-Moon as new UN humanitarian chief

Senior British diplomat named by Ban Ki-Moon as new UN humanitarian chief

John Holmes
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed the veteran British diplomat John Holmes as the new United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Announcing the appointment, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists that Mr. Holmes has “offered a proven record of strategic vision, crisis management, multilateral negotiation, dedication and hard work” throughout his diplomatic career.

The 55-year old diplomat, who joined the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1973, has served as his country’s Ambassador to France since October 2001. He worked at the British Mission to the UN in New York in 1975 and has spent stints in Moscow, New Delhi and Lisbon among other places.

In 1995, he became the Private Secretary (Overseas Affairs) and diplomatic adviser to then British Prime Minister John Major, and he continued in that role under Tony Blair from 1997 to 1999, becoming Principal Private Secretary.

“The Secretary-General is confident that the international community will benefit from his leadership and expertise,” Ms. Montas said.

Mr. Holmes replaces Norway’s Jan Egeland, who stepped down last month after more than three years as the most senior humanitarian official at the Organization.