Big Story 10

Britain appoints first woman as permanent secretary to U.N.

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has appointed Karen Pierce as its new permanent secretary to the United Nations, the first woman to take on the role, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Pierce, a British diplomat who has worked in several countries, previously served as the deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in New York and permanent representative to the organization in Geneva.

“Through our role as a permanent member of the Security Council and position as the U.N.’s third largest donor, the UK will continue to work with others to tackle the pressing security, stability, development and prosperity challenges of today,” Pierce said in a statement.

British foreign minister Boris Johnson welcomed her move, saying Pierce would add to Britain’s “proud history of working for positive change through the United Nations, not least in addressing the problems in Libya and Syria”.

“I know Karen has the diplomatic skills, energy and patience to continue this vital work, and I congratulate her on her appointment,” he said in a statement.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Andrew MacAskill