High Representative Valentin Inzko visited London to attend the memorial service for the life and work of the late former High Representative Paddy Ashdown, held in Westminster Abbey today.
“The work, dedication and energy he gave for the postwar reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its society will always be cherished. Paddy Ashdown will be remembered as one of the trailblazers of the country’s forward-looking path, who aimed to deliver a better future and progress for all. Bosnia and Herzegovina lost a true supporter, who wholeheartedly loved the country and its citizens,” said High Representative Inzko.
Paddy Ashdown was born in New Delhi on 27 February 1941. Between 1959 and 1972 he served as a Royal Marines Officer and saw active service as a Commando Officer in Borneo and the Persian Gulf. In 1972, Paddy left the Royal Marines and joined the Foreign Office. He was posted to the British Mission to the UN in Geneva.
After leaving the Foreign Office, Paddy worked in the local industry in the Yeovil area in South-West England between 1976 and 1981. He stood as the Liberal Parliamentary candidate for the Yeovil constituency in 1979 and raised the Liberal vote there to its highest recorded level.
He was elected Leader of the Liberal Democrats in July 1988 and was appointed as a Privy Councillor on 1 January 1989. He was knighted in 2000 and was made a peer in 2001.
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lord Ashdown was one of the leading advocates for a decisive action by the international community to end the conflict.