Today I announce the appointment of Mr John Quinn as Australia’s next Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Mr Quinn will also be Australia’s Ambassador for Disarmament.
Mr Quinn is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was until recently an Assistant Secretary in the International Security Division. Overseas, he has served as Consul-General in Honolulu, as well as in Tokyo, Manila and Nairobi. He also served at the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, specialising in human rights and social issues.
Mr Quinn holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws from Sydney University. He speaks French and is married with an adult son and daughter.
Australia plays an active role in the UN, its specialised agencies and other fora based in Geneva. Australia contributes to their work on disarmament, human rights, humanitarian, refugee, health, telecommunications and labour issues, to set global standards and responses on key issues affecting our interests.
Australia is particularly engaged in the work of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, consistent with the Government’s commitment to support the protection and promotion of human rights internationally. Australia has announced its candidacy for the Human Rights Council for the term 2018-20.
Mr Quinn will also be responsible for advancing Australia’s interests in disarmament, non-proliferation and conventional arms control in Geneva. The revitalisation of the Conference on Disarmament and the effective functioning of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are a key focus for Australia’s disarmament efforts, as well as strengthening the global regimes to prevent WMD proliferation.
Parallel work including towards a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty and early entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty are also fundamental to Australia’s security. With the entry-into-force of the Arms Trade Treaty expected by the end of this year, Australia will continue to work with key supporters based in Geneva and elsewhere for the Treaty’s effective implementation.
Mr Quinn is expected up his to take appointment in September 2014, replacing Mr Peter Woolcott.
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