Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media Release


27 July 1995

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Geneva UN, Ambassador for the Environment

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr Howard Bamsey as Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva, and Ambassador for the Environment.

Mr Bamsey will replace Ms Penny Wensley, the current Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador for the Environment, who took up her position in Geneva in January 1993.

As Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva, Mr Bamsey will play an important role managing Australia's participation in international meetings, particularly those relating to multilateral negotiations on human rights, humanitarian relief and refugees. He will also have responsibility for Australia's relations with fifteen Geneva-based international organisations, including United Nations Specialised Agencies covering world health, international telecommunications, intellectual property and meteorology.

The principal functions of the Ambassador for the Environment include promoting Australia's interests and policies on global environment issues overseas and in Australia, representing the Government at international conferences and negotiations on the environment and contributing to the provision of policy advice to Government on international environment issues. Reflecting these responsibilities, Mr Bamsey will report to the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio Ministers and to the Minister for the Environment. Senator Evans noted the considerable benefits in continuing to locate the Ambassador for the Environment in Geneva, at the centre of international environmental activity.

Senator Evans said that Mr Bamsey's appointment reflected the Government's continuing commitment to active participation in the international effort to address global environmental problems.

Mr Bamsey is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1971 and has served in London, Port Moresby and Jeddah. From 1984-87 he was Counsellor in Vienna, and from 1989-92 he was Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Australian Mission to the UN in New York, where his responsibilities included human rights and a range of environmental issues. He is currently First Assistant Secretary of the Economic and Trade Development Division.

Mr Bamsey is expected to take up his appointment in January 1996.