The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

Media Release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
25 October 2000

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Kenya

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Paul Comfort as Australia's High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya, with non-resident accreditation to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda. Mr Comfort will also be Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT).

Mr Comfort will replace Mr Philip Green, who has been High Commissioner since January 1998. He is expected to take up his appointment in January 2001.

Australia has close and longstanding relations with Kenya and both countries cooperate in Commonwealth and other international forums. Two-way trade stands at $100 million and a significant number of Australians visit Kenya each year.

Australia's economic engagement with East Africa is growing, with mining investment, particularly in Tanzania and Uganda, approaching $1 billion. There is also government and non-government development and humanitarian assistance activity in the region

Mr Comfort is currently Assistant Secretary, Output Pricing Review Task Force, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His overseas assignments have been as Counsellor in London (1994-98), Consul and Senior Administrative Officer in Amman (1990-93) and Third Secretary in Islamabad (1986-88).

In Canberra, Mr Comfort has been Director, Trade and Investment Liberalisation Section (1999); Director, Fraud Prevention and Investigation Section (1993-94); Desk Officer, ASEAN, Thailand and Regional Trade Section (1989-90); Desk Officer, Commodities and Commercial Relations Section (1985-86); and Desk Officer, South Asia Section (1985).

Educated at Adelaide University and the University of Western Australia, Mr Comfort holds a Bachelor of Economics degree. He was born in Britain in 1956 and is married with two children.

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