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

Media Release

17 September 2007

Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to the OECD

Mr Christopher Langman is to be Australia’s new Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Mr Langman will succeed Ms Veronique Ingram who has been Ambassador and Permanent Representative since January 2005. Mr Langman is expected to take up his appointment in January 2008.

The OECD is the foremost international consultative forum for analysis and policy evaluation of major economic, social and trade issues for industrialised countries. The Organisation provides advice on these issues to member countries.

The OECD has also developed and maintained international arrangements on issues such as combating bribery and export credits.

Established in 1961, the OECD has 30 member countries. Australia became a member in 1971. In May 2007, OECD members agreed to invite Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia to begin discussions on accession to the Organisation and offered enhanced engagement, with a view to possible future membership, to Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. Australia is keen to see the organisation engaged more fully with key developing economies, including those in Asia.

Australia is an active participant in the work of the OECD. We benefit significantly from the opportunity to exchange ideas and develop policy best practice across the broad range of issues covered by the organisation, including on economic policy, trade, agriculture, development assistance, export credits and debt. Australia has a strong interest in supporting the OECD so that it continues to make a major contribution to fostering sustainable global economic growth.

Mr Langman is a senior officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has been the First Assistant Secretary, Office of Trade Negotiations since 2005 with responsibility for Australia’s participation in the World Trade Organisation, as well as other trade policy issues. Overseas, Mr Langman has served in Buenos Aires, Washington and Geneva, where he was the Deputy Head of Mission at Australia’s Mission to the United Nations.

In Canberra, Mr Langman has held a range of positions including Special Negotiator for Agriculture (2004-05), Ambassador for the Environment (2002-04), Assistant Secretary, Environment Branch (1999-2002), and Assistant Secretary, Automotive Taskforce (1998-99).

Mr Langman is a graduate of the Australian National University and is married with one child.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555


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