Appointment of Special Envoys

Media release

Brisbane

12 October 2010

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has announced the appointment of the Honourable Bob McMullan and Bill Fisher as Special Envoys in the context of Australia’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) candidacy.

"The role of the Special Envoys is to strengthen relations with a range of countries and organisations and deepen our dialogue with them on key global challenges. This is especially valuable in countries where we do not have a resident diplomatic mission," said Mr Rudd.

"Special Envoys will highlight the significant contribution we can make to the UNSC, including on key challenges that directly affect us, and the importance we place on the UN and on our bid.

"The UNSC mandates operations supporting international peace and security, such as those in Afghanistan and Cyprus to which we contribute troops and police and, in the case of East Timor, have played a critical lead role.

"The UNSC is also the international body which imposes legally binding sanctions on proliferating states such as Iran and North Korea, sanctions which Australia also applies to those countries."

Mr McMullan will be a Special Envoy to a number of African countries, where he is well known.

He has had a long and distinguished career in Parliament, including as Minister for Trade and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance.

Mr Fisher will be Special Envoy to La Francophonie. Mr Fisher is a senior departmental officer who has had a long history with francophone countries, including as Ambassador to France.

In Commonwealth countries, the Special Envoys will also discuss issues relating to Australia hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in October 2011.

Mr Fisher will explore opportunities for closer cooperation between the Commonwealth and La Francophonie.

Special Envoys are a normal part of any UNSC campaign and are deployed by many countries.

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