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Appointment of Director of Centre for Democratic Institutions

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AA52 23 June 1998


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Roland Rich as the Director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI).

The CDI is an important Australian Government initiative aimed at promoting democracy, human rights and effective governance in developing countries, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. The establishment of the Centre fulfils my promise at the last election to assist developing countries to strengthen democracy and provide effective governance. Governance is now one of five priority sectors for the

aid program.

The Government is providing $5 million over the next five years towards the establishment and operation of the CDI, located in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Mr Rich brings to the position of Director a wealth of experience in the Australian diplomatic service. He has been Assistant Secretary of the International Organisations Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra since 1997. Mr Rich, who joined the Department in 1975, has served on diplomatic postings to

Burma, the Philippines and France, and most recently as Australia’s Ambassador to Laos.

Mr Rich has an Arts/Law Degree from the University of Sydney and a Master’s Degree in International Law from the Australian National University.

As Director of the Centre, Mr Rich will be responsible for the oversight of its core business, which is to design and deliver short, intensive training programs in support of the democratic process and the strengthening of civil society.

These will focus on electoral, parliamentary, governmental and judicial procedures and the processes by which broader society (such as the media and non-government organisations) can contribute to democratic decision making.

The Centre’s activities will be aimed at parliamentarians, senior administrators, journalists, community leaders and others who play an influential role in the governance of developing countries.

Media contacts: Innes Willox (Minister’s Office) (02) 6277 7500 / 0411 414 695 Matt Francis (AusAID) (02) 6206 4967 / 0417 683 126

Media releases and speeches are available from AusAID via the Internet,