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Diplomatic appointment: disarmament matters



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NEWS RELEASE M IN IS T E R FOR FO R EIG N A FFA IR S SENATO R G A R ETH EVANS jife

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DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT : DISARMAMENT MATTERS

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Mr Richard Starr as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations for Disarmament Matters.

Mr Starr replaces Mr Paul O'Sullivan, who has been Ambassador since January 1991.

The Ambassador for Disarmament, a post established by the Government in 1983, is responsible for pursuing Australia's interest in the negotiation of arms control and disarmament agreements at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

The Ambassador is also responsible for pursuing our arms control interests in other international forums, including the relevant organs of the United Nations such as the First Committee and the United Nations Disarmament Commission.

Mr Starr is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, having joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1967. Within the Department he has worked in Policy Planning, Public Affairs, as Head of the United States Section and of the Strategic Assessments Branch.

He is currently Assistant Secretary, Peace Arms Control and Disarmament Branch. His overseas assignments have included postings as Third Secretary in New Delhi (1968-70), First Secretary in Tel Aviv (1973-75), Counsellor in Washington (1978-81), and Minister in

London (1987-1990). He served as Ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama from 1985 to 1987.

Senator Evans said Mr Starr's appointment confirmed the Government's commitment to global arms control and disarmament efforts. He said Mr Starr and his team would be key players in implementing Australian Government policy to promote security and disarmament on multilateral, regional and bilateral levels.

Senator Evans said the Government's key multilateral arms control and disarmament objectives in the near term were to contribute to ensuring the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995; to advance negotiation of a Comprehensive

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and other nuclear disarmament negotiations; to promote smooth implementation and entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention and strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention; and to improve transparency and controls in the area of conventional weapons, including landmines.

He said that Mr Starr would bring to the position valuable experience at a senior level in the security, arms control and disarmament fields.

Mr Starr is expected to take up his appointment in March.