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MacKay NZ Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

10 November 2005
Media Release

MacKay appointed NZ Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva

New Zealand’s next Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, and Ambassador for Disarmament, will be career diplomat Don MacKay, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

Mr MacKay has an extensive background in United Nations and disarmament matters, and brings considerable experience and expertise to the position, Mr Peters said.

“The United Nations plays a crucial role in dealing with global issues of importance to New Zealand. The current security environment is especially challenging for those advocating for disarmament and against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

“Most of the UN's specialised agencies are based in Geneva. Geneva is also the major international human rights centre, and the international human rights machinery is facing profound change.

“Mr MacKay has the background and skills necessary to tackle these critical issues”, Mr Peters said.

“He was until recently New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2001-2005), where he led a number of international processes, including chairing one of the UN General Assembly’s Main Committees. He currently chairs the negotiations on a major new human rights convention."

In a 30-year career with the Ministry, Mr MacKay has also served in Rome and as Ambassador to Fiji (1991-95). He has a legal background and has represented New Zealand before the International Court of Justice and in international arbitration. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre for International Law at Cambridge University in 1996.

Don MacKay will replace Tim Caughley, who will be returning to Wellington. He will take up his position in March 2006.

ENDS

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