Iraq: Unfinished Business, with Ambassador Richard Butler

Event offered by:
Foreign Policy Association

Event Details

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
11:45 AM - 2:00 PM 
Bar Association of the City of New York
New York, NY
Event type
Lunch / Dinner  

Event Transcripts and Video

This event is sponsored by the Off-the-Record Lectures Series of the FPA.

Presider: Susan Greig, OTR Board of Governors

Event Speakers

    • Ambassador Richard Butler - Speaker
      Diplomat in Residence at the Council on Foreign Relations


      Ambassador Richard Butler is Diplomat in Residence at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 1997 to 1999, he was Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) charged with the disarmament of Iraq. Prior to that appointment, he served as Australian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from March, 1992 until June, 1997.


      Born in New South Wales, Australia, Ambassador Butler holds degrees from the University of Sydney and the Australian National University. Early in his foreign service career, the Ambassador was posted to the Australian Embassies in: Vienna, where he was the Deputy Permanent Representative of Australia to the International Atomic Energy Agency; United Nations, New York; Singapore; Bonn and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris.


      In 1983, Ambassador Butler was appointed Australia's first Ambassador for Disarmament. In that role he led the Australian Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, where he conducted all Australian disarmament negotiations, both in United Nations institutions and, directly, with individual countries. Ambassador Butler was designated Australian Ambassador to Thailand in 1989, and, in 1991, he was simultaneously chosen to be Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the Supreme National Council of Cambodia. He was deeply involved in the negotiation of the Cambodian peace agreements.


      In 1992, the General Assembly of the United Nations elected the Ambassador to be Chairman of the United Nations Preparatory Committee for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, held in 1995. Ambassador Butler served as the President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 1994. He was also Vice Chairman of the World Summit on Social Development held in Copenhagen in March, 1995. In November 1995, the Prime Minister of Australia appointed Ambassador Butler the Convenor of the Canberra Comission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and in 1996, he managed the adoption by the United Nations of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Ambassador Butler's book The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Crisis of Global Security, was published in 2000 and his most recent book, Fatal Choice: Nuclear Weapons and the Illusion of Missile Defense, was published in 2001.

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