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Diplomatic negotiations tend to be much franker behind closed doors at the United Nations Security Council.
Those early experiences, attending formal and informal meetings as a researcher at the council, serve as a touchstone for Dr Jeremy Farrall’s work now at the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy.
“I have the great luxury of reflecting on that from an academic perspective but with that knowledge of how things work in the real world in terms of the UN,” said Dr Farrall.
Dr Farrall is the convenor of the Academic Network at the United Nations Association of Australia, bringing academics and practitioners into a committed community supporting the UN.
“The UNAA exists to educate and promote the work of the United Nations among Australian society more broadly,” he said.
“The United Nations is never far from what we do at APCD, so it’s a natural connection to have this relationship with the UNAA through my appointment.”
The regional diplomacy equivalent of a star-studded Hollywood cast are strewn throughout the schedule for the annual UNAA national conference at the Australian War memorial this month.
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, former president of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos Horta and former Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa are all listed to speak.
“It’s terrific to have all these people with this expertise all in the same room at the same time,” said Dr Farrall, who will chair discussions at the conference.
Celebrating 70 years of Australia’s commitment to peacekeeping, the event will draw attendees ranging from UN practitioners in New York to key academics at the ANU.
“It brings together some really high-level people who’ve been at the cutting edge of UN policy,” said Dr Farrall, who has also worked for the UN in Cyprus and Liberia.
A number of satellite events have been organised in the lead up to the conference, including a roundtable that spotlights one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
For students, a second event dives into conversation with Ian Martin, the Executive Director of Security Council Report who has worked for the UN in Libya, Nepal and Timor-Leste.
“These people have incredible experience,” Dr Farrall said.