Diary of a Foreign Minister
Six years after vacating his position as the longest-serving premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr returned to politics in his dream job: as foreign minister of Australia and a senior federal cabinet minister. For 18 months he kept a diary documenting a whirl of high-stakes events on the world stage—the election of Australia to the UN Security Council, the war in Syria, and meetings with the most powerful people on the planet. And they all unfold against the gripping, uncertain domestic backdrop of Labor Party infighting, plummeting polls, and a leadership change from Gillard back to Rudd. This compelling diary provides an intimate glimpse into the day-to-day workings of a foreign minister and proves that Carr is not only a master politician and statesman but a great writer as well.
that the removal of Assad had been made a priority. Instead of a humanitarian priority, many in the international community were focused on a geostrategic objective. This would cost lives. The international community needed to unite in its efforts to stop the conflict and arrange talks that included the government, which Russia supported. He said if all the countries that had met in Geneva last June followed their conclusions and pressured their clients on the ground to do likewise, then there
Press program 59, 383 Melbourne 78, 89–90, 188, 205, 248, 282, 339, 408, 432, 435 Melham, Daryl 227 Membe, Bernard 13–15, 17 Menon, Subhas 125–26 Menzies, Robert ‘Bob’ 264, 443 Meridor, Dan 17, 476 Merkel, Angela 329, 466–67 Middle East Forum 305, 458 Middle East peace process 276, 281, 337, 405, 432 see also Israel–Palestine two-state solution Mikati, Ziad 371 Miliband, David 16, 20, 117 Miliband, Ed 16 Millar, Caroline 103, 193 Millennium Development Goals 253 Miller, Arthur 43
they do. Only Belgium gives asylum seekers more. But if we take a billion dollars out of aid, the bulk of our aid is going to be spent onshore – on them and on students who win Australia award scholarships.’ Swan, who chairs these meetings, and does so very efficiently, said we didn’t have to make a decision today. Myanmar’s Speaker, Shwe Mann, was in Canberra. I had met him in Nay Pyi Taw in June. He’s seen as a future President. He’s deeply conscious of all the things I’ve done in my boutique
what goes on here. The public service fills its own vacancies, and this is an example. Dennis Richardson agreed to go and head Defence and, very obviously, told Julia he’d do it if he was able to fill his old job with his own choice of successor. Now, his choice is the right one and I look forward to working with Varghese, who I met for the first time briefly today (he’s on leave from Delhi and won’t return to Canberra permanently till the end of the year). But Conroy’s right: the bureaucracy has
aspirations towards statehood but reflects our view that the only way to a two-state solution in the Middle East, with a strong Palestinian state side by side with an Israel with absolute security, is through an outcome negotiated by the two sides, the two sides thus having a commitment to the success of the outcome. You cannot get that through a resolution of the General Assembly, but to have voted ‘no’ would have sent a message that Australia does not believe in something we do believe in –