NEW PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF AUSTRALIA PRESENTS CREDENTIALS

BIO/3099
11 September 1997

NEW PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF AUSTRALIA PRESENTS CREDENTIALS

11 September 1997


Press Release
BIO/3099


NEW PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF AUSTRALIA PRESENTS CREDENTIALS

19970911 Biographical Note Penny Wensley, the new Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations, today presented her credentials to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Wensley, a career diplomat, was First Assistant Secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she was responsible for the management of Australia's relations with Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Mongolia (1996-1997). From 1993 to 1996, Ms. Wensley was Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva and to the specialized agencies there, serving also as "Ambassador for the Environment" from 1992 to 1996.

Ms. Wensley has also held a wide variety of other policy positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including head of its East Asia Branch (1989-1990), and Principal Adviser at its International Organizations and Legal Division (1991). She has extensive multilateral experience and has led Australian delegations to over 50 major international meetings and conferences.

Among the international positions she has held, Ms. Wensley was Vice- Chairman of the United Nations Climate Change Convention Negotiations (1993- 1996); Coordinator of the Western Group for Negotiation of the United Nations Conventions on Biodiversity and Desertification (1994-1996); Chairman of the Preparatory Process for the United Nations Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (1993-1994); and Chairman of the International Coral Reef Initiative Conference (1995).

She has also been Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) since 1995, and a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) High-Level Advisory Council on Health and the Environment since 1994. Educated in New South Wales, the United Kingdom and Queensland, Ms. Wensley has a First Class Honours Degree in English and French language and literature from the University of Queensland. In 1994, she was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of Queensland -- the first woman to receive that award. Also in 1994, the University conferred upon her an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy for her distinguished contributions to international relations.

Born in Toowoomba in 1946, Ms. Wensley is married and has two daughters.

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