For a hundred years, humans have had the capacity to attack each other with devastating chemical weapons. Seven decades ago, mankind unlocked the secret of the nuclear bomb.

In the 21st century, we also fear biological attack, robotic drones and, increasingly, cyber warfare as potential weapons of mass destruction. Australia, like all nations, has an overriding national interest in the development and enforcement of robust international regimes that restrict the creation, deployment and export of weapons of mass destruction. For decades, Australia has been a strong, dedicated contributor to the evolution of control regimes like the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the chemical and biological weapons conventions and the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty.

Peter Varghese will speak about the critical work of arms control in the 21st century.

This lecture is the 9th annual John Gee Memorial Lecture and will be chaired by ANU Chancellor Professor the Hon Gareth Evans. Previous speakers include The Hon Malcolm Fraser, H.E. Mr Ahmet Üzümcü, Professor Ramesh Thakur, and ANU Chancellor Professor the Hon Gareth Evans.

Watch the recording here.

About the speaker
Peter Varghese is Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Prior to this appointment, Peter was Australia’s High Commissioner to India from 2009 to 2012. Between 2004 and 2009, he was Director-General of the Office of National Assessments. Before that, he was the Senior Adviser (International) to the Prime Minister.

Peter has held a wide range of senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia and overseas in key embassy posts. He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2010 for distinguished service to public administration, particularly in leading reform in the Australian intelligence community and as an adviser in the areas of foreign policy and international security.

Peter was awarded a Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of Queensland in July 2013 in recognition of his distinguished service to diplomacy and Australian public service.

Event details

Event date

Mon, 7 Sep 2015, 6 - 7pm

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