Profile of the President-Designate of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

His Excellency Mr Alexander Downer

1 September 2005


His Excellency Mr Alexander Downer is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia since 1996. Since then Mr Downer has overseen a range of important developments on the international stage. He played a crucial role in the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at the United Nations and since then has been a strong supporter of efforts to achieve early entry into force of the Treaty.

Prior to becoming Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer served as Shadow Minister in a number of portfolios, including Treasurer, Defense, Trade and Trade Negotiations, Housing and Small Business, and Arts, Heritage and Environment. He also held various senior Parliamentary positions.

Mr Downer served as Executive Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce from 1983 to 1984. Prior to that, from 1982 to 1983, he was a Political Adviser to the former Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Fraser.

From 1976 to 1982, Mr Downer served as a diplomat in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He also worked as an Economist at the Bank of New South Wales from 1975 to 1976.

Mr Downer is a Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa) and holds a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Politics and Economics.