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Paul Madden

British Ambassador to Japan

Part of UK in Australia

3rd September 2014

Foreign Minister Bishop heads to UK for key NATO Summit

I called on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this morning to touch base before she headed off to the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales, later this week. Australia has worked very closely with NATO and played an important role as the largest non-NATO contributor in the Afghanistan campaign. This relationship will not end with the campaign but be strengthened through an enhanced partnership with NATO.

This NATO meeting is the largest gathering of international leaders the UK has ever hosted, attended by 68 countries and international organisations. It comes at a particularly crucial time with the draw-down from a long campaign in Afghanistan, where British and Australian troops paid a heavy sacrifice in human lives, and against the backdrop of the current violence in Ukraine and elsewhere. The shooting down of MH17 with 38 Australians on board showed that, in a networked world, countries can be significantly impacted by conflicts well beyond their immediate neighbourhood. That is why it is so important to work closely together on issues that threaten our security, reflected in the summit title “Stronger together: Building stability in an unpredictable world.”

The emergence of Australian “foreign fighters” in Iraq and Syria, personified in those tragic images we have all seen on our TV screens in recent weeks, is another reminder of how global threats canbecome domestic. Sadly, the foreign fighter issue is something the UK has become all too familiar with. Just last week, the Home Secretary raised our domestic security threat status. This means heightened vigilance, but should certainly not discourage the one million Australian tourists, business people and students who visit Britain every year.

HE Paul Madden with Foreign Minister
HE Paul Madden with Foreign Minister

In our discussion of some of the very serious challenges faced by the international community, there was one light moment. The Melbourne Cup, which will be competed for in Australia’s most famous horse race on 4 November, was doing the rounds of Parliament. The Foreign Minister and I each had to don one white glove before we were allowed to touch the hallowed trophy: it was like being in a Michael Jackson video.

2 comments on “Foreign Minister Bishop heads to UK for key NATO Summit

  1. Yes. The N.A.T.O. summit is in Wales but why is the media reluctant to state that it’s happening in ” Newport ” South Wales. When the Ryder cup came to us, Newport was frequently mentioned. This Summit is much bigger so come on worldwide media put “Newport” , Wales in the frame.

    1. Yes, you’re right. I should have mentioned Newport as host city. I’ve now rectified that in the blog text above. I’m sure the success of the summit will have really put Newport on the map around the world.

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About Paul Madden

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017. He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia…

Paul Madden has been the British Ambassador to Japan from January 2017.

He was Additional Director for Asia Pacific at the FCO in 2015.He was British High Commissioner to Australia until February 2015. Prior to this he was British High Commissioner in Singapore from 2007-2011.

A career diplomat, he was previously Managing Director at UK Trade and Investment (2004-2006), responsible for co-ordinating and
implementing international trade development strategies to support
companies across a wide range of business sectors.

As Assistant Director of Information at the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office (2003-2004) he was responsible for public diplomacy policy,
including managing the FCO funding of the BBC World Service, the British
Council and the Chevening Scholarships programme. He led the team
responsible for the award-winning UK pavilion at the Aichi Expo in Japan

He was Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore from 2000-2003 and has
also served in Washington (1996-2000) and Tokyo (1988-92). Between
1992-96 he worked on EU enlargement and Environmental issues at the FCO
in London.

Before joining FCO he worked at the Department of Trade and Industry
(1980-87) on a range of industrial sectors and trade policy, including
two years as a minister’s Private Secretary.

He has an MA in Economic Geography from Cambridge University, an MBA
from Durham University, studied Japanese at London University’s School
of Oriental and African Studies, and is a Fellow of the Royal
Geographical Society. His first book, Raffles: Lessons in Business
Leadership, was published in 2003.

Married to Sarah, with three children, he was born in 1959, in Devon.