Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation

  • Media release
31 January 2022

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Ian Biggs as Australia’s second Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation.

Australia’s leadership in international arms-control, non-proliferation, and disarmament is a fundamental pillar of the Government’s approach to international security challenges – especially in the Indo-Pacific region.

Ambassador Biggs will promote Australia’s priorities in this critical international security agenda, working collaboratively with partners on practical outcomes, and reinforcing our interests towards the objective of a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

Ambassador Biggs will be supported by the establishment of the Office for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation, within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This Office will work closely with the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation (ASNO).

Ambassador Biggs, in conjunction with ASNO, will also co-lead Australia’s efforts to limit the proliferation threats of chemical and biological weapons, and lead our work on the appropriate regulation of conventional arms.

Ambassador Biggs will also work with ASNO to continue Australia’s advocacy to maintain the highest nuclear non-proliferation standards and to strengthen the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime – including in the consultation process for Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered, conventionally armed submarines.

Ambassador Biggs is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has previously served overseas as Ambassador to Iran, to Turkey, and to Saudi Arabia, and as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassies in Vienna and Damascus, and the High Commission in New Delhi. He was Head of Secretariat, International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, and has held several senior leadership roles in arms control and disarmament-related issues in Canberra. He also served as Special Assistant to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

Ambassador Biggs holds a Master of Arts (International Relations) from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney.

I thank the inaugural Ambassador, Amanda Gorely – now our Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva – for her contributions to advancing Australia’s global arms-control interests since 2019.

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