Staying in touch on my UN secondment

Staying in touch on my UN secondment

As this missive is being delivered to your inbox I am flying to New York City to begin my secondment to the United Nations. It’s a three-month posting to the Australian delegation, which is open to two parliamentarians every year. I’ll be joined by Labor Party Senator Lisa Singh and expect to return to Australia in December.

I know many regular readers are concerned that I’ll be out of the country for some of the important political debates ahead; however, distance isn’t a real barrier to communication anymore. While time zone differences can sometimes be difficult to manage, I’ll be staying in touch in more ways than ever before.

Your Weekly Dose of Common Sense will still be delivered every Wednesday and I’ll also be doing a regular podcast which will be available on my website, Facebook page and (hopefully soon) on iTunes.

If you haven’t already tuned in, you can listen to the latest at:

My concerns about the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of the United Nations are a matter of public record. Like many, I have spoken of the perceived impact this international body has on our domestic policy agenda and the wisdom of Australia subscribing to their global initiatives.  Seeing this mass of international bureaucracy at work, whilst also choosing a new Secretary-General, will be a wonderful opportunity to sort fact from fiction.

The secondment will also enable me to gain a close-up perspective of the US Presidential election and to identify lessons for our own body politic. I’ll be writing some extra blog posts surrounding the election and my experiences at the UN, which will be available on my website and distributed via social media.

I have no doubt the months ahead will be some of the most interesting and informative of my political life. The opportunity to broaden my experience and knowledge will hopefully make me a better parliamentarian in the years ahead.

There’s no doubt I’ll miss the interaction in the Senate and the cut and thrust of domestic debate but the long-term gains of this opportunity should outweigh any short-term impacts.

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing as much of that journey with you as I can. As always, your feedback, insights and valuable advice is more than welcome.

Stay safe and next week I’ll be sending a ‘letter from America’.

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