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Gareth Evans

Quotes | Bibliography | The website of Gareth Evans
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS)

Gareth Evans became President and Chief Executive of the International Crisis Group in January 2000. Born in 1944, he holds first class honours degrees in Law from Melbourne University and in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. Before entering the Australian Parliament in 1978, he was a barrister specialising in industrial law, and an academic lawyer specialising in constitutional and civil liberties law. He became a Queens Counsel in 1983.

From 1978 to 1996 he represented Victoria in the Senate, serving as Deputy Leader (1987-1993) and then Leader (1993-1996) of the Government. From 1996 to 1999 he was the Member for Holt in the House of Representatives, serving from 1996 to 1998 as Deputy Leader of the Opposition. He resigned from the Australian Parliament on 30 September 1999.

Gareth Evans was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments for thirteen years, in the posts of Attorney General (1983-84), Minister for Resources and Energy (1984-87), Minister for Transport and Communications (1987-88) and Foreign Minister (1988-1996).

He was one of Australia's longest serving Foreign Ministers, best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, helping bring to a conclusion the international Chemical Weapons Convention, founding the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and initiating the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. He was Australian Humanist of the Year in 1990, won the ANZAC Peace Prize in 1994 for his work on Cambodia, and in 1995 was awarded in the United States the Grawemeyer Prize for Ideas Improving World Order for his Foreign Policy article "Cooperative Security and Intrastate Conflict".

Gareth Evans has written or edited eight books - most recently Australia's Foreign Relations (1991, 2nd ed 1995) and Cooperating for Peace: The Global Agenda for the 1990s (1993) - and has published over seventy journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal reform, and democratic socialist political philosophy.

In September 2000, he was appointed by the Canadian Government to co-chair (with Mohamed Sahnoun of Algeria) the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS - website Among other positions, he is currently a member of the International Council of the Asia Society; the Council of the Asia-Australia Institute; the International Advisory Board of UN Studies at Yale; and the Advisory Council of the Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. He was also a member of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, co-chaired by Cyrus Vance and David Hamburg.

He is married to Professor Merran Evans, an econometrician who is Director of Planning and Academic Affairs at Monash University. They have two children, Caitlin and Eamon, studying at university. His leisure interests are reading and writing, travel, golf, football and opera.

(August 2001)


"Gareth Evans was one of the best and most widely respected foreign ministers in the last few years. High intelligence and principle added to a razor-sharp wit ensured that he was a controversial figure, but one who left the world better than he found it."
The Rt. Hon. Chris Patten, European Commissioner, Former Governor of Hong Kong.

"As well as his achievements as Australia's finest foreign minister, Gareth Evans' drive, idealism and intelligence contributed to many of the important changes in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s."
The Hon. Paul Keating, Former Prime Minister of Australia

"A politician of substance and imagination and the Australian who won great respect in the United Nations and around the world".
Justice Michael Kirby, Judge of the High Court of Australia

These quotes appear on the jacket of the recently published biography Gareth Evans by Keith Scott (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1999)

Bibliography of Published Writings

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