It was only after doing some research into Samoa and the Office of the Ombudsman that I realised what a great opportunity it would be to work with a new NHRI in the Pacific. I was also fascinated with the Samoan way of life (fa’asamoa) and how it would interact with the human rights system.

The United Nations General Assembly was packed. The occasion was the opening of the Conference of State Parties on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), which fellow DFAT officer Tim Balin and I attended in June as part of an International Skills Development Program.

Some of the most useful work we do as DFAT officers is not behind our desks – it’s when we’re face-to-face engaging with and learning from our global counterparts. I was reminded of this when I spent the day with a delegation of 55 Papua New Guinean officials who will lead and contribute to PNG’s hosting of APEC in 2018.

There are things that every policy maker and development partner working in the field of education want to know: what works?  What are the best ways to get kids into school, keep them there, and learn?  Which options have the best evidence of their effectiveness?  And what are the costs?

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) commits World Trade Organization (WTO) members to implement common sense customs reforms, which will make procedures around the international movement of goods faster, cheaper and more transparent.

Row of speakers standing on stage.

About 1,500 delegates gathered at the World Trade Organization in Geneva for the Sixth Global Aid for Trade Review. This event looks at progress that the world is making to improve the lives of poor people by helping them to trade.

Over the past decade, science, technology and innovation have become increasingly important to Australia’s foreign policy, and the foreign policies of our major trading partners.