The Government has appointed Mr Burhan Gafoor as Singapore’s High Commissioner to Australia. He will assume post on 8 September 2014.

            Mr Gafoor joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988 and served as Singapore’s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change from May 2010 to July 2014.

            From 2007 to 2010, Mr Gafoor was Ambassador to France and concurrently accredited to Portugal. Prior to that, he was Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to the United Nations in Geneva from 2004 to 2007. He was also accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. From 2004 to 2006, he was concurrently accredited as Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.

            Mr Gafoor also served as Press Secretary to former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong from 2002 to 2004.

            In the course of his career, Mr Gafoor has represented Singapore in various capacities in International Organisations. From February 2006 to August 2007, he was Chairman of the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Development, WTO, dealing with negotiations on development issues related to the Doha Round. In March 2006, he was elected President of the Diplomatic Conference of the World Intellectual Property Organisation which led to the Adoption of the Revised Trademark Law Treaty, also known as the “Singapore Treaty”. From September 2004 to September 2006, he was Governor for Singapore in the Board of Governors of the IAEA, Vienna. In 2011, he was Vice-Chairman of the Transitional Committee that designed the Green Climate Fund operationalised at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

            Mr Gafoor received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2001 and the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2013 from the Singapore Government. In 2011, the French Government awarded him a medal with the title of “Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite”.

            Mr Gafoor graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) degree in Political Science from the National University of Singapore in 1988. He received a Masters degree in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1997. He also obtained a degree in public administration from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Paris in 2002.

            Mr Gafoor is married to Ms Zarina Varukatty. They have two sons aged seven and 12.

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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SINGAPORE

27 AUGUST 2014

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BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY OF AMBASSADOR BURHAN GAFOOR, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

1         Born on 20 October 1965, Ambassador Gafoor graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) degree in Political Science from the National University of Singapore in 1988. He received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1997 and obtained a diploma in public administration from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris in 2002.

2         Ambassador Gafoor was the Chief Negotiator for Climate Change from May 2010 to July 2014 and led the Singapore negotiating team to the Cancun, Durban, Doha and Warsaw meetings of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

3         From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Gafoor was Ambassador to France and concurrently accredited to Portugal. Prior to that, Mr. Gafoor was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, from 2004 to 2007. He was also accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

4         From 2004 to 2006, he was concurrently accredited as Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey. Prior to his overseas appointment as Ambassador, Mr. Gafoor served in various positions in Singapore, including as follows:

2002-2004: Press Secretary to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Office of the Prime Minister of Singapore. He concurrently held the position of Director (Special Duties), Ministry of Communications, Information and the Arts and Director (Special Duties), Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1997-2001: Deputy Director and subsequently Director, Policy, Planning and Analysis Directorate for Europe and North America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

5         Ambassador Gafoor has represented Singapore in various capacities in several UN Organisations. From February 2006 to August 2007, he was Chairman of the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Development, World Trade Organisation (WTO), dealing with negotiations on development issues related to the Doha Round. In March 2006, he was elected President of the Diplomatic Conference of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) which led to the Adoption of the Revised Trademark Law Treaty, also known as the “Singapore Treaty”. From September 2004 to September 2006, he was Governor for Singapore, in the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna. More recently, he served as facilitator for the climate finance negotiations in 2010. In 2011, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Transitional Committee that designed the Green Climate Fund, which was operationalised at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

6         Ambassador Gafoor received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2001 and the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2013 from the Singapore Government. In 2011, the French Government awarded him a medal with the title of “Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite”.

7         Ambassador Gafoor is married to Ms. Zarina Varukatty and they have two sons aged 7 and 12.

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(June 2014)