Iraq and weapons of mass destruction

Ambassador Richard Butler

Ambassador Richard Butler

07 March 2014

Distinguished Australian diplomat, Ambassador Richard Butler will deliver a public lecture at Aberystwyth University on Monday 10 March 2014.

Ambassador Butler will be the guest of the Department of International Politics and the David Davies Memorial Institute and will speak on 'Iraq Was Disarmed: the invaders didn't find any WMD because there weren't any to find'.

A recognised expert in nuclear arms control and disarmament, Aberystwyth will be his only destination during his visit to the UK.

During his visit he will also meet with researchers working in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and will give a special seminar at the Department of International Politics.

The public lecture takes place on Monday, 10 March at 6:00 pm in the Main Hall, International Politics Building on the University’s Penglais campus.

Ambassador Butler has held numerous senior Australian posts, including Deputy Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the OECD; Ambassador for Disarmament (Geneva); Ambassador to Thailand and Cambodia; Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (New York); and Governor of Tasmania.

In 2003, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honour.

In 1995, he was appointed by the Prime Minister of Australia as Chairman of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

At the United Nations, Ambassador Butler was Vice Chair of the World Summit on Social Development; President of the Economic and Social Council; and Chair of the Working Group that created UNAIDS; in 1995 he managed the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

In 1997 he was appointed Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission to disarm Iraq (UNSCOM) by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics was the first of its kind, established in 1919, with the help of a generous endowment of £20,000 given by David Davies, as a memorial to the students killed and wounded in the First World War.

In 2002 the Davies legacy was consolidated with the relocation of the David Davies Memorial Institute (DDMI) to Aberystwyth, from its London base, to become one of the Department’s engines of research, led by the Institute’s flagship journal, International Relations, which joins the growing stable of journals edited in the Department.