Who is he?
Prime Minister Julia Gillard selected Robert “Bob” Carr to fill a vacancy in the Australian Senate in March 2012 and appointed him foreign minister. Earlier in his career, Carr was the premier of New South Wales from 1995 to 2005, the longest continuously serving premier in the history of the state. Carr is a noted author whose books include Thoughtlines and My Reading Life.
Why is he in the news?
Carr arrived in the United States on March 17 for a 10-day visit. He met with Secretary of State John Kerry on March 18, during which both reaffirmed the strength of the Australia-U.S. alliance and discussed defense cooperation, responses to North Korea and Syria, the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and the U.S. rebalance to Asia.
He traveled to New York to make a statement to the United Nations on Afghanistan on March 19, and is scheduled to attend the final UN conference on a small arms trade treaty. Carr will return to Washington for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and head of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan.
The Pacific Partners Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies will host Carr for a Banyan Tree Leadership forum on March 22. His speech is titled “Australia and the United States in the Asia-Pacific Century.”
What can we expect?
Carr’s trip seeks to strengthen U.S.-Australia cooperation. Over the past year, the Australian government has refocused on East Asia and its own role in the region, and Carr has been at the forefront of that effort. Australia’s policy toward the region is both a complement to, and in many respects a model for, the ongoing U.S. rebalance to Asia. With general elections pending in Australia in September, we should not expect any foreign policy shifts in the short term.
For more information on Senator Carr’s speech at CSIS, or to RSVP, please visit our website. Senator Carr previously spoke at CSIS in April 2012 on his first visit to the United States as foreign minister.