Northrop trials Aussie biometric ID system

CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has delivered the trial proof of concept for an automated biometric information system for the Australian Department of Defense.

Ex-Turkish-Cypriot leader Denktash dies

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Rauf Denktash, a longtime leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, has died in Nicosia, Cyprus, United Nations officials said Saturday. He was 87.

Envoy: Cyrpus talks making progress

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Cypriot leaders discussing reunification of the Greek and Turkish sectors of the island are making progress, a U.N. official said Thursday.

Australia may have to wait for U.N. seat

SYDNEY, March 2 (UPI) -- Australia reportedly must wait at least a decade to pursue a seat on the United Nations Security Council because of a previous administration's decision.

BMD Focus: BMD around the world -- Part 2

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The dramatic progress posted by nations such as the United States, Russia, Israel, Japan, India and even Iran in ballistic missile defense was balanced by the complacency for loss of political will on the issue in many other countries. For every "hare" nation on BMD in 2007, there was also a "tortoise."
MARTIN SIEFF, UPI Senior News Analyst

Aussie Liberal Party leadership up in air

SYDNEY, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A handful of government ministers is vying to lead Australia's Liberal Party, which lost its two most senior officeholders in last week's elections.

Atlantic Eye: Howard's painful finale

SEATTLE, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The writing had been on the wall for over a year. But even 48 hours ago I did not quite believe that Prime Minister Howard would lose the Australian federal elections. I certainly didn’t believe he would lose his own parliamentary seat; he hasn’t -- yet -- but it is too close to call.
MARC S. ELLENBOGEN, UPI International Columnist

Aussie PM calls for restraint in Pakistan

SYDNEY, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Australian Prime Minister John Howard has called for an early return to democracy in Pakistan.

Fiji to return to democracy in 2009

SYDNEY, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The military leader of Fiji has agreed to have elections in early 2009.

Bush, Howard sign defense trade treaty

SYDNEY, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush, during his first full day in Australia, signed a defense trade cooperation treaty with Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

S. Africa considers refugee permits

PRETORIA, South Africa, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The South African home affairs minister suggested Tuesday that refugees from Zimbabwe be given temporary residence permits.

Report: Australia OK's uranium to India

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Australia’s National Security Committee has approved a move to sell uranium to India.

Australia mulls uranium sale to India

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Australia looks set to end its ban on selling uranium to India if New Delhi’s civilian nuclear deal with Washington is approved.

Atlantic Eye: Leading by example

YEKATERINBURG, Russia, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- President Bush has advocated “creating democracy” world-wide. A meritorious goal, whose strategic implementation has been an abject failure.
MARC S. ELLENBOGEN, UPI International Columnist

Australia warns of terrorism in Indonesia

CANBERRA, Australia, July 8 (UPI) -- The Australia Department of Foreign Affairs is asking Australians to avoid travel to Indonesia, citing concerns that terrorists may strike there soon.
Page 1 of 8
Alexander Downer
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) speaks alongside Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer at a joint press conference at the State Department in Washington on December 12, 2006. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch)

Alexander John Gosse Downer (born 9 September 1951) is a former Australian Liberal Party politician who was Foreign Minister of Australia from March 1996 to December 2007, the longest-serving in Australian history. He was also the leader of the parliamentary Opposition for eight months from 1994 to 1995.

Downer was born in Adelaide, South Australia, into one of the state's prominent established political families. His father, Sir Alec Downer, also reached cabinet rank in federal politics, and was then High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1972. His grandfather, Sir John Downer, was twice Premier of South Australia and a Senator in the first federal Parliament in 1901. His mother, Mary, Lady Downer (née Mary Gosse), is descended from early immigrants to South Australia. Downer is related via the Gosse family to Edmund Gosse, a famed English literary critic.

Downer was educated at Geelong Grammar School in Australia, then in England (while his father was High Commissioner) at Radley College between 1964 and 1970, and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. From 1975 to 1976, he worked as an economist for the Bank of New South Wales, before entering the Australian Diplomatic Service, where he served until 1982. Some of Downer's time in the Diplomatic Service was spent at a posting in Brussels, where he undertook a French language training course. He then worked as an adviser to the then Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser and subsequent Leader of the Federal Opposition Andrew Peacock. From 1983 to 1984, he also served as the Executive Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce. In 1984, he was elected to the federal Parliament as Liberal member for Mayo, in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. He held this seat until his resignation from Parliament in 2008.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alexander Downer."
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