Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade CEO John Allen has announced the appointment of Gerard van Bohemen to the position of Deputy Secretary – Multilateral and Legal Group.
Mr van Bohemen will be responsible for advancing New Zealand’s interests across a broad multilateral agenda embracing international security and disarmament issues, environmental and natural resource issues, and the promotion of New Zealand’s interests at the United Nations and other international bodies.
Mr van Bohemen had previously been International Legal Adviser and Director of the Ministry’s Legal Division. He has represented New Zealand at the United Nations and a variety of other international negotiations, specialising in fisheries and oceans, Antarctic, and disarmament issues. He has also spent a significant period in private legal practice.
He began his career with the Ministry in December 1982 working initially in the Legal Division and then at the New Zealand Mission to the United Nations in New York.
After 14 years with the Ministry, he joined Russell McVeagh’s Auckland offices before becoming Deputy Permanent New Zealand Representative at the New Zealand Mission in New York during New Zealand's membership of the UN Security Council in 1993/94.
On his return, he resumed his career in private practice, joining Buddle Findlay in Auckland where he was a partner from 1996 to 2003. In 2004, he was a partner in Chen Palmer & Partners in Wellington. He returned to the Ministry in 2005 as International Legal Adviser and Director, Legal.
Over the past five years, Mr van Bohemen has led the presentation of New Zealand’s submission on its extended continental shelf in accordance with procedures set out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This process confirmed New Zealand’s rights to 1.7 million square kilometres of seabed beyond the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone.
He also led the New Zealand delegation to the negotiations to establish a regime to manage the fishery resources of the high seas of the South Pacific which concluded in November last year with the adoption of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources of the South Pacific Ocean.In the last two years, Mr van Bohemen has also represented New Zealand in the diplomatic process, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, to reform the International Whaling Commission.
Chris Wilson – Communications Adviser
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Ph: (04) 439 8777
Cell: (021) 375 105