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Gareth Evans

Welcome to the personal website of Gareth Evans

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010. He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments from 1983-96, in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and - from 1988-96 - Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in Australian politics he was Leader of the Government in the Senate (1993-96) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (1996-98). From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

He has written or edited 13 books - including Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir (forthcoming, October 2017), Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (co-author), Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (2014), and The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (2008); has published many newspaper articles and over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform; has honorary doctorates from Melbourne, Sydney, Carleton and Queen’s Universities; and has lectured at many universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and the Central European University.

He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10), and has been a member of a number of others. He currently Co-Chairs the International Advisory Board of the New-York based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and is Patron and Emeritus Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2012 for his "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament", and in the same year was elected an honorary Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (FASSA). In 2016 he was awarded by the Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Asialink Medal "for long-term commitment to improving Australia-Asia relations". In December 2015 he was made a Companion of the Order of O.R. Tambo by South Africa for his contributions to the anti-apartheid movement. Foreign Policy magazine cited him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011 "for making 'the responsibility to protect' more than academic". In 2010 he was awarded the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution, arms control and disarmament.

(July 2017)

Click here for a full-length biography.

Recent Speeches, Papers and Comments

"Incorrigible Optimist: National Press Club Launch", Response by Gareth Evans to Bob Hawke launching Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir (Melbourne University Press, 2017), National Press Club, Canberra, 4 October 2017

"Conflict in the 21st century: An Australian Perspective", Presentation by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC to Saud Al-Nasser Al-Sabah Kuwaiti Diplomatic Institute, Kuwait, 10 September 2017

"Democracy and its Discontents", Launch by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC of Roland Rich, Democracy in Crisis: Why, Where and How to Respond (Lynne Reinner, 2017), Macquarie University, Sydney, 17 August 2017

"Australia's Humanitarian Peacekeepers", Launch by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC of Steven Bullard, In Their Time of Need: Australia's Overseas Emergency Relief Operations 1918-2006, Vol VI, Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations, (Cambridge UP, 2017), Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 9 August 2017

"Conflict in the 21st Century", Presentation by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC to Global Change Scholars Program Seminar, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 8 August 2017

"ASEAN's Way Forward: A Non-ASEAN Perspective", Keynote Panel Presentation by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC to Carlos P Romulo Foundation/CSIS/Stratbase ADR Institute Conference on ASEAN at Fifty: The Way Forward, Manila, 4 August 2017

"Australia's Ambassadors in Washington", Launch by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC of David Lowe, David Lee & Carl Bridge (eds), Australia Goes to Washington: 75 Years of Australian Representation in the United States (ANU Press, 2017), ANU, 24 July 2017

"Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament: Getting Serious", Keynote Address by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC to Quinquepartite Counter Proliferation Community Forum, Department of Defence, Canberra, 24 July 2017

Recent Videos and Broadcasts

"Incorrigible Optimist - A Political Memoir", Gareth Evans in conversation with Michelle Grattan, 12 October 2017

"Eat, Drink and be Literary", Gareth Evans in conversation with Laura Tingle on Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir, 11 October 2017

"Incorrigible Optimist - A Political Memoir", Gareth Evans in conversation with Michael Kirby, Writers at Stanton, 5 October 2017

"Gareth Evans foreign view", Interview with Geraldine Doogue on ABC Radio National, 30 September 2017

"Can we avoid nuclear catastrophe?", podcast with Angus & Joe, The Jolly Swagmen, 16 August 2017

"Gareth Evans on North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test", Interview with Stan Grant on ABC 7:30, 5 July 2017. Transcript

"Trump’s US has Abdicated Global Leadership", Interview with Melissa Conley Tyler on Australia Outlook at Australian Institute of International Affairs, 15 June 2017

All Videos and Broadcasts


Just Published




Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir (Melbourne University Press, 2017) xiii + 402 pp

‘Gareth Evans's career serves as an inspiration on how a spirit of optimism coupled with a keen insight for the art of the possible can create real positive change. In this lively memoir, he takes us through some of the most important developments in Australian and international politics The man that emerges is truly one of Australia's leading figures and one of the world's great internationalists.’ - KOFI ANNAN

‘Gareth Evans was one who helped establish the general recognition of the very high quality of Cabinet with which I was blessed. This book confirms the immense contribution made by Gareth in his successive four portfolios, including Foreign Affairs, where perhaps among the many achievements for which he will be remembered was his leadership, imagination and intensity of purpose in securing a peaceful settlement in Cambodia. Like its author, this book - a must read for anyone interested in Australian and international politics - is lively, at times "in your face", with no holds barred.’ - BOB HAWKE

‘Gareth Evans has written an engaging account of an epic career inside and outside of parliament. This is a memoir with a purpose. Its timely defence of politics and public service is required reading for anyone seriously interested in Australia and our place in the world.’ - GEORGE MEGALOGENIS

Recent Books




Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (Melbourne University Press, 2014) xvii + 414 pp

‘A joy to read. Fascinating in its wealth of detail, Gareth Evans’s first-hand account is utterly absorbing. Some of the exchanges are gems, as is the book as a piece of political history.’ ALAN RAMSEY

‘The irrepressible Gareth Evans doesn’t hold back in a diary that records the day-to-day achievements and frustrations of ministerial life and is bitingly frank about colleagues.’ MICHELLE GRATTAN

‘Gareth Evans at his best - sharp, compelling and revelatory’ - PAUL KELLY

The Diary can be purchased from MUP here

Peter Craven's review for The Australian

Nick Richardson's review for the Herald Sun can be accessed

Jonathan Green's review for the SMH/Age can be accessed

David Day's review for the Australian Book Review can be accessed

Denis Atkin's report for the Courier Mail can be accessed

Tony Wright's report for the SMH/Age can be accessed



Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (with Ramesh Thakur and Tanya Ogilvie-White co-authors), Canberra, Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, 2015, xxv + 304 pp

An updated and expanded edition of the report first published in 2013,  describing the world’s progress - or lack of it - in meeting the commitments and recommendations of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the 2010-12-14 Nuclear Security Summits, and the 2009 Eliminating Nuclear Threats report of the Evans-Kawaguchi International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Like its highly-praised predecessor, the 2015 State of Play report - launched in Geneva, Vienna, Washington DC and other world capitalsin March and April 2015 - is a comprehensive analysis of current issues in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, security and peaceful uses, and will prove an invaluable  information resource and advocacy tool for policymakers and civil society activists.

Available online here

Site last updated 20 October 2017

Website Contents

Full-length and summary biographies of Gareth Evans.

Books, monographs, chapters, journal articles and opinion page articles by Gareth Evans, and co-authored commission reports.

Major speeches and papers by Gareth Evans, as foreign minister and subsequently.

Videos and Broadcasts
Since 2011.

Information about organisations with which Gareth Evans is or has been associated.

Selected photographs.

Email and university addresses.


APLN Leadership Network