Passing of Distinguished Diplomat Chris BeebyForeign Affairs and Trade
Foreign Minister Phil Goff today expressed the Government’s sadness at the death of Chris Beeby, one of New Zealand’s most distinguished diplomats, in Geneva on Sunday.
“Chris Beeby was widely regarded as an exceptional diplomat and one of the best international lawyers of modern times”, Mr Goff said. “He provided outstanding service for New Zealand over a thirty-two year career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has since served with distinction as one of the original seven members of the World Trade Organisation’s appellate body”.
Mr Goff extended condolences to Mr Beeby’s family on behalf of the Government and former colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He noted that warm tributes to Mr Beeby’s life and work have included one from Mike Moore in his capacity as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
Mr Beeby died in Geneva on 19 March aged 64. In his 32 year career with the Foreign Ministry, he rose to Deputy Secretary and completed a number of successful postings overseas, the final one being as Ambassador to France and Permanent Representative to the OECD. He retired from the Ministry in 1995.
Mr Beeby served with distinction in a wide range of legal fora. He was Chairman of the Special Consultative Meeting on Antarctic Minerals (1982-88); Counsel for New Zealand before the International Court of Justice in the Nuclear Tests Case (1973-74); agent for New Zealand in the Rainbow Warrior arbitration (1989-90); member of the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement appellate body, including as chairman in 1998; and served as a mediator in the United States-Canada dispute on the implementation of their Pacific Salmon Treaty. He also participated in a wide range of other United Nations negotiations.