On 24th June 2013, CAPS hosted the Australian Ambassador, Jon Philp, for a luncheon.
Amb. Philp and Mr. Karzai discussed Australia’s continued presence in Uruzgan province and the troops’ gradual pullout from the region by the end of 2014. Amb. Philp also mentioned that the Australians have developed long-term interests in the region, particularly through the development work that was being carried out in tandem with their military presence. The Australians have made inroads in the education sector at the provincial level and are also hoping to encourage agricultural activities in Uruzgan as part of their enduring investments in Afghanistan. Survey organizations have carried out assessments of Australia’s aid effectiveness as well.
Given that this was Ambassador Philp’s first visit to CAPS, Mr. Karzai provided an overview of CAPS along with details about its three key principal activities – research, legal assistance, capacity building and advocacy at the local and national level. CAPS’ youth empowerment program struck a particular cord with the visiting Ambassador, who expressed an interest in coordinating CAPS’ youth initiatives’ work in various other provinces like Helmand, with the introduction of a similar effort in Uruzgan. Details of such coordinated activities are expected to be delved into at a later date.
Additional participants were Australian First Secretary, Michael Hoy, and researchers, Hekmatullah Azamy and Mayank Bubna.
Jon Philp’s bio:
Mr Philp is a career foreign service officer who joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1984.
In Australia, Mr Philp has served most recently as Assistant Secretary, International Organisations Branch (2012), and before that as Assistant Secretary, Consular Operations Branch (2009-2011); Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security Branch (1999) and Director, Southeast Asian issues (1996 – 1998).
Overseas, Mr Philp, has served as Ambassador, Australian Embassy, Ankara (2001- 2004) and at other posts Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Yangon (1992- 1995); and Third Secretary, Australian Embassy, Riyadh (1986 – 1988).
Mr Philp has also undertaken a number of short term missions, mostly recently Somalia Taskforce, Nairobi 2008 – 2009.
Outside the Department, from 2004 – 2007, Mr Philp worked for Woodside Energy, an Australian Oil and Gas company as Head of International Relations.
Mr Philp was born in Bangkok in 1960 and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the Australian National University (ANU).