Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi says he has been warned against “freelancing” during his three-month secondment at the United Nations.
Senator Bernardi has told the ABC he put himself forward for the short-term posting and won the ballot run by his fellow Liberal senators.
“I’m looking forward to engaging with the UN committee system, to see from a much closer perspective how it works and maybe how it can be improved,” he said.
Senator Bernardi will be joined by Labor Senator Lisa Singh on the annual delegation to New York. They will act as parliamentary observers to the UN General Assembly.
The Senators will be expected to help Australia’s Ambassador at the “pointy end” of the year by attending committee meetings and speaking engagements.
Senator Bernardi said he was aware he would need to stay on script, telling the ABC: “I’ve already been told there’s no freelancing at the UN.”
The Senator has previously described the UN as an “unelected and unaccountable body” and a “fiscal black hole of bureaucracy” but he said this trip would be an opportunity to inform himself about the organisation’s processes and procedures.
The secondment is often seen as a parting gift to MPs who are about to retire, but Senator Bernardi has made it clear he is not going anywhere.
Senator Singh, on the other hand, has been placed in the unwinnable fourth position on the ALP’s Tasmanian Senate ticket, meaning it is unlikely she will be re-elected.