Major Fellowship Activities: Palmisano worked with Dr. William Durch on the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, a comprehensive evaluation of the U.N.’s engagement in peace and security related field missions. The panel was chaired by Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi at the request of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The recommendations went directly to Secretary-General Annan who tabled the report at the Millenium Summit.
Palmisano helped research and write the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations. Specifically, he wrote the section of the paper dealing with international law. He recommended to the Brahimi Panel that the UN create a Justice Package: an interim legal code to reestablish the rule of law in post conflict zones until the local rule of law is secured. He recommended that the Justice Package should include: an interim criminal code, drawing on universal principles; the appointment and training of legal professionals; an interim legal infrastructure; the recruitment and training of police; and should strive to build human rights and humanitarian law into every peacekeeping operation.
In its report to Secretary-General Annan, the Panel on UN Peace Operations adopted part of Palmisano’s recommendations. The Brahimi Panel recommended that international legal experts evaluate the feasibility and utility of developing an interim criminal code to reestablish local rule of law in peace operations (Recommendation 83 A/55/305-S/2000/809).
United Nations Secretary-General Annan urged world leaders at the Millennium Summit to consider the Brahimi Panel’s Report very seriously. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “the Brahimi Report is right. We should implement it and do so within a twelve month timescale.” U.S. President Bill Clinton said the Brahimi Report set the agenda on the UN’s responsibilities to peace operations.
In the preparation of his report to the Brahimi Panel, Palmisano corresponded with world experts in the area of rule of law in peacekeeping operations. He formed part of the fourteen person Panel meetings at UN headquarters in New York convened by Kofi Annan. Following the Report’s release on 21 August 2000, he was engaged in follow-up work at the Stimson Center, including the bringing together of international legal experts to design an interim criminal code.
Current Activities: Palmisano is Director of Government Relations at the University of Sydney. He advises the Vice-Chancellor, Deans and Senate on strategies to engage federal, state and local governments and initiates special projects to enhance the profile and status of the University as a leading research University committed to local and global communities.
He was previously a diplomat and represented Australia at international negotiations and developed foreign policy on issues of international law. He worked at the Australian Embassy in Madrid, Spain where his work included making government to government representations on a range of political, economic and international law issues. On disarmament related issues he was actively involved with the Australia Group – a mechanism to minimize the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.