Anglican Communion’s UN permanent representative moves to new role

Posted Sep 7, 2022

[The Anglican Communion] Jack Palmer-White, the Anglican Communion’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, is to step down from his role to become a senior director of the Good Faith Partnership. He has held his current position since 2017. When first appointed, his role was to represent the Anglican Communion to the U.N. institutions in Geneva, Switzerland. It was expanded during his tenure to include all U.N. institutions, including those based in New York.

The Anglican Consultative Council is recognized by the U.N. and accredited with consultative status. The Anglican Communion’s permanent representative to the United Nations is the key link between the U.N.’s institutions and the ACC, although in practice the representative serves all four Instruments of Communion and the member churches.

“It has been a great honor to serve the Anglican Communion as permanent representative to the United Nations for the past five years,” he said. “I am proud of how as a team within the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations, we have ensured that Anglicans are increasingly ‘in the room’ to speak directly and distinctively to Anglican experience and expertise, and that Anglican priorities and perspectives are well represented across the U.N. system.

“Nowhere has this been more important than the expansion of our work into matters of environmental justice. I am particularly proud to have overseen the first ever ACC delegations to the UNFCCC (COP26), the U.N. Environment Assembly, and the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as being invited into leadership positions that support closer working on these issues between faith actors and the UN.

“I am hopeful that coming out of the Lambeth Conference, there will be even greater potential for the permanent representative and the U.N. Office to draw on more and more of the expertise across the Anglican Communion that can play a vital role in addressing the biggest issues that we face in our world today.”

Responding to the announcement, the secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Anthony Poggo, said: “Jack Palmer-White has been outstanding in the way he has represented the Anglican Communion to the United Nations. He has increased the number of delegations, drawn from across our member churches, to meetings of a growing number of U.N. institutions. He has put forward the stories and experiences of our member churches on a range of issues facing the world, including climate change and the environment, gender justice, Indigenous rights and biodiversity.

“Working with representatives from our ecumenical partners he has developed awareness amongst world leaders of the role that local churches can play to deliver positive change in health and other areas. Everybody at the Anglican Communion Office will miss his wise thinking and good humor, and we pray for him as he takes up his new role.”

Before joining the Anglican Communion as permanent representative to the United Nations, Palmer-White worked for Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as social and public affairs adviser and, before that, as Welby’s parliamentary assistant. In August 2018 he accompanied Welby to New York for what was the first address by an archbishop of Canterbury to the U.N. Security Council.