'Such a sweet guy': Australian UN diplomat falls to his death in New York


A colleague of the Australian diplomat who died in New York after falling from the seventh floor of a New York City building says he's 'devastated' after hearing the news.

Australian man Julian Simpson, 30, died after falling from the seventh floor of a New York City building overnight.

Mr Simpson, a second secretary to the UN for Australia, died on the Lower East Side in the early hours of Wednesday, local time.

He had been out with his wife and friends before they returned home to admire the view of the Empire State Building, which was lit up in rainbow colours to celebrate Australia's same-sex marriage vote.

Dominic Sofe, Senior Diplomat at the UN from Samoa told SBS News he spoke to Mr Simpson only yesterday.

“Just devastated he was such a sweet guy. He was such a joyful guy," he said.

"Hardworking and very friendly. He will definitely be missed.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the incident as a "shocking tragedy". 

"It is a tragedy and hearts go out to his family but I cannot provide any more details," Mr Turnbull told the Seven Network on Thursday morning.

"It is a shocking tragedy. A young life lost."

Australian officials have reached out to Mr Simpson's family.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian diplomat who died in New York," a spokesperson told AAP.

"The family has requested privacy at this time."

Confirmed image of Julian Simpson (far right)
Confirmed image of Julian Simpson among other diplomats (far right)

The New York Post reported police sources as saying Mr Simpson may have been playing a "trust" game on the rooftop deck of the building when the accident happened.

Mr Simpson was rushed to the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also received support from Mr Simpson while abroad.

"Julian was a diligent, professional and highly skilled diplomat, whose support I valued, particularly during UN Leaders' Week," Ms Bishop said in a statement.

"He will be remembered as someone dedicated to the service of our nation as a member of Australia's foreign service.

Ms Bishop said her department would continue to provide support to Mr Simpson's family and to other Australian diplomats in New York who had lost a valued colleague.

"I ask that the media and others respect the privacy of Julian's family at this difficult time," she said.

Source AAP - SBS

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