Former prime minister Kevin Rudd will appear on the same stage as former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger at a summit in China this week.
Mr Rudd has sought leave from parliament on Thursday afternoon to attend the Global Think Tank Summit in Beijing on Friday.
The summit, hosted by former Chinese vice premier Zeng Peiyan, includes Mr Rudd and Mr Kissinger as keynote speakers at the opening.
Mr Rudd has been billed as being "engaged in major international challenges including global economic management, the rise of China, and the global challenge of sustainable development".
"Nationally, he remains deeply engaged on the questions of Australia's strategic and economic future in Asia, Aboriginal reconciliation, the teaching of Asian languages, homelessness and organ donation," the conference program reads.
A spokesman for Mr Rudd said the former Labor leader had accepted the invitation to speak at the conference "a number of months ago".
Mr Rudd was absent from the Labor caucus meeting in Canberra on Tuesday to travel to Sydney to attend a memorial service for former first lady Hazel Hawke.