Bert Koenders

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Bert Koenders
Bert Koenders 2014 (2).jpg
Bert Koenders in 2014
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 October 2014
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Frans Timmermans
Minister for Development Cooperation
In office
22 February 2007 – 23 February 2010
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende
Preceded by Agnes van Ardenne
Succeeded by Maxime Verhagen
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
In office
17 November 2006 – 19 February 2007
Preceded by Pierre Lellouche
Succeeded by José Lello
Personal details
Born (1958-05-28) 28 May 1958 (age 56)
Arnhem, Netherlands
Political party Labour Party
Alma mater Free University Amsterdam
University of Amsterdam
Johns Hopkins University

Albert Gerard "Bert" Koenders (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɑlbərt ˈɣɪːrɑrt bɛrt ˈkundərs]; born 28 May 1958) is a Dutch politician and diplomat. He is a member of the Labour Party. He has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands since 17 October 2014.

Koenders studied political science and international relations. He previously was a member of the House of Representatives (1997–2007), Minister for Development Cooperation (2007–2010), the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) (2011–2013), and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (2013–2014).

Early life[edit]

Albert Gerard Koenders was born on 28 May 1958 in Arnhem in the Netherlands,[1] where he grew up in a Reformed environment.[2] He was a boy scout.[2] He went to the secondary school Carolus Clusius College in Zwolle, where he did the pre-university program (vwo).[1]

University[edit]

He studied political science at the VU University Amsterdam (sitting his ‘kandidaats’ examination in 1978) and political and social sciences (international relations and economics) at the University of Amsterdam (graduating in 1983).[3] He received his Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied at the School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy and Washington D.C. from 1979 to 1981.[4]

He was adjunct professor at Webster University in Leiden from 1987 to 1993.[1] In 2002 he was visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna teaching about conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction.[4]

Politics[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

From 1983 to 1993, he worked as an aid for the Labour Party in the House of Representatives.[1]

Koenders was a member of the House of Representatives from 1997 until 2007. In 1997, he filled the vacant seat after member of parliament Maarten van Traa died in a car accident.[5] He was member of the permanent parliamentary committees on foreign affairs and on defense.[4] From 2002 until 2003 he was a member of the parliamentary hearing committee on the Srebrenica massacre.[1]

From 17 November 2006 to 19 February 2007 he was president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Minister of Development Cooperation[edit]

The Fourth Balkenende cabinet in 2007 with Koenders on the far left

Koenders was Minister without Portfolio for Development Cooperation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in the Fourth Balkenende cabinet sworn in on 22 February 2007.[6] He has come under political fire as minister in July 2007, after it became known that an event sponsored by the Ministry, Het akkoord van Schokland, was organized without a public procurement process stipulated under European Union law. Instead, the event was organized by an event bureau closely tied to the Labour Party itself. Koenders cited time shortage.[7][8]

In 2009, he criticized Pope Benedict XVI over his assertion that handing out condoms is not the solution to combatting AIDS and actually makes the problem worse.[9]

United Nations[edit]

Frans Timmermans, Jean Bosco Kazura, Bert Koenders, and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in Mali in 2013

Between 2011 and 2013, he served as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI).

Between 2013 and 2014, he was the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.[10]

Minister of Foreign Affairs[edit]

On 17 October 2014, he succeeded Frans Timmermans as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.[11]

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Drs. A.G. (Bert) Koenders". Parlement & Politiek (in Dutch). Leiden University. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  2. ^ a b (Dutch) Theo Koelé, "Bevlogen padvinder die bui ziet hangen", de Volkskrant, 2008. Retrieved on 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ Curriculum vitae Bert Koenders, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  4. ^ a b c "Bert Koenders". www.pvda.nl (in Dutch). Labour Party. Archived from the original on 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  5. ^ "Bert Koenders". www.novatv.nl (in Dutch). NOVA (VARA/NPS). 2003-09-23. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  6. ^ "Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders". www.minbuza.nl. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Koenders overtrad EU-regel voor aanbestedingen" (in Dutch). NRC Handelsblad. 2007-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Parliament upset with Koenders". Expatica. 2007-07-30. 
  9. ^ (French) Article, La Croix.
  10. ^ "Albert Gerard Koenders, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), on Mali". UN News&Media. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  11. ^ (Dutch) "Koenders: internationale conflicten prioriteit", de Volkskrant, 2014. Retrieved on 17 October 2014.
  12. ^ (French) Nomination de M. Bert Koenders au grade de chevalier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur, French Embassy in The Hague. Retrieved on 31 October 2014.
  13. ^ Koenders honoured with Ghanaian decoration, Government of the Netherlands, 2008. Retrieved on 31 October 2014.
  14. ^ (Japanese) 外国人叙勲受章者名簿 平成26年 (Foreign honours recipients 2014), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved on 29 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Pierre Lellouche
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
2006–2007
Succeeded by
José Lello
Preceded by
Choi Young-jin
Special Representative of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Aïchatou Mindaoudou
First Special Representative of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali
2013–2014
Succeeded by
Mongi Hamdi
Political offices
Preceded by
Agnes van Ardenne
Minister for Development Cooperation
2007–2010
Succeeded by
Maxime Verhagen
Preceded by
Frans Timmermans
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2014–present
Incumbent