Bert Koenders

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Bert Koenders
Koenders Dutch politician kabinet Balkenende IV.jpg
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 (born 28 May 1958 in Arnhem) currently serves as the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).[1] He was appointed to the position by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 17 May 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).

Koenders is a former Dutch politician. He was Minister for Development Cooperation of the Netherlands from 2007 until 2010. From 1997 until 2007 he was a member of the House of Representatives.


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).[2] 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.[3]

He was adjunct professor at Webster University in Leiden. In 2002 he was visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna teaching about conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction.[3]


Koenders was a member of the House of Representatives for the Dutch Labour Party from 1997 until 2007. In 1997, he filled the vacant seat after member of parliament Maarten van Traa died in a car accident.[4] He was member of the permanent parliamentary committees on foreign affairs and on defense.[3] From 2002 until 2003 he was a member of the parliamentary hearing committee on the Srebrenica massacre.[5]

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

Koenders is 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]


  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "Bert Koenders". Labour Party. Archived from the original on 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  (Dutch)
  4. ^ "Bert Koenders". NOVA (VARA/NPS). 2003-09-23. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  (Dutch)
  5. ^ "Drs. A.G. Koenders". Leiden University. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  (Dutch)
  6. ^ "Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-02-23.  (Dutch)
  7. ^ "Koenders overtrad EU-regel voor aanbestedingen". NRC Handelsblad. 2007-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Parliament upset with Koenders". Expatica. 2007-07-30. 
  9. ^ La Croix article

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Pierre Lellouche
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Succeeded by
José Lello
Political offices
Preceded by
Agnes van Ardenne
Minister for Development Cooperation
Succeeded by
Ben Knapen