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
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
11 November 1997 – 22 February 2007
Personal details
Born (1958-05-28) 28 May 1958 (age 55)
Arnhem, Netherlands
Political party Labour Party (PvdA)
Residence Amsterdam, Netherlands

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.


In 1983 Bert Koenders graduated cum laude in Political and Social Sciences at the Free University in Amsterdam, specialised in international relations and economics. 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..[2]

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.[2]


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.[3] He was member of the permanent parliamentary committees on foreign affairs and on defense.[2] From 2002 until 2003 he was a member of the parliamentary hearing committee on the Srebrenica massacre.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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.[8]


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

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Agnes van Ardenne
Minister for Development Cooperation
February 22, 2007 – February 23, 2010
Succeeded by
Ben Knapen