Agnes van Ardenne

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Agnes van Ardenne
Agnes van Ardenne.jpg
Agnes van Ardenne in 2006
Mayor of Westland
In office
28 September 2017 – 18 December 2018
Ad interim
Preceded bySjaak van der Tak
Succeeded byBouke Arends
Permanent Representative of the
Netherlands to the FAO, IFAD and WFP
In office
1 April 2007 – 1 July 2011
Preceded byUnknown
Succeeded byGerda Verburg
Minister for Development Cooperation
In office
27 May 2003 – 22 February 2007
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byEveline Herfkens (2002)
Succeeded byBert Koenders
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
In office
22 July 2002 – 27 May 2003
Serving with Atzo Nicolaï
Prime MinisterJan Peter Balkenende
Preceded byDick Benschop
Succeeded byAtzo Nicolaï
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
30 January 2003 – 27 May 2003
In office
17 May 1994 – 22 July 2002
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal
Personal details
Anna Maria Agnes van der Hoeven

(1950-01-21) 21 January 1950 (age 69)
Maasland, Netherlands
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Other political
Catholic People's Party
(until 1980)
Jozef van Ardenne (m. 1977)
ResidenceMaassluis, Netherlands
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Nonprofit director

Anna Maria Agnes "Agnes" van Ardenne-Van der Hoeven (born 21 January 1950) is a retired Dutch politician and diplomat of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).


Agnes van Ardenne was born in Maasland in 1950. Before taking office as a member of the Cabinet of the Netherlands, Van Ardenne was the Deputy Chairwoman of the Netherlands-based Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID) and Secretary General of the UNICEF National Committee of the Netherlands.[citation needed]

As member of the House of Representatives between 1994 and 2002, van Ardenne was a member of the parliament's delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).[citation needed]

Between 2002 and 2007, van Ardenne served as Minister for Development Cooperation in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. When the Netherlands held the presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2004, she chaired the meetings of the EU Development Ministers.[citation needed]

During her time in office, van Ardenne focused on fragile states and countries in conflict, including Sudan.[1] She chose to concentrate Dutch bilateral development cooperation on Africa (at least 50% of the bilateral budget).[2] In 2006, she ordered a suspension of nearly $150 million in aid to the government of President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya because of concerns over corruption.[3]

Van Ardenne was one of the first foreign dignitaries to visit Pakistan after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, to witness the emergency aid operation still being conducted at full capacity.[4]

In 2006, van Ardenne increased the Netherlands’ support to post-primary and higher education to 110 million euros per year from the earlier level of 60 million euros, and increased its contribution to the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) to 150 million euros in 2006 and subsequent years.[5]

Also in 2006, van Ardenne significantly increased the Dutch contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, pledging nearly €100 million over four years for global vaccination and programmes to strengthen health systems.[6] In what was the single largest earmarked donation UNICEF had received in its then 60-year history, van Ardenne later pledged $201 million over four years to expand the agency's ongoing efforts to ensure that children in conflict, natural disasters and emerging from crisis can go to school.[7]

After leaving office, van Ardenne worked as her country’s Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome from 2007 until 2011. She was succeeded by Gerda Verburg.[citation needed]

Between 2011 and 2014, van Ardenne served as chairwoman of the Dutch Product Board for Horticulture. Since 2017, she has been chairwoman of the Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture.[citation needed]

Other activities[edit]

International organizations[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Political positions[edit]

On 30 March 2012, van Ardenne and several other prominent CDA members, including former Prime Ministers Ruud Lubbers and Piet de Jong, signed a petition of disapproval on the proposed cuts to the budget of international development by the first cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.[11][12][13][14]


Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Officer BAR.png Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 11 April 2007


  1. ^ Gabi Spitz, Roeland Muskens and Edith van Ewijk (March 4, 2013), The Dutch and development cooperation: Ahead of the crowd or trailing behind? Nationale Commissie voor Internationale Samenwerking en Duurzame Ontwikkeling (NCDO).
  2. ^ IOB – Good things come to those who make them happen – Return on aid for Dutch exports released in 2014.
  3. ^ Dutch halt Kenya aid over graft BBC News, 29 April 2006.
  4. ^ Agnes van Ardenne to visit Pakistan earthquake zone ReliefWeb, 8 December 2005.
  5. ^ Boost for the Education For All Fast Track Initiative United Nations Girls' Education Initiative, press release of 18 September 2006.
  6. ^ The Netherlands renews and increases its commitment to the GAVI Alliance Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, press release of 31 October 2006.
  7. ^ Netherlands gives UNICEF largest single donation ever UNICEF, press release of 22 December 2006.
  8. ^ 2005 Annual Report Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  9. ^ New chair of the Board of Governors: Ms Agnes van Ardenne African Studies Centre (ASC) at Leiden University, press release of March 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Dutch government names members of Council for the Environment and Infrastructure Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (RLI), press release of 18 July 2012.
  11. ^ (in English) Former CDA ministers warn coalition not to cut aid budget,, 30 March 2012
  12. ^ (in Dutch) Waarschuwing oud-CDA-ministers,, 30 March 2012
  13. ^ (in Dutch) De Jong dreigt CDA te verlaten, NOS, 30 March 2012
  14. ^ (in Dutch) Piet de Jong dreigt CDA te verlaten,, 31 March 2012

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dick Benschop
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Served alongside: Atzo Nicolaï
Succeeded by
Atzo Nicolaï
Preceded by
Eveline Herfkens
Minister for Development Cooperation
Succeeded by
Bert Koenders
Preceded by
Sjaak van der Tak
Mayor of Westland
Ad interim

Succeeded by
Bouke Arends
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Permanent Representative of the
Netherlands to the FAO, IFAD and WFP

Succeeded by
Gerda Verburg