Sigrid Kaag

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Sigrid Kaag
Portretfoto Sigrid Kaag 2018 01 (crop).jpg
Kaag in 2018
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
25 May 2021
(acting)
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
Preceded byStef Blok
In office
13 February 2018 – 7 March 2018
(ad interim)
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
Preceded byHalbe Zijlstra
Succeeded byStef Blok
Minister for Foreign Trade
and Development Cooperation
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterMark Rutte
Preceded byLilianne Ploumen
Leader of the Democrats 66
Assumed office
4 September 2020
Preceded byAlexander Pechtold
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
31 March 2021
Leader of Democrats 66 in the
House of Representatives
In office
18 March 2021 – 25 May 2021
Preceded byRob Jetten
Succeeded byRob Jetten
United Nations Special
Coordinator for Lebanon
In office
17 January 2015 – 26 October 2017
Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon
António Guterres
Preceded byDerek Plumbly
Succeeded byPernille Dahler Kardel (acting)
United Nations Special
Coordinator for Syria
In office
16 October 2013 – 30 September 2014
Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born
Sigrid Agnes Maria Kaag

(1961-11-02) 2 November 1961 (age 59)
Rijswijk, Netherlands
Political partyDemocrats 66
Spouse(s)
Anis al-Qaq
(m. 1996)
Children4
Education
WebsiteGovernment website

Sigrid Agnes Maria Kaag (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈsiɣrɪt ˈɑxnɛs maːˈrijaː kaːx]; born 2 November 1961) is a Dutch diplomat and politician, serving as acting Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Third Rutte cabinet since 25 May 2021, as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation since 26 October 2017, and as the leader of the Democrats 66 since 4 September 2020.[1]

A diplomat by occupation, Kaag worked as a civil servant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1990 until 1993 when she became a United Nations official for the UNRWA in Jerusalem from 1994 until 1997. Kaag worked as an administrator at the International Organization for Migration in Geneva from 1998 until 2004 when she became a senior advisor of the United Nations for Khartoum and Nairobi until 2005 when she became a senior official at UNICEF. Kaag served as Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa for UNICEF in Amman from 2007 until May 2010 when she was appointed Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of External Relations of the UNDP in New York.[2] She oversaw UNDP's strategic external engagement, organization-wide communication and advocacy, as well as resource mobilization.[3][citation needed]

From January 2015 until October 2017 she served as the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).[4] Prior to that she served as Under Secretary-General and Special Coordinator of the United Nations – Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (UN-OPCW) Joint Mission to eliminate the declared chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic between October 2013 and September 2014. Until her mission in Syria she was employed as Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme.

Early life and education[edit]

Kaag was born in Rijswijk as the daughter of a classical pianist.[2][5] She grew up in Zeist and initially studied Arabic at Utrecht University, but later switched to The American University in Cairo where she obtained a B.A. degree in Middle East Studies in 1985.[6][7] She subsequently obtained an M.Phil. degree in International Relations from St Antony's College (University of Oxford) in 1987 and an M.A. degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Exeter in 1988.[7] She also received foreign relations training at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague, and studied at the French École nationale d'administration (ENA).[7][8]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After her studies, Kaag worked as analyst for Royal Dutch Shell in London, United Kingdom.[3][9] Later, she worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Head of the UN Political Affairs Department. During her time in the diplomatic service, she lived and worked in Beirut, Vienna, and Khartoum.[9]

1994–2013: Career at the United Nations[edit]

Kaag started working for the United Nations in 1994 and first served as Senior United Nations Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Khartoum, Sudan. From 1998 to 2004 she was Chief of Donor Relations for the International Organization for Migration and Senior Programme Manager with the External Relations Office of UNRWA in Jerusalem.[9] Working in the Middle East she was responsible for areas as the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

From 2007 to May 2010, Kaag was Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa for UNICEF in Amman. In May 2010 she was appointed Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme in New York.[3] In this capacity, she was the deputy to Helen Clark and oversaw UNDP's strategic external engagement, organization-wide communication and advocacy, as well as resource mobilization.[2][citation needed]

2013–2014: Head of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria[edit]

On 13 October 2013, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon nominated Kaag to lead the OPCW-UN Joint Mission for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. The United Nations Security Council was set to vote on her nomination three days later, on 16 October.[10] She was then officially confirmed for the position.[11] Kaag led a team of one hundred experts who were responsible for ensuring the elimination of Syria's chemical weapon stockpiles before 30 June 2014.[12]

2014–2017: United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon[edit]

By the end of her term in September 2014, news media reported that Kaag was rumored to succeed Lakhdar Brahimi as UN Special Envoy to Syria.[2] On 1 December 2014, the UN Secretary General Ban announced that Kaag would become the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), succeeding Sir Derek Plumbly.[4][13]

In early 2017, Kaag was considered by international media to be one of the candidates to succeed Helen Clark as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and head of the United Nations Development Group;[14] the post eventually went to Achim Steiner.

2017–present: Minister and party leader[edit]

Kaag addressing the United Nations Security Council in 2018
Kaag meeting with State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi in 2018
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sigrid Kaag in 2019

Since 26 October 2017, Kaag has been serving as the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.[13] After the resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra (VVD) on 13 February 2018, she was appointed ad interim to succeed him while conserving her other cabinet position. Sigrid Kaag was consequently the first female Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. She was replaced by Stef Blok as Foreign Affairs Minister on 7 March 2018.

Since 2018, Kaag has been serving on the joint World Bank/WHO Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), co-chaired by Elhadj As Sy and Gro Harlem Brundtland.[15] In 2019, she joined the World Economic Forum High-Level Group on Humanitarian Investing, co-chaired by Børge Brende, Kristalina Georgieva and Peter Maurer.[16]

On 21 June 2020, Kaag announced her candidacy for lijsttrekkerschap of the Democrats 66 party for the 2021 Dutch general election, with the ambition of becoming the Netherlands' first female Prime Minister.[17] She was elected as Party Leader on 4 September 2020, making her the second female party leader of D66 after Els Borst in 1998.[17] In this capacity, she led the party into the 2021 Dutch general election.[18][13] Shortly after, in April 2021, she joined forces with Wopke Hoekstra in putting forward a motion of censure to voice their disapproval of VVD-leader Rutte.[19]

Honours and awards[edit]

Other activities[edit]

International organizations[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

  • P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, Member of the Board of Directors (since 2019)[30]
  • Generation Unlimited, Member of the Board (since 2018)[31]
  • International Gender Champions (IGC), Member (since 2017)[32]
  • Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC), Member (2017)[33]

Personal life[edit]

Kaag is married and has four children.[3][2] Her husband, Anis al-Qaq is a Palestinian national from the West Bank who has served as a deputy minister under Yasser Arafat in the 1990s and as the Palestinian representative to Switzerland.[34][35] Kaag is a noted polyglot and speaks six languages: Dutch, English, French, Spanish, German and Arabic.[12][36] She is a practicing Catholic.[37] She was the first Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General featured in the Dutch edition of Vogue fashion and lifestyle magazine.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Diplomate Sigrid Kaag wordt nu zelf de baas" (in Dutch). NOS. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Janine Di Giovanni (5 June 2014), Poison Control in Syria Newsweek.
  3. ^ a b c d "Secretary-General appoints Sigrid Kaag of Netherlands Director of Partnerships Bureau, United Nations Development Proggramme". United Nations. 3 May 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Ms. Sigrid Kaag". UNSCOL. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  5. ^ Theo Koelé (13 January 2014). "In licht van de tragedie is dit bescheiden missie" (in Dutch). de Volkskrant. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  6. ^ Zijl, Frank van (20 November 2017). "Voor Sigrid Kaag is het ministerschap geen eindpost". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Curriculum Vitae Sigrid Kaag". Government.nl. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Sigrid A. M. Kaag". UNDP. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  9. ^ a b c Dutch woman Sigrid Kaag tasked with eradicating Syria's chemical weapons The Australian, 17 October 2013.
  10. ^ "U.N. names envoy to lead Syria chemical weapons mission". Al Arabiya. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Sigrid Kaag to Lead Syria Chemical Weapons Mission". Time World. 16 October 2013. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Wat we tot nu toe weten van Sigrid Kaag, Nederlandse leider VN-missie in Syrië" (in Dutch). de Volkskrant. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  13. ^ a b c Toby Sterling (March 17, 2021), Pro-Europe Dutch politician Kaag set to make election gains Reuters.
  14. ^ French environment minister candidate for top UN aid job Radio France Internationale, 24 March 2017.
  15. ^ WHO and World Bank Group Join Forces to Strengthen Global Health Security World Bank, press release of May 24, 2018.
  16. ^ World Economic Forum 2019 Annual Meeting launching a new Humanitarian Investing Initiative World Economic Forum, press release of January 18, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Sigrid Kaag kandidaat-lijsttrekker D66: 'Ik wil premier worden'". NOS (in Dutch). 21 June 2020. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Sigrid Kaag met 96 procent gekozen tot D66-leider" (in Dutch). NOS. 4 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  19. ^ Eline Schaart (April 2, 2021), Rutte censured after surviving no-confidence vote Politico Europe.
  20. ^ "Honorary graduates 2014-15 – Ms Sigrid Kaag (LLD)". University of Exeter. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Belangrijke vredesprijs voor Nederlandse VN-diplomate Sigrid Kaag" (in Dutch). de Volkskrant. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  22. ^ AfDB Annual Report 2017 African Development Bank (AfDB).
  23. ^ Board of Governors Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  24. ^ Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  25. ^ Board of Governors Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC).
  26. ^ Members Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee.
  27. ^ Board of Governors Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group.
  28. ^ Board of Governors World Bank.
  29. ^ Governing Board OECD/UNDP Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB).
  30. ^ Board of Directors P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030.
  31. ^ World leaders unite under new initiative to provide quality education and training for young people Generation Unlimited, press release of 21 September 2018.
  32. ^ Members International Gender Champions (IGC).
  33. ^ Commissioners Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC).
  34. ^ Scarlett Haddad. "La Journée de la femme chez Sigrid Kaag : pousser les Libanaises vers la politique". L'Orient le Jour. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  35. ^ Holland’s new deputy foreign minister called Netanyahu a racist demagogue
  36. ^ Yoon, Sangwon (16 May 2014). "Sigrid Kaag: Woman who's 'more man than any man'". Gulf News.
  37. ^ Sjoukje Dijkstra (17 July 2020). "Catholic politician in the Netherlands seeks leadership of left-wing party". Katholiek Nieuwsblad. Retrieved 7 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
New title United Nations Special Coordinator for the
OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria

2013–2014
Position abolished
Preceded by
Derek Plumbly
United Nations Special Coordinator
for Lebanon

2015–2017
Succeeded by
Pernille Dahler Kardel
Acting
Political offices
Preceded by
Lilianne Ploumen
Minister for Foreign Trade
and Development Cooperation

2017–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Halbe Zijlstra
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Acting

2018
Succeeded by
Stef Blok
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alexander Pechtold
Leader of the Democrats 66
2020–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Alexander Pechtold
2017
Lijsttrekker of the
Democrats 66

2021
Most recent