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From 17 October 2014 until 26th October 2017, Mr Koenders has been Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the first half of 2016 the Netherlands held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. From August 2011 to October 2014, Mr Koenders was Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations; from May 2013 he was head of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). From August 2011 to July 2013, he was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire.
Between 2010 and 2011 Mr Koenders worked in South Korea as a negotiator on economics and development for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Busan Partnership agreement.
From February 2007 to February 2010 Mr Koenders was Minister for Development Cooperation. He was also Visiting Professor of Conflict Management at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in Bologna from 2000 to 2002.
From November 1997 to February 2007 Mr Koenders was a member of the House of Representatives for the Labour Party (PvdA) serving as spokesperson on foreign affairs, human rights, trade, corporate social responsibility and international financial institutions. Prior to this, he was employed at the European Commission in the field of European foreign policy and, from 1993 to 1994, by the United Nations in Mozambique, Mexico and South Africa. He has also worked for the organisation Parliamentarians for Global Action.
Mr Koenders was a member of the parliamentary inquiry committee on Srebrenica and was briefly President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly from 2006 to 2007. He was co-founder of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and served as its chair between 2000 and 2007.
De wereld van nu is vol onzekerheid en internationale spanningen. Er is veel aan de hand, van Brexit, migratie en spanningen met de VS en Rusland, tot de uitdagingen van China en de conflicten in de wereld. De klimaatproblematiek en de onderontwikkeling van grote delen van de wereld vragen om internationale oplossingen, terwijl nationalisme juist toeneemt. Er vinden tektonische veranderingen plaats op allerlei gebieden. Koenders kan dankzij zijn ervaring als Minister namens Nederland en in internationale conflictgebieden helpen duiden in deze ontwikkelingen en weet ideeën voor te leggen die helpen om vooruit te denken.
Koenders weet op pakkende wijze zijn tientallen jaren ervaring in internationale zaken, ontwikkelingssamenwerking en internationale beleidsvorming op het gebied van ontwikkeling, humanitaire zaken en bestuur, in te zetten als spreker, zowel binnen internationaal als nationaal kader.