Former Dutch minister nominated for UN post

30th September 2010, Comments 0 comments


Former development cooperation minister Bert Koenders has been nominated for a UN post.

The former Labour Party minister's name has been put forward as head of UNPFA, the organisation that deals with the population, demography and health. The position would also mean he would become deputy Secretary General at the United Nations. The caretaker government supports his candidacy.

Mr Koenders is one of 14 candidates. He was interviewed at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday. The former Dutch minister has a good chance of getting the job, but the appointment depends on a number of factors. For instance the United Nations wants the leadership of Unfpa to reflect a balance between men and women and people from different continents.

Bert Koenders was development minister in Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's fourth cabinet from 2007 until 2010 Before that he had been a Labour Party MP since 1997. As such he was spokesperson on foreign affairs and on international monetary and trade policies. He was a member of the commission for the inquiry into the fall of Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia in the 1990s.

Bert Koenders has worked with the United Nations in the past. Before becoming an MP, he was political advisor to the United Nations in southern Africa.




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