News item | 27-03-2023 | 15:57
State Secretary Van Huffelen of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has appointed Mr. EE (Edison) Rijna as Special Envoy for the Caribbean Netherlands for EU funds, UN funds and economic relations with Latin America. Mr. Rijna will take up his new position on April 18, 2023 and will simultaneously step down as Lieutenant Governor of the public body of Bonaire.
With his appointment as special envoy, the current lieutenant governor of Bonaire will in the coming years as special representative work for better access to funds from the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) for the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius). To this end, he will maintain contacts with the European Commission in Brussels and the region and UN-affiliated organizations relevant to the Caribbean Netherlands and identify promising projects.
In addition, as Special Envoy for Economic Relations with Latin America, he will lead inbound and outbound economic missions to and from surrounding Central and South American countries. The aim of these missions is to provide companies and other parties from the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands with better access to surrounding markets and to interest companies and parties from surrounding countries in investing in and trading with the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. A larger trade and investment volume contributes to the strengthening of the island economies.
State Secretary van Huffelen is very pleased with the appointment: “I am very pleased that Mr. Rijna was willing to accept this appointment. With his many years of experience as Lieutenant Governor and broad international network in the region, I am convinced that as a special envoy he can be of great significance to the islands and the Netherlands. In his new role, he can make an important contribution to access to EU and UN funds, increase prosperity and broaden the economic base. We thank Mr. Rijna for his great commitment to the island of Bonaire in his role as Lieutenant Governor.”
Mr. Rijna has been Lieutenant Governor since 2014. In 2020 he was reappointed for a period of 6 years. For more than a year he has also been Territorial Authorized Officer (TAO) for Bonaire at the European Union: “From my role as envoy I can tap into new opportunities for Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius for international cooperation and development. Because of our relationship with the EU, there are many opportunities to exploit. This also applies to some organizations under the United Nations that can mean a lot to the islands. I look forward to a fruitful collaboration with the various parties involved”
The appointment will take effect on April 18, 2023. From that moment on, Mr. Nolly Oleana will act as acting Lieutenant Governor until the application procedure for a new Lieutenant Governor has been completed.