Dutch parliament submits questions on 2019 spring budget to development ministry

Following the publication of the spring budget by the government of the Netherlands, the General Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Dutch Parliament submitted a number of questions to the minister for foreign trade and development cooperation.

Questions posed by the Committee range from inquiries about the Dutch 'China Strategy', questions to Minister Sigrid Kaag about how budget revisions will affect the total percentage of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in coming years, and clarifying questions about increases in funding under different budget headings.

Report and questions - Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation publishes questions and responses on 2018 budget

The Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation published the questions posed by the Parliament of the Netherlands to Minister Sigrid Kaag in relation to the 2018 budget, as well as her responses.

The document answers questions on issues such as the total amounts spent on HIV/AIDS research and treatment in 2018 and the contributions to Global Health multilaterals such as WHO, Gavi,or the Global Financing Facility.

 Official Page – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch minister Sigrid Kaag shares Digital Agenda for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation with parliament

Sigrid Kaag, the minister of foreign trade and development cooperation of the Netherlands, in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, developed and presented the Digital Agenda for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in parliament.

In this document, the Dutch government explains how it is responding to the opportunities and risks of digitization in order to achieve the objectives of its development policy faster and more effectively. Among other issues, the Digital Agenda explores the impact that some of the current digital developments, such as the rise of blockchain or virtual reality, may have for the Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, it provides reflections and guidance on issues such as innovation, emancipation and inclusivity, given the existing digital gap based on factors such as income, age, geography, and gender.

This strategy is an extension of the Dutch digitization strategy from 2018.

News article – Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Dutch development minister Sigrid Kaag praises emerging female leaders

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, was the celebrated guest in the season finale of Operation Interview, where three "secret" interviewers challenged the Minister with questions about her view of populism, discrimination, and her future career plans. 

Kaag was also asked about her potential interest in leading her party, D66, and in being the first female leader of progressive Netherlands to tackle the polarisation of populism. Kaag suggested that role should be taken on by someone earlier in their political career, and praised emerging female leaders for their bravery in taking on new political challenges.

News article - The Volkskrant (in Dutch)

Full interview - Minister Kaag's Twitter Account (in Dutch)


Dutch parties compete for coalition membership in emerging populist majority

Election results for the Dutch regional council (Provinces) and members of the Upper House (Senate) published on May 27, 2019, left the prime minister's ruling coalition up two seats, but still six short of a full majority. The current emerging majority is a union between right-wing VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) and far-right nationalist FvD (Forum voor Democratie) with 12 seats apiece.

VVD and FvD will need either the labor party Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) or the leftwing environmentalist GL's (GroenLinks) to reach a large enough majority in the Senate to approve funding bills or pass legislation. Partij van de Arbeid likes its chances at becoming a coalition partner, given its popularity in the recent European Parliamentary election where it made major gains in the Netherlands. 

News article - AD (in Dutch)


2019 U20 Tokyo communique focuses on climate action, social inclusion, and sustainable growth

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government hosted the Urban 20 (U20) Tokyo Meyers Summit. The communique from the summit focuses on three policy areas:

  1. Climate Action
  2. Social Inclusion and Integration
  3. Sustainable Economic Growth

The U20 group meets in the sidelines of the group of 20 (G20) events to discuss common problems and solutions relating to cities and the goal of achieving a sustainable and inclusive world. U20 participating cities are: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Durban, Hamburg, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Montreal, New York City, Osaka City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, São Paulo City, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Tshwane.

Communiqué - 2019 Urban 20 Tokyo Mayors Summit

Website - U20 The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (in Japanese)  

Dutch foreign ministry appoints new director-general for development cooperation

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Kitty van der Heijden will be its new director general for international cooperation as of August 1, 2019, taking over from current director-general Reina Buijs.

Van der Heijden has been working at the World Resources Institute since 2014. In her current position as Vice-President, Director Africa and Europe, she leads the work on both continents, based in Ethiopia. Before that, she held the position of Director of Climate, Environment, Energy and Water, and was also the ambassador for Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to that, she was director of the United Nations 
(UN) Resident Coordinator Office and Senior Advisor UN Reform at the United Nations Development Program in Hanoi, Vietnam.

News article - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)


Queen Maxima and Minister Kaag of the Netherlands speak on global health

Her excellency Queen Máxima of the Netherlands spoke at the Financial Times Conference on May 9, 2019, on the 'future of health'. As the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Special Advocate for Inclusive Financing for Development.  she mentioned that mobile and digital solutions are key to inclusive healthcare financing. 

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Sigrid Kaag also spoke at the event, commenting on the importance of mobile technologies for better health outcomes. She noted that the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs was one of the first to recognize the importance of financial innovations and mobile technology for the development of high-quality healthcare in developing countries. Minister Kaag also pointed to collaboration with PharmAccess and CarePay (Health Insurance Fund), which is supporting the creation of an online platform that connects patients, insurers, and healthcare institutions for the financing and delivery of high-quality care.

Speech - UNSGA

Tweet - KNCV

Tweet - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Netherlands Global health

Partos summarizes Dutch political parties' development positions ahead of EU elections

Partos, the Dutch NGO umbrella organization, is working on a digital tool to assist voters in the EU elections, to be held on May 23, 2019. Based on available policy documents, Partos is ranking parties across different themes using a traffic-light system. In the tool, Partos checked whether the program is in accordance with the Partos position on each theme (green), not in line with Partos position (red) or is somewhere in between (yellow). If the theme is not mentioned or the position is unclear, the field is left grey. 

Three themes they have already covered are policy coherence, civil society spaces, and financing development cooperation. 

Website - Partos (in Dutch)


Minister Kaag and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands keynote speakers at Financial Times conference on health care

The Financial Times is organizing an event on May 9, 2019, at the Royal Tropical Institute of Amsterdam on the 'Future of Health Coverage: Revolutionising health financing using mobile technology'. The event will discuss transformative, cutting edge thinking on how best to adopt mobile technology for the delivery of health systems. Among those in the panels are experts and change-makers, including pharmaceutical company chief executive officers (CEOs), government ministers, health insurers and providers, fin-tech startups, financing experts, international donors, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to discuss the role of technology in the path to universal health care (UHC). 

The event will open with a speech by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who is the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. Key note speakers include Honorable Yaw Osafo-Maafo, senior minister of Ghana as well as Sigrid Kaag, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation. 

Event site - Financial Times