Secretary of State Van Huffelen of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has appointed Mr. E.E. (Edison) Rijna as special envoy for the Caribbean Netherlands for EU funds, UN funds, and economic relations with Latin America. Mr. Rijna will start his new position on April 18, 2023, and will simultaneously step down as Island Governor of the public authority of Bonaire.
With his appointment as special envoy, the current island governor of Bonaire will, as special representative, dedicate his work, among other things, 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). He will liaise contact with the European Commission in Brussels and the region and he will maintain contact with UN-affiliated organizations of interest and identify promising projects relevant to the Caribbean Netherlands.
In addition, Mr. Rijna will also be the special envoy for Economic Relations with Latin America,
leading inbound and outbound economic missions from and to Central and South American countries. The purpose of these missions is to provide better access to nearby markets for companies and stakeholders from the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands and to create the interest of surrounding countries to invest in and trade with the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. A larger volume of trade and investment contributes to strengthening the economies of the islands.
Secretary of State 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 Island Governor and his broad international network in the region, I am convinced that he can be of great significance to the islands and the Netherlands as a special envoy. In his new role, he can make an important contribution to accessing EU and UN funds, increasing prosperity and broadening the economic base. We thank Mr. Rijna for his great commitment to the island of Bonaire in his role as Island Governor.”
Mr. Rijna has been Island Governor since 2014. In 2020 he was reappointed for a period of 6 years. For more than a year he has also been the Territorial Authorized Officer (TAO) for Bonaire at the European Union: “In my role as envoy, I can tap into new opportunities for international cooperation and development for Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius. Because of our relationship with the EU, there are many opportunities to exploit. This also applies to some organizations belonging to the United Nations, they can be of great importance 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 deputy Island Governor until the application procedure for a new Island Governor has been completed.