Connecting Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius
with the European Union, the United Nations
and the region

Cabinet Special Envoy

What We Do

The Cabinet of the Special Envoy for Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius (BES-islands) strengthens collaboration with the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our Vision

To establish a strong, structural, and inclusive collaboration between the BES-islands, the European Union, the United Nations and the countries and islands in the region. Jointly we work towards the sustainable development of the islands and promote the well-being of all inhabitants.

Our Mission

Be an effective representation and advocate for the BES-islands with the EU, UN, and in the region. We aim for partnerships and dialogue to prioritize the challenges, needs, and interests of the BES-islands. Through knowledge exchange, lobbying activities, capacity building and fundraising, we aim to promote sustainable development and well-being.

Our Focus Areas

Our focus areas for the BES-islands are connectivity, food security, sustainable energy, climate adaptation and economic diversification. Together with the EU, UN, and regional partners, we work towards shared goals and emphasize the unique position of the BES-islands as an integral part of the Netherlands, i.e., the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Our Mission

Be an effective representation and advocate for the BES-islands with the EU, UN, and in the region. We aim for partnerships and dialogue to prioritize the challenges, needs, and interests of the BES-islands. Through knowledge exchange, lobbying activities, capacity building and fundraising, we aim to promote sustainable development and well-being.

Our Focus Areas

Our focus areas for the BES-islands are connectivity, food security, sustainable energy, climate adaptation and economic diversification. Together with the EU, UN, and regional partners, we work towards shared goals and emphasize the unique position of the BES-islands as an integral part of the Netherlands, i.e., the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Collaborating with the EU

The Cabinet of the Special Envoy plays an important role in advancing the interests of the Dutch Caribbean within the EU. We work to bring the BES-islands closer to Europe and ensure they benefit from EU cooperation. Currently various funds -known as the horizontal funds- are available for the Dutch Caribbean. However, these funds are underutilized. The Cabinet of the Special Envoy assists the islands in developing funding proposals and ensures that island residents can benefit from these resources. Click here for more information about the EU.

Collaborating with the United Nations (UN)

The UN is a global organization that helps address issues such as poverty, climate change, and health. The Cabinet of the Special Envoy ensures that the Dutch Caribbean increases collaboration with the UN. The Cabinet supports the islands in participating in UN-projects and programs aimed at addressing the challenges faced by small islands. This means that the Dutch Caribbean gains access to knowledge and resources within the UN-network to tackle these challenges. Click here for more information about the UN.

Doing business with Latin America and the Caribbean

The Cabinet helps the BES-islands seize economic opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean by attracting investors and expanding trade possibilities. The priority countries that the Special Envoy focuses on, in addition to the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are: Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Miami (USA).

The Team

The team consists of the Special Envoy, a senior advisor and a secretary. Additionally, a full-time government trainee is appointed until February 2024. The Envoy’s office is physically located on Bonaire.

The Cabinet of the Special Envoy falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and reports on content matters to the Director-General of the Kingdom Relations Directorate.

The Special Envoy Edison Rijna​

Born on Bonaire on July 7th, 1967, Edison Rijna has dedicated his career to serving the people of Bonaire and the wider Caribbean region. He is a respected figure in the public sector and finance industry, with extensive experience in various roles.

Since April 18th, 2023, Mr. Rijna has taken up the role of Special Envoy for the BES-islands for the EU and UN and economic relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. In this capacity, he is responsible for representing the interests of the BES-islands in various international forums, promoting economic relations with Latin America, and securing funding from the European Union and the United Nations for important initiatives in the region.

Prior to his appointment as Special Envoy, Mr. Rijna served as the Governor of Bonaire, a position he was appointed to in 2014.

Mr. Rijna obtained his bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance in 1996, and subsequently worked for several private companies in the banking sector between 2004 and 2011. He also served as the executive director of Bon Recycling B.V., a waste recycling company in Bonaire that aimed to create awareness among the people of Bonaire about the importance and benefits of recycling.

Throughout his career, Mr. Rijna has demonstrated a commitment to public service and a passion for improving the lives of those around him. His extensive experience in the private sector, coupled with his political and leadership skills, make him an ideal candidate for the role of Special Envoy for the BES-islands.

The Envoy Edison Rijna​

Born on Bonaire on July 7th, 1967, Edison Rijna has dedicated his career to serving the people of Bonaire and the wider Caribbean region. He is a respected figure in the public sector and finance industry, with extensive experience in various roles.

Since April 18th, 2023, Mr. Rijna has taken up the role of Special Envoy for the BES-islands for the EU and UN and economic relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. In this capacity, he is responsible for representing the interests of the BES-islands in various international forums, promoting economic relations with Latin America, and securing funding from the European Union and the United Nations for important initiatives in the region.

Prior to his appointment as Special Envoy, Mr. Rijna served as the Governor of Bonaire, a position he was appointed to in 2014.

 

Mr. Rijna obtained his bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance in 1996, and subsequently worked for several private companies in the banking sector between 2004 and 2011. He also served as the executive director of Bon Recycling B.V., a waste recycling company in Bonaire that aimed to create awareness among the people of Bonaire about the importance and benefits of recycling.

 

Throughout his career, Mr. Rijna has demonstrated a commitment to public service and a passion for improving the lives of those around him. His extensive experience in the private sector, coupled with his political and leadership skills, make him an ideal candidate for the role of Special Envoy for the BES-islands.

Upcoming Events

April 2024
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04 April 2024
Delfins Beach Resort (Kralendijk, Bonaire) and online, Punt Vierkant 44
Kralendijk,

Official invitation to EU Global Action on Space event: Fostering Innovation and Cooperation in Space between the EU and LAC Dates: April 4-5, 2024 Location: Delfins Beach Resort (Kralendijk, Bonaire) […]

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