From left: Myriam Pineault-Latreille, Policy Analyst at Global Affairs Canada, Bengt van Loosdrecht, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Sweden, Filomena von Zeipel, Cabo Verde Honorary Consul in Sweden, Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, International IDEA’s Secretary-General and Sylvia Naa Adaawa Annoh, Ambassador of Ghana to Sweden.
Canada, represented by Jason LaTorre, Ambassador of Canada to Sweden, handed over the Chairship of International IDEA to the Netherlands, represented by Bengt van Loosdrecht, the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Sweden, at the Council of Member States meeting held on 1 December 2022 at International IDEA’s Headquarters in Stockholm and online.
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During the meeting, Ambassador van Loosdrecht congratulated Canada for its Chairship in 2022 and noted that the Netherlands looks forward to working closely with all Member States, including Chile and Ghana as the new Vice Chairs of the Institute, the Secretariat as well as the Board of Advisers throughout its Chairship.
The Ambassador emphasized the increased importance of International IDEA’s work at a time when democracy is being challenged globally and noted that the Netherlands stands ready to guide and support the implementation of the Institute's new Strategy. The Netherlands also extended its gratitude to Canada, Cabo Verde and Finland, the outgoing Chair and Vice Chairs, for their excellent work in 2022.
As part of its Chairship, the Netherlands will focus on the theme of learning. Ambassador van Loosdrecht highlighted the importance of learning from past experiences, particularly from the perspective of organizational efficiency, and invited all Member States to join the efforts to develop a robust learning agenda for International IDEA in the coming year.
International IDEA’s Secretary-General, Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, congratulated the new Chair and Vice Chairs and looked forward to working closely with them in 2023. He fully endorsed the Chairship agenda set out by the Netherlands and noted that the ambition to learn goes to the heart of why the Institute exists. The Secretary-General also expressed his deep gratitude to Canada, Cabo Verde and Finland for their exemplary work and leadership during their tenure as Chairs.
The Netherlands is one of International IDEA’s founding Member States. The Institute has an active and close cooperation with the Netherlands and has hosted one of its European offices in the Hague since 2013.