Edison Rijna steps down as Gezaghebber of Bonaire to become special envoy for EU and UN Funding

KRALENDIJK – Edison Rijna has been appointed as a special envoy for Caribbean Netherlands for EU funds, UN funds and economic relations with Latin America by State Secretary Van Huffelen of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. He will start his new role on April 18, 2023, and simultaneously step down as Island Governor of Bonaire.

As special envoy, Rijna will be a special representative for the next few years to improve access to funds from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) for the islands of Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius). He will maintain contact with the European Commission in Brussels and the region, as well as with UN-related organizations relevant to Caribbean Netherlands, and identify potential projects.

Additionally, as a special envoy for economic relations with Latin America, Rijna will lead incoming and outgoing economic missions to and from neighboring Middle and South American countries. The goal of these missions is to provide better access to surrounding markets for businesses and other parties on the three islands of Caribbean Netherlands, and to interest businesses and parties from neighboring countries in investing in and trading with the islands. A larger volume of trade and investment contributes to the strengthening of the island economies.

State Secretary Van Huffelen is pleased with the appointment: “I am very pleased that Mr. Rijna has accepted this appointment. With his many years of experience as Governor and 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 access to EU and UN funds, the increase of prosperity, and the broadening of the economic base. We thank Mr. Rijna for his great dedication to the island of Bonaire in his role as Governor.”

Rijna has been Governor since 2014 and was reappointed for a period of six years in 2020. For over a year, he has also been the Territorial Authorized Officer (TAO) for Bonaire at the European Union. “From my role as envoy, I can tap into new opportunities for international cooperation and development for Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. Due to our relationship with the EU, there are many opportunities to be seized. This also applies to some UN organizations that can do a lot for the islands. I look forward to fruitful cooperation with the various parties involved.”

The appointment will take effect on April 18, 2023. From that moment, Nolly Oleana will act as acting Governor until the application process for a new Governor is completed.

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