Former Minister for Development Cooperation Eveline Herfkens brings her personal archive to the NICC foundation

Fotocollectie Nationaal Archief/Anefo/Rob Bogaerts

Mr. E.L. (Eveline) Herfkens, Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation 1998 – 2002, will transfer her personal archive to the NICC collection.

Mrs. Herfkens succeeded Jan Pronk as Minister for Development Cooperation as a member of the second Kok Cabinet. Prior to that, she was, respectively, a policy officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a member of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) and spokesperson in the field of development cooperation, Executive Director of the World Bank for, among other countries, the Netherlands, and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN in Geneva.

In the Netherlands she was also active in the Evert Vermeer Foundation, in the Fair Trade movement and in the Council of Churches; internationally she was active for the Parliamentarians for Global Action and for the North-South campaign of the Council of Europe. From 2002 onwards she has been Executive Coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals campaign of the UN.

Herfkens was a member of the so-called Utstein group, in which the four (female) Ministers for Development Cooperation from Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, together with like-minded groups and countries, advocated improved donor coordination, greater aid effectiveness and a more modern approach to development cooperation.

As a minister, she achieved important results in the field of basic health care (such as AIDS, polio and malaria control, access to affordable medicines), primary education, debt relief, aid to Africa, trade (freer market access to EU countries and untying of aid to Least Developed Countries) and volume of aid worldwide (on behalf of the Netherlands, she was instrumental in achieving the Monterrey Consensus in 2002, urging developed countries to meet the international target of 0.7% of GNI as ODA for developing countries).

Herfkens has an extensive archive of her most relevant interventions as Member of Parliament/Development Cooperation spokesperson, World Bank Executive Director and as Dutch Minister. Furthermore an interesting series of books and other publications in Dutch on development cooperation, including several publications by the Evert Vermeer Foundation and the first Dutch edition of the Brandt Commission report. Finally, there are a number of cases with newspaper clippings she selected, both from Dutch and from international newspapers and magazines. The NICC Foundation intends to include most of these books and publications in its collection (the physical collection and/or the e-collection).

The board and staff of the Foundation are delighted with this initiative by former Minister Herfkens and are honoured with the trust placed in them. It concerns unique material about an important period in the rich history of Dutch international cooperation focused on sustainable development and poverty alleviation. It is expected that transfer of the material to the NICC will be fully completed by the summer and that processing the material can be finalized by the end of 2020.

Fotocollectie Nationaal Archief/Anefo/Rob Bogaerts
Photo: Rob Bogaerts, Nationaal Archief / Anefo