The Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes the interests of the Kingdom abroad. The Ministry coordinates and carries out Dutch foreign policy at its headquarters in The Hague and through its missions abroad. It is likewise the channel through which the Dutch Government communicates with foreign governments and international organisations.
Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the directorate for Development Cooperation strives to improve the quality and effectiveness of the Dutch contribution in support of the Millennium Development Goals. The Netherlands allocates €4 billion annually to tackle global poverty, which is 0.8% of the country’s gross national income. The Netherlands will remain a reliable partner, spending €4.34 billion on development cooperation in 2012.
About 25% of Dutch ODA is implemented through NGOs, which puts the Netherlands among the leading donor countries for non-governmental delivery of development aid.
The Directorate-General for European Cooperation (DGES) develops and coordinates Dutch policy on Europe and the European Union.
The Directorate-General for Political Affairs (DGPZ) develops policy on peace and security matters, and advises the political leaders on foreign-policy issues.
The Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) is responsible for development cooperation policy, its coordination, implementation, and funding.
DG for International Cooperation (DGIS)
The Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) is responsible for development cooperation policy, its coordination, implementation, and funding. An important DGIS focus is the coherence between Dutch and EU policy on developing countries.
In order to develop and carry out development policy, the Netherlands works with the governments of other countries and with international organisations such as the UN, the World Bank, and the EU. Civil society is another important source of partners, which include non-governmental organisations.
DGIS themes include gender, AIDS, education, sustainable economic development, and the environment. These are all issues that the Netherlands, its business community and its knowledge institutions are good at and on which they have added value to offer. The country will spend €114 million more on these priorities in 2012 than in 2011: €181 million on water, €219 million on food security, over €385 million on security and the legal order, and €335 million on SRHR.
In 2012 the government will also invest €200 million in schemes to use Dutch business and academic expertise to foster economic growth, for example by enhancing food production in developing countries. Where possible these partnerships will be converted into forms of economic diplomacy, for example in South Africa, a ‘transition country’ with which the Netherlands will eventually be ending its bilateral development relationship.