the Ambassador for Disarmament
H.E. Mr Henk Cor van der Kwast
Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and Disarmament Ambassador at large
Henk Cor van der Kwast came to Geneva in the summer of 2013 from Bangkok where he was Deputy Head of Mission and Head of the Political and Economic Department.
Prior to that, from 2006-2011, he was Head of the Non-Proliferation, Disarmament, Arms Control and Export Control Policy Unit at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has experience in intergovernmental and inter-agency coordination, and advised both them Dutch Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and on non-proliferation issues. In 2010 he served as Sous-Sherpa for the Nuclear Security Summit.
Since he joined the Foreign Service in 1987 he has held a range of posts both in the Netherlands and abroad. Apart from bilateral work In Abidjan and Bangkok his career was mainly related to multilateral diplomacy. He worked on issues pertaining to human rights, international law, non-proliferation, security policy and disarmament in Brussels (European Union 1996-1999), Geneva (political counsellor Permanent Represation1999-2003), and The Hague.
Henk Cor van der Kwast has represented the Netherlands as Head of Delegation or alternative at a number of international meetings, including the UN GA, the NPT PrepCom and RevCon (2010), the General Conference and Board of Government of the IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). He chaired the non-proliferation group of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) in Brussels.
He holds a degree in Contemporary History and studied International Law at Groningen University and a degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies ( SAIS, Bologna Italy).
Mr Van der Kwast is fluent in English, French, Dutch and German. He understands Spanish. He is married and has one daughter and two sons.
The French Government awarded him the title of “Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite” for his contributions to the Franco-Dutch cooperation in 2006.