Max van der Stoel


Maximilianus "Max" van der Stoel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌmɑksimiliˈjaːnɵs ˈmɑks fɑn dɛr ˈstul];[note 1] 3 August 1924 – 23 April 2011) was a Dutch politician and diplomat of the Labour Party (PvdA) and activist who served as High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE from 1 January 1993 until 1 July 2001.


Max van der Stoel
Max van der Stoel in 1981
High Commissioner on National
Minorities
of the OSCE
In office
1 January 1993  1 July 2001
Secretary-General
See list
  • Wilhelm Höynck
    (1993–1996)
    Giancarlo Aragona
    (1996–1999)
    Ján Kubiš
    (1999–2001)
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byRolf Ekeus
Member of the
Council of State
In office
1 August 1986  1 January 1993
Vice PresidentWillem Scholten
Ambassador to the
United Nations
In office
1 July 1983  1 August 1986
Preceded byHugo Scheltema
Succeeded byPeter van Walsum
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
11 September 1981  29 May 1982
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byChris van der Klaauw
Succeeded byDries van Agt
In office
11 May 1973  19 December 1977
Prime MinisterJoop den Uyl
Preceded byNorbert Schmelzer
Succeeded byChris van der Klaauw
Member of the
European Parliament
In office
22 September 1971  11 May 1973
Parliamentary groupSocialist Group
ConstituencyNetherlands
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
In office
22 July 1965  22 November 1966
Serving with Leo de Block
Prime MinisterJo Cals
Preceded byIsaäc Nicolaas
Diepenhorst
Succeeded byLeo de Block
Member of the House
of Representatives
In office
16 January 1978  11 September 1981
In office
8 June 1977  8 September 1977
In office
23 February 1967  11 May 1973
In office
5 June 1963  22 July 1965
Parliamentary groupLabour Party
Member of the Senate
In office
27 September 1960  5 June 1963
Parliamentary groupLabour Party
Personal details
Born
Maximilianus van der Stoel

(1924-08-03)3 August 1924
Voorschoten, Netherlands
Died23 April 2011(2011-04-23) (aged 86)
The Hague, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyLabour Party (from 1950)
Spouse(s)
Maria Aritia de Kanter
(m. 1953; div. 1976)
Children4 daughters and 1 son
Alma materLeiden University
(LL.B., B.Soc.Sc, LL.M., MSS)
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Jurist · Researcher · Nonprofit director · Lobbyist · Activist · Author · Professor
Signature

Van der Stoel studied Law at the Leiden University obtaining a Master of Laws degree followed by a postgraduate education in Sociology at his alma mater obtaining a Master of Social Science degree. Van der Stoel worked as a researcher at the Wiardi Beckman Foundation from April 1953 until August 1958 and for the Labour Party party board from June 1958 until July 1965. After the Senate election of 1960 Van der Stoel was elected as a Member of the Senate on 27 September 1960 serving as a frontbencher and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. After the election of 1963 Van der Stoel was elected as a member of the House of Representatives on 5 June 1963 and served as a frontbencher and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. Van der Stoel was appointed as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Cals taking office on 22 July 1965. The Cabinet Cals fell just one year into its term after a major political crisis and was replaced on 22 November 1966. After the election of 1967 Van der Stoel returned to the House of House of Representatives on 23 February 1967 and again served as a frontbencher and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. After the election of 1972 Van der Stoel was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Den Uyl, taking office on 11 May 1973. The Cabinet Den Uyl fell just before the end of its term. After the election of 1977 Van der Stoel returned to the House of Representatives serving from 8 June 1977 until 8 September 1977 and again from 16 January 1978 serving as a frontbencher chairing the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and spokesperson for European Affairs. After the election of 1981 Van der Stoel was appointed again as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet Van Agt II taking office on 11 September 1981. The Cabinet Van Agt II fell just seven months into its term and was replaced with the caretaker Cabinet Van Agt III on 29 May 1982. Shortly thereafter Van der Stoel announced that he wouldn't stand for the election of 1982.

Van der Stoel continued to be active in politics and in June 1983 he was nominated as the next Ambassador to the United Nations serving from 1 July 1983 until 1 August 1986 when he was appointed as a Member of the Council of State serving until 1 January 1993. In December 1992 Van der Stoel was nominated as the first High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE serving from 1 January 1993 until 1 July 2001. Van der Stoel also became active as a diplomat for the United Nations, serving as an expert on Human rights.

Van der Stoel retired from active politics at 76 and became active in the public sector as a non-profit director and served on several state commissions and councils on behalf of the government and as an occasional diplomat for and diplomatic delegations, and worked as a distinguished professor of Peace and conflict studies, Minority rights and International relations at his alma mater from April 1999 until April 2000 and as distinguished visiting professor of International and European law at the Tilburg University from January 2001 until January 2003. Following his retirement Van der Stoel continued to be active as an advocate and activist for the Human rights and Minority rights. Van der Stoel was known for his abilities as a skillful negotiator and effective mediator. Van der Stoel was granted the honorary title of Minister of State on 17 May 1991 and continued to comment on political affairs until his death in April 2011 at the age of 86.

Biography


Early life and career

Van der Stoel attended the Gymnasium Leiden from June 1937 until June 1943, and applied at the Leiden University in June 1943 majoring in Law and obtaining an Bachelor of Laws degree in December 1945 before graduating with an Master of Laws degree in July 1947. Van der Stoel continued to study at the Leiden University for a postgraduate education in Sociology and worked as a student researcher before obtaining an Bachelor of Social Science degree June 1947 and an Master of Social Science degree in July 1953. Van der Stoel worked as a researcher for the Wiardi Beckman Foundation, the scientific bureau of the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA, the Dutch labour party), from August 1953 until April 1958 and as a political consultant for the Labour Party from April 1958 until July 1965.

Van der Stoel was elected as a Member of the Senate following the Senate election of 1960, serving from 27 September 1960 until 5 June 1963. That year, he became international secretary for the PvdA .

Minister of Foreign Affairs Max van der Stoel, Chancellor of West-Germany Helmut Schmidt and Prime Minister Joop den Uyl during a meeting at the Catshuis on 2 November 1974.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Max van der Stoel, Prime Minister of Spain Adolfo Suárez and Prime Minister Joop den Uyl during a meeting at the Catshuis on 29 August 1977.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Abba Eban with Max van der Stoel, 1989

Politics

From 1973 to 1977 and 1981 to 1982 he was the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1977, during his visit to communist Czechoslovakia, he met with philosopher and dissident Jan Patočka, and they discussed Charter 77 and human rights in Czechoslovakia.[1][2] This provoked harsh criticism by the Czechoslovak authorities and president Gustáv Husák cancelled scheduled meeting with van der Stoel.[1]

In 2001, following his intervention as High Commissioner in the ongoing problem of equitable access to higher education by members of the Albanian ethnic group in the Republic of Macedonia, he became the founding President of the International Foundation for the South East European University, raising some 35m Euros from the international community. He later served as President of the University Board until 2004. He was awarded the University's first honorary Doctorate and the University named its Library in his honour.

Van der Stoel was a member of the Advisory Board of the European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO).

Freedom awards

  • Freedom of Speech of the Four Freedoms Award (1982)
  • Helène de Montigny award (December 1991)
  • Dr. J.P. van Praag award (1 June 1993, Netherlands)
  • Geuzenpenning (1993, Netherlands)
  • Wateler Peace award (30 oktober 1996)

Honorary degrees

Other

  • In 2014, a new park in Prague (in Jan Patočka street) was named in van der Stoel's honour.[2] In 2017, forty years after his meeting with Jan Patočka, Van der Stoel's memorial created by Dominik Lang was unveiled in the park.[3]

Decorations


Honours
Ribbon barHonourCountryDateComment
Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 5 December 1966
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour France 25 Augustus 1973
Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown Belgium 15 March 1974
Honorary Medal for Initiative and Ingenuity
of the Order of the House of Orange
Netherlands 19 September 1974
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit Germany 1975
Grand Cross of the Order of Merit Portugal 1975
Grand Officer of the Honorary Order of the Palm Suriname 4 September 1977
Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix Greece 10 December 1977
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic Spain 1981
Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold Belgium 10 January 1982
Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 9 September 1982 Elevated from Commander
(11 April 1978)
Second Class of the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk Czech Republic 15 May 1996 [4]
Knight of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau Netherlands / Luxembourg 31 August 1999
Grand Cross of the Order of the White Double Cross Slovakia 5 February 2001 [4]
Fourth Class of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise Ukraine 30 September 2001 [5]
Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the
Order of St Michael and St George
United Kingdom 1 December 2006
Awards
Ribbon barAwardsOrganizationDateComment
Four Freedoms Award Roosevelt Institute for
American Studies
1982
Geuzenpenning Vlaardingen 1993
Honorific Titles
Ribbon barHonourCountryDateComment
Minister of State Netherlands 17 May 1991 Style of Excellency

Honorary degrees


Honorary degrees
UniversityFieldCountryDateComment
University of Athens Law Greece 1977
Utrecht University Law Netherlands 1994
Tilburg University Law Netherlands 2003

Notes


  1. In isolation, van is pronounced [vɑn].

References


  1. Tůma, Oldřich (2008). "Snídaně s Mitterandem" [Breakfast with Mitterand]. Dějiny a současnost. Nakladatelství Lidové noviny (2). Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. "Park for Everybody". Praha.eu. 2014-09-29. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-01-27.
  3. "TZ: Dominik Lang vytvořil památník Maxe van der Stoela – prvního západního politika, který potvrdil význam Charty 77" (in Czech). 2014-09-29.
  4. "State decorations - Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order - List". hrad.cz. Office of the President of the Republic. Retrieved 2015-01-27.
  5. Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 885/2001