Looking back, 2022 was in many ways a return to normal. COVID-19 was slowly no longer a global
health emergency, so after two years of restrictions we were able to get together with family, friends
and colleagues, to travel, to organize joint activities and meetings in groups. Unfortunately, 2022 is
also the year that the world faced more the impact of natural disasters, climate change, conflicts,
wars, economic crisis and migration. For many consuls, like the consuls for Ukraine and the ones
representing countries with a high labour migration this meant more work than usual because more
people needed to be informed adequately and helped if necessary.
For our association 2022 has been a special year. We had the opportunity to celebrate our
115 th anniversary.
In April we held the annual meeting at the premises of the Port of Rotterdam, where we were
welcomed by the CEO mr. Allard Castelein with an interesting presentation about the latest
developments within the Port of Rotterdam and the impact and challenges of the Russia Ukraine
conflict for the port activities. A nice port tour on board of the Maze with a lunch offered by the Port
of Rotterdam followed.
The celebration of the 115 th anniversary of Union des Consuls à Rotterdam on September 9, held
in the at the Depot Museum Boijmans van Beuningen has been a great succes.
Welcomed by the director of the museum, Mrs Ina Klaassen, consuls, ambassadors and all guests
enjoyed together a guided tour discovering the beautiful and valuable art works cherished in the new
building, the Depot, the new architectural icon of Rotterdam. The representative of the City Council,
Mr Said Kasmi, vice mayor of Rotterdam noticed in his speech the appreciation of the city council for
the work of honorary and career consuls as bridge builders between countries, with a valuable
contribution in the economic, cultural and social relations.
We closed the year with our Annual Dinner, on December 2. A warm and cosy event with beautiful
music by the well-known composer and pianist and outstanding musician, Laurens van Rooyen
who played on a special for the evening arranged Fazioli piano.
During the dinner we also held a short annual meeting to vote the new board of the association for
the next three years. All sitting board members were re-elected and we welcomed Kees Jan Rietveld
as a new board member.
In 2022 we welcomed some new members: Mr Eric Geerling H. Consul of Japan, Mr Simon Tan
H. Consul Austria, Ms Sonia Meijer H. Consul El Salvador, and the new appointed career General
Consuls: Ms. Lourdes Escobar – Cuba, Mr El Kobaiti Idrissi Abdellali – Maroc, Ms Rosamel Ordonez
Paredes – Panama, Mr. Ali Erbas – Turkey
To our regret and sadness in 2022 we lost a few of our dear friends and loyal members of the
association: Ehsan Turabaz, Honorary consul of Afghanistan, Baronesses Alexandra Tuininga-
Heemstra, H. Consul of Costa Rica, Freek Warmelink, H. Consul of Burkina Faso. We also remember
Jeliza de Nooijer, the wife of our board member Bert de Nooijer. May they all rest in peace.
Last but not least a special thanks to our colleagues, Ben Melissa (Danser), honorary consul of
Switzerland, Dirk van Wassenaer (M&R De Monchy), honorary consul of Spain, Jan Valkier (Anthony,
Veder), honorary consul of Finland for their support and contribution to the celebration of our 115 th
We look forward to a peaceful 2023 and a successful year for our association and our members.
We wish you all a Happy New Year!
The Board of Union des Consuls à Rotterdam et La Haye:
Eliseo de la Fuente Gonzales, Bert de Nooijer, Alexander Roos, Karin van Rooyen,
Kees Jan Rietveld, Andrea Teunissen. December 2022.