Club de Madrid (CdM) deeply mourns the loss of our highly respected Member, former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, with whom many of us had the privilege of working during our time in office. We will forever be grateful for the skillful leadership and dedication Kok brought to Club de Madrid’s pursuit of inclusive and democratic societies, objectives he staunchly fought for throughout his rich and prolific career in the Netherlands, Europe and abroad. Our sincere condolences to his family, the Dutch people and all those close to him.
As one of the architects of the consensus-based, Dutch ‘polder’ model, Wim Kok relentlessly promoted worker’s benefits and employment. He also oversaw pioneering policy changes such as legalisation on euthanasia and gay marriage. Strongly committed to making societies inclusively developed, peaceful and sustainable for present and future generations, Wim Kok was President of Club de Madrid from 2009 to 2013. Under his leadership, our organization broadened its global representation and the scale and scope of its action, deepening and extending CdM’s activities in the new emerging powers and forging greater collaboration with business and corporate leaders.
During his presidency, Kok led CdM’s policy dialogues’ advocacy focused on the political dimensions of the world economic crisis; digital technologies and 21st century democracy; harnessing 21st century solutions with a focus on women; and reconstruction and democratic development in Haiti, among others. Our Shared Societies Project, launched in Rotterdam in 2008, and our work in support of the democratic transitions set off by the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North African, were areas of his particular interest and engagement. Kok actively participated in numerous CdM missions to Tunisia and Libya where he actively engaged in fostering dialogue and building consensus essential to effective transition and good governance. Only a few months ago, our former President went to London and Oxford where he participated in a number of workshops and presentations of our Environmental Sustainability and Shared Societies initiative.
We join all of those expressing our respect and gratitude to him and our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. We will all greatly miss him.
See below a video tribute of Wim Kok, produced by Club de Madrid when his term as president of the organization ended.