Rochus Pronk (LL.M. '95)
Mr. Rochus J.P. Pronk, LL.M. is a senior Dutch Diplomat, currently based in Baghdad, as acting Ambassador for the Kingdom of The Netherlands. He has more than 20 years of international experience, mostly in the area of international peace and security and human rights.
Prior to his current posting in Iraq, Mr. Pronk served amongst others as minister counsellor at the Netherlands Mission to the United Nations in Geneva as well as deputy Ambassador in Ottawa, Canada. He also served in senior diplomatic positions in The Hague, Afghanistan (twice), Brussels, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the occupied Palestinian territories as well as in China.
Between 2016 and 2020 Mr. Pronk served in Geneva as the Head of the Human Rights Division at the Netherlands Permanent Representation to the United Nations. In this position, he have played a leading role in formulating an effective, principled and pro-active Dutch membership of the Human Rights Council. Amongst others, he served as the WEOG member of the Human Rights Council’s individual complaint mechanism, the Working Group on Situations. In 2017 he initiated and successfully led the Dutch efforts in the Human Rights Council aimed at establishing an in independent international investigative mechanism tasked to investigate all violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law in Yemen. In 2018, 2019 and 2020 Mr. Pronk successfully led the negotiations to extend the mandate of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts for Yemen. He also acted as co-chair of a cross-regional Group of Friends on the Responsibility to Protect. Mr. Pronk has also been pro-actively involved in the diplomatic discussions around Human Rights Council strengthening and reform.
Trained as an international lawyer specialized in human rights and international humanitarian law, Mr. Pronk began his career at the Washington College of Law in 1994 where he co-founded the War Crimes Research Office. Throughout his ensuing diplomatic career he has always considered himself to be a human rights lawyer and defender at heart.