On Wednesday 24-09-08 Ambassador Odette Melono assumed office as the first Cameroon Ambassador to the Netherlands since the Cameroon Consulate in the Netherlands was upgraded into a full Embassy. This historic ceremony was marked at the Noordeinde Palace of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, when she presented her credentials to Her Royal Highness Queen Beatrix of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Her Excellency Madame Odette Melono’s appointment by president Paul Biya of Cameroon, to the Kingdom of the Netherlands is unique for two major reasons. First, she is the only female Cameroonian Ambassador serving worldwide at the moment. Secondly, she is the first ever full Cameroonian Ambassador to serve in the Kingdom of the Netherlands considering the fact that the Cameroonian Embassy was headed by Charge d’affaires.It should be added that the last women who represented Cameroon diplomatically was Madame Simone Marie at the United Nations in 1982-1986 and the late Ambassador H.E. Mrs. Isabelle Bassong, Cameroon Ambassador to the Benelux seated in Brussels, Belgium.
Madame Odette Melono is a career Diplomat with the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary.
After graduating from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) in 1990, she held several positions in the Cameroon Ministry of External Relations.
Before her appointed as Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mrs. Melono served at the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon, where she worked since 1993. At the Presidency, the calm talking and well experienced diplomat held the post of Chargé de Missions at the Diplomatic Division of the Presidency.
Ambassador Melono comes at a time when Cameroonians in the Netherlands have a more favorable view of their Embassy. Described as a reformer, she is determined not only to change the face of the Embassy physically, but create a very good working relations with other Embassies and institutions in the Netherlands and most importantly, serve the interest of all Cameroonians resident in the Netherlands mindless of religious, political or cultural lineage.
Her Excellency Melono is already collaborating with Cameroonians in the Diaspora towards developing initiatives for productive projects for Cameroon and Cameroonians in the Netherlands. She is also starting to create information avenues for all foreigners interested in visiting Cameroon for tourism, business, research, study exchange programs etc.