April 19, 2019

  • A verily global institution, the Commonwealth at 70

    An interview with VI Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Diplomat Magazine had the honour of speaking to Her Excellency The Right Honourable The Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal, VI Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations in the framework of the 37th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held at Bucureşti, Romania (Romanian Presidency of the EU Council/ https://www.romania2019.eu/home/) DM: Excellency, you are a speaker at ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. Can you provide an overview of the manner wherein three major multilateral organisations collaborate? What are the key interests shared by the Commonwealth of Nations (53 member states), the EU (28 member states) as…

  • Baden-Württemberg – thinking ahead as a pro-European partner in the EU and beyond 

    By Minister Guido Wolf, Minister of Justice and European Affairs of the State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany). Baden-Württemberg: “A historical stroke of fortune” in the heart of Europe Located in the German Southwest, Baden-Württemberg shares borders with the EU members France and Austria as well as with Switzerland as a non-member state. The river Rhine marks the border to France; one of the seats of the European institutions is in Strasbourg on the left bank of the river Rhine. In 1952, the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern merged to form a single cohesive state in Germany’s Southwest. A historical stroke of fortune –…

  • MIKTA: Cooperation and Development

    By Julián Ventura, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. Mexico is convinced of the irreplaceable value of diplomacy, with an outstanding multilateral tradition and a demonstrated capacity to engage in dialogue and build consensus. It is in this spirit that we participate in MIKTA, an informal consultation space with Australia, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. The five countries have our own significant presence in the international stage. We decided to come together, as friends and partners, to promote common priorities and explore innovative strategies to face global challenges. We are located in different regions, and we possess…

  • Republic of Moldova – Discover the routes of life

    By Tatiana Pârvu, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. I have joined the Diplomatic Corps in the Netherlands in June last year when I presented my Credentials as Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and later in autumn as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  Our Embassy was established less than a decade ago with the objectives to promote bilateral relations with the host country as well as multilateral cooperation with multiple international organizations sitting in the Netherlands. I am honoured to have joined…

  • Georgia and the Netherlands

    George Sharvashidze, talks about cooperation between Georgia and the Netherlands

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Diplomatic News

WEF at Dead Sea in Jordan

Apr 18, 2019

6-7 April 2019, Dead Sea, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) ended with a call for its stakeholders to increase collaboration on social, economic and climate issues. It should help the region “punch at its weight” instead of below it, co-chairs of the meeting said in the closing plenary. The co-chairs of this year’s meeting were: Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bahrain; Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates; Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism of Egypt; Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer,…

70 ans de relations diplomatiques belgo-indonésiennes

Apr 15, 2019

« 70 ans de relations diplomatiques belgo-indonésiennes : renforcer davantage la coopération entre les deux peuples » Savez-vous que cette année l’Indonésie et la Belgique fêtent le 70e anniversaire de leurs relations diplomatiques ? Au fil des années, des liens d’amitié se sont profondément tissés entre les deux pays qui se reflètent dans plusieurs domaines d’activités. Les relations entre les deux pays ont débuté depuis 1947 lorsque Dr. Paul Van Zeeland, alors sénateur coopté, a été choisi comme membre du « Comité des Trois Nations », aux côtés de l’Australien Richard Kirby et de l’Américain Dr. Frank P. Graham, dans le cadre des bons offices pour le règlement du conflit entre l’Indonésie et…

U.S. DEA Administrator visits Belgium and the Netherlands

Apr 15, 2019

By Guido Lanfranchi. In early April, Mr. Uttam Dhillon, Acting Administrator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, visited Belgium and the Netherlands. During the visit, Mr. Dhillon discussed DEA’s cooperation with the European Union and visited the Port of Antwerp. Mr. Dhillon, head of the renowned U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, arrived in Belgium in the wake of a recent visit to Colombia. The combination of these two visits – he said – shows to observers that there is a strong transatlantic link between the cocaine sold in Europe (as well as in the United States) and the powerful South American…

European ministers conference rally before the EU elections

Apr 9, 2019

European Affairs ministers summit – Picture by Land NRW, Mark Hermenau. Wednesday, 27 March 2019, Stadium Borussia Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany: Under the pro tempore chairmanship of NRW Minister for Federal, European and International Affairs, Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, hosted his colleagues and deputies in charge of European affairs to call for a stark participation at the elections for the European parliament taking place on 26 May, for a Europe of the “rule of law, freedom of the press and speech”.   A panel discussion highlighting the significance and achievements of the European Union was moderated by Cherno Jobatey with the participation of Minister Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, the…

NATO allies prepare for the 70th anniversary celebrations

Apr 8, 2019

Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO. By Guido Lanfranchi. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is getting ready for the celebration of its 70th anniversary. Foreign Ministers and diplomats from all allied countries will gather in Washington, D.C. on April 3rd-4th, with the double aim of celebrating the organization’s anniversary and discussing issues such as burden sharing, counterterrorism, and emerging threats. It was on April 4th, 1949, in the wake of World War II, that twelve European and North American states officially signed the North Atlantic Treaty, thus establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO….

Sonar Bangla- Golden Bengal Celebrates 48th Independence Day

Apr 5, 2019

Sonar Bangla- Golden Bengal Celebrates 48th Independence Day H.E. Mr. Yun Young Lee, Ambassador of Korea and spouse, Mrs. Uma Rathore, spouse of the ambassador of Pakistan, H.E. Sheikh Mohammad Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh and spouse Dr. Dilruba Nasrin, H.E. Matthew Neuhaus, Ambassador of Australia and spouse and the Ambassador of Malaysia, H.E Mr. Ahmad Nazri Yusof. Photography by G. Buonamasssa. By Roy Lie Atjam. The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in the Netherlands, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal cordially welcomed hundreds of guests to the Diplomat reception he organized at the Bangladesh House on 26 March 2019. The…

Order of the Star for Lelio Gavazza

Mar 31, 2019

Embassy of the Italian Republic, The Hague: Bvlgari’s International Sales President Lelio Gavazza was awarded the rank of Commander of The Order of Star of Italy by HE Ambassador Andrea Perugini on behalf of HE the President of Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.  During the eulogy for President Gavazza, Ambassador Perugini highlighted that “In his professional path he has achieved impressive results not only in the interest of his own company but also in the public interest of the Italian State, in so far as he has successfully promoted Italy and the perception of excellence that Italy and its products represent worldwide. This outcome flows from his mastery…

Georgia and Eurojust sign cooperation agreement to step up the fight against organised crime

Mar 29, 2019

Photos  – top left, H.E. Ms Tsulukiani, Mr Hamran, Mr Tadumadze. Bottom right, Georgian and Eurojust delegation, including H.E. Ambassador Sharvashidze. A cooperation agreement in criminal matters was signed at Eurojust, the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, by H.E. Ms Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia, Mr Shalva Tadumadze, Prosecutor General of Georgia, and Mr Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust, to strengthen the joint fight against cross-border organised crime in the European Union and South Caucasus. This first agreement between Eurojust and a State of the region will foster judicial and strategic cooperation as it will unlock the possibility to…

Mechanism President to conduct first official visit to Rwanda

Mar 29, 2019

Arusha, 29 March 2019– The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Carmel Agius, will conduct an official visit to the Republic of Rwanda from 1 to 7 April 2019. During this week, President Agius will hold a series of meetings with high-level Government officials. In addition, he will visit a number of memorial sites and meet with members of civil society, including victims’ groups. As part of his programme, the President will also spend time with staff from the Mechanism’s field office in Kigali. President Agius will further participate in the Kwibuka25 International Conference, and…

Obituary

Mar 29, 2019

Virachai Plasai ambassador of Thailand passing in Washington

Diplomatic Pouch

The world is meeting in Termez

Bakhshi International Art Festival, Termez, Uzbekistan  Termez, Uzbekistan. Hundreds of artists of all kind, film producers, teachers, musicians, theatre directors, classical orchestra conducers, intellectuals and historians from around the world are arriving today in Uzbekistan to participate in the epic poetry festival, the unique Uzbek musical art of recreation of histories, named Bakhshi. The art of Bakhshi is a tradition of epic poetry developed widely in the VI-V centuries BC; Bakhshi means “educator who promotes enlightenment, knowledge”. A “Bakhshi” is a clever and wise artist who sings epic songs and passes on his educational heritage from generation to generation.  The city of Termez,…

Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly set up

Monday, 25 March 2019, Paris, French Republic: German and French parliamentarians have set up their own joint parliamentary body after a ceremonious signing of a convention between the Bundestag’s Speaker Wolfgang Schäuble and the President of the French National Assembly, Richard Ferrand.  In total 50 deputies from Germany and 50 from France partook for the first time in a joint parliamentary session at the Salle Lamartine, a committee hall located at the Palais Bourbon.  The project meant to drive forward European integration is the first concrete step taken since the Treaty of Aachen/Aix-la-Chappelle was inked on 22 January 2019. Substantial debates are to…

70 ans de relations diplomatiques belgo-indonésiennes

« 70 ans de relations diplomatiques belgo-indonésiennes : renforcer davantage la coopération entre les deux peuples » In the picture H.E. Mr. Yuri Thamrin Indonesian Ambassador. Savez-vous que cette année l’Indonésie et la Belgique fêtent le 70e anniversaire de leurs relations diplomatiques ? Au fil des années, des liens d’amitié se sont profondément tissés entre les deux pays qui se reflètent dans plusieurs domaines d’activités. Les relations entre les deux pays ont débuté depuis 1947 lorsque Dr. Paul Van Zeeland, alors sénateur coopté, a été choisi comme membre du « Comité des Trois Nations », aux côtés de l’Australien Richard Kirby et de l’Américain Dr. Frank P. Graham, dans le cadre des bons…

The Global Coalition announces the military defeat of the Islamic State

By Guido Lanfranchi. After a long campaign, the Global Coalition against ISIS declared that the Islamic State has been militarily defeated. Yet, the organization will continue to pose a threat in the Middle East and beyond, and efforts to counter their narrative and actions are still very much needed – the Coalition warned. At the end of March 2019, the years-long campaign to deprive the Islamic State of its hold on territory in the area across the Syrian-Iraqi border finally came to an end. The campaign has been jointly managed by a coalition of 74 countries and 5 international organization,…

The United States blames Maduro’s government for the situation in Venezuela

By Guido Lanfranchi. In the wake of meetings with representatives from both the Venezuelan opposition and Russia, U.S. Special Representative Elliott Abrams blamed the government of Nicolás Maduro and its supporters for the crisis in Venezuela. The United States – he announced – will continue to push for the restoration of democracy in the country. As the situation of Venezuela continues to be characterized by the power struggle between Mr. Nicolás Maduro and Mr. Juan Guaidó, this political clash has implication on the international diplomatic scene too. The international community remains split on the political crisis faced by Venezuela: on…

The U.S. Treasury increases its pressure on Iran with new sanctions designations

By Guido Lanfranchi. In late March, the United States Treasury further increased its economic and financial pressure on Iran. The most recent measures consisted of sanctions towards a network funding Iran’s armed forces, as well as of enhanced warnings for private companies engaging with Iranian entities. Since May 2018, when the United States decided to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, the U.S. Treasury has been busy with devising and implementing a set of measures aimed at depriving the Iranian government from its sources of revenue. Speaking to the press during…

Who and what will kill you?

By Barend ter Haar. When a man starts shooting around to kill people he doesn’t know, for terroristic purposes or just because he is crazy, he receives all the public attention he is looking for but does not deserve. This poses a challenge for governments. Will they take a high profile in order to look vigorous and decisive, even when that is exactly what the terrorists hope for, because it heightens their profile too? Or can they withstand that pressure and, while giving high priority to the prevention of such attacks, put these risks into a realistic perspective? A useful…

NATO gears up for BALTOPS 2019

By Guido Lanfranchi. A few months after the execution of exercise Trident Juncture, NATO is preparing for the annual exercise Baltic Operations, also known as BALTOPS. For the first time, this exercise will feature the presence of the U.S. 2nd Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis. The organization phase of exercise Baltic Operations 2019 is nearing its completion, with the Final Planning Conference scheduled in these days in Vilnius, Lithuania. The execution of BALTOPS is not anything new, as the exercise is coming this year to its 47th iteration. However, for the first time the 2019 edition…

NATO marks 70th anniversary with Washington meeting of Foreign Ministers

Foreign Ministers gathered in Washington D.C. on Thursday (4 April 2019) to mark 70 years since NATO’s founding, and to continue adapting the Alliance. “Over seven decades, NATO has stepped up time and again to keep our people safe, and we will continue to stand together to prevent conflict and preserve peace,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Addressing security in the Black Sea region, Ministers agreed a new package of measures to enhance NATO’s situational awareness and strengthen support for the Alliance’s partners in the region, Georgia and Ukraine. This support could include training for maritime forces and coast…

Back to the Afghan Future

The security challenges of Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development By Professor Gilles-Emmanuel Jacquet. The current talks between the representatives of the Taliban and the US Government in Qatar are an important step but peace and stability are still beyond reach. Afghanistan’s reconstruction and durable development requires a satisfactory level of security and tackling issues such as unemployment, corruption, and armed violence. Since 2001 many reconstruction and assistance efforts have been conducted in Afghanistan but their real impact is limited by the security context and corruption. Foreign material and financial assistance was affected by embezzlement and misappropriation. Many examples can be easily…

Indo-Pak: economy, diplomacy gone for a toss

By Bilal Hussain. Notwithstanding the economic priorities, the two major nuclear powers in South Asia: India and Pakistan are engaged in an almost war-like situation. The state of affairs has taken a heavy toll on these nation’s financial markets, currencies, soured business sentiments and potentially could hurt foreign investment. It was Kashmiri youth who in a suicide attack killed at least 40 Indian forces in Kashmir and is considered as the worst attack in 30 years, who is responsible and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war. Following the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter aircraft crossed the Line…

Huawei case: The HiFi Geostrategic Gambit

By Juan Martín González Cabañas. In a general, comprehensive, strategic outline of the global scenario, we can see that China is being harassed on several fronts by the US: commercial pressures, diplomatic manoeuvres to block the progress of infrastructure projects (OBOR/New Silk Road), at the technological level, the boycott/ restrictions against Huawei. These are some of the current modalities of strategic competition between great powers, without involving the direct use of hard/military power, which we could well consider a Cold War 2.0. Analyzing the factors and interests at stake, the events in full development during the last months are not…

The Sino-US Trade War – Why China can’t win it

By Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević. Does our history only appear overheated, but is essentially calmly predetermined? Is it directional or conceivable, dialectic and eclectic or cyclical, and therefore cynical? Surely, our history warns. Does it also provide for a hope? Hence, what is in front of us: destiny or future? One of the biggest (nearly schizophrenic) dilemmas of liberalism, ever since David Hume and Adam Smith, was an insight into reality; whether the world is essentially Hobbesian or Kantian. As postulated, the main task of any liberal state is to enable and maintain wealth of its nation, which of course…

Broader wellbeing: lessons from the Global South

By Dr. Dorine van Norren. In May this year the Netherlands Central Bureau for Statistics brings out its Monitor Broader Wellbeing for the second time. No longer Gross National Product (GNP) is the sole leader of the wellbeing discussions.  It is the outcome of the advice of the Parliamentary Commission on Broader Wellbeing. This Commission got its inspiration from  the report commissioned by French President Sarkozy (Stiglitz et al. 2009), but above all from a small country in the Global South: Bhutan. This is where the Green Left Party got its idea for a call for Gross National Happiness as…

10 years International Chamber Music Festival Wassenaar, a MUST for music lovers

By John Dunkelgrün. About 11 years ago the originally Romanian violinist Irina Simon-Renes developed the idea of an international chamber music festival in Wassenaar. This green and leafy town next to The Hague (please don’t call it a suburb!) is home to many people with strong cultural interests, but it lacked a good classical music program. Irina herself is a well-known violinist, who gives master classes and has performed with major international orchestra’s and at the famous Prinsengracht Festival in Amsterdam. In a town like Wassenaar with many excellent smaller venues, a chamber music event seemed the most appropriate to…

Samen leven in een Samenleving – Living together in a Community

Mubarak Mosque on the Oostduinlaan in The Hague was opened in 1955 and is the oldest mosque in The Netherlands. It belongs to the Ahmadi-Muslims or Ahmadiyya.