January 23, 2019

  • Ambassador Odette Melono Assumes Office as OPCW Deputy Director- General

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands— 15 January 2019 —Ambassador Odette Melono of Cameroon joined the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) yesterday as the as new Deputy Director-General. She is the fourth person to hold this office since the Organisation was established in 1997. She succeeds Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao of India. The Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, extended a warm welcome to the new Deputy Director-General and stated: “I look forward to working with Ambassador Melono during this crucial time for our Organisation and am confident that her insight, experience, and remarkable knowledge of chemical disarmament…

  • The city with a worldwide view

    By the Honourable Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague. That’s how I have come to know The Hague since I became Mayor on 17 March 2017. Of course, I already knew of The Hague’s particular reputation as a diplomatic centre and as the city of peace and justice. But it was really only after I became involved in the day-to-day aspects of the job that I started to understand just how much that international element is a quintessential part of The Hague. Not just in many specific places in our city but also while on foreign trips. I met many diplomats and…

  • The Peace Palace: Temple of Peace for the World

     By Sheila Turabaz Mr. Erik de Baedts is the General Director of the Carnegie Foundation-Peace Palace and Treasurer of the Hague Academy of International Law since 2015. A soft-spoken yet determined man with a strong vision; Mr. De Baedts possesses a wealth of knowledge on issues related to peace and justice and has found his calling: enhancing the mission of the Peace Palace as a temple of peace for the world. We sat down for an in-depth interview with Mr. De Baedts to discuss his views on peace (through law), reflect on the past of the Peace Palace as well…

  • European state of mind

    By H.E. Ms. Andrea Gustović-Ercegovac, Ambassador of Croatia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. After joining NATO in April 2009 and the EU in July 2013, we can say that our European integration project is reaching a completion stage. Our position is that of a European partner and a connecting country between Eastern, Central and Western Europe. Our focus is on what unites the EU today, and much less on what could divide us. We should jointly engage to ensure prosperity and security of our citizens. Europe is going through a turbulent time with anti-immigrant populist politics becoming more prominent,…

  • Negotiations at the heart of the skill set of a diplomat

    By Ron Ton, Director of Clingendael Academy Who said negotiations in diplomacy is easy? Negotiating in bilateral relations, within international organisations, in trade and investment, with conflicting parties, lobby groups or NGO’s or at global international conferences, it all should be in the negotiation skills set of a diplomat. It’s not only the variety in the context which makes negotiations complex for diplomats. Also, changing policy concerns entered the diplomatic negotiation arena, in the field of sustainable development issues, refugee crises, cyber security or the digital agenda. At the same time the number of non-state actors trying to influence international…

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Diplomatic News

Judge Carmel Agius assumes office as the new President of the Mechanism

Jan 20, 2019

Arusha, The Hague, 19 January 2019 – On 19 January 2019, Judge Carmel Agius, of Malta, assumed office as President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), following his appointment by the United Nations Secretary-General on 30 June 2018 to a term expiring on 30 June 2020. Judge Agius has been a Judge of the Mechanism since its inception in 2012. He also served as a Judge of the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) from 2001 and a Judge of the Appeals Chambers of both the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda…

Uzbekistan and the IWC Usher in the New Year Together

Jan 16, 2019

On the picture, H.E. Mr. Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan. By Catherine van der Loos. Last Monday, January 14, the Marriott Hotel in the Hague was the venue for a festive cultural event presented by H.E. Dilyor Kakimov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the Kingdom of Belgium and Head of Mission to the E.U. He is also credited to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The event featured a musical performance and cultural and culinary programs. Uzbek artisans were also invited to display a wonderful array of handcrafted products from the center of the ancient silk road, which were also available…

Global Public Diplomacy Awards presented at Gala in Frankfurt

Jan 14, 2019

For the first time Diplomat Magazine and the Diplomatic Council shall present the Global Public Diplomacy Award, in Frankfurt. The award  constitute a  recognition of the efforts of heads of diplomatic missions and other dignitaries to promote strategic diplomatic engagement vis-à-vis state as well as non-state actors. The Public Diplomacy Award will recognise both top diplomats and other members of the international community; in charge of the selection of the laureates are a group of members of the diplomatic corps and academia. The award consists of state-of-the-art hand-made prism with the crafted name of the recipient. He or she becomes an honourable…

Public Diplomacy Award to be launched with Diplomatic Council

Jan 13, 2019

  H.E. Dr. Gordan Grlić Radman, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Germany, is the laureate of the Global Public Diplomacy Award bestowed upon jointly by Diplomatic Council and Diplomat Magazine. The award shall be presented at the council’s Diplomatic Gala on 1st February in Frankfurt am Main Further Information on the Gala www.diplomatic-council.org/gala2019   The Hague/Frankfurt am Main/Berlin, January 12, 2019 – The Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Gordan Grlić Radman, is the recipient of the Global Public Diplomacy Award presented by Diplomat Magazine and Diplomatic Council. The award constitutes…

Yemen-Netherlands Anniversary 40 Years Cooperation

Jan 11, 2019

By Roy Lie Atjam. The Hague, 18 December 2018. On the occasion of 40 Year of cooperation between Yemen and the Netherlands, the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Yemen H.E. Ms. Irma van Dueren and the Ambassador of Yemen in the Netherlands H.E Ms. Sahar Ghanem organized a seminar on Integrated Water Resources Management in Yemen. Adjacent to the seminar venue was a photo exhibition by photographer Thana Farouq and a reception. Taking the current state of Yemen into account, the event was kind of sober yet practicable. The attendance was a very mixed one with Diplomats, Dutch- and Yemeni…

Visit Rwanda exhibits for the 10th time at Vakantiebeurs in the Netherlands

Jan 11, 2019

On the picture Mr. Jozef Verbruggen, director Untamed Travelling, Ms. Nathalie van Polanen, Petel-Ottens, Travel Counsellors – Dutch travel agent, Mrs. Claudine Rubagumya, strategic market specialist Rwanda Development Board and H.E. Jean Pierre Karabaranga, Ambassador for the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in the Netherlands.   For the 10th time Visit Rwanda is showcasing its divers tourist attractions at the Vakantiebeurs tourism exhibition, taking place this week until Sunday 13th of January in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The exhibition kicked of with an industry day for the Dutch travel professionals and travel media. Rwanda is among the 160 countries that…

Germany Donates €1M to Enhance OPCW Assistance and Protection Capabilities

Jan 8, 2019

On the picture the Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Christine Weil, and the Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias. The  Hague, Netherlands — 7 January 2019 — The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has received a voluntary contribution of €1 Million from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany towards the Trust Fund for the Implementation of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Fund supports the Organisation’s activities in relation to assistance and protection against chemical weapons, while the German contribution aims to enhance the OPCW’s response…

Hungary announced as focus country Go Short 2019

Jan 4, 2019

Congratulations to H.E. Andras Kocsis, Ambassador of Hungary to the Netherlands, Go Short 2019 will focus on Hungarian short films. Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen has been the international stage for short film and young talent in the Netherlands for over ten years. The 11th edition of the Oscar and BAFTA-qualifying film festival will take place from 3 to 7 April 2019, and presents the best recent European short films. This year special focus will be given to the Hungarian short film. Hungary has a rich film history and is known today as an innovative and acclaimed…

“Images of Memories”

Jan 3, 2019

On the picture the Ambassador of Albania, H.E. Ms. Adia Sakiqi during the opening,  On Wednesday 7th November 2018, the Albanian Embassy in the Netherlands opened the exhibition “Images of Memories” by the well-known Albanian artist Orion Shima. The exhibition was held in the premises of the Albanian Embassy Art Gallery. The artist was present at the opening reception from 17:00 to 19:00. This particular exhibition, “Images of Memories”, is a cycle of paintings, an epitome of the artist’s individual memories, an attempt to trick his way into the collective memory. His experimentation is very personal: an archaeology of memories…

Poland to Contribute €100,000 to OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology

Jan 3, 2019

Permanent Representative of Poland to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Marcin Czepelak, and OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias. The Hague, Netherlands —14 November 2018 — The Government of Poland will contribute €100,000 to a special Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store through the construction of a new Centre for Chemistry and Technology. The donation was formalised with a transfer of a letter by the Permanent Representative of Poland to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Marcin Czepelak, to OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, on 14 November…

Diplomatic Pouch

Can NATO deal with today`s threats?

By Barend ter Haar. During almost half a century NATO has been extremely successful. It helped to prevent a Third World War, kept the Soviet Union out of Western Europe and created a stable basis for the development of the European Union. It accomplished this by maintaining a credible common defence and by keeping the members of the Alliance together. Both would have been impossible without the leadership of the United States. But now that the danger of large-scale military attack has vanished, has NATO become obsolete? And if not, is it able “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and…

Protection and Security, the Diplomatic Front Office

By Frans Scholten and Edwin Verhage. In the ten years of its existence, the Police’s Diplomatic Front Office (DFO) Unit The Hague has proven its value as a central point of contact for the diplomatic corps and representatives of international organizations. The office has been able to develop itself as a crucial contact point and has provided advice and information on the services of The Hague’s Police in general, as well as on security related questions. The Diplomatic Front Office maintains contacts with representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations. The office’s employees can answer specific questions in the…

Facilitation of women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh and their export potential

Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmed (Bangladesh) and President of BVMW Prof. Dr. h.c. Mario Ohoven – Picture by Embassy of Bangladesh to Germany. By H.E. Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmed, Head of Mission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the Federal Republic of Germany. Women´s economic empowerment is an inevitable part of development discourse. Institutionalization of sustainable development process excluding women from the mainstream development programme is inconceivable and will not support sustainable economic growth. Existing sex ratio in the demographic structure of Bangladesh indicates that women comprise almost 50% of the total population and are an essential part of human resources. It is…

100 years since the end of the First World War and the current geopolitical situation

By Corneliu Pivariu. Motto: “Tomorrow has long ago became yesterday” –folk verse On 11th of November, 2018, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France delivered, at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, in front of more than 70 heads of state and government, a speech marking 100 years since the armistice which brought to an end the First World War and then, together with some of his counterparts,(one notable absence was the American president Donald Trump) and heads of international organisations (UN, UNESCO, OCDE, IMF, etc) signed a joint statement on the occasion of the first session of the Paris Peace…

Ending Starvation Crimes

By Wayne Jordash QC and Catriona Murdoch. The ‘F’ word is back in use, famines have returned. In 2017 the UN identified four situations of acute food insecurity that threatened famine or breached that threshold, in north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. In December 2018 famine was formally declared across regions of Yemen. Starvation is also being used as a weapon of war in Syria. We have also seen how food and humanitarian aid is being manipulated, obstructed and politicised in the Gaza Strip and in Venezuela. Starvation Crimes – an umbrella term coined by Alex de Waal to…

Restitution of colonial art

Do colonial artefacts from 55 African countries have to be returned by museums in the Netherlands and beyond? If so, what is the (legal) basis for restitution? By Paul W.L. Russell, LL.M. Since the recent publication of a French report commissioned by the French President on the above question, France has made a modest start in returning colonial art from French museums. The debate on this matter has been underway for some time. The French President considered the “theft” of art from African countries “a crime against humanity”. This was the reason for him to return colonial art from French…

Buenos Aires: a green city of art, flavours and passion

Buenos Aires, the stylish and cosmopolitan capital of Argentina, has been a dream for millions of Europeans, mostly Italians, but also Spaniards, Germans, and French, as well as for a great number of South American people. Buenos Aires is also home to the world’s seventh-largest Jewish community, the largest in Latin America, with Jews starting to arrive in the country as early as the 16th century. Big waves of migration from Europe came before and after the great wars when people moved to the southernmost part of America to start a new life. Such migrations are still happening today, and…

Uzbekistan in the context of dynamic transformations

Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador de Uzbekistan. Interview of H.E. Mr. Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Benelux countries.: “Our cooperation with Luxembourg has been quite active”.   By Adelin Remy. Mr. Ambassador, I understand that the economy of Uzbekistan has performed very well last year. What are the updated figures? In 2018, the GDP growth in Uzbekistan is expected at 5.2% and in 2019 at 5.4%. Inflation is to be at 16–17%, in 2019 13.5–15.5%, and in 2020 10–12%. Starting from 2021, annual inflation is expected to reach single-digit values. Over the last two years, Uzbekistan concluded agreements on…

Twinning Europe and Asia in Cyberspace, the EU Legislation, ASEAN and its transformative power

On the image Prof. Melda Kamil Ariadno. By Prof. Melda Kamil Ariadno and Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevicis. While our troposphere is dangerously polluted, one other space – that of intangible world, created by the interconnected technology– follows the same pattern:  cyberspace. Additionally, our cyberspace becomes increasingly brutalised by its rapid monetisation and weaponisation through mainly privacy erosion. How to protect effectively individuals and their fundamental human rights, and how to exercise a right for dignity and privacy? The EU now offers a model legislation to its Member States, and by its spill-over power to the similar supranational projects elsewhere (particularly…

Freedom, Sovereign Debt, Generational Accounting and other Myths

By Dr. Lu Wei. “How to draw the line between the recent and still unsettled EU/EURO crisis and Asia’s success story? Well, it might be easier than it seems: Neither Europe nor Asia has any alternative. The difference is that Europe well knows there is no alternative – and therefore is multilateral. Asia thinks it has an alternative – and therefore is strikingly bilateral, while stubbornly residing enveloped in economic egoism. No wonder that Europe is/will be able to manage its decline, while Asia is (still) unable to capitalize its successes. Asia clearly does not accept any more the lead…

Personnel: Statutory minimum wage

By Jan Dop, LL.M. As of 1 January 2019, the statutory gross minimum wage for employees 22 years and older that work full-time will be: € 1,615.80   per month € 372.90   per week € 74.58   per day Please be informed that the law regarding gross minimum wage is statutory law. Therefore, the gross minimum wage also applies to employment contracts with foreign employees that habitually perform their work in the Netherlands, even in case a choice of law has been made in the employment contract. Statutory youth minimum wage Age Percentage Per month Per week Per day 21…

Uzbekistan, now wide open to foreign investment

By Dr. Eugenio Matos Gomez. The First International Tourism Investment Forum took place in Tashkent between 19 & 20, November 2018. We had the opportunity to interview several important persons, including Mr. Abdulaziz Akkulov who was the Acting Chairman of the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Development of Tourism. He expects that Uzbekistan will double the number of tourists in 2019. Last year, 5.5million visited Uzbekistan, compared to 2.7 million in 2017. “This is a huge achievement for us”, he said during a short discussion we had with him on Nov. 19th. This country is a hidden gem in Asia. The…

US and Russia stances remain distant over the conflict in eastern Ukraine

By Guido Lanfranchi. Speaking with the press ahead of the November 11th elections in eastern Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, US. Special Representative for Ukraine, declared such elections as “wholly illegitimate.” In the same context, he announced a new round of US. sanctions against Russia over the country’s involvement in Ukraine. On November 8th, 2018, just a few days ahead of the November 11th elections in eastern Ukraine, the United States State Department decided to update the press on the situation in the country. Ambassador Kurt Volker, US. Special Representative for Ukraine, updated the press on Ukraine’s dire humanitarian situation, on…

Portugal Awarded “World’s Leading Tourist Destination 2018”

On the picture Évora, capital of Alentejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. By Catherine van der Loos. During a gala black tie event held in the Pátio da Galéon western side of the Comércio Square in Lisbon a little more than a month ago, Portugal was honored with the “World’s Leading Tourist Destination 2018” award by the World Travel Awards. The event, one of the world’s most prestigious tourism and travel events in the industry, marked the end of the organization’s Silver Jubilee Grand Tour. During the December 1, 2018 awards ceremony, Turismo de Portugal   received two “World Travel Awards.” The…

Looking Ahead to 2019

By Tiberio Graziani. Inheritance of the 2018 transformative trends affecting 2019 The main transformative trends in 2018 that will affect next year will concern at least the following three different global and interconnected sectors: Economic & Financial Area; Security; Dismantling of the Old World Order. Economic & Financial Area Regarding the economic and financial area, it will be necessary to monitor the growing importance of advanced technologies and their applications in the production cycles of the most industrial nations. In the next year, we will face a sort of rationalization of these production processes that will profoundly change the evolution…

No Climate Change without a generational interval

The newly elected President of Costa Rica, one of the world’s youngest heads of state, 38-year-old former journalist Mr. Carlos Alvarado, has vowed to fully decarbonise the country’s economy and makes it the first carbon-neutral nation in the world by 2021, on the 200th anniversary of its independence. “Decarbonisation is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first,” Alvarado said in his inauguration speech of 2018. “We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our…