June 16, 2019

  • Sheikh Hasina – The ‘Mother of Humanity’

    The UK-based ‘Channel 4 News’ in September 2017 first débuted Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the ‘Mother of Humanity’ after her valiant resolution to open Bangladesh-Myanmar borders for the fleeing persecuted Rohingya people from Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Following this, the daughter of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina, has come to be known as the ‘Mother of Humanity’. Sheik Hasina, leader of the highly densely populated developing country, demonstrated a unique example of an altruistic gesture.  The persecution by the Myanmar security forces and local vigilantes on the Rohingya people in the Rakhine State has resulted…

  • The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

    By Carrie Lam, Chief Executive, Hong Kong SAR. Over the years, I have visited San Francisco, Tokyo and New York. They are the world’s most celebrated bay areas. Soon enough, they will find company and competition in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.  The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) is a key development strategy in the People’s Republic of China as it enters a new era of deepening reform and opening up.  Comprising the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao and nine prosperous municipalities in southern China’s Guangdong Province, the GBA’s collective GDP in 2018 was US$1.6 trillion. Covering an area of 56 000 square kilometers, the GBA accommodates the world’s most intensive cluster of ports and airports, handling 66.5 million TEUs and 200 million…

  • Judge Carmel Agius reflects on his role and priorities as President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

    I am delighted to return to The Hague for another tour of action, this time as the President of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), the successor institution to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It has been a challenging and rewarding few months for me in my new role, since taking over the leadership of the Mechanism on 19 January 2019. The Mechanism is a unique institution, with branches in Arusha, Tanzania as well as The Hague, and staff working in different time zones….

  • Kuwait renews its European presence 

    H.E. Abdul-Rahman Al-Otaibi, Ambassador of Kuwait to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, talked about Dutch-Kuwaiti relations and his experience as Ambassador, during an exclusive conversation with Diplomat Magazine at the historical Hotel Des Indes in The Hague.  “Balance and stability are our focus; high quality education is our goal to build a new generation of Kuwaitis.” Your Excellency, how do you see the role of Kuwait in the Middle East in the upcoming years? Kuwait wants to open a new chapter with neighboring countries, promoting prosperity and peace in the region, helping other countries to meet each other, and opening…

  • A new positive milestone in the cooperative relationship between Vietnam and the Netherlands

    By Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. At the invitation of H.E Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, paid an official visit to Viet Nam on 9 April 2019, accompanied by Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen; Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Marjolijn Sonnema; State Secretary for Finance Menno Snel; President of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers Hans de Boer, and 75 leading businesses with more than 100 members. Although…

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Diplomatic News

Dutch monarch in Brandenburg

Jun 16, 2019

Dutch Royal Couple, Susanne & Dr. Dietmar Woidke – Picture by Land Brandenburg, Brandenburg Staatskanzlei. Tuesday, 21 May 2019, Brandenburg, Federal Republic of Germany: Premier of Brandenburg, Dr. Dietmar Woidke and her spouse Susanne welcomed the visiting Royal Dutch Couple for a luncheon at the State Chancery in Potsdam.  Following the lunch, the Royal Couple and Premier Dietmar Woidke travelled to an arable farm in Nauen. This father and daughter led company is about business succession, sustainable development and innovation in agriculture. The King and Queen meet the Brandenburg Minister for Rural Development, the Environment and Agriculture Jörg Vogelsänger at the company. In addition, young agricultural entrepreneurs…

Bundesrat President Günther in The Hague

Jun 16, 2019

Friday, 24 May 2019, The Hague, Kingdom of the Netherlands: His Majesty King Willen-Alexander of the Netherlands and His Prime Minister Mark Rutte received the President of the Federal Council of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Daniel Günther – Premier of Schleswig-Holstein- for a courtesy call.  Before the afternoon, the King received the President of the Federal Council, Herr Günther, in audience at Noordeinde Palace. Prime Minister Rutte welcomed him at the Catshuis in the evening for a bilateral meeting as well as a working dinner devoted to climate and energy policies. Since 1996 it has been customary for the annually changing President of the…

International Charlemagne Prize 2019

Jun 15, 2019

In the picture, King Felipe VI of Spain, Jürgen Linden, Charlemagne Prize Committee, SG António Guterres and Mayor of Aachen Marcel Philipp – Picture by Spanish Royal Household, Casa Real. Thursday, 30 May 2019, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Federal Republic of Germany: This year’s International Charlemagne Prize was bestowed upon the IX Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Portuguese national António Guterres for “his dedication in the revitalisation and consolidation of multilateral cooperation based on the values and objectives of the European Union and the United Nations” according to the awarding committee.  Awarded by the city of Aachen, the first city in western Germany to be…

Celebrating Day of Portugal 2019

Jun 14, 2019

Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades  In the picture the Ambassador of Portugal, H.E. Mrs Rosa Batoréu, Miguel F. Porfirio Handelsattache, Director, Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency / Commercial Attaché. By Roy Lie Atjam. Portugal Day, or sometimes called Camões Day, is celebrated by Portuguese communities the world over to commemorate the unity of the Portuguese who have settled in all parts of the Earth. In the Netherlands – The Hague, Ambassador of Portugal, H.E. Mrs Rosa Batoréu, celebrate Portugal’s National Day with a superb reception at her residence on June 12th 2019. A huge number of Ambassadors,…

USAID official visits warehouse supplying humanitarian aid to Venezuela

Jun 14, 2019

By Guido Lanfranchi. On June 4th, 2019, Ms. Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, visited the Gelderland Warehouse, which supplies humanitarian health kits for the crisis in Venezuela.  While The Hague’s World Forum was hosting the prestigious Global Entrepreneurship Forum, around 75 kilometers away a high-level level US official was on an official visit to The Medical Export Group, a Dutch medical company located in Vuren. The MEG is a company specialized in the provision of healthcare assistance to low- and middle-income countries, and it has a long-standing tradition of collaboration with governmental and…

Dutch Royal Couple in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Jun 12, 2019

King and Queen at celebration 100 year general election law. Premier Manuela Schwesig looks on as HM King Willem-Alexander signs the regional guestbook – Picture by Staatskanzlei Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Monday, 20 May 2019, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Federal Republic of Germany: Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands were welcomed to Germany at the State Chancery of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania by the federal state’s Premier Manuela Schwesig and her spouse Stefan Schwesig for a formal acquaintance, followed by a luncheon offered by Premier Schwesig at the Orangerie in Schwerin Castle.  Both King Willem-Alexander and Premier Schwesig held allocutions during the luncheon. Thereafter Their Majesties paid a visit to the…

La Habana celebrates its 500th anniversary

Jun 12, 2019

In the picture the Ambassador of Cuba to The Netherlands, H.E. Ms Soraya Alvarez cutting the 500 Anniversary cake representing the monuments of La Habana. The Ambassador of Cuba to the Netherlands, H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Nunez, celebrated with glam the 500th anniversary of the great city of La Habana, together with the members of the Hispanic Association of The Hague and many Latin American Ambassadors and diplomats, who gathered to support Cuba in this very special occasion.  Edith Bergansius, the President of the Hispanic Association of The Hague, introduced Ambassador Alvarez Nunez, after briefly outlining the event’s program. More…

Elections update, Kazakhs prepared for historical change

Jun 10, 2019

The Republic of Kazakhstan just witnessed yesterday Sunday, June 9th the first national elections ever where President Nursultan Nazarbayev was not in the ballot. The candidate of Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan Party, Mr Kassim-Jomart Tokayev (66), former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current president ad-interim, won the presidential elections by a large marge of 77.06% of ballots.  Delegations of international observers witnessed the election process closely. The civil society of Kazakhstan organised in associations such as Amanat, a social media platform regrouping alone 800 organization members from medium to small entrepreneurs companies and students associations also participated in the elections as surveyors. …

The true colours of Roula Derbas

Jun 9, 2019

H.E. Mr. Abdel Sattar Issa, Ambassador of Lebanon to the Netherlands. By Guido Lanfranchi. On June 7-8th, 2019, Lebanese lawyer and artist Roula Derbas exposed her paintings at the residence of the Lebanese Ambassador to the Netherlands. In her exhibition called “In between colors”, the artists showcased a number of her paintings to a large number of guests. On June 7th, 2019, a large number of guests started arriving in Wassenaar to the residence of H.E. Mr. Abdel Sattar Issa, the Lebanese Ambassador to the Netherlands. The guests were invited to the residence for the inauguration ceremony of “In between…

XVI Informal gathering of German-speaking heads of state in Linz

Jun 6, 2019

3-4 June 2019, Linz, Upper Austria, Republic of Austria: The traditional informal gathering of the heads of state from the German-speaking countries took place this year in in Linz, Austria’s third largest city located in the state of Upper Austria. These meetings have been held since 2004, and are organised annually in one of the six participating countries; Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium. This year’s gathering was emphasised two topics, namely digitalisation and climate policies.  Although the meeting is meant for the heads of state of partaking countries, one should note that Switzerland has no one single head of…

Diplomatic Pouch

USAID official visits warehouse supplying humanitarian aid to Venezuela

By Guido Lanfranchi. On June 4th, 2019, Ms. Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, visited the Gelderland Warehouse, which supplies humanitarian health kits for the crisis in Venezuela.  While The Hague’s World Forum was hosting the prestigious Global Entrepreneurship Forum, around 75 kilometers away a high-level level US official was on an official visit to The Medical Export Group, a Dutch medical company located in Vuren. The MEG is a company specialized in the provision of healthcare assistance to low- and middle-income countries, and it has a long-standing tradition of collaboration with governmental and…

Bangladesh Tourism Board Familiarization Tour 2019

By Roy Lie Atjam. Bangladesh….an array of festive colours.  Her landscape is like a kaleidoscope of ever changing colours. Just a simple walk through the streets of Dhaka or in any other city or village, the scenery is filled with splendidly dressed people. Bangladesh is a place where hospitality and a sterling smile are the quintessential characteristics of being a true Bangladeshi!  In brief: Bangladesh is a politically non-allied sovereign state-of approximately 170 million people in South-Asia. The official name of the country is, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The first President and the Father of the Nation was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) aims at…

Kazakhs have chosen: Tokayev is the new President of Kazakhstan

During the first presidential election without Nursultan Nazarbayev as a candidate, former Foreign Affairs Minister and UN diplomat Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has been elected President of Kazakhstan, winning 77.6% of the votes. The ballot represents the start of new era for Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia, rich in oil and gas reserves, and situated in a strategic location between China and Russia. In the wake of the elections, Tokayev has expressed his commitment to an open and transparent government, “a mandate of truth for the next five years”. The day after the elections – just before being officially declared…

GES 2019 draws to an end

In the picture Ms. Ivanka Trump, advisor of U.S. President Donald Trump. By Guido Lanfranchi. After two and a half hectic, intensive days, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held in The Hague, drew to an end. Yet, the follow-up of the Summit is expected to be extensive, with the development of new partnership and initiatives established during the gathering. On June 5th, the 9th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, co-organized by the Netherlands and the United States in The Hague, eventually arrived at its conclusion. After two and a half days full of meetings, speeches, workshops, and initiatives, the participants…

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 edition starts in The Hague

In the picture US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo participates in a meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Global Entrepreneurship Summit. By Guido Lanfranchi. On June 3rd, 2019, the Town Hall of The Hague hosted the introductory ceremony for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The gathering, co-organized by the Netherlands and the United States, is set to bring together 2,000 global leaders in entrepreneurship, innovation, investment, and policy. Over a thousand talented entrepreneurs from 140 countries across the world, more than 300 large scale investors, a host of government leaders, and three days to build connections and networks among these different…

Budapest: the Paris of the East

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is often referred to as “the Paris of the East”. If you are planning to visit this beautiful city, here is a piece of advice for you: profit from the precious tips of Anna Balazs. Anna is an expert organizer of trips to Hungary. Since Wizzair Airlines started to link Hungary to the Netherlands, Anna, who has been living in the Netherlands for 25 years, started to specialize in the organization of visits to the Hungarian capital, especially for adult visitors.  Anna’s approach is based on customizing the visit to each visitor’s needs. Ahead of…

Kazakhstan heads towards historic presidential elections

The Ambassador of Kazakhstan, H.E. Magzhan Ilyassov. By Guido Lanfranchi. Ahead of the historic 2019 presidential election in Kazakhstan, H.E. Magzhan Ilyassov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Netherlands, commented on his country’s political transition. Praising the pacific and constitutional nature of such transition, the Ambassador hailed at the developments in Kazakhstan as a success story in Central Asia. On March 19th, 2019, then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev caught many by surprise when he announced that, after thirty years spent as Kazakhstan’s leader, he would resign from the position of President of the Republic. Mr. Nazarbayev’s resignation kick-started a political transition in the…

The Dutch Council for Russian Compatriots elects a new Bureau.

Konstantin Makarenko, the Executive director of the Public Diplomacy Corps (PDC) Foundation named the priority for the current stage: “to change the principles of work”. The Hague, 18th May 2019. TASS Correspondent Vitaly Chugin.  A scheduled conference of the Coordination Council of Russian compatriots was held last Saturday in the Hague. The Conference elected a new Bureau and set out the goals and tasks for the near future. When speaking to our TASS correspondent, Mr. Makarenko, the Executive director of the Public Diplomacy Corps (PDC) Foundation, who moderated the meeting, mentioned that the priority for the current stage is: “to change the principles of work”….

Dr. Saroj Thapa: a life for education

Dr. Saroj Thapa spent her whole life in the area of school education, forming teachers and promoting inclusivity in education all over the world. As of today, she continues to fight for a good education for all, because “every child can learn”. Teacher education, classroom teaching, special needs education, inclusion: these are the core issues that have been at the center of Dr. Saroj Thapa’s life for the last three decades. Her long-lasting interest in the area of school education led her to build a solid academic background in this field, as well as a vast professional experience, gathered in…

The Peace Palace: an Inexhaustible Source of Inspiration

Sheila Turabaz and the Chairman of the Carnegie Foundation, Mr. J.P.H. (Piet Hein) Donner. By Sheila Turabaz. As a (junior) reporter for Diplomat Magazine since 2016, I have attended many interesting events hosted at different venues on various occasions, but nothing has left quite the impression on me like the Peace Palace, the global icon of peace and justice and considered a part of Europe’s finest cultural heritage. It isn’t merely because of its majestic appearance (although that certainly contributes to its iconic status), but rather its mission: to prevent and solve conflicts peacefully and to stimulate world peace (through the application…

Marianne Garneau: The second generation of diplomats in The Hague

In the picture Caroline Bolduc and Marianne Garneau. By Aurore Heugas. 2016. Caroline Bolduc, Canadian diplomat, moved along with her family to The Hague. Marianne Garneau, her 10 year old daughter, was discovering a brand new country, a new culture and a new passion along the way.  Sports has always been a way to unite people from around the world. As it turns out, it was also the way Marianne Garneau, 13 year old daughter of diplomat Caroline Bolduc, adapted to this new environment in The Netherlands.  Originally from Ottawa, raised in an international environment, being the daughter of a…

UNICRI Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

By Irakli Beridze, Head, UNICRI Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Advancements in artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics have resulted in, what was once an obscure academic field or science fiction, becoming increasingly integral to the very functioning of modern society. The massive growth in computational power and increasing abundance of data that characterized the ‘Digital Revolution’ and the subsequent ‘Information Age’ have been at the core of this, vastly improving capabilities and broadening the range of real-world applications for AI and robotics. The transformative potential of these technologies is already being leveraged by the healthcare, agriculture, automotive, manufacturing, energy,…

Global warning will not wait for us to act

In the picture  Marcel Beukeboom,  International Representative for climate change. Photography by Imane Rachidi. Marcel Beukeboom, Dutch International Representative for climate change, talked about the Dutch participation in the global fight against climate change, describing his efforts to reach out to countries all around the world in order to enhance cooperation in addressing this urgent challenge. International efforts to address climate change reached a peak with the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015 by 195 countries, with the aim of limiting the destructive effects of global warming for the world’s population. The Paris Agreement established a global action plan, to…

Yemen on the brink – of what?

By Guido Lanfranchi. Last edited on May 21st, 2019 Four years into the Yemeni conflict, the situation in the country remains extremely volatile. The feeling is that Yemen is in a crucial moment – although it is not clear what the future holds, as the country continuously swings between fears of protracted conflict and hopes for a negotiated solution. In such a fluid context, acting for peace is more important than ever.   Following the developments of the Yemeni conflict is no easy task. The recipe of the war in Yemen is extremely complex: several local groups conflicting over multiple fault…

U.S. State Department hails at progress in anniversary of JCPOA withdrawal

In the picture Brian Hook , US Special Representative for Iran. By Guido Lanfranchi. One year after the announcement of the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal, the U.S. State Department points at the achievements of its recent policies towards Iran. The remarks come at a time where tensions between the two countries are particularly high. At the beginning of May 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States would cease its participation in the Iran Nuclear Deal. One year later, the situation has dramatically changed, with the U.S. imposing ever-increasing, tough economic…

How the European Parliament transcends the nation-state

By Barend ter Haar. As the famous attention experiment (see YouTube) shows, we might not notice a gorilla that clearly stands in front of us. For comparable reasons, most of us might not yet have noticed that the European Parliament has developed into a powerful and ground-breaking political experiment. Why haven’t we noticed? An important reason is that the transformation of the European Parliament has been a gradual process, not a spectacular event such as Brexit or the introduction of the Euro. But the most important reason is that national governments, national political parties and national news media have a…