November 23, 2017

  • Towards The World Free From Chemical Weapons: Russia Demonstrates Its Leadership

    By the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons. This year was marked by a significant success of Russia in the area of non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction and arms control: on September 27, 2017 the last chemical munitions remaining of all the previous Russian chemical arsenals were destroyed at the “Kizner” specialised facility in the region of Udmurtia. This is a truly milestone event. Our country has successfully fulfilled its key commitment under the Chemical Weapons Convention (or the CWC) – it has completely got rid of…

  • El Salvador and the Netherlands: Two Societies United by the Spirit of Solidarity

    By H.E. Mr Agustín Vásquez Gómez, Ambassador of the Republic of El Salvador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A big ocean and more than nine thousand kilometers separate the land of Cuscatlán – primitive name given to El Salvador – and the land of the tulips and the windmills. While people in El Salvador have learned to live among volcanoes, earthquakes and hot weather all year long, people in the Netherlands are use to live surrounded by water everywhere and in many parts of the country, they live below the sea level and with an unpredictable four seasons in…

  • The engagement of Italian Diplomacy in facing the migration challenges

    By H.E. Andrea Perugini, Ambassador of Italy to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The current migration phenomenon surely is one of the major challenges which Italy and the International Community are facing since the end of the Second World War. The continuous massive inflow of refugees Italy was forced to cope with over the last few years has severely put to the test the Italian capacity to accommodate displaced persons, notwithstanding the ongoing investments in relevant structures and the enormous economic and social costs that Italy sustained. Whereas in 2013, a total of 22.118 persons were hosted in temporary structures,…

  • Finland celebrates its 100th anniversary

    This year Finland celebrates its 100th anniversary Finland declared its independence on 6 December 1917, in the turmoil created by the October Revolution in Russia. Earlier, Finland had been a part of Sweden until 1809, and after that an autonomous Grand-Duchy under the Russian rule. The hundred years since 1917 have transformed Finland enormously:  in the course of one life time Finland has developed from a poor, conflict-ridden nation to a prosperous and modern country. The Fragile States Index 2016 indicated that Finland is “the least–failed nation” in the whole world.   By H.E. Mrs. Katri Viinikka, Ambassador of Finland. A…

  • Lithuania and the Netherlands develop strong partnership which could make important contribution to strengthening European security and competitiveness

                                By H.E. Mr Vidmantas Purlys, Ambassador of Lithuania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.   Lithuania and the Netherlands co-operate in many areas and at different levels, ranging from security to economy. Both countries share similar values of democratic governance, rule of law, human rights, openness to trade and innovation. Lithuania and the Netherlands are partners in the European Union, including the euro area, and allies in NATO. The intensity of co-operation achieved to this date is remarkable, notwithstanding the fact that it was terminated by…

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Diplomatic News

First Lady honored

Nov 22, 2017

First Lady honored with African Woman Personality of the Year & African Heroine Awards The annual Voice Achievers’ Award in Amsterdam, the Netherlands took place on 17th November 2017. This year’s ceremony celebrated the First Lady of Republic of Rwanda, Her Excellency, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, the Founder and Chairperson of Imbuto Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the development of a healthy, educated and prosperous society in Rwanda and beyond. She was honored with “African Woman Personality of the year & African Heroine Awards”. The award was received by Ambassador Jean-Pierre Karabaranga, Ambassador of Rwanda to the…

EU and Canada CETA into force

Nov 20, 2017

 On the picture H. E. Sabine Nölke Ambassador of Canada. The broad Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada  already into force while waiting for the ratification. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker   welcomed this milestone in the EU’s trade policy: “This agreement encompasses everything we expect our trade policy – a tool for growth for European businesses and citizens, but also a tool to spread our values, globalization good jobs to lead and shape the rules for world trade. This trade agreement is subject to a thorough parliamentary scrutiny reflects the increased interest of the trade…

Vietnamese Community Coming Together

Nov 19, 2017

By Michael Bonté. The third edition of Vietnam little Corner  cultural and culinary event took place on 5 November at the MeetingDistrict in Nieuwegein. The Vietnamese community and their Dutch family and friends came from all over the Netherlands to this spirited function. As a special guest the Vietnamese Ambassy in the Netherlands came with a small delegation headed by H.E Ms Ngô Thi Hòa, Ambassador of Vietnam. With more than five hundred people attending the organisers Lan Anh Hoà and Theo Vrijenhoek certainly were happy with their most succesful event yet. As Theo said:” The event is very popular….

Malta’s National Day

Nov 18, 2017

Recently the Embassy of the Republic of Malta in The Hague, the Netherlands celebrated Malta’s National Day of Independence with a social event that was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps based in The Hague, Dutch government officials, business contacts as well as the Maltese community living in The Netherlands. At the opening of the reception, a video message from the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta, Hon. Carmelo Abela was presented to the guests, which message highlighted the work of Malta’s Diplomatic network especially on the EU Presidency just concluded and Climate Change…

Austria National Day 2017

Nov 18, 2017

On the picture H.E. Ambassador Heidemaria Gurer and spouse. By Roy Lie A Tjam. On a bright autumn morning,  the Embassy of Austria in The Hague organised the reception at the residence of the Austrian Ambassador, celebrating the National Day on October 26. The day brought together a number of Ambassadors representing countries from round the globe, among the endless list of ambassadors present for the occasion, China, Denmark, Israel, India, Japan, Kosovo, Albania, Georgia, Croatia, Armenia, Serbia, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and many other Diplomats. Furthermore senior representatives of the Dutch government, the municipality of The Hague, local and foreign companies, and guests…

ICTY receives Justice Administration Excellence Award

Nov 17, 2017

On the picture the  President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Judge Carmel Aigus. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY or Tribunal) was presented with the first Justice Administration Excellence Award by the International Institute for Justice Excellence (IIJE), launched at the Peace Palace on 14 November 2017.   During a ceremony marking the IIJE’s official launch in The Hague, which took place in the Great Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace and was attended by eminent jurists and members of the diplomatic community, the Tribunal was honoured for its significant contributions to the…

Cyprus Hosts IWC Country Morning

Nov 17, 2017

On the picture the Ambassador of Cuba H. E. Soraya Alvarez Nunez, H.E. Haifa Aissami Madah, Ambassador of Venezuela to the International Organizations, Nicos Argyrides, Second Secretary Embassy of Cyprus and H.E.  Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Abohaimed, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia. By Catherine van der Loos. Some three hundred members of the International Women’s Contact (IWC) of The Hague turned out early on Monday, November 13, for a special “Country Morning” event hosted by the Embassy of Cyprus at The Hague Marriott Hotel. Mr. Nicos Argyrides, Second Secretary of the Republic of Cyprus, presented the program on behalf of Ambassador Elpidoforos…

The Mayor of Tirana at Amsterdam International Water Week

Nov 16, 2017

On the picture Mr. Redi Molla, Director of Tirana Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (UKT)]; H.E. Ms. Adia Sakiqi, Ambassador of the Republic of Albania in the Netherlands; and Mr. Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana. The Mayor of the Albanian capital Tirana, Mr. Erion Veliaj, was welcomed in the Netherlands during October 30th and 31st 2017, as a guest at the Amsterdam International Water Week (IWW).   His speech “Tirana’s smart city solutions and green infrastructure as an efficient means in tackling climate change challenges” contributed to the debate of the Resilient Cities Leaders Forum (RCLF) on how cities think…

Authentic Georgia Welcomes You

Nov 14, 2017

On the picture Dutch entrepreneur, Martijn Kanters, the Ambassador of Georgia H.E. Konstantine Surguladze, Jesper Zwart and Tornike Zirakishvili from Georgia National Tourism Organization. By Roy Lie A Tjam. On November 9, the Embassy of Georgia in the Netherlands organized the  “Authentic Georgia Welcomes You” event. According to a Georgian saying guests are a gift from God. The objective of organizing the event was to raise awareness of Georgia in the Netherlands and making the it a more popular tourist destination. The event was attended by representatives of Dutch tourism agencies and representatives of the media. For additional Kim Vermaat’s pictures,…

Michèle Coninsx, new Executive Director at UN Counter-Terrorism Directorate

Nov 12, 2017

On the picture the President of Eurojust Baroness Michèle Coninsx and H.E. Ambassador Christian Lepage, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the International organizations in The Hague. Michèle Coninsx president of Eurojust since 2012, has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General as Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate. After moving from The Hague to the New York City UN headquarters in early November, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres confirmed her appointment at the Assistant Secretary-General level. Ms. Coninsx’s resume is extensive. Ms. Coninsx began her career at Eurojust, the Judicial Cooperation Unit of the European Union, in 2001, when she served…

Diplomatic Pouch

Foreign Ministry welcomes new Ministers Zijlstra and Kaag

H.E. Ms Halbe Zijlstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs . Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag were sworn  in as members of the third government led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, October 26. At the official hand-over, the foreign ministry’s Secretary-General, Yoka Brandt, offered both ministers a warm welcome. Halbe Zijlstra succeeds Bert Koenders as foreign minister. He will have responsibility for Dutch foreign policy – which includes European affairs and international cultural policy – and will preside over the ministry as a whole. Mr Zijlstra was the leader of the parliamentary party…

Life happens outside. In the districts, in the businesses

On the picture Mr. Karsten Klein. Photography by Valerie Kuypers. Karsten Klein likes to ‘escape’ from City Hall. Visiting innovative businesses, cycling to shopping centres that are working hard on innovation and improvement, start-ups brimming with energy. But also going to see institutions and organisations doing their best to provide health care and support for The Hague’s residents. “A large part of my work is at City Hall, but life naturally happens outside. In the city. In the districts, in the business parks. In the institutions. And it’s important that I’m there too. Not just to show interest, but also…

Devolution and concentration of power go hand in hand

By Barend ter Haar. Power in Europe is moving in opposite directions. On the one hand the number of states has grown considerably. The German Democratic Republic disappeared, but more than twenty new states appeared, mostly as the result of the disintegration of the USSR and Yugoslavia. At the same time several countries have been devolving powers to their regions: in Belgium to Flanders and Wallonia; in Denmark to Greenland; in Great Britain to Scotland and in Spain to Catalonia, to mention only a few examples. Of course all these cases are different, but the general trend is clear: power…

Corneliu Pivariu. Photographer: Ionus Paraschiv.

The Middle East – a barometer for the world’s peace?

By Corneliu Pivariu. The First World War led, among others, to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and that brought with it a new configuration of the Middle East. One of the consequences of the Second World War was the collapse of the British and French colonial empires with the downsizing of France’s and Great Britain’s influence in the Middle East and, after the 1956 Suez Crisis, the USA’s and Russia’s (USSR at the time) influence became one of the important characteristics of the region. Gradually, up to the end of the Cold War, Russia (USSR) lost its key positions…

Open Letter to My Dear Muslim Arab Friends……

On the picture Ambassador Professor Dumitru Chican.  Copyright INGEPO Consulting, photographer Ionus Paraschiv. By Ambassador prof. Dumitru Chican.        As-Salamu aleikum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakātuhu, Peace be upon you I say and I say Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you, a friend of yours say whom you don’t know yet he knows you having the privilege of speaking your fascinating Arabic language through which you define yourselves, of having lived among you, at your home, with you and of having discovered you not only through the noble sense of the value called Diyāfa –the hospitality of the water…

Discover International Law

Prof. dr Willem van Genugten presenting the book during The Hague Open Doors. Photography by Annette M. R. van Kooten. On the presentation of the book “Discover International Law, with special attention for The Hague, City of Peace and Justice” during The Hague International Open Day 2017 By Prof. dr Willem van Genugten, Tilburg University. International law does belong to everybody and influences the lives of all human beings worldwide much more than one is often aware of. And while we feel that daily lives should not be ‘judicialised’ more than needed, we also think it is important to create more…

First Lady Receives Leadership Award

The First Lady of the Caribbean twin island state of Trinidadian and Tobago Reema Carmona has been conferred with the prestigious Global Female Impact Leadership Award.     By Theron Boodan/Roy Lie A Tjam. Reema Carmona, has become the first Trinidadian “First Lady” to be the recipient of the prestigious Global Female Impact Leadership Award. In fact Carmona was one of five First Ladies across the globe to have been conferred with this award in 2017. She was presented the award in New York City, while attended several meetings, including the International Conference on Gender & Sustainability, hosted by the Centre for Economic and Leadership…

Cocooning Civilian Supremacy but how?

                            Dr. Abdur Rehman Cheema, photography by Noor Muhammad. By Dr. Abdur Rehman Cheema and Samra Anwar. The power still runs through the barrel of the gun though many in Pakistan would celebrate the completion of the two democratic governments next year, how far democratic regimes have been able to secure control over affairs of the country remains in question. The Army Chief’s statement indicating the issue of rising debts and deteriorating current account balance was viewed as encroachment of the military on civilian space. Clearly, the…

The Hague and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

By Jhr Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland LL.M. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) are a new set of goals constituted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2012 and adopted by the world leaders at a UN Summit in 2015. As part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the SDG’s form the core of the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda. The SDG’s succeed the Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s) which were designed to combat all forms of poverty. The SDG’s are part of the 17 Global Goals that give direction to the world wide action for sustainable development till…

Nacarat Amsterdam

By John Dunkelgrün. As you have probably experienced, there is no shortage of restaurants in The Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam. New ones are being opened all the time, often trying to distinguish themselves by the most outlandish and inappropriate combinations of ingredients. It is rare that you’ll find a restaurant that offers a truly WOW experience with its food, its ambiance and the location. We entered through the new Hudsons Bay department store which is decorated in all brightly lit white, the design chic rather than clinical. Taking the lift up to the fifth floor, you come in a totally…

The Czech Elections – fighting for the political and cyber space

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark. The Pirate Party are buccaneering their way into European politics, having found a foothold in the testy soil of Central Europe after colonising, in small measure, various hamlets in Sweden, Germany and Iceland.  The Czech Pirates (PPCZ), a term certainly exotic by current political pedigrees, managed to obtain over 10 percent of the vote, a result that gave them a rich harvest of 22 members in the parliamentary elections. It took nine efforts, but the Czech Pirates had been edging their way onto conspicuous terrain in various local elections, including netting 5.3 percent of the total…

The European Union is a partner committed with the development (I)

By Andree Cardona. The European Union is a trade and diplomatic partner absolutely strategic for Latin America, the bilateral relations could be better and preserve. The present article will be concentrate to highlight the trade influence that the European Union represents in Central and South America. With Central America- the European Union- subscribe the Association Agreement (AA) with political, trade and international cooperation pillars since June 2012 the Agreement was signed in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; the trade pillar has begun- ratified by Central American countries- in December 2013, product of that AA, highlights the (PRAIAA in Spanish) Regional Project of Support…

Personnel: Your obligations with regard to sick employees!

By Jan Dop. Russell Advocaten is often asked by Embassies and Consulates what to do in the event of employee illness. In general, Embassies and Consulates employing local employees fall under Dutch law and are treated like any other employer in the Netherlands. Therefore, during the first two years of illness, you, as an employer, have several obligations with regard to the employee, such as: Maintaining the employment contract Continuing to pay wages of the employee Making efforts for the re-integration of the employee. Prohibition against termination of employment during an employee’s illness You are not allowed to unilaterally terminate…

‘Schindler List’ for Southeast Europe, Pakistanisation as the Final Solution for the Balkans?

By Zlatko Hadžidedić. A few days ago Observer published a column under the title Putin-Proofing the Balkans: A How-To Guide, written by John Schindler. In this article the author advocates some new geopolitical redesigns of the Balkans which are actually far from being a novelty.  These ideas represent a pale copy of the ideas recently published by Foreign Affairs in the article under the title Dysfunction in the Balkans, written by Timothy Less, a former British diplomat who served as the head of the British diplomatic office in Banja Luka, the capital of the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as…

On the upcoming international conference on Central Asia

“Registan Square” in Samarkand city, photo from Uzbekistan National News Agency – UzA. On November 10-11, 2017, international conference on ensuring safety and sustainable development in Central Asia under the auspices of the UN on “Central Asia: one past and a common future, cooperation for sustainable development and mutual prosperity” will be held in Samarkand. The forum will become one of the important practical steps on implementation of the initiatives of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, aimed at ensuring safety, socio-economic prosperity and strengthening of regional cooperation…

“Leben? oder Theater? Ein Singespiel” (“Life? or Theatre? A Musical Play”)

  A unique exposition in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam until March 25th 2018. By John Dunkelgrün. Salomon (1917-1943), perhaps the least known of the great 20th century painters has produced an absolutely unique oeuvre. It comprises some 1600 paintings and gouaches that depict her life story. Her work cannot be properly understood without knowing that life story. While many of her works show her to be very much part of the mid 20th century art scene, it is as a total story that her work has unique value. She was born into a wealthy family in Berlin. Her…