February 18, 2018

  • Tunisia: creating new perspectives.

    By H.E. Mr. Elyes Ghariani, Ambassador of Tunisia to the Kingdom of the  Netherlands. Since 2011, Tunisia is going through a radically transformative moment of its History. The Jasmine revolution has resulted in huge changes and led to the irreversible move towards the implementation of a fully-fledged secular democratic system in the country. Over the last years, Tunisia has faced a multitude of political challenges and disparities but hopefully, succeeded in overcoming these difficulties thanks to the positive commitment of all the constituency of the Tunisian Society in engaging in franc talks and dialogue and finding compromise and common ground…

  • 2017, a special year for India – Netherlands relations

    By H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The year 2017 marked 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to recognize independent India in 1947. Since then the Netherlands has been a fellow traveler encouraging us along the path of development. 2017 was a special year for India – Netherlands relations also because Foreign Minister Bert Koenders visited India in May and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Netherlands in June 2017. Investments from the Netherlands into India went up around US$ 2…

  • From the Past to the Future – Poland on 100 Anniversary of Regaining its Independence

    By H.E. Mr. Marcin Czepelak, Ambassador of Poland in The Netherlands. There is a painting hanging on the wall in the reception lounge of the Polish Embassy in the Hague. The painting (author unknown) is dated at 1597 and shows the Binnenhof and Lange Viverberg from de Plaats in the Hague. Among others, we can see a figure of Paweł Działyński, most likely first Polish envoy to the Union of Utrecht, which will later turn into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Poland and the Netherlands had a very good relation then. Initially, they were based on trade since Poland was…

  • The Slovak Republic 25 years After

    By H.E. Roman Buzek, Ambassador of Slovakia in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On the 1st of January 2018, it has been already 25 years since the amicable, well-negotiated and smooth dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic brought into existence two successor democratic states: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Many doubted whether the separation of two countries was going to be successful. Many feared the separation would bring yet another bloody conflict in the heart of Europe. But these fears proved groundless as the split was truly peaceful and friendly. Just like two siblings who grew…

  • Priorities and challenges of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council

    Main priorities and challenges of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. By H.E.  Rumen Alexandrov, Ambassador of Bulgaria in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Taking over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU is both a privilege challenge and responsibility for us. Bulgaria joined the EU 11 years ago and today it has the chance to shape the EU’s policies in key areas. For us, the Presidency is also a chance to show our partners a different side of Bulgaria:  A country in which the cohesion funds are bringing about visible change and contributing…

Diplomat Magazine productions

Read online Border Crossing October Issue Read online Diplomat Magazine Issue Read online Diplomat Magazine Issue

Diplomatic News

 US DSS John J. Sullivan jaunting through Europe 

Feb 18, 2018

Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan is traveling to Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Latvia, and Belgium from February 15-24. The Deputy Secretary will arrive in Munich on February 16 to lead the State Department delegation to the Munich Security Conference. He will participate in a nuclear security and arms control panel discussion with foreign government officials and reaffirm the United States’ commitment to global nuclear security. While in Munich, he will also hold bilateral meetings with officials from Germany and other countries. The Deputy Secretary will then travel to Rome from February 18-20, where he will meet with senior Italian officials to discuss cooperation…

Lunar New Year Vietnam Style

Feb 17, 2018

The Ambassador of Vietnam, H.E. Ms. Ngo Thi Hoa. Its new year in Asia; a dozen or so countries in the region celebrate the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. Vietnam is one of them. It’s on this occasion that H.E. Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa of Vietnam, in keeping with an old Vietnamese tradition invited colleagues and friends to come and celebrate Vietnam new year with her at the Chancellery in The Hague on February 14, 2018. A Vietnamese duo consisting of the artists Bui To Nga and Bui Thanh Hung performed folk melodies from the North, Central and South…

United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Defence Visits OPCW

Feb 16, 2018

The Hague, Netherlands — 14 February 2018 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, met with the Minister of State for Defence for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Earl Howe, yesterday during a visit to OPCW Headquarters in The Hague. Mr Howe was accompanied by the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the OPCW, H.E. Mr Peter Wilson. The Director-General and the Minister of State for Defence discussed the progress of the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), OPCW’s continuing activities in…

I Benelux-Slovenia summit 

Feb 16, 2018

Monday-Tuesday, 5-6 February 2018, Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenia: For the very first time leaders of all three Benelux countries were hosted for a multilateral summit by the Government of Slovenia. 10th Slovenian Premier Minister, H.E. Mr. Miro Cerar hosted a dinner for Luxembourgian Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Xavier Bettel and Belgian Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Didier Reynders at Ljubljana Castle before they are joined on 6 February by  Dutch Premier H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte for a working session at Podrožnik Villa on Tuesday. After lunch all four on Tuesday, strolled through the city of Ljubljana. They ended up their meetings with a supper at Strmol Mansion north of the capital. One of the topics under discussion was the implementation of…

UNESCO Director General Azoulay on maiden visit to Brussels 

Feb 16, 2018

24-25 January 2018, Brussels, Berlaymont:  UNESCO Director General Ms. Audrey Azoulay met in Brussels with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission H.E. Ms. Federica Mogherini. On the occasion of her first visit in Brussels, UNESCO Director General held a fruitful first encounter with the High Representative, aimed at discussing priority areas for further EU-UNESCO cooperation. Director General Azoulay received strong support for UNESCO’s mandate from the High Representative, stressing that the Organisation will continue to be a significant partner for the EU. In their discussion, in addition to relevant achievements in…

ICC President receives the Global Jurist of the Year 2017 Award

Feb 16, 2018

ICC President Judge Fernández de Gurmendi receives the Global Jurist of the Year 2017 Award. On 14 February 2018, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, President of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), was awarded the Global Jurist of the Year 2017 Award by the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) at a ceremony held in The Hague, Netherlands. The award is given annually to honour a sitting judge, whether in an international or national court, who has demonstrated in his or her career courage in the face of adversity to uphold and defend fundamental…

Foreign Affairs Minister Halbe Zijlstra resigns after four months

Feb 14, 2018

Mr. Halbe Zijlstra, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography by Nia Palli. By Anton Lutter. Even before the debate in the Tweede Kamer (parliament) about his so-called meeting with President Putin 2006, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Halbe Zijlstra stepped down. In an emotional declaration during a special session in parliament Mr. Zijlstra – with Prime Minister, Mark Rutte sitting next to him – acknowledged he made a big mistake. A mistake revealed by the newspaper the Volkskrant last Monday. During a party congress of the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) in May 2016, Zijlstra…

She Decides Dutch Fonds

Feb 14, 2018

She Decides funds for women in Ethiopia, Yemen, Mali, Bangladesh and Mozambique The budget that the Dutch Government allocated last year for She Decides – to preserve family planning services – has benefited women in a number of countries, including Ethiopia, Yemen, Mali, Bangladesh and Mozambique. She Decides has also supported several programmes covering multiple countries, such as the West African region as a whole. The Netherlands is spending a total of €29 million on She Decides in 2017 and 2018. In the words of Development Minister Sigrid Kaag, ‘She Decides has truly unleashed something in the field of women’s…

Celebrating 39th anniversary of Iran’s glorious revolution

Feb 13, 2018

His Excellency Dr. Alireza Jahangiri, Ambassador of Iran to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. By Roy Lie Atjam. Wassenaar 9 February 2018, H.E. Ambassador Alireza Jahangiri of Iran had invited colleagues, dignitaries and many others to join him in celebrating Iran’s 39th National Day. A hundreds-strong crowd thronged the reception venue to honor Dr Alirzea Jahangiri’s invitation. Noteworthy was the presence of a former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Laurence Jan Brinkhorst. For additional Kim Vermaat’s picture, please open the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157665711340408 Ambassador Jahangiri referred to the close cooperation between the Netherlands and Iran.The trade value has nearly tripled over…

Meet Hungary Business Annual Reception

Feb 13, 2018

His Excellency, Mr. András Kocsis, Ambassador of Hungary during his welcome speech. By Roy Lie Atjam. The Ambassador of Hungary, H.E. Mr. András Kocsis organized a Meet Hungary Business Reception at his residence on February 8, 2018. In his welcome speech, Ambassador András Kocsis applauded the increasing presence of Dutch investors in Hungary. Friesland Campina open their third shared services center in Hungary. Friesland Campina has a particular preference for Hungary. Kocsis further praised the efforts made by the Hungarian Business Network HBN in strengthening the ties between Hungary and the Netherlands. Ms. Cisca Ansem, Chair of the Board of HBN, is…

Diplomatic Pouch

Kosovo celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its Independence

On the picture Dr. Mimoza Ahmetaj. By Dr. Mimoza Ahmetaj, Former Minister of EU Integration & MP who signed the Declaration of Independence. February 17th will mark the 10th Anniversary of Kosovo’s independence with Kosovo being the youngest country in Europe and with the youngest population. Although it is a time for celebration, we should spend few moments to look back at the path we went through, the achievements and the challenges and obstacles we have gone through and think what we aim to achieve in the future. Ten years ago, on a cold freezing day of February 17, the world…

Shujjat Ali Rathore, the New Ambassador of Pakistan

H.E. Shujjat Ali Rathore, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Born on April 17, 1964 in Lahore, Pakistan Holds B.Sc. (Hons) in Marine Science from the University of Karachi Joined Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1992 Served at Headquarters as: Section Officer (Middle East), (1994-1995) Staff Officer to the Foreign Minister, (1999-2001) Director (Finance), (2007-2009) Director General (Headquarters, Finance & Special Projects) 2015-2017 Director General (Foreign Minister Office) 2017 Held various diplomatic assignments in the following Pakistan Missions abroad: Second Secretary (Political Affairs), Embassy of Pakistan, Damascus (1995-1999) Consul, Consulate of Pakistan, Birmingham…

A Global Displacement Tracking Matrix by the IOM

On the picture Mr. Martin Wyss, Chief of Mission of  International Organisation for Migration.  By Guido Lanfranchi. At the entrance of the Carlton Ambassador’s reception room, Mr. Martin Wyss, Chief of Mission of IOM in the Netherlands, personally received his guests one by one, welcoming them to the IOM The Hague New Year’s Reception. In a crowded and lively room, full of diplomats, IOM workers, and representatives of the Dutch government, Mr. Wyss addressed a wide audience, expressing his “profound gratitude to all the people working in Embassies and in the Dutch government, for the work conducted over the past year”…

The paradox of national institutes for international relations

By Barend ter Haar. International affairs by definition involve more than one nation, but think tanks that study international relations are predominantly national in character. This paradox can be easily explained by history, but it is clearly a handicap because understanding an international issue requires a good understanding of the positions of both or more sides. For a proper understanding, it is usually crucial to know not only the official positions of all the parties involved but also the underlying interests, feelings, and contradictions. It is practically impossible to analyse those underlying emotions and interests from abroad. It requires not…

The new Dutch Cabinet: profiles of Ministers and State Secretaries. Part II.

By Anton Lutter. The new Dutch cabinet has been formed by the VVD, CDA, D’66 and CU political parties under the slogan “Trust in the future”, with Mr. Mark Rutte as third time Netherlands’ Prime Minister. In part I and now part II, we introduced to the readers the new 24 Ministers and State Secretaries. Continuing our profiles of Ministers and State secretaries start with the former State Secretary of Finance in Rutte II Mr. Eric Wiebes (VVD). Mr. Wiebes will serve as Minister of Economics and the Environment. Born in Delft 1963 he earned a degree in engineering from Delft University…

Turkey and the Ottoman dream

By Corneliu Pivariu. President Tayyip Recep Erdogan declared once: “Democracy is like a taxi. One gets off of it once the destination is reached.” It seems that after becoming the AKP leader, president Erdogan got off, he and the party, of the taxi before reaching the destination. Nevertheless, no one can say that president Erdogan’s achievements are not remarkable since he won the elections in November 2002, although he had to wait until March 2003 to assume the position of prime minister. Contrary to other parties that wanted to represent political Islam in Turkey, AKP showed interest in the evolution…

Municipal council elections March 21, 2018

                            By Caroline Klaver – Bouman. In the Netherlands, elections to the municipal council take place once every four years. The next ones are on March 21, 2018. What quite a few diplomats and other expats do not know is that they can also vote in the local elections in the municipality they live in. EU citizens need to meet the same requirements as Dutch nationals, while non-EU citizens only need to have been legally resided in the Netherlands for at least 5 years. More voting details…

ASEAN Shared – the EU twin from Asia: New memories, old wounds

By Rattana Lao- Bangkok. Imagining peace is a noble concept but what does it take to achieve it? Where does peace begin? In modern-day Southeast Asia, this can trace back to the 8th of August, 1967 where five foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand joined hands to create the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or what became known as ASEAN. Diverse in nature and disperse in geography, ASEAN has achieved much within the course of fifty years. The Association has grown in size of its membership and expanded to reach ambitious mandates. In 2015, ASEAN Economic…

Safe drinking water for all Europeans

Brussels, February 1, 2018 The revised EU legislation proposed today by the European Commission will improve the quality and accessibility of drinking water and the public with better information. The right of access to essential quality services, including water, is one of the principles of the European pillar of social rights endorsed by Heads of State and Government unanimously during the Gothenburg Summit. The legislative proposal adopted today is designed to ensure that law is a response to the European citizens, “Right2Water“, where 1.6 million signatures collected to support improved access to safe drinking water for all Europeans. Moreover, this proposal seeks…

Corneliu Pivariu. Photographer: Ionus Paraschiv.

The United Arab Emirates modernizes its intelligence services

By Corneliu Pivariu. The developments in the Middle East at the beginning of the third millenium and especially after the so-called Arab spring brought to the attention of the countries of the Middle East and predominantly the Gulf ones the necessity of modernizing the intelligence services for meeting the current conditions of political, economic, social and technological developments. The civil war in Syria and the involvement of a large spectrum of interests in this country underlined once more the necessity of improving the intelligence services of the Middle East and of the Gulf area countries that wanted to play a…

Etapas del desarrollo, crisis vitales y familias migrantes 3/4

By Silvia Korenblum. Las etapas del desarrollo con sus crisis vitales son esperables para todos los individuos. Surgen desde la naturaleza misma de la biología y de la sociedad y atraviesan la estructura familiar. Adultez. Emancipación de los hijos. Nido vacío La adolescencia de los hijos coincide con la edad madura o adultez de los padres (abuelos). Crisis por los dos lados. Para dar curso a los cambios durante las transiciones en el ciclo vital de la familia, los adultos tienen que confrontar las antiguas experiencias que tuvieron, como hijos, con sus padres, y las que tienen actualmente con sus…

Our Culture…our Brand?

By Mara Lemanis.  It happens automatically. As soon as we start interacting with the world, we’re inducted into the Hall of Names and branded. We become Brands. Some will make a heated response: “Excuse me! I am not a Brand—I have a Brand. Maybe you don’t know the difference!” Do those rejoinders point out a subtle difference? What is the difference? Because if we have a Brand that we pitch and associate with our Self, aren’t we pitching Ourselves? As we hype our Self on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., in order to get attention for what we have and do–for what we ARE–suddenly…