April 27, 2017

  • Strengthening Ties Through A Progressive Trade Agenda

    By  H.E. Mrs. Sabine Nölke, Ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This is an exciting time to be a Canadian Ambassador in Europe! In February, the European Parliament voted to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada – an important milestone in efforts to move forward on the next chapter in our relationship, particularly our trading relationship. Canada’s ratification is imminent, and will result in an immediate entry into force of almost 90% of CETA’s provisions. Some might argue that CETA runs against certain currents in international relations and traditionally…

  • Human Rights Day in the Republic of South Africa: 21 March

      By H.E. Mr. Vusi Bruce Koloane Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Human Rights Day is a national day that is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. This year’s commemoration took place under the theme: “The Year of OR Tambo: Unity in action in advancing Human Rights”. President Jacob Zuma gave a key note address at the Human Rights Day celebrations which was held in Victoria Sports Ground, King Williams Town, Eastern Cape. Why Human…

  • Belgian State Visit to Denmark March 2017

    By H.E. Louise Bang Jespersen, Ambassador of Denmark to the Kingdom of Belgium. Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde paid their first State Visit to Denmark from 28-30 of March 2017. The royal couple was accompanied by an impressive Belgian delegation of ministers, academics and companies from different sectors, including sustainable solutions, logistics and health. Our countries already share a warm and constructive relationship and have a strong cooperation on many issues. We also share a common commitment to the green transition and a mutual interest in developing our societies and finding smart solutions using the newest technology for…

  • Greece and the EU celebrating a special day

    This year’s March 25th is a day to remember both for Greece and for Europe By H.E. Eleftheria Galathianaki, Ambassador of Greece to the Kingdom of Belgium.  Greece’s national day, on March 25th, commemorates the Greek Revolution for Independence (1821). In 2017, this date coincides with the 60-year anniversary of the Rome Treaty, the birth of the European Union, as well as the embodiment of its founding values of peace, liberty, democracy and solidarity. It is therefore a date of double importance for the Greek people, as we celebrate the values that we fought for two centuries ago and share…

  • Hong Kong celebrates its 20th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region

    By Shirley Lam, Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union. This is a special year for Hong Kong as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its return to China. Since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on 1 July 1997, Hong Kong continues to thrive as it enjoys the benefits of “one country, two systems”. We have benefited greatly from the vast opportunities arising from the blooming of China’s economy. At the same time, as an international city with free movement of capital, information and talents, the rule of law, a…

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Diplomatic News

One Day in Bali and Beyond

Apr 24, 2017

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in The Hague and the Stichting Banjar Suka Duka Nederland, organized a tremendous day of activities called One Day in Bali and Beyond, showcasing the rich culture of the island of Bali. The event took place on the lawns of the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Mr. I Gusti A. Wesaka Puja. The date was 15 April 2017. The program included cultural presentations- and performances of dozens of artists, followed by a lunch buffet. On particular element on the program was the ceremony of Galungan Kuningan in which…

EU Doors open to Georgia

Apr 24, 2017

H.E. Konstantine Surguladze, Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia and State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration,  H.E. Victor Dolidze. By Roy Lie A Tjam. On the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Georgia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration H.E. Victor Dolidze delivered a captivating lecture on the theme, Georgia’s European Way which was followed by the exhibition of the Dutch Photographer Thomas Vahé, Georgia through Dutchman’s Eye. The venue chosen for the event was appropriate, Het Huis van Europa (House of Europe) The…

Culture for Peace

Apr 22, 2017

 H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangaldesh to the Netherlands. On 15 April 2017, a diverse group of approximately five-hundred persons responded favorably to a call of the Embassy of the Republic of Bangladesh to come and celebrate this year’s feast of lent, the UNESCO recognized Mangal Shovajatra (new year) at Bangladesh House. For additional Hester Dijkstra’pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157682875800765 Locals and expatriate Bangladeshis have highlighted the theme of the celebration i.e. Culture for Peace through the Peace Rally. The performance of local and guest artists enthralled the audience where Deputy Mayor of the Hague Mr. Rabin…

Dutch American Friendship Day

Apr 21, 2017

On the picture Mr. Robert Kingman,  Acting USA Deputy Chief of Mission and  Mr. Jons van Dooren, President of SHAK. By John Dunkelgrün. Yearly on the 19th of April the U.S. Embassy jointly with OAR (Overseas Americans Remember) host a reception at the Residence to mark Dutch-American Friendship Day. This special day was established in 1982 by a special law HJ 410 which was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by President Reagan. The initiative for this law was taken by “Americans Overseas Remember” and the law was drafted on the kitchen table of the indefatigable Roberta Enschede, who…

Argentina’s World Malbec Day celebrations in Netherlands

Apr 19, 2017

Dutch Argentinian wines importers during the Malbec International Day 2017. By A. Rangarajan. Nearly 160 years ago Argentineans embraced a French grape variety and made it their own. Today the Malbec is an inseparable part of the Argentinean heritage. Malbec adapted well to the climate and soil of Argentina. Today one can find thriving, hardy Malbecs all over Argentina, each with its own distinct personality and charm. The grape and the wine bearing this name has now come of age, as part of Argentina’s food landscape. For additional picture, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157680756530871 Since 2011, in the month…

Galungan- Kuningan celebration

Apr 19, 2017

Ambassador I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja during the ceremony.  Galungan- Kuningan celebration at the Indonesian ambassadors residence By Anton Lutter. Ambassador H.E. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja hosted the Balinese celebration of Galungan- Kuningan at his residence last saturday. The ambassador himself from Bali, participated in the hindu prayer ceremony which was attended by balinese from all over Europe. The ancient tradition of Galungan- Kuningan symbolizes the victory of dharma over adharma, or good against evil. Afterwards a variety of cultural actvities where performed at the garden of the residence. This included traditional dance and gamelan music from Bali aswell…

EU ambassadors accredited

Apr 18, 2017

Pictured H.E. Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al Khulaifi, Ambassador of Qatar.   By Henri Estramant. State of Qatar to the EU: HE Ambassador Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al Khulaifi presented credentials as head of mission to the EU on Friday, 7 April 2017, to President Donald Tusk. Previous to this ambassadorship, he was head of mission of Qatar to Germany and non-resident to Lithuania. http://www.qatarembassy.be Republic of Chile to the EU: HE Ambassador Raúl Fernández Daza was accredited on 7 April 2017. Previously he held an ambassadorship to Haiti. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raúl_Fernández_Daza    /    http://chile.gob.cl/belgica/en/   Mongolia to the EU: HE Ambassador Od Och before coming to Brussels was permanent…

Pakistan Embassy celebrated its National Day

Apr 14, 2017

Pakistan Embassy celebrated its National Day reception at the Hilton Hotel in The Hague on 23rd March 2017. The Ambassador of Pakistan, Ms. Iffat Imran Gardezi delivered the following message on this occasion: ‘It was 77 years ago, that Muslim leaders from all over Indian Sub-Continent gathered in Lahore on 23 March 1940 in the annual session of All India Muslim League, and passed a resolution demanding the British Government at that time, to create a separate homeland for Muslims of sub-continent where they could live in accordance with their aspirations. In only seven years, the dream came through when…

Romania and Bulgaria – 10 Years EU Membership

Apr 14, 2017

On the picture H.E. Mrs. Brânduşa Predescu,  Ambassador of Romania, H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affaires and H.E.Mr. Rumen Alexandrov, Ambassador of Bulgaria. By Roy Lie A Tjam. On the bright spring morning of April 10th 2017 the Ambassador of Romania to the Netherlands, H.E. Mrs.Bert Koenders  Brânduşa Predescu, along with H.E.Mr. Rumen Alexandrov, Ambassador of Bulgaria, organized a reception. The reception was to mark Romania and Bulgaria accession to the European Union 10 years ago. Ambassador Brânduşa Predescu, observed there was a chill in the air, despite the chill she said, it was still spring and it…

Kuwait and the Netherlands Meet at Kuwait National and Liberation Day

Apr 14, 2017

H.E. Mr. Abdelouahab Bellouki, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Ambassador Shamlan Al Roomi of Kuwait and H.E. Mr. Taher Farahat, Ambassador  of the Arab Republic of Egypt. By Shirley Cottaar. Every year aside from their National Day, Kuwait also celebrates it’s Liberation Day. This official public holiday is celebrated in honor of the country’s independence from Iraq after the first Gulf War. This day is celebrated by the whole country with pride and salutation as the country was able to make a stand and run on it’s own. On 22 February 2017 H.E. Ambassador Shamlan Al Roomi of…

Diplomatic Pouch

The Treaties of Rome at 60

Commission recalls Europe’s achievements and leads discussion on the future at 27 EU leaders will come together in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which were signed on 25 March in 1957. Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, will participate in the Rome Summit, where a number of events are being organised to mark the occasion and to reflect on Europe’s common future. The Treaties of Rome – signed by the six founding Member States – paved the way for the European Union that we know today: a reunited continent of peace, founded on the values of…

Too late for half-heartedness

By Barend ter Haar. As is the tradition in the Netherlands, the elections for the House of Representatives that took place on 15 March 2017 do not only lead to a new parliament, but also to a new government. The new parliament has been installed, but the installation of a new executive will probably not take place before the summer, because the question which parties will be allowed to form a new council of ministers, the so-called Kabinet, will be the subject of intense negotiations during the coming months. The objective is to form a government that has sufficient support…

OPCW twenty years in The Hague

By Jhr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland LL.M. In April 2017 The Hague will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. The OPCW’s aims are monitoring non-proliferation of chemical weapons, collecting evidence of the destruction of chemical weapons, giving assistance and protection to all member states (almost all countries in the world) and promoting international cooperation in peaceful chemistry. The OPCW is a fully independent, autonomous international organization, with a working staff of 500, representing some 70 nationalities and has an official working relationship with the UN. OPCW has a…

The refugees from the Middle East, a postponed only problem

By Corneliu Pivariu. After the 2016 wave of refugees to Europe, the winter of 2017 and the regional geopolitical juncture, the beginning of spring marks another respite for the countries of Europe in what concerns the problem of refugees. But the winter of 2017/2018, that might make again the number of refugees decrease significantly is still far and, taking into account the evolution of the general situation in Europe and especially in the European Union, as well as the relations with the Russian Federation, but also the way the new US Administration will impact the world geopolitics (which, in our…

How to act in case of an ill employee?

By Jan Dop, employment lawyer at Russell Advocaten. Every Embassy and Consulate will at some point be confronted with ill employees. Since Dutch employment law regarding employee illness is quite complex, Russell Advocaten is often asked by Embassies and Consulates what to do in case of an ill employee. In general, Embassies and Consulates, as employers of local employees, are treated like any other employer in the Netherlands. In the following, Russell Advocaten will discuss frequently asked questions regarding employee illness in the Netherlands. How to report employee illness? Just as any other employer in the Netherlands, Embassies and Consulates…

UN et la politique de colonisation Israélienne

Par Nicolas Boeglin. La résolution 2334 (2016) du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies condamnant la politique de colonisation israélienne: brève mise en perspective. Pour la première fois depuis l´année 1980, le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies a pu adopter, le 23 décembre 2016, une résolution condamnant en des termes extrêmement fermes, les implantations israéliennes en territoire palestinien. Les projets de résolution sur celles-ci présentés pendant ces dernières decennies étaient systématiquement l´objet d´un véto nord américain, permettant ainsi aux autorités israéliennes, en toute impunité, de continuer la construction de nouvelles implantations et de procéder à la destruction de maisons habitées…

Hospitality in diplomacy

By Dr. Huub Ruël. Diplomacy is about dialogue and acknowledging the other as a partner. It is the lifeline of peaceful co-existence between nations, cities, regions, friends or foes. In today’s international order, diplomats are working hard because nationalism is spreading in many countries, beyond the nations and regions that are well-known for it. For example, the governments of countries such as Russia, China or Turkey have been feeding their citizens nationalist rhetoric via state-owned media for a long time. But recently, nationalism has been on the rise in the Western world, Europe, Australia and North America. Nationalism feeds the…

Facing the Trump Presidency – Will the Monroe doctrine finally die?

By Nicola Bilotta. Due to Donald Trump’s victory in the Presidential election this November North American foreign policy will experience radical changes. The new government creates hopes and fears. On the one hand, there is hope cooperation with Russia will be improved. On the other hand, peace dialogues with Iran are expected to worsen. However, international geopolitical equilibrium will have a different settlement. The US has always influenced South American political history due to its geographical proximity and its economic interests. So how will Latin America be affected by Trump’s foreign policy? Hilary Clinton was supposed to continue Obama’s political…

The Swiss-Italian Architectural Touch

By Mirko Zambelli, Minister, Embassy of Switzerland in the Netherlands. As a newcomer to the Netherlands, I was immediately struck by Dutch architecture (in fact, it was when I first saw the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague). This got me thinking about the Swiss architectural tradition, and how Switzerland has always been fertile ground for this art form. My country has produced several famous architects, such as Le Corbusier and, more recently, Peter Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron and Mario Botta. It has also attracted foreign big names, such as Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano and Daniel Liebeskind. To link our subject…

Turkey – Iran: any new developments in the regional context?

By Corneliu Pivariu. The relations between Turkey and Iran witnessed a tempestuous evolution during the history as a result of their many times diverging interests in the Near and the Middle East and even in Asia. However, during the last century and in spite of the competition between the two countries, peace remained a major coordinate of their relationship as the commercial and energy relations developed with some intermissions and the two cooperated regionally whenever their interests converged. The so-called Arab spring, Turkey’s participation to the missile shield and the civil war in Syria were dissenting elements between the two…

Criticism of Constitutional Amendments in Turkey

By Burak Haylamaz.   “Does presidential system enshrine in your heart?” This question was asked by foremost journalist Mehmet Ali Birand to the former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who currently holds the seat of head of state, on 05.06.2011 in the TV programme 32.Gun (32th day). Mr. Erdogan confirmed his wishes towards a presidential system but preceded his sentence by stating that he had no intent to insist, that he merely wanted to discuss it and refer to the will of people. [1] From that day on, Turkey has politically discussed the advantages and disadvantages of a presidential system in…

Corneliu Pivariu. Photographer: Ionus Paraschiv.

Battles for Raqqa and Mosul

The battles for Raqqa and Mosul in the geopolitics of the Middle East and beyond By Corneliu Pivariu. During 2016, Daesh lost about 30% of the territories controlled in Syria and Iraq. The most important fighting in the second half of last year was focused in the areas Mosul and Raqqa, so according to the Pentagon plan, the two regions must be hit simultaneously in order to stop Daesh from focusing fully on one or another. In the fights for Mosul, where the Iraqi army represents the main force against Daesh, from October 2016 to around 25 February this year,…