April 22, 2018

Mayor organizes reception for Diplomatic Corps

The Mayor of The Hague, Ms Pauline Krikke.

By Roy Lie A Tjam.

Mayor Pauline Krikke of The Hague organized a reception for the Diplomatic Corps in the Netherlands. It has been the mayor’s first collective meeting with members of the corps since taking office in March 2017.

The venue was the Leiden University Campus Wijnhaven – The Hague on 23 June 2017. One university, two cities.

For additional Hester Dijkstra’s pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157686138663305

Mayor Pauline Krikke and Prof. Carel Stolker with ambassadors credited to The Netherlands attending the event.

The Rector Magnificus of Leiden University Prof. Carel Stolker delivered a speech. He was followed by the mayor of The Hague Mrs. Pauline Krikke.

In his address Prof.Carl Stolker indicated, ‘ I am very honored and proud to welcome you to this wonderful new Wijnhaven building of Leiden University, which was only opened in February this year.

H.E. Soraya Alvarez, Ambassador of Cuba, H.E. Ms. Dziunik Aghajanian, Ambassador of Armenia and the Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Mr Aviv Shir-On.

The Hague is rapidly developing into a knowledge city, and Leiden University is making an important contribution to this development.

Prof. Carel Stolker , Rector Magnificus of Leiden University.

The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs is one of Leiden University’s seven faculties and is located entirely in The Hague. This faculty is an internationally acclaimed academic knowledge hub, which studies global issues from the varied perspectives of governance, politics, law, sociology, and economics, and contributes to far-reaching socio-cultural debates with this acquired knowledge. Leiden University in The Hague provides education and research in the field of international relations and diplomacy, safety and security, liberal arts and global challenges.

Today’s meeting might be a start towards discovering the possibilities for a stronger strategic partnership between our students and the Embassies, which could naturally be advantageous to both sides.’

The next speaker was Mayor Pauline Krikke who delivered her welcome remarks.

H.E. Ms Irene Florence M. Kasyanju, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Ambassador of Viet Nam, H.E. Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa.

”Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today. And I would also like to extend a welcome on behalf of Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor for Youth, Education, the Knowledge Economy and International Affairs.

The University of Leiden Campus will be familiar ground to her. Not least because Leiden University is also closely involved in The Hague Humanity Hub, an initiative aimed at developing innovative solutions to humanitarian issues.

On the picture Ambassadors from Tanzania, Pakistan, Palestine and Cuba.

I have been Mayor of The Hague for three months now. The city which for a number of years has been entitled to include the heraldic device of ‘Peace and Justice’ in its coat of arms. That attribute granted by Queen Beatrix recognizes this city’s more than 100 years of dedication to the international law. And the many international institutions based in this city. That recognition also brings responsibilities with it. The Hague wants not only to bring the world to our city. As a city, we must also make a contribution to the world.

Not something grand or abstract. No, rather something concrete, something which is close to people. Banishing war, dismantling murderous weapons, bringing justice, standing up for freedom: in the end, all of these things affect every individual. Wherever they may be in the world. The same goes for protecting our planet. The consequences of climate change can be seen and felt by everyone.

The Ambassador of Sri – Lanka, H.E. Adam M.J. Sadiq and H.E. Saywan Barzani, Ambassador of Iraq having a good moment with the always bright and pleasant H.E. Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, Nuncio Apostolico.

I experienced that myself. As a member of the International Governing Board of the Red Cross, I visited Ethiopia. A farmer showed me around his field. It was filled with maize, growing to a remarkable height. Even taller than me. And as you can see, I am not short. It appeared to be a field of blooming maize. Until the farmer pointed out that none of the maize plants had a cob. He explained to me that for the second year in a row, his harvest was a complete failure. Why? Climate change. It made me think. I knew about the reports, of course. I have seen the figures. But it has far more of an impact when you see what huge world problems boil down to in practice. Such as a farmer with a field full of plants but no maize.

But I have also seen with my own eyes that it is precisely these people who have the greatest resilience. I saw that not only in Ethiopia but in Malawi, Indonesia and South Africa as well. In places where you would expect that people would lose heart, I often saw exactly the opposite. With just a little bit of help people can manage to overcome setbacks. And build up a new life for themselves. And that is precisely what we should be encouraging.

Mr Boris Zhilko, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Russia, H.E. Saywan Barzani, Ambassador of Iraq and the Ambassador of Indonesia, H.E. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja.

Resilience and self-reliance. Cities can play an important part in that. Almost three-quarters of the world population already live in cities. Cities have plenty of knowledge and experience in the area of local government. The knowledge we share with other cities. In Lebanon, for example, where The Hague is helping the local authorities with the reception of refugees from Syria. In August I will be visiting Lebanon to see for myself how this project is progressing. In addition to this, The Hague seeks to join international networks for cooperation. And thus to strengthen the resilience and self-reliance of municipalities. An example being the 100 Resilient Cities of The Rockefeller Foundation. Or The Global Parliament of Mayors that met for the first time last year here in this city. At the end of September, I will be attending the second meeting in Stavanger in Norway. At the same time, we are working closely with research institutes and universities to further strengthen The Hague’s position as an international academic center of expertise.

A rapidly growing number of young people from all over the world are studying here and then returning to their home country. With the knowledge that they acquired in The Hague. At this The Hague Campus of Leiden University, for example.

Ms Abir Ali, Charge d’affaires of Lebanon and the Ambassador of Georgia, H.E. Konstantine Surguladze.

Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen, The Hague has always been an open city. A city without walls. A city focused on the world. That is also why The Hague was able to become a center of international diplomacy. A city where countless people are working to create a better world. I feel privileged to be the Mayor of this city.

With your support, I am looking forward to furthering The Hague’s international mission.”

Both Mayor Krikke and Prof. Stolker took the Diplomats and other guests on a tour of the campus.


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