February 23, 2019

The Smiling Coast of Africa Welcomes you for Christmas

  By H.E. Ms Teneng Mba Jaiteh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of The Islamic Republic of The Gambia to The Kingdom of Belgium and Mission to the EU with concurrent accreditation to The Kingdom of The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Fondly referred to as the Smiling Coast of Africa, The Republic of The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa. Upon gaining independence from Britain in 1965, the country quickly established itself strongly in the West African sub-region as a haven of peace and stability. As a newly independent nation and a member of the Non-Aligned Movement,…

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Parliamentary diplomacy as a significant cornerstone of (further) democratisation

By Khadija Arib, President of the House of Representatives of the States General. Before her appointment as President of the House of Representatives in January 2016, Khadija Arib served as an MP for 18 years and spent many years as a member of the Council of Europe. In this capacity, she worked as an election observer on numerous occasions, including in Indonesia, the Palestinian territories and Morocco. ‘I was moved by how eager people are to exercise their democratic right to vote. The Dutch parliamentary system can play a role in the democratisation, or further democratisation of these countries, with…

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Made in Azerbaijan

By His Excellency Mr Mir-Hamza Efendiyev, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Netherlands. Azerbaijan has started promoting the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand in foreign markets. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev approved the rule of defining and regulating the mechanism of paying a part of the expenditures from state budget, organizing export missions to foreign countries, exploring foreign markets and marketing activities abroad. Local companies will receive certificates and patents in foreign countries for export, research programs and projects for development of export. The energy-rich country announced its intention to develop potential mechanisms and economic growth models with a view to adapt its…

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Malta, at the presidency of the Council

By The Honorable Dr Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta. In January 2017, Malta will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time following its accession in 2004. That means we will be responsible for steering the legislative business of the most senior decision-making body of the EU, taking action on measures that will affect the lives of 500 million citizens. These include generating economic growth and jobs, ensuring financial stability, doing away with gender imbalance, creating access to new markets, combating climate change, improving access to digital goods and services, progressing…

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Algeria – Netherlands: a promising relation

By H.E. Nourredine Ayadi, Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Algeria commemorates, at the beginning of this November, a particularly important date of its contemporary History. It is indeed the first of November 1954 that the Algerian people decided to take in hand its fate and to turn over the darkest page of its long history; that of 132 years of colonization and domination. It is the day on which the Algerian people decided to make all sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, the self-giving, in order to achieve its aspiration to freedom and dignity. Almost one million and…

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Beyond COTONOU: The ACP Group of States –Re-inventing to implement Agenda 2030

By Patrick I. Gomes, Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. Cotonou, the capital of the Republic of Benin, hosted the historic event on 23 June 2000 at which the 20-year Agreement was signed between 79 developing countries of Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions and the European Union (EU). This unique international treaty in the geo-political space of four continents, referred to as the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), comprises more than fifty percent of the 193 countries of the UN with 48 from sub-Sahara Africa, 16 from the Caribbean, 15 island-states of the Pacific…

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Commonwealth family lost the Maldives

By HE Ambassador Shiaan Ahmed, Head of Mission to St James’s Court (UK), the EU, the Benelux and Nordic countries. Last week, the Commonwealth family lost another of its members – the third one in the past years. The Maldives took the extremely difficult but inevitable decision to withdraw from the organisation after 34 years of continuous and active participation. People rightfully have wondered, how come a constructive and fully engaged member such as the Maldives, has decided to separate from the Commonwealth family. Perhaps, our story offers a window into why this organisation requires fundamental reform – reform it…

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Changes that the Maidan brought in Ukraine are fundamental and irreversible

Last August the Embassy of Ukraine in The Hague hosted a festive diplomatic reception on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Independence Day of Ukraine. Among the guests of the evening were President of the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ankie Broekers-Knol, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, prominent public figures, representatives of the Ukrainian community. The evening opened with a performance of National Anthems of Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands by a born in Ukraine opera singer Gabor Balint,…

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Why Burundi has withdrawn from the Rome Treaty

By Her Excellency Vestine Nahimana, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi. Burundi ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in August 2003. By ratifying the Rome Statute, Burundi intended to join the rest of the international community to fight against impunity for specific category of crimes in the statute. Unfortunately some world powers, the project initiators of the creation of this Court who instigated others, mainly African countries to ratify the Rome Statute to the extent of using pressure, refused to ratify the Statute with the intention of protecting their potential criminals. It is an unimpeachable fact that…

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The Kingdom of the Netherlands: A Whole whose Sum is Greater than its Parts

By H.E. Ms Marvelyne Wiels, Minister Plenipotentiary of Curacao, Government of Curaçao, Ministry of General Affairs.   The Kingdom of the Netherlands has one of the most dynamic state structures of the 21st century. While sometimes explained as ‘One Kingdom, Four Countries’, its structure is far more complex than what initially meets the eye. The Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was amended in 2010, with the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, and the establishment of Curaçao and St. Maarten, which, along with Aruba, are now semi-autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Under this new statute, foreign…

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