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

Russia celebrates Diplomats Day

Apr 13, 2017

Ambassador Alexander Shulgin and TASS correspondent, Mr. Vitaliy Chugin. By A. Rangarajan. It has been customary for Russia to celebrate the 10th of February as the Diplomat’s Day. And on this day the Russian Diplomatic Worker is honoured and Diplomats who have passed away are remembered and their services are gratefully acknowledged. This has been a tradition from 2002. In keeping with it, this year too, the Embassy of Russia in the Netherlands celebrated the occasion and a reception was hosted in their Den Haag Embassy premises. H.E Ambassador Alexander Shulgin welcomed the guests and presented a brief history of Russian…

Cyprus: Exhibition Home and Identity

Apr 11, 2017

H.E. Elpidoforos Economou, Ambassador of Cyprus. By Roy Lie A Tjam. The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in The Hague organized a reception to mark the inauguration of the art exhibition “Home& Identity” by Toula Liasi. A diverse group of people, such Ambassadors from Cuba, Greece, chargé d’affaires from Lebanon, and Uruguay; also, representatives from the Embassy of Panama, the Russian Federation and the diaspora, responded favorably to the cordial invitation to attend the inauguration of the exposition. The art exhibition is unique as it contains works by students of two high schools in Cyprus and an expose by…

ALKA Power Holding Signing ceremony

Apr 10, 2017

On the picture H.E. Ms. Iffat Imran Gardezi, Ambassador of Pakistan. By Roy Lie A Tjam. ALKA Power Holding hosted a signing ceremony for an agreement between Gale Force (Germany) and Hamilton Tools (UK) on a project for the production of joint venture vertical axis wind craft turbine in Pakistan. The ceremony took place at the Hilton Hotel The Hague on Thursday 30 March 2017 with H.E. Ms. Iffat Imran Gardezi, Ambassador of Pakistan, attending as guest of honour. Another dignitary witnessing the signing ceremony was The Hon. Mr. Buddenbaum, State Secretary of Top Sector Energy, of Pakistan. For additional…

‘Kwibuka23’ in The Hague

Apr 9, 2017

Walk to Remember 2017 The Hague. On the picture H.E. Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga, H.E.  Mrs. Sabine Nölke, Ambassador of Canada, H.E. Ole Moesby, Ambassador of Denmark, friends of Rwanda and Rwandese diaspora in The Hague. 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi This year, Rwanda marks the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Themed “Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi – Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress”, this year’s Commemoration will be an occasion for Rwandans from all walks of life to pay tribute to the more than million innocent lives lost. For additional…

Valediction Kenyan-style

Apr 6, 2017

By Roy Lie A Tjam. Back-to-back activities were held in one day, to bid farewell to the Ambassador of Kenya, H.E Rose Makena Muchiri. It all started with a luncheon hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday 30 March 2017. For pictures during the lunch, please click here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157679021096853 Thereafter, a Ceremony of Merit was hosted by Diplomat Magazine to honor the distinguished, Ambassador Muchiri. These were concluded with a farewell reception organized by the Embassy of Kenya in the Netherlands.   For additional Kim Vermaat’s pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157682178062856 At the luncheon, the acting…

President of Argentina visits International Criminal Court

Apr 5, 2017

ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi and  Argentinian President H.E. Mauricio Macri. On 28 March 2017, H.E. Mauricio Macri, President of the Argentine Republic, visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) to meet with the President of the Court, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and the Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. President Fernández expressed the Court’s gratitude to President Macri for his visit, stating: “As a permanent court of last resort, the ICC plays a key role in global efforts to fight impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and ensure justice for victims, including through reparations…

ICC President meets with Prime Minister Abe

Apr 3, 2017

Praises Japan’s commitment to the Court On 3 April 2017, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, concluded an official visit to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government. During her visit, President Fernández met with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and thanked him for Japan’s commitment to the rule of law and its strong support of the International Criminal Court. President Fernández also met with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi, Vice Minister of Justice Hiromu Kurokawa and Prosecutor General Katsuyuki Nishikawa, and gave a lecture at the University of Tokyo, where she engaged in dialogue with experts on international law. During her meetings with government officials, the ICC President reiterated…

1st Biennial International Conference on Moderate Islam in Indonesia

Mar 31, 2017

By Anton Lutter. The 27-29 March a conference was organised by Special Branch of Nahdlatul Ulama for the Netherlands, the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Indonesia and the Vrije Universiteit in cooperation with the Indonesian Embassy at The Hague and Persatuan Pemuda Muslim se-Eropa (Indonesian Young Muslims Association in Europe), taking place in Amsterdam and The Hague. ‘Rethinking Indonesia’s Islam Nusantara’: From Local relevance to Global Significance’ was the lead theme of the conference. This conference is the first ever on this topic to be organised outside Indonesia and involved speakers and participants from many different countries. Indonesia is the…

Book Launch ‘The Art of Making Peace: Lessons Learned From Peace Treaties’

Mar 31, 2017

Pictured  Mr. Steven van Hoogstraten, Lindy Melman ( BRILL), prof. Nico Schrijver (Leiden U), judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (ICJ), Anneleen de Jong and  Otto Spijkers.   By Sheila Turabaz. The Peace Palace Library and the Carnegie Foundation organized a book launch, entitled ‘The Art of Making Peace; Lessons Learned from Peace Treaties’ on March 20 at the Peace Palace. Mr. Steven van Hoogstraten, former Director-General of the Carnegie Foundation, Professor of Public International Law at Leiden University Mr. Nico Schrijver, Mr. Otto Spijkers and Ms. Anneleen de Jong are the authors who have contributed to this book. ‘The Art of…

Diplomats Meet & Greet at Dutch AD

Mar 31, 2017

Diplomat Magazine achieved a record of 65 (sixty five) top class diplomatic events since June 23th, 2013, when it was launched by the diplomatic corps and the Mayor of The Hague at Carlton Ambassador Hotel. The most recent Diplomats Meet & Greet was successfully held at Carlton Ambassador last March 9th with an outstanding success in terms of quantity  of diplomats and heads of mission present. This time it was exclusively reserved for the diplomatic community. As the very first diplomatic magazine in the Netherland´s history, Diplomat Magazine was created with the purpose to enhance diplomat´s visibility and quality of life…

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,…