July 22, 2018

  • Kosovo, facing the challenges of a new country

    Hashim Thaci, President of the Republic of Kosovo. Photography by Frank Jansen. By H.E. Mr. Hashim Thaçi, President of the Republic of Kosovo. The Hague is a special place in the modern history of Kosovo. It is a place where dictator Milosevic died in jail, where he was sent after the Kosovo war. I firmly believe peace and justice are two fundamental issues for every society, in particular for those in transition. The Hague is also a place where Kosovo independence was confirmed as legal at International Court of Justice. After this Advisory Opinion in 2010, the political dialogue between…

  • Even our longest, unbroken, peaceful relationship can be improved

    Ambassador Hoekstra. Photography by Jos van Leeuwen. By H.E. Mr. Peter Hoekstra. The United States and the Netherlands have a long history of friendship and cooperation.  This began before John Adams was accepted as the official representative from the United States to the Netherlands in 1782 and even before the Dutch became the first nation to recognize our new nation with the First Salute in November of 1776.  Our joint journey started when Henry Hudson sailed to North America and the Dutch settled in those new lands. Our relationship with the Dutch is the longest, unbroken, peaceful relationship that the…

  • Tanzania Welcomes You to The Roof of Africa!

                            By H.E.  Ms. Irene Florence Mkwawa Kasyanju, Ambassador of Tanzania. Photography Ms. Nkundwe Pamela Kasyanju . Looking for a lifetime adventure? Or simply itching to scratch off yet another item from your bucket list, why not stand on top of the world’s tallest freestanding mountain? Home to 3 volcanic cones; Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro(“Kili”)is the ultimate challenge in Africa. Large enough to satisfy one’squest for a little solitude and time reconnecting with nature, Kili effortlessly attracts over 40,000 people a year, from all over the world….

  • Belgium’s Princely Mission to Argentina

    By H.E. Pablo Grinspun, Ambassador of Argentina to the Kingdom of Belgium. Belgium is one of the most open economies in the world, but the benefits from international trade are being challenged by the new world context, especially the emerging protectionism from some countries and the consequences of the Brexit vote. Therefore, the current environment in key trading partners is asking for a growing diversification of Belgium’s economy. Belgium’s economic missions chaired by HRH Princess Astrid are a unique opportunity to achieve this goal. This year, Argentina and Uruguay will be the destination of the first of the two missions that…

  • Le Ballet Royal du Cambodge, un héritage et un devoir royal

    HRH Preah Ang Machas (High Prince) Sisowath Tesso of Cambodia. Entretien avec Son Altesse Royale le Haut Prince Sisowath Tesso, Directeur du Ballet Royal du Cambodge Diplomat Magazine: Prince Tesso, la Princesse Norodom Buppha Devi et vous emmenâtes une délégation du Ballet Royal du Cambodge en Suisse et en France en mai dernier. Pourquoi est-ce que vous avez choisi ces deux pays ? Le Ballet Royal se produit régulièrement en Europe tous les 2 ou 3 ans. La France est le principal pays oùnous donnons nos représentations dans de nombreuses villes. Cette année nous nous sommes produit à Paris au Philarmonique…

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Diplomatic News

Philippines workshop on Tourism and Travel

Jul 11, 2018

H.E. Jaime Victor Ledda, Ambassador of the Philippines in the Netherlands and Mr. Cengiz Inceosman, General Manager of Turkish Airlines. By Roy Lie Atjam. The Hague, 19 June 2018. The Philippine Embassy in the Netherlands in cooperation with Turkish Airlines Inc. Amsterdam and the Philippine Department of Tourism-Frankfurt, hosted a Travel and Tourism Workshop at Hotel Des Indes. The workshop was a prelude to the 120thAnniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence reception which took place later that day at the same venue. For more Hester Dijkstra’s pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/109407424@N02/albums/72157669017836967 H.E. Jaime Victor B. Ledda welcome one and all,…

Indonesian films at SCENECS

Jul 11, 2018

H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of Indonesia at SCENECS International Debut Film Festival.  By Carl van Denzen. SCENECS International Debut Film Festival, which has been a recurring event since 2006, has been established and organized over the years thanks to the efforts of a number of volunteers, professionals, and sponsors. For additional images by Hester Dijkstra, please open the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/109407424@N02/albums/72157698463939094   The Festival “offers new directors and producers from all over the world the opportunity to show their first or second film in the cinemas,” and it has become over the years an important venue…

Farewell Alvaro Sanchez

Jul 10, 2018

By Roy Lie Atjam. Only hours before his departure, I had the honour to meet with Mr. Alvaro Sanchez, Chargé d’ Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in the Netherlands. After serving his country for one year and a half as Chargé d’ Affaires, Alvaro Sanchez has left the Netherlands for a new important assignment on the Caribbean island of Barbados, often referred to as the little Britain of the Caribbean. During his stint in the Netherlands Sanchez contributed towards exposing Venezuela culturally through several concerts by El Sistema at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He also contributed…

Bangladesh House entertains Ambassadors’ Spouse Association (ASA)

Jul 10, 2018

On the picture, Dr. Dilruba Nasrin, from Bangladesh. By Roy Lie Atjam. Wassenaar, 27th June 2018 Dr. Dilruba Nasrin spouse of Bangladesh Ambassador in the Netherlands, hosted a festive gathering for her fellow members of the Ambassadors’ Spouse Association (ASA) at Bangladesh House. For additional exceptional Hester Dijkstra’s pictures, please open the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/109407424@N02/albums/72157698444641834 The main focus of the gathering was a saree and fashion pageant as well as a presentation of various elements of the rich Bangladeshi culture, including the authentic Bengali cuisine. Dr Dilruba Nasrin is a prominent exponent when it comes to the wearing of saree….

US Head of Mission to the EU accredited

Jul 10, 2018

US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and President Donald Tusk – Picture by European Union.   Monday, 9 July 2018, Brussels: US Ambassador Gordon Sondland arrived in Brussels on 8 July 2018, and presented his credentials at the European Commission and to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk on 9 July 2018. Ambassador Sondland is the Founder and CEO of Provenance Hotels, a national owner and operator of full-service boutique “lifestyle” hotels.  Provenance and its affiliates (founded in 1985), currently own and/or operate 19 hotels in seven states and have another six hotels currently under development. Sondland, a first-generation American whose parents fled…

Rwanda celebrated Kwibohora24

Jul 9, 2018

H.E. Jean Pierre Karabaranga and his spouse Mrs. Vibviane Uwicyeza Mironko. Kwibohora24: 24th anniversary of liberation of Rwanda celebrated in the Netherlands The 24th anniversary of liberation was held under the theme “Together we prosper”. On Wednesday 4 July the Embassy of the Republic Rwanda in the Netherlands hosted the Kwibohora24 celebration with a reception and lunch at the Hilton Hotel in The Hague, in order to pay tribute to Rwandan men and women who in different ways contributed to Rwanda’s liberation. The fallen heroes paid the ultimate price during the liberation struggle. For additional Naldo Peverelli’s pictures, please open the…

German speaking foreign ministers meet in Schengen

Jul 9, 2018

Swiss, Liechtenstein’s, Luxembourgian and Austrian foreign ministers – Picture by Gouvernement grand-ducal. Tuesday, 3 July 2018, Schengen, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: German-speaking ministers of foreign affairs gathered in Schengen to discuss a common strategy for the challenges of protectionism, migration, terrorism, climate change and free trade. Only the German counterpart Heiko Maas was missing because of an internal accord in Germany to reduce the number of arriving refugees to the country. For further information: Luxembourgian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry (HE Minister Jean Asselborn): https://maee.gouvernement.lu/fr.html https://maee.gouvernement.lu/fr/actualites.gouvernement%2Bde%2Bactualites%2Btoutes_actualites%2Bcommuniques%2B2018%2B07-juillet%2B03-asselborn-schengen.html Austrian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry (HE Minister Dr. Karin Kneissel): https://www.bmeia.gv.at Helvetian Federal Department of Foreign Affairs…

US Ambassador to Belgium accredited

Jul 9, 2018

US Ambassador Ronald Gidwitz presented his credentials to His Majesty King Philippus of the Belgians – Picture by Belgian Monarchy. Wednesday, 4 July 2018, Brussels Royal Palace, Kingdom of Belgium: Timely on the 242nd Independence Day of the United States of America, Ambassador Ronald (Ron) Gidwitz presented his credentials exclusively on that day to the Belgians’ monarch, King Philippus. Ambassador Gidwitz is henceforth the 35th Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Belgium. He hails from the State of Illinois, holds a bachelor degree in Economics from Brown University, and is married to Christina…

HK Chief Executive Lam in Belgium and France

Jul 9, 2018

Mrs Lam (third left) shakes hands with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau (second left) – Picture by Brand Hong Kong. 14-19 June 2018, Europe: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Carrie Lam paid business-oriented visits to Belgium and France to strengthen links with them. She began her tour in Belgium on 14 June, where she met HM King Philippus of the Belgians at the Royal Palace, senior officials of Belgium, and of the European Commission, including the Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs…

Celebration of Africa Day 2018 in the Netherlands

Jul 8, 2018

The Ambassador of Ghana Ms. Sophia Horner-Sam, Ms. Rose J. Sumbeiywo, Chargé d’affaires du Kenya, Mr. Amokrane Mourad, Chargé d’affaires Algeria, H.E. Ms. Vestine Nahimana, Ambassador of Burundi, H.E. Mr. Jean Pierre Karabaranga, Ambassador of Rwanda, H.E.  Ms. Irene Florence Mkwawa Kasyanju, Ambassador of Tanzania, The Ambassador of Morocco, Dean of the African Group,  H.E.  Mr. Abdelouahab Bellouki  and the Ambassador of South Africa, H.E. Bruce Koloane. By Roy Lie Atjam. 22 June 2018 – The African Group of Ambassadors in the Netherlands, hosted dignitaries, the African diaspora, and many other guests to the 55th anniversary of “Africa Day”,this in commemoration…

Diplomatic Pouch

Kosovo: transition to a technological hub

By Dr. Bernard Nikaj, Head of Mission of Kosovo to the EU, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg On 17th of February Kosovo celebrated its tenth anniversary of independence. This makes Kosovo the youngest state in Europe, but as I will argue in this article, it is also the most dynamic newcomer to the European family. It is safe to bet that when anybody thinks of Kosovo today in Europe, the images of war, suffering, massive exodus as well as international intervention to build a state come to mind. Beyond these images, what has…

In the Name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful

  By H.E. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the third multilateral agreement that the current United States administration has withdrawn from. The administration has also put in jeopardy other multilateral arrangements such as NAFTA, the global trade system, and parts of the United Nations system, thus inflicting considerable damage to multilateralism, and the prospects for resolving disputes through diplomacy. The announcement on 8 May 2018 of United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA andthe unilateral and unlawful re-imposition…

The World Cup asa model for diplomacy?

By Barend ter Haar. How should nations relate to each other? By ratifying the Charter of the United Nations all nations have pledged to “live together in peace with one another as good neighbours” and not to use force “save in the common interest”, but in practice they are tempted to disregard common interests and the interests of their neighbours and to put their narrow national interest not only on the first, but also on the second and third place. In the light of that narrowmindedness, it is refreshing to look at the international football tournament that currently takes place…

Finally in Amsterdam, Coffee from Its Origin

H.E. Ms. Sahar Ghanem, Ambassador of Yemen. During the World of Coffee Amsterdam 2018, the Yemen Embassy in The Hague celebrated the first participation of Yemeni specialty coffee in international expos. It was a memorable moment as Yemeni coffee, the world birthplace of coffee cultivation, has been out of reach for years after it had dominated the world coffee trade for hundreds of years from Mokha port in Yemen – the origin of Mocha coffee. For additional pictures, please open the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/109407424@N02/albums/72157695628914102 Following the risk-taking voyage of Mokhtar to export Yemeni coffee to the USA during 2015 war…

Diplomacy in Disguise: The Politics of Sport

                            By Geovanny Vicente Romero.   The first Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece in 776 BC uniting male athletes from present-day Iberia (Spain) to the west and the Black Sea region (Turkey) to the east. The games were principally to honor religious beliefs and Zeus, the father of ancient Greek Gods. Today’s Olympic Games unite men and women from all corners of the globe, all faiths, and all walks of life. World sporting events are seen as great equalizers and a showing of national values, pride, and…

An European counter-terrorism strategy: “stronger together”

Eurojust’s President, Mr. Ladislav Hamran. By Guido Lanfranchi. In the fight again terrorism, Eurojust is at the forefront, trying to enhance European joint counter-terrorism capabilities. On June 20th, 2018, a press conference was held to report the results of the annual meeting of counter-terrorism experts from the Member States. “Together, we are stronger.” These four words could be an extreme summary of the press conference held on June 20th at the Eurojust headquarters in The Hague, just after the annual meeting of counter-terrorism experts from the Member States. The panel of speakers was composed by Ladislav Hamran (President of Eurojust…

Looking for life beyond our planet – the efforts of NASA

By Guido Lanfranchi. Is there life beyond Earth? And if there is, how can we discover it? On which planet or moon could it be? While we often consider such questions as the topic of science fiction movies and books, scientists at NASA are actually busy in finding concrete answers. On June 19th, Dr. James Green, recently appointed Chief Scientist at NASA, shared his insights about NASA’s efforts in searching forms of life in the solar system.   Making reasonable hypotheses on where to find forms of life beyond our planet, sending space probes across the solar system to collect…

Palestinian priorities

Meeting the Chief of Palestinian Mission, H.E. Ms. Rawan Sulaiman. Recently, during a lunch at the prestigious Hotel Des Indes* in The Hague, the Chief of the Palestinian Mission to the Netherlands gave us an overview of the bilateral relations with the Netherlands, the current situation in Palestine, and an update on her upcoming projects. The last year and a half in The Hague served as an important milestone in the career of H.E. Ms. Sulaiman, who began her function as Desk Officer for the Netherlands in the early 80’s. The Netherlands have been very supportive towards Palestine in different…

Dr Azizi’s Vision for Afghanistan

Peace and stability can only be achieved by an honest cooperation and commitments on the regional as well as on the international level.”  An interview with the Ambassador of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Homayoon Aziz.   By Sheila Turabaz. His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Homayoon Azizi is the new Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Netherlands, succeeding H.E.  Dr. Obaidullah Obaid. H.E. Dr. Azizi started his career as a medical doctor in 2005. He also entered into local politics that same year as a member of the Herat Provincial Council in western Afghanistan and later as chairman. In 2010…

Tatiana Delvalle: promoting and sharing Panama’s culture in the world

Tatiana Delvalle always brings Panama in her heart, wherever she goes. In this article, Ms. Delvalle talks with us about her life and duties as the spouse of H.E. Mr. Delvalle, Ambassador of Panama to the Netherlands. The Netherlands is your first destination abroad as a diplomat’s spouse. Does your experience here live up to your expectations? Life in The Hague has been wonderful, much better than anticipated. We feel very fortunate to be posted in a city that offers an incredible variety of Dutch and international experiences. We appreciate the Dutch’s open mind, joyful and straightforward character as well…

“Beyond Duty” – Stories of righteous diplomats

On the picture H.E. Aviv Shir-On, Ambassador of Israel  during his speech. By Guido Lanfranchi. The City Hall of The Hague hosted the exhibition “Beyond Duty,” in which the government of Israel paid tribute to the brave diplomats who helped Jewish families escaping the Nazi persecution.   Speakers were; H.E. Aviv Shir-On, Ambassador of Israel to the Netherlands, the Mayor of The Hague, Ms. Pauline Krikke and the Director for Multilateral Organisations and Human Rights Department, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Peter van der Vliet. When rules are unjust, is obedience a virtue? When innocent people are persecuted in…

Current developments on the Korean peninsula

                            Acting as MC Michel Kerres, from NRC newspaper, during Q&A session, at the table Remco Breuker and Peter Potman. By Guido Lanfranchi. On Tuesday May 22nd, amid the rapid and tumultuous events occurring on the Korean peninsula, a large audience gathered at the Societeit De Witte, in the very center of The Hague, to attend the seminar: “Current Developments on the Korean Peninsula.”  The event was organized thanks to a collaboration between the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Netherlands,  the Asia and Oceania…