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Diplomacy MAGAZINE SPRING 2018 - ISSUE 3

FIGHTING FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS INTERVIEW WITH THE UAE AMBASSADOR HE FATEMA KHAMIS ALMAZROUEI

SPECIAL

MOGENS LYKKETOFT:

FROM FOREIGN MINISTER TO PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AMBASSADORS IN DENMARK


A PASSIONATE CAMPAIGNER FOR WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST HE Fatema Khamis Almazrouei is the first UAE ambassador to Denmark. She holds a BA in Hebrew language and literature from Ain Shams University in Egypt and completed a Master Program in comparative regional studies at the American University in Washington DC.

Fatema joined the UAE's diplomatic service in 2005. Before being posted to Denmark in 2017, she has held posts in Washington DC and Brussels.

Q

People in Denmark may not be very familiar with the UAE. Can you tell me a little of the background to how the emirates became united and when?

The UAE was conquered by Portuguese and Dutch in the 16th and 17th centuries then by the British in 19th century, due to its geo-political location. The UAE declared its independent on 3 December 1971 through the founding father HH Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan. At the outset, the UAE consisted of six emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Sharjah, Ajman, Um Al qauem, Al Fujairah) until 1972, when the emirate of Ras Al khaimah, joined the rest.

Q

How were diplomatic relations between the UAE and Denmark established? Danish historic ties to the UAE started before the independence of the UAE, and prior to its formation. Invited by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Danish archaeologists and researchers from Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus were the first to conduct excavations in UAE, Abu Dhabi specifically, between 1958-1970. The UAE has had diplomatic relations with Denmark since 1975 where HE Troels Munk served as Denmark’s first extraordinary and administrative ambassador to the UAE, and Denmark’s first official visit to the UAE was in the same year to discuss issues of mutual interest. In 1978 the Danish Embassy was established in Abu Dhabi aiming at strengthening the relations between the two countries and securing good future conditions for the Danish export market.

Q

Could you tell me a little about the Year of Zayed? The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founding father of the UAE, HH Sheikh Zayed bin

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Credit: Hasse Ferrold

That is true. I can tell you that the UAE is more than just Dubai, which I think many Danes are familiar with as a tourist destination and financial and trade hub. The UAE has a rich and diverse culture and deep history that goes back thousands of years. There used to be a trade route between Asia, India, Africa and the UAE.

Sultan Al Nayhan. In recognition, this year, the UAE will especially promote the values of tolerance, progression, environmentalism and leadership – as well as charity.

society reflected by the simplicity of their lifestyles.

Q

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said that 2018 being the Year of Zayed will mean it’s all about “tolerance”.

Q

You have been in Denmark for almost a year now. What is your impression of Denmark and the Danes? My impression is that Danes are friendly, open-minded, easygoing, helpful and trustworthy people. I do admire their sincerity at work where they are fully devoted to presenting their best, seriousness and good management. Living in a culture that is characterised by openness, transparency and equality, Danes are very aware of their rights and responsibilities. Above all, I am impressed by the non-materialistic Danish

Is there anything you think you can learn from Denmark and conversely, anything you feel that the Danes can learn from the UAE? One of the most important aspects of the Danish society is respecting time. It would be beneficial for us to be better at meeting deadlines. The Danish service levels are something for Danes to consider improving regarding quality and tempo. And they could always be better at being less conservative and show more warmth. Finally, hospitality is a concept that we claim that Arab people are, generally speaking, better at.

Q

What do you see as your main role as the UAE's ambassador in Denmark? My main role is to promote bilateral relations between the two countries on


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establishment of diplomatic relations in the early 1970s. As the economy of the UAE has developed, so has the relationship between the two countries. Denmark and the UAE have a lot of similarities and shared interests. We are both tolerant, open societies, who share the commitment to tackle global challenges that have an impact on the globe as a whole, with an increasing focus on innovation and sustainable solutions. Relations between the two countries have been highly impacted by trade relations. As the UAE economy has developed, so has the relationship with Denmark, with increased trade between the two countries resulting in a more fruitful and positive relationship. In our efforts to sustain strong economic growth and a diversified economy, Denmark can play an important role, particularly concerning technologies regarding renewable energy. Co-operation between the two countries has grown stronger over the past 10 years in particular, with Denmark opening an Embassy in the Abu Dhabi, and the UAE opening an Embassy in Copenhagen, emphasising both countries’ willingness to co-operate.

Q

As a major oil exporter, in these times of global warming and its attendant problems, how does the UAE tackle green issues? The UAE is very conscious of global warming and dedicated to fulfilling our international commitments in terms of the environment. The government of the UAE is diversifying the country’s energy mix to sustain its progress and at the same time minimize the environmental impact. A year ago, the government announced its Energy Plan 2050 which aims to reduce dioxide emissions by 70 percent, increase clean energy use by 50 percent and improve energy efficiency by 40 percent by 2050. To meet these goals, the country is investing heavily in its energy infrastructure sectors to diversify our energy mix, to incorporate renewables in a profitable, sustainable manner and to meet the UAE’s demand for electricity. The goal of the 2050 energy mix is to utilize 44 percent renewable, 38 percent gas, 12 percent clean fossil and 6 percent nuclear energy.

all levels, and also to strengthen cultural and social relations and understanding between our peoples. For example, by promoting tourism. Our mutual relations have shown great progress in recent years; many Danish companies started to operate their businesses in the UAE and around 3,000 Danes work and live permanently in the UAE. We are very happy with this development.

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How do you co-operate with Denmark on the international stage? I believe our co-operation on the international stage is promising. For example, we co-operate closely to face the challenges of climate change, and globalization and the threat of extremism and terrorism. Denmark is a pivotal voice in the world for reducing CO2 emissions and a leading country in producing environmental friendly and innovative technologies. The UAE is also worried about climate change. We have started to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel and are shifting to clean energy. Denmark is our partner in this field, and we want to use Danish expertise and technology. The UAE is also partner with Denmark in the fight against terrorism, and both countries joined the International Coalition against the terrorist group IS in Iraq and Syria. We also co-operate closely in international institutions and at United Nations levels.

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In a relatively short time the Emirates have grown into one of the world's economic powerhouses. How is that reflected in your relations with Denmark? Denmark and the UAE have had a friendly relationship since the

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The integration of renewable, nuclear and clean fossil energy is planned to be funded with investment of 980 billion kroner (Dh600 billion) over the next 32 years, equating to an annual spend of more than 28 billion kroner (Dh17 billion). The UAE enjoys one of the highest rates of sun exposure in the world, which is why investments will be made in solar energy in particular. Many renewable energy projects have already been implemented, such as the Shams 1 project, which at its launch in 2013 was the world's largest concentrated solar power plant. The 3.6 billion kroner 2.5 square kilometre plant has the capacity to feed 100 MW of electricity into the national grid – enough to power 20,000 homes and divert 175,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from the atmosphere.

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What are the main exports from UAE to Denmark – and what do you import? In the last decade the UAE's exports have diversified away from petroleum to focus on more sustainable commodities. Today a big part of our exports to Denmark includes machinery, manufactured items, aluminium and metals, transport equipment, ceramics and foodstuffs. Of all the countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the UAE is the third-biggest export market for Danish companies. The major part of the imports from Denmark consists of industrial machinery such as equipment for green technology, medical and pharmaceutical medicaments, IT and telecommunication technologies as well as dairy products.


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Q

I know that you are a passionate campaigner for women's rights in the Middle East. How has your role as ambassador helped to further this agenda? That is true, deep gratitude to people who inspired my life, namely: the 'Mother of the emirates', Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi, my grandfather and my mother who played a major role in shaping my personality. Her Highness made a significant contributor by establishing the first Women’s Organization in 1976 and was active in a nationwide campaign advocating for girls' education. On the other hand, I still remember my grandfather’s words encouraging me not to be shy and to express my opinions bravely. Of course I will never forget my mother’s keenness to continue my studies and be a distinguished woman. Backed by their love The ambassador with Ulla Tørnæs, the Danish minister for development co-operation and support, I opened the door for my generation and initiated an active woman's role. I was the first female in my family to drive a car and study abroad. I was the first female in my country to In addition to this, women around the region are becoming more aware study Hebrew and the first female diplomatic attaché. I am also one of of their rights due to the high consumption of social media in the Arab first few UAE female ambassadors. World, which is likely to inspire them and pursue gender equality. We can Being an ambassador has given me the opportunity to speak about and put focus on gender equality in my work, and I also hope that I can serve as an inspiration and role model for girls and women across the region, to work hard for their goals.

Q

What would you like to see happen in the Middle East in this regard? The UAE is working hard to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, including gender equality, and the UAE vision for 2021 aims to encourage greater participation of women in the development of the nation, and significant steps are happening these years. At the time, the current UAE Cabinet comprises 29 ministers of which 8 are women. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2017, the UAE ranks as the overall third in the Middle East and North Africa. The UAE’s global rank concerning literacy rate is number 1, showing the country’s dedication to ensure equal opportunities for both genders, from a young age, and our country has also improved significantly regarding wage equality for similar work. By taking crucial and important steps to ensure women’s rights in the UAE, we hope to be an inspiration for the countries around us, to pursue gender equality and strive towards equal rights between men and women.

already see developments happening, such as in Saudi Arabia for example, where no one missed the last fundamental change that allowed Saudi women to get a driving license. Also, for the first time in Egypt's history, 6 female ministers joined the new cabinet, representing nearly 20 percent of it. So overall, I am quite optimistic about the future of women’s right in the region, with many promising attitudes.

Q

I may be wrong, but my impression is that press and the media are fairly tightly controlled in the UAE. Do you see this as something that will eventually change? The UAE is the regional hub for international media, allowing satellite television networks broadcasting to the whole Arab world. Just like other nations, it has rules and regulations that cover the domestic media environment. Our government serves our nation, thus media outlets owned by the government are within the boundaries of our laws. We ensure a broad range of programs that informs the nation and serves the purpose of having the media in all aspects such as news, entertainment, sports, documentaries etc. In the UAE approximately 94 percent of the population has regular access to the internet. Internet based media platforms and social media platforms are accessible, and people use them frequently to publicise information, views, etc. There is an extremely high rate of mobile phone ownership – nearly twice as many mobile subscriptions as residents in UAE. Most users have internet-enabled smartphones, making the devices one of the most popular ways to receive news content. The UAE Constitution outlines the freedoms and rights of all citizens, prohibits torture, and protects civil liberties, including freedom of speech and press, peaceful assembly and association, and the practice of religious beliefs. By law the State is authorized to ensure that good conduct in the press and media is maintained to ensure peace and harmony among our very diverse international population and show the necessary respect for all.

Q

I know that tourism plays a big part in the UAE's economy. Do you have any personal recommendations for places to visit that you could share with our readers?

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi 6

UAE is absolutely a 'must visit' country that I can recommend to Danes and certainly on many world travellers’ lists of countries to visit.


We are determined to become one of the world’s leading tourism destinations. Today we are ranked 28th out of 184 countries in terms of the relative importance of travel and tourism’s total contribution to GDP (approximately 8 percent), and the travel and tourism industry has been earmarked as a key growth sector for the UAE as part of its ambitious economic diversification policy.

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Of course, the growth in this sector generates more job opportunities, and the key beneficiaries are hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services. Travel and tourism directly support 330,000 jobs in UAE. Leading tourism in the UAE is Dubai, which aims to attract 20 million arrivals by 2020. In UAE, Dubai will host the World Expo in 2020, marking the first time the famous event has been staged in the Middle East. UAE has a lot of sun and beautiful beaches and public parks, so in the cold and dark Danish winters here in Northern Europe we highly recommend taking a vacation in UAE where tourists can enjoy the sun, beaches and cuisines from all over the world – as well as good nightlife. The UAE has a lot of choices for enjoying recreational sites, with private and public beaches that tourists can enjoy, and the people are very open-minded and warm. Our embassy receives many queries from Danes regarding dress code and tourist behaviour from people wishing to travel to the UAE. Actually, our country is no different to other western countries regarding dress code. Furthermore, the UAE has prestigious cultural opportunities for tourists to enjoy. In November 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi opened, providing tourists with great possibilities to experience internationally renowned art and exhibitions. Dubai’s newest tourist attraction is the Dubai Frame, which the largest picture frame in the world. The Frame is 150 metres tall and 93 metres wide and gives tourists the opportunity to enjoy a 360-degree view of Dubai’s skyline. Furthermore, Dubai Frame guests can experience the museum on the ground floor, which showcases the development of Dubai from fishing village to metropolis. Finally, the Emirates is also a country with great architectural sites to visit such as Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi, great shopping venues such as Dubai Mall and adventure for families such as Aquaventure, Wild Wadi water parks and safari Desert 4X4 – as well as a lot of historical and heritage sightseeing tours.

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MOGENS LYKKETOFT—

CARING FOR PEOPLE AS WELL AS POLITICS Since his student days, Mogens Lykketoft has been involved with Socialdemokratiet (the Social Democrats). He is currently an MP and has held ministerial posts for tax, finance and foreign affairs. From October 2011 until July 2015 Lykketoft was chosen as Speaker in the Danish parliament, Folketinget, and in June 2015, he was elected President of the UN General Assembly.

MOGENS LYKKETOFT SPOKE TO THE CPH POST:

Q

When you've been in the Danish parliament as long as I have, there are both ups and downs. I've been privileged to hold important positions, especially the 8 years I served as minister for finance. We made an impact by changing this country from being one of very very high unemployment to a very low one. We had a surplus both on the current account and the budget. That had not happened for decades. That's where I think I made the most important changes for the most people. Being foreign minister also offered very fascinating possibilities. I was only in the post for one year, but I learned that the difference between being finance minister and foreign minister in a small country like Denmark is that when you're finance minister, you have a great deal of influence in a very small country and when you are foreign minister, you have very little influence in the whole world!

Q

Later, you were the party's spokesperson on foreign affairs. Have you always been interested in this field? I was in politics for Socialdemokratiet as a student leader in the 60s and international issues were what I was mostly engaged in. We had the Vietnam War, the Soviet re-occupation of Czechoslovakia, the fascist coup in Greece. So it was almost a return to my youthful interests when I was offered the post of foreign minister and after that, as party leader. Later, I was the party's foreign policy spokesperson until I was elected Speaker of Parliament. It was also with that in mind that the foreign office subsequently approached me and asked whether I'd be interested in being put forward as candidate for President of the UN General Assembly.

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Q

Credit: UN/Mark Garten

You have had a long and distinguished career in Danish politics. What would you consider the high points?

You were foreign minister for almost a year from 2000 to 2001. Could you see a sharp divide pre- and post-11 September 2001?

sion, we are in danger of opening up for deep conflicts that we don't know about. That was exactly what happened.

Certainly! That was a very important and dark event that changed the priorities of foreign policy and the whole situation. What we went on to experience was that the way the world reacted under American leadership was in many ways misguided and has not been successful.

Under Anders Fogh Rasmussen's government, Denmark's foreign policy took a radical shift towards a more interventionist role in international conflicts. If you had been in office then, do you think you would have gone down the same road?

Afghanistan has now been at war for 4 decades with no clear outcome and lots of human suffering. Iraq has been torn by deep ethnic and religious conflicts since the US occupation, which was a consequence of September 11 but had nothing to do with it. Saddam Hussein was in no way involved in that act of international terrorism. He didn't possess weapons of mass destruction.

If I could have decided, we would have participated in Afghanistan but I very much doubt that I would have promoted the idea of us being in the second round in Afghanistan in Helmand Province. There has been so little success and so much loss of human life. What we learned – and we didn't really learn it from the outset – was that while we were in Helmand we were in a province that had probably never been under the control of central government. What we've seen afterwards is that when the British and Danish forces withdrew,

Q

I was one of those who argued against Danish participation in the invasion of Iraq because, as I said when we took the deci-


the Taliban advanced again. This is a tragic example of how difficult it is to manage the conflict in Afghanistan. I do think that our presence from the outset was extremely justified because the people who planned the attack on September 11 were there and they were being protected. However, the whole operation has not been a success.

Q

We've not really learnt much because we've made a mess of things in Libya as well … Maybe all of us got Libya wrong, but in hindsight it is obvious that we took a decision with very little knowledge of what the consequences would be and no willingness to stay on when the decision to bomb and destabilise that country had been taken. What we did was only to destroy the old regime and not to stabilise the country. We can all see now that this has had enormous and unmanageable consequences for Europe. Libya is a gateway for refugees and migrants and there are a lot of conflicting warlords vying for power.

Q

Do you think that there is a way we can leave Afghanistan with honour and the country stable enough to govern itself? It's hard to say. It will take a lot more effort from the Afghan Government to fight corruption and gain acceptance. The basic problem is systematic corruption that is so widespread that whatever resources we put in disappear.

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What do you regard as your greatest achievement in the foreign policy arena? In my short time as foreign minister before September 11, I was most involved in the discussions surrounding Israel and Palestine. I was also an advocate for better European co-operation. Because of the Intifada, Sharon's invasion, and the breakdown of the Camp David talks – and with them, the hope for a final agreement – Palestine was very high on the radar. I've always supported the existence and security of the State of Israel. However, I've also supported what the UN has decided numerous times – the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian State and a fair division of that territory, with Jerusalem as capital of both states. What we've seen over the years is a lessening possibility for a

Credit: Hasse Ferrold

I do know for sure that if it had been down to me, we would never have participated in the Bush invasion of Iraq – either morally or militarily.

Palestinian State and the continuing occupation. I always ask the question: “What would the inside of your head be like if you'd been under foreign occupation between 50 and 70 years?” This is underlined by the inability of the international community to insist on what has been decided many times. With the Americans giving one-sided support to Netanyahu's Government, the continued illegal settlements and the incorporation of Arab Jerusalem into the State of Israel, we have no perspective for a peaceful solution. What troubles me a lot is that we have what we've come to consider as a Western Democracy behaving more like an occupying power.

Q

How do you view developments with regard to Russia? Are we heading towards another 'cold war' or is this just fear-mongering and overstatement by the press? That is really hard to predict. What we must hope for is that at some point in the not-too-distant-future, the West and Russia will come to co-operate better so that we can avoid this vicious circle of armaments races – both nuclear and conventional. We have to defuse the conflicts – both in Ukraine and in Syria. It is extremely difficult with the attitude of President Putin and his way of understanding the world. He seems to be a 'zero sum' politician – I can only win if you lose. Unfortunately. Trump seems to have a similar world view. Everything we've done after WWII has been designed to promote the idea that politics should be a 'win-win' situation. What has happened is that this very dangerous 'zero-sum' understanding of international politics has re-emerged under Putin and Trump and historically, this has created wars.

Q

What do you see as the greatest challenges facing Denmark on the world stage at the moment?

Credit: Hasse Ferrold

It is a great challenge for Denmark to find its feet as an active partner in a stronger, rejuvenated European co-operation. For a number of reasons in the past we've had problems finding our feet. It is also very obvious that we can't identify ourselves with the present American administration. Our British friends, with whom we've been very connected in international affairs, are moving away from Europe.

Mogens Lykketoft's unveils official portrait. L-R: Pia Kjærsgaard, Mette Holm, ML and artist Roald Als

It is also a problem to formulate the right answers on the problem of refugees and migrants in the modern world. We have to understand that the people on the move are a wave that can only be met with a much greater effort in the development of Africa and by taking care of displaced persons and refugees in conflict zones. We must remember that one of the main reasons for people moving to Europe in a haphazard 9


Credit: UN/Evan Schneider

What I was able to influence through the presidency was the process of electing the new Secretary General. In the UN, I quickly came to understand that all politics is process and all process is politics. If you change the process, you may be able to change the political outcome. Previously, the secretary general had been picked at a very late hour when some of the major players met and it would preferably be a candidate that would not disturb any of them. With the support of the general membership we managed to get the Security Council to accept a new procedure where no candidate would be considered by the council before having been presented at a public hearing in the General Assembly. We also organised a discussion between the candidates on Al-Jazeera – like a Danish election – which was transmitted to 200 million people worldwide. This allowed the most qualified candidate to come to the fore. The major powers would be unable to block the appointment. We got the best person elected. Of course we don’t know if Antonio Guterres would have been elected under the old procedures, but I'm sure we underpinned the idea of the best and most competent candidate being chosen.

Mogens Lykketoft and his wife Mette Holm meet with Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit to UN headquarters way is that the supply of money for the UN's refugee work is insufficient and the UN has had to cut down operations by 40 percent in 2015. We also have to understand that at least politically, Europe is unable to receive many millions of people – that also applies to the most open countries like Germany and Sweden nowadays. On top of that, we have to understand that we need to make much greater efforts to help displaced persons in or near conflict zones. It is not only a little, but a major undertaking. It is also a matter of self-interest ...

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Q

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Will this be standard procedure in future? Yes! It will be impossible to put that particular genie back in the bottle again ... What do you remember most fondly from your time in New York?

You hear a lot about helping refugees locally, but at the same time we seem to be cutting aid funding and that doesn't seem to make sense …

There were many fascinating events, but I do remember a very short and intense meeting with President Obama where we discussed caring for refugees. I also remember meeting the Pope. Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly and I met him personally beforehand. I got a very powerful impression of this very new and very different character at the helm of the Catholic Church as a strong supporter of all we were setting out to do on climate and sustainability. He came across as a very strong personality who also gave a wonderful speech. What he tries to do is marvellous.

This is a very important point. When I was President of the UN General Assembly and Ban Ki-moon was Secretary General, we presented a UN report in Dubai on humanitarian finance. The report said that with 65 million displaced persons and 25 million of them refugees, mostly in the neighbouring countries, we need between 15 and 20 billion dollars extra to handle this – that's the gap. Is that a lot? Well, if every country in the world paid 25 cents out of every 1,000 dollars earned this would be solved! It is a lot, but would be in everybody's best interest to close that gap.

If you were given the choice of another ministerial post, which one would you choose?

How did you become President of the UN General Assembly?

It would have been fascinating to try to be prime minister also – I fought unsuccessfully for that against Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the 2005-elections. However, I have been very happy for what I have been able to do since then instead. I was more disappointed that he (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) continued than the fact that I did not get the post myself.

A lot of people in Denmark painted a picture of me as being anti-American because of my views on the conflict in Iraq and the Palestine issue. For them it was perhaps a surprise that the Obama administration and US Secretary of State John Kerry supported my candidacy. My criticism of US policy over the years very much coincided with that levelled by Obama himself! With those major players in support, we got no opposition and so we could prepare well in advance and increase our influence. I also got the strongest cabinet ever up to that time because large and small states supported my efforts. 10

Credit: UN/Mark Garten

The Danish foreign office came to me about two and a half years before I was elected and asked whether I was interested in being the Danish candidate. Denmark had never held the post before and it was thought that I had a good chance. I asked what I would actually be doing and they said that it was not only an honorary post; it had some political clout. This was partly as a result of the impatience from the UN membership with the Security Council, which had not been performing well in stabilising or stopping conflicts worldwide. There was an interest in strengthening the role of the General Assembly and it was felt that Denmark could help to do it. We had a lot of support from the Nordics, France and Germany.

Lykketoft meets with Barack Obama, the former President of the United States


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BANKERS TO THE DANISH DIPLOMATIC WORLD

Søren Klint Eller at his desk

Just like everybody else, diplomats need banking services when they arrive in a new country and Danske Bank is there to help them

You never know what the day will bring. It is new experiences all the time.

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Although most people probably are probably unaware of it, the Danske Bank group has a dedicated team consisting of around 20 specialists that exists to service the diplomatic world and expats coming to Denmark.

Q

I must admit that I was unaware of the service ...

CPH Post spoke to Søren Klint Eller, who is head of the diplomatic section at Danske Bank's international private clients division.

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When did Danske Bank start this kind of business? International Private Clients has been going for over 20 years – as has the diplomatic section. We've built it up from scratch as no other bank has this option. We can offer advice in English and we do a lot to promote the service. For example, we take part in events at International House and also the expat fair at the Copenhagen Town Hall.

We cater for ex-pats coming to Denmark and Danes abroad and then we have the diplomatic section. The diplomatic section has existed for around 25 years and most of the embassies and diplomats are customers in Danske Bank.

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Could you explain what you actually do for diplomats? Coming to a new country, one of the things you need after getting your diplomatic ID is a bank account. In a very short time, we can set diplomats up in day-to-day banking. That is probably the most important thing. Most diplomats are in Denmark for 3-5 years, so don't need the same things as average customers. It is the personal day-to-day things and a lot of my work is with the embassies. Whenever there is a problem to be handled or an obstacle to


Q

An embassy is considered national territory. Does that make any difference? No. It's the bank that is responsible to the authorities. Danske Bank has to answer the questions. This has never happened, but if for any reason someone refused to answer the questions, the worst case would be the account being temporarily blocked. However, the diplomatic community is extremely helpful and many of them are EU countries so they have voted for these regulations.

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Are you surprised that no other banks have entered the market? Perhaps it is a bit surprising but maybe it is too late, as we have the experience and have been doing it for so long. All our advisers are experts in their own way. Do you help people with their taxes as well? A lot of expats coming to Denmark don't pay ordinary Danish taxes and diplomats don't pay taxes in Denmark, but we know how to deal with the authorities. Do you still have to fill out tax forms even though you don't have to pay anything?

Head of IPC Christine Sadolin and Søren Klint Eller

be overcome, it comes across my desk. It could be getting money for salaries, or even the purchase of a new embassy. Mandates have to be changed every time new people arrive and that can happen from day to day. We also have online banking for embassies, so we train their staff to make sure that they can handle most business transactions themselves. You never know what the day will bring. It is new experiences all the time.

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You are almost available 24/7? You could say that. You can call us 24/7 but not me personally! However, as long as I'm in my office you can get hold of me although a lot of embassies say that it is hard to reach me but that is simply because I'm so busy – probably on the phone. I also often get invited to events and national days. That way, smaller issues can quickly be handled. Sometimes the informal approach works best. I can often even solve the problem on the spot.

Some people do, but nowadays it is all electronic. You still have a tax return and some expats who stay for more than 5 years will have to start paying ordinary taxes. A lot of ordinary all expats buy property so we can help them out there as well.

Q

Everything in banking seems to be going more online. Do you think your department will become obsolete? Online banking can do a lot of things but if you want to buy property or set up an account in a new country, it is difficult to do it online. We have been expanding over the years and I have great faith in the fact that we will carry on. We are getting a lot of new customers all the time. Around 90 percent of embassies are customers, so I have no fears on that count! We have a special expat team that holds 5-6 meetings per day with new customers. We get around 4,200 customers annually as international private clients and all are handled manually. On the diplomatic level, the numbers remain more or less status quo.

Q

Do the same banking rules apply to embassies and diplomats as to ordinary clients? It is the same, although there are sometimes some special rules. Our department has existed for more than 20 years, so we know how to handle things. Diplomats sometimes have special needs and they also have immunity.

Q

I was more thinking of things like money-laundering regulations ... These are exactly the same, perhaps even stricter in some cases. We have learned how to handle this delicately so that diplomats realise that it is not Danske Bank asking the questions, but worldwide regulations that we have to abide by. Diplomats are used to making foreign transactions so realise the need to provide documentation. We have a team that only takes care of diplomats so it is the same people all the time.

Q

They build up a personal relationship? Exactly! It's only three people and they are based in Aarhus. All their interviews are done over the phone.

Most of the staff of the International Private Clients section 13


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Many of the faces on these pages will be familiar to readers of CPH POST as they are foreign ambassadors to Denmark and feature regularly in Hasse Ferrold’s About Town. Many are not based in Denmark, but fulfil their ambassadorial positions from overseas

it :

sse

Belgium

Benin

Bolivia

Leo Peeters

Eusebe Agbangla

Juan Baldiviezo

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Bangladesh Muhammad Muhith

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Bulgaria

Burkina Faso Maria-Goretti Blandine Agaleoue

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Roussi Ivanov

Canada

Chile

China

Croatia

Cuba

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Emi Furuya

Flavio Tarsetti

Deng Ying

Frane Krnic

Yiliam Sardiñas

Maria Papakyriakou

Radek Pech

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AMBASSADORS BASED IN DENMARK

Estonia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Greece

Märt Volmer

Vesa Vasara

Francois Zimeray

Gigi Gigiadze

Andreas Meitzner

Efthalia Kakiopoulou

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Egypt Ayman Alkaffas

Hungary

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland

Lázló Hellebrandt

Benedikt Jónsson

Ajit Gupte

Muhammad Said

Morteza Moradian

Alaa Musa

Cliona Manahan


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Latvia

Libya

Lithuania

Toshiro Suzuki

Kaspars Ozolins

Mohamed Selim

Ginte Damusis

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Nepal

Netherlands

Niger

Yuba Nath Lamsal

Henk Swarttouw

Amadou Tcheko

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Mina Balde-Laurent

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Benedikt Wechsler

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AMBASSADORS BASED IN DENMARK

United Kingdom

United States

Venezuela

Vietnam

Dominic Schroeder

Carla Sands

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Roberto Ochoa (Stockholm)

Aloun NdombetAssamba (London)

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Jordan

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Kenya

Kosovo

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Kyrgyzstan

Basheer Zoubi (Berlin)

Dastan Yeleukenov (Berlin)

Joseph Sang (Stockholm)

Skender Xhakaliu (Berlin)

Nabeel Al Dakheel (Stockholm)

Erines Otorbaev (Berlin)

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Laos

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Christine Nkulikiyinka Antonella Benedettini Carlos Dos Anjos (Stockholm) (Home Based) (Brussels)

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AMBASSADORS - BASED OVERSEAS

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Tanzania

Togo

Tunisia

Uruguay

Vatican City

Renuka Rajapakse (Stockholm)

Ahlam Ali (Oslo)

Dora Msechu (Stockholm)

Kwami Dikenou (Berlin)

Kwami Dikenou (The Hague)

Santiago Wins (Stockholm)

Henryk Nowacki (Stockholm)

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Should you notice any omissions, out-of-date information or errors (mis-identifications, spelling etc), please don’t hesitate to contact CPH POST at ben@cphpost.dk Zambia

Zimbabwe

Edith Mutale (Stockholm)

Samuel Mhango (Stockholm)


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DIPLOMACY NEWS

DENMARK’S AMBASSADORS: BASE CONCERNS 

Norway, USA, Australia, Luxembourg, China and Austria all appointed new female ambassadors in 2017 (photos: Hasse Ferrold)

BY BEN HAMILTON Exactly a quarter of Denmark’s ambassadors posted to overseas

Some 24 ambassadors based in Stockholm are also responsible for

missions are female following the most recent reshuffle at the be-

Danish affairs, compared to just eight in Copenhagen who oversee

ginning of 2018, which included 50 changes and a net gain of two.

Swedish matters.

Denmark continues to trail its Nordic cousins, for which the aver-

The next most popular city for overseeing Danish affairs is London (20),

age is 36 percent. Finland leads the way with 44 percent, accord-

followed by Berlin (14), Brussels (10), Oslo and The Hague (3 each),

ing to 2017 figures reported by the University of Gothenburg,

Paris (2), and Helsinki and Dublin (1 each). A further three are home-

followed by Sweden (40) and Norway (33).

based.

It is well above the European average of 14 percent – a rate a long

In contrast, 11 of the ambassadors based in Denmark are responsible

way behind Oceania (25), North (25) and South America (18), and

for Norwegian affairs, while nine are responsible for Finnish matters.

Africa (17), but well clear of Asia (10) and the Middle East (6).

SIX IN, TWO OUT

MOSTLY RECIPROCAL Very few European countries oversee their Danish affairs from another

Last year saw a huge surge in the number of female ambassadors

country. In total, there are 37 European ambassadors in Denmark. In

based in Denmark. Six replaced male counterparts to represent

contrast, perhaps with an eye on emerging markets in Africa and Asia,

Australia, China, Austria, Norway, Luxembourg and the USA.

Denmark has 32 ambassadors in Europe.

In contrast, only two male ambassadors, Finland and Egypt, took

Africa (14) and Asia (20) accordingly have more Danish ambassadors

over from female incumbents. Additionally, Ghana, Burkina Faso

than their respective 11 and 15 representatives in Denmark, while the

(both after fairly long gaps) and Morocco again opted for female

Americas (7) have two fewer.

ambassadors, as did the UAE when it opened its first ever embassy

The countries with Danish ambassadors that don’t have an ambassador

in Denmark.

based in Denmark are: Ukraine, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Malaysia,

It remains to be seen whether Serbia will continue with another

Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali,

female ambassador, but as things stand at the beginning of February,

Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Colombia.

the percentage of female ambassadors has risen from 22.8 percent at

And the countries with an ambassador based in Denmark that don’t

the beginning of 2017 to 26.7 at the start of 2018.

have a Danish ambassador are: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,

The female rate is also pretty healthy outside Denmark, where

Georgia, Macedonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Niger,

32 percent of the 75 ‘Danish’ ambassadors posted in cities such as

Libya, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.

Stockholm, Brussels and London are female.

At the time of going to press, Serbia and Mexico were in between

STOCKHOLM’S STRANGLEHOLD

ambassadors.

With 107 ambassadors based in Stockholm, compared to Denmark’s 71, Oslo’s 69 and Finland’s 65, the Swedish capital is clearly the most popular Nordic city from which to oversee regional relations.

20

Publisher: CPH POST • Editor:Hans Hermansen • Journalist/ writer: Stephen gadd • Layout: All About Digital, Copenhagen Co-ordinator: Marin Milosavljevic • Info: hans@cphpost.dk, Tel: +452420 2411


AU REVOIR, HENRI:A FAREWELL TO DENMARK'S POPULAR PRINCE CONSORT From Vietnam and Algeria to Fredensborg, the late Prince Henrik lived a full and interesting life BY CHRISTIAN WENANDE Prince Henrik died in the evening of February 13 at Fredensborg Castle surrounded by his wife Queen Margrethe II and his two sons – Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

A VERY COSMOPOLITAN LIFE Born in Talence, France in 1934, Henri spent his early years in Vietnam before returning to the family estate in Le Cayrou, France in 1939.

The Royal Couple went on to have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik (1968) and Prince Joachim (1969), who eventually gave him eight grandchildren.

Until 1947, Henri attended a Jesuit school in Bordeaux before graduating from secondary school in Cahors in 1950. He then moved to Hanoi, where he studied until 1952. He returned to France to study law and political science, as well as Chinese and Vietnamese at the École Nationale des Langues Orientales. Later, he also studied oriental languages in Hong Kong and Saigon.

Henrik enjoyed spending his spare time producing his own wine on his estate in France, as well as writing poetry, some of which has been published. Like his wife, he also showed an aptitude for the visual arts – mainly in the field of sculpture. He officially retired from his Royal duties on 1 January 2016.

After serving in the military in Algeria in 195962, Henri was employed in the French foreign ministry’s Asian department, and from 196367 was a secretary at the French embassy in London.

Prince Henrik – (Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat) 1934-2018

Credit: Kongehuset

Henrik was a colourful figure who despite sometimes being trenchant in his opinions, won the hearts of the Danish people.

Credit: Kongehuset

The prince, who had recently been diagnosed as suffering from dementia, had been ill for some time. He had been transferred from city hospital Rigshospitalet to Fredensborg Castle to spend his final days in peace with his family.

Credit: Hasse Ferrold

But on 10 June 1967, he took the biggest step of his life when he married the Danish Crown Princess Margrethe II. From then on, Henri de Monzepat became known as Prince Henrik of Denmark and over the years, his adopted countrymen took him into their hearts.

Credit: Hasse Ferrold

INTO DANISH HEARTS

21


NEW ON THE SCENE, OR RARELY SEEN, BEFORE HER SERENE MAJESTY

Photos: Hasse Ferrold Words: Ben Hamilton Media interest was perhaps higher than normal at the queen’s reception for the diplomatic corps at Christiansborg Palace on January 3, as US ambassador Carla Sands and French ambassador Francois Zimeray took questions on the way in. And once again the occasion gives us a chance at CPH POST to catch up with all the country’s new heads of mission, as well as catching sight of rare visits by ambassadors located elsewhere

The regulars, the queen and the Crown Prince Couple, were there, along with the majority of the country’s ambassadors who queued up to be presented to her majesty – in this case the rarely seen Djibouti ambassador Omar Said, who is based in Brussels

Among the gentleman ambassadors attending alone were three newbies – Vesa Vasara (Finland), Gigi Gigiadze (Georgia) and Uğur Kenan İpek (Turkey) – along with the rarely seen Santiago Wins (Uruguay), who is based in Stockholm

Meanwhile, while Carla Sands (USA), Fatima Kamis Al Mazrouei (UAE), Aud Kolberg (Norway) and Maria-Goretti Blandine Agaleoue (Burkina Faso) are all based here, Ahlam Ali (Sudan) is based in Oslo 22


The new Denmark-based European ambassadors in attendance included Alexander Arzoumanian (Armenia), Ms Maria Rotheiser-Scotti (Austria), Radek Pech (Czech Republic), Andreas Meitzner (Germany) and Ms Janine Finck (Luxembourg)

The new Denmark-based Asian ambassadors in attendance included Ajit Vinayak Gupte (India), Yuba Nath Lamsal (Nepal) and Zulfiqar Gardezi (Pakistan). Ms Pema Choden (Bhutan) and Nabeel Al Dakheel (Kuwait) are based in Brussels and Stockholm respectively

Also in attendance was the rarely seen Francisco Gross Hernandez-Kramer (Guatemala), who is based in Stockholm, along with news ambassadors Ayman Alkaffas (Egypt), Benjamin Dagan (Israel) and Amerley Ollennu Awua-Asamoa (Ghana) 23


IN THE NAME OF THE KING OR TRAITOR TO THE CROWN? BY CHRISTIAN WENANDE Henrik Kauffmann rose to become one of Denmark most famous diplomats.

GERMAN ROOTS Born in Frankfurt in 1888, Kauffmann was named after his German grandfather Heinrich Kauffmann, who had served with distinction in the Danish army during the wars in 1848 and 1864. In 1902, when Henrik was 14, the family moved to Denmark, where the family still enjoyed strong connections to the Danish Royal Family and where the Kauffmann name held significant sway. Henrik became a naturalised Dane at the age of 21 in 1909. Henrik studied law at the University of Copenhagen – and also made longer study jaunts to Oxford and Geneva – before becoming a volunteer at the Foreign Ministry in 1911. After that, his career really took off, and over the next decade he enjoyed a number of promotions, including his first significant position as consulate secretary in New York in 1913. After that he found himself in a number of positions as an envoy in Rome, Peking and Oslo, where he played a considerable role in solving Denmark’s strife with Norway regarding the sovereignty of an uninhabited part of east Greenland between 1931 and 33. He was also a strong promoter of Nordic co-operation.

HERO OR TRAITOR? But really, Kauffmann may have ended up as just a footnote in history had he not been posted to Washington DC in the summer of 1939 as WWII loomed on the horizon. The very day after Denmark was occupied by Germany on 9 April 1940, Kauffmann became the first Danish envoy to declare that we couldn’t receive and act on orders from an occupied Danish government. Despite this, the US government still recognised him as Denmark’s official representative. Following France’s capitulation in June 1940, the Danish Foreign Ministry once again established connections with Kauffmann, and the new foreign minister, Erik Scavenius, let him remain in Washington to maintain Denmark’s interests, which encompassed Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshizawa Kenkichi with Henrik Kauffmann in 1932

24

Greenland.


President Truman signs the North Atlantic Treaty (HK 2nd from left)

GREENLAND DRAMA After this things proceeded smoothly until 11 April 1941, when Kauffmann informed the government that he had entered into an agreement with the US concerning the establishment of US military bases on strategically-important Greenland. The government in Denmark was shocked by Kauffmann’s move as it was not only considered a major overstepping of authority,

Before retiring in 1958, Kauffmann managed to negotiate compensation for Danish shipping companies from the US for using Danish ships during the war.

'TILL DEATH US DO PART As was the case with so many of his deeds during the course of his

but also put the Danish government at odds with the German

life, even Kauffmann’s death could not avoid drama and notoriety.

occupiers, which also regarded Greenland as being of strategic

In June 1963, a 74-year-old Kauffmann was suffering from terminal

importance.

prostate cancer and was staying at Skodsborg Sanatorium – known

Scavenius considered the agreement to be void and the govern-

today as Skodsborg Spa Hotel – when his American wife Charlotte slit

ment wrote to Kauffmann on April 16 recalling him from the US. Kauffmann once again refused to return home, despite the government initiating an investigation against him and seizing his property.

his throat with a bread knife in what the police described as a ‘mercy killing’, before taking her own life with the same knife. The legendary diplomat is buried at Vedbæk Cemetery, located just north of Copenhagen.

In a message to Cordell Hull, the US Secretary of State at the time, Kauffmann wrote: “Under the circumstances, there was, to me, no doubt but that I must, in the interests of Denmark and Greenland, take this unusual step. The government in Denmark will not, as long as Denmark is occupied, be able to obtain full information as to the background and necessity for this action.”

ROLE IN FOUNDING THE UN Kauffmann continued to work for Denmark’s interests in the US, and in 1942 he joined the Allied governments’ declaration regarding the establishment of the UN. Upon Denmark’s liberation on 5 May 1945, Kauffmann was appointed minister without portfolio and officially recognised as the envoy to the US again. He was a Danish delegate at the conference in San Francisco that year regarding the founding of the UN. Eventually he was named full ambassador to the US in 1947. Returning to Denmark after the Nazi occupation (HK 2nd from left)

25


Coming Up Soon at...

BY HASSE FERROLD

ABOUT TOWN

Lovers of English-language theatre will once again be spoilt for choice this spring, starting with That Theatre’s (left) production of Caryl Churchill’s cloning drama ‘A Number’ (Feb 21-March 24). On the same day, Down the Rabbit Hole Theatre’s (centre) production of Christopher Durang’s dramedy ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ (Feb 21-March 4) is opening at House of International Theatre. And then two weeks later, Down the Rabbit Hole presents ‘The Urban Hunt’ (March 15-18), a one-performer play about the hypocrisy of meat consumption. Finally, two days later, it is the turn of Why Not Theatre (right) with Sara Stridsberg’s ‘The Art of Falling’ (April 20-May 12), a play inspired by the 1975 documentary ‘Grey Gardens’

The cherry blossom will be out in full force for the 11th edition of the Sakura Festival in Copenhagen on the weekend of April 29-30 in Langelinie Park. As well as a fair number of dignitaries, this celebration of Japanese culture attracts dignitaries, Japanese residents and many fans of its culture, including lots of attendees dressed up for cosplay. Those in attendance traditionally bring picnics to eat underneath the shade of the cherry blossom trees, but more often than not seek the cover to escape the rain

The stage is set for Vidensfestival (knowledge festival) at Dronningesalen in the Black Diamond Library on March 3, where speakers will address subjects including astronomy, architecture, literature and leadership. All profits go to the non-profit publication RÆSON

With close to 100,000 attendees last year, CPH:DOX (March 15-25) is the third largest documentary film festival in the world. With over 200 new films on the line-up, this is premiere central. Last year’s festival had 75 making their first appearance worldwide

With St Patrick’s Day (March 17) on a Saturday, this will be one of the biggest parties of the year. From the midday three-legged race to the early evening parade, the city will be bedecked in green – a national day celebration like no other

Bakken and Tivoli’s summer seasons open on March 23 and 24. Following its winter season in February, this isn’t the first time Tivoli has put out the tinsel as part of its 175-year anniversary. Bakken, too, will be open longer in 2018 following the lifting of local restrictions

It’s now over 100 years since the first Anzac Day (April 25), and this year’s commemorations at Kastellet will be the last to occur in line with the centenary of WWI in which so many servicemen from Australia and New Zealand, and many other countries, lost their lives

The fifth edition of the Copenhagen Architecture Festival (May 3-16) will once again include a program of talks, films, performances, workshops, seminars and exhibitions. Find out why architecture in Denmark is so much more than bricks and mortar

26


The timing of most Danish bank holidays depends on Easter and whether they naturally fall on a week day. Maundy Thursday (March 29) gets the spring’s account started, with Good Friday (March 30) and Easter Monday (April 2) following fast. Less than four weeks later, it is the turn of Great Prayer Day (April 27), a merger of several holy days as Denmark embraced two-day weekends. Ascension Day (Thursday May 10) tends to result in the country shutting down on the next day as well, and then Whit Monday (May 21) completes the trio. An added bonus this year are Labour Day (May 1 – centre) and Constitution Day (June 5 – right) both falling on week days, although only public workers and schools tend to get the day off

Frederiksberg City Hall will again host Africa Day on May 17 as many of the ambassadors gather to remind the world what they have to offer, from tourism and tastings to crafts and culture, as well as some show-stopping performances. Among those expected to attend will be (centre: left-right) Ivory Coast ambassador Mina Balde Laurent, the overall dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Frederiksberg mayor Jørgen Glenthøj, and Ugandan ambassador Zaake Kibedi, who is the dean of the African Diplomatic Corps

The long-established Copenhagen Beer Festival at Lokomotivværkstedet (May 31-June 2) was born out of the campaign for real ale. The Mikkeller Beer Celebration (May 11-12) at Øksnehallen reflects how beer has become more sophisticated, rivalling wine as a pairing to food

Hundreds will attend the Volunteer Fair at International House CPH on May 14. Volunteering is a great way for new arrivals to immerse themselves in the local community and even enhance their job prospects. Over 20 different volunteer organisations will be present

Industry decision-makers will gather at the DR Koncerthuset for the sixth edition of Copenhagen Fashion Summit (May 15-16). With a focus on environmental, social and ethical issues, the summit is quickly gaining a reputation as the Davos of the fashion industry

Thousands will be heading to the picturesque Ledreborg Castle (May 18-21), the home of the Holstein-Ledreborg family, for a long weekend of house and garden inspiration. The 24th annual lifestyle fair offers a chance to try dirt-track mountain biking and pony-riding

Since making its debut in 2013, CPH Stage (May 31-June 9) has quickly become Denmark’s biggest theatre festival. A fair proportion of the performers are international, coming from countries such as Syria, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, Iceland and the UK

Hamlet Live, which continues to get unbelievable feedback, will once again be returning for another threemonth run at Kronborg Castle from June 1. Guests walk the corridors of the castle, watching scenes of the play performed in the very rooms in which the play is set 27


THE INSIDE STORY

THE KOREAN RESIDENCE IN COPENHAGEN – THE HANOK TRADITION IN DENMARK

BY DOUGLAS WHITBREAD

The ambassadorial residence, situated in Hellerup, demonstrates a sophisticated approach to interior design, with both Danish and Korean influences 28

The Korean residence was established

of paper allow both light and air to travel

in Copenhagen in December 1979.The

through it. This means that in the winter

materials used to furnish the residence

the paper will retain the heat produced

were all imported from Korea. The decor is

within the building, whilst in the summer it

influenced by the ‘Hanok’ design tradition.

will provide ventilation for the property.

For example, ‘Hanji’ (translated as ‘Korean

This attention to detail sets the tone

Paper’) has been used to cover the large

for the residence and demonstrates how

drawing room windows. The paper is hand-

subtle Korean opulence is combined with

made and taken from the bark of mulberry

aesthetic qualities, devised to promote the

trees, grown and harvested in Korea.

health and well-being of both residents

Wooden slats frame the paper, which is

and visitors alike.

very strong and durable. The properties


A DANISH PEARL However, a section of the property located in the rear owes much more to Danish design heritage. ‘The meeting hall’, restored two years ago, features a wall created by famous architect Mogens Lassen (1901-1987). Born in Copenhagen, Lassen is regarded as a pioneer of functionalist design, with his work internationally acclaimed for its distinctive character and inventive style. The meeting hall demonstrates Lassen’s love of geometric shapes and vivid colours. It also displays his desire to make light flood into the spaces, as one side of the room is faced with floor length glass panels, which also provides guests with access to the garden. The room is used for a variety of different purposes, from ballet recitals to public speeches.

THE JUTLANDIA MUSEUM In the Korean Embassy building which is not far from the residence, there is an extensive museum dedicated to the

Mogens Lassen's distinctive wall

The names of the crew members of the Jutlandia and the doctors and nurses who served on her amre also recorded on large wall panels.

hospital ship Jutlandia, part of Den-

There is even a dinner-gong from the

mark's humanitarian contribution to the

ship used by Queen Margrethe II to open

Korean War.

the new Maritime Museum in Helsingør.

Here, copious numbers of photos and

The museum is open to the public at cer-

other memorabilia are on display, along

tain times but a reservation is necessary

with a reconstruction of a doctor's office

prior to visiting. Contact: jutlandiahall@

and a set of bunk beds used by nurses.

gmail.com

The Jutlandia 29


A DIPLOMATIC UPBrINGING

HIGH DIVING IN nobel CHINAprize AND MeeTing a FUTUre PROTESTING IN JAPAN winner anD learning langUages Did you accompany your parents overseas? If so, what was it like to be a CPH Post interviewed Marcus Mellbin, cph post interviewed antonio there? whose father still serves as a diplomat ■ Life asforeigner the child of a diplomat can be was engaging and fulfilling and has conI accompanied my parents to Brazil and China. I started my schooling in cascias whose father, although for his country. isolating and full of uncertainty, putting tributed to the person I've become today; China at the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB). Most the student popa strain on friendships and forcing young understanding that perhaps our approach now retired, served as a diplowere American, British, andmay South people to ulation adapt quickly to new cultural notKorean be the children. optimum The one.primary language was English. I was also taught Chinese – a skill I have sadly lost environments and languages. mat for his country. due to lack of use. what life lessons could be learned in which While countries did your parents from the being the Ichild an ambassaI made many friends from around world, didn'tofmake any lasting serve? dor? Chinese friends. We lived in the embassy compound and most of the chilBelgium (where I was born ), USA, DenLife as a son of a diplomat is a very dren I interacted with regularly were my friends from school. The Chinese mark, the Netherlands, Czech republic. privileged one – and can at times be children I met lived a very different life. superficial. One should measure one's what country prior to voicing them to Duringdid mythey stayrepresent? in China I practisedwords high diving every Saturday at avoid one ofany Portugal. China’s special sports academies. I got misinterpretation. to train alongside Fu Mingxia, one of

the youngest-ever Olympic gold medallists. what years were they active? who is the most famous person you One of the most notable things I remember from China was the rapid change Antonio’s father was Portugal’s ambassahave shaken hands with? the country underwent. Beijing became a modern in every dor to Denmark from 1986 to 1991. Meeting Queenmetropolis Mother juliana of sense

of the word. Orange-Nassau and her husband Prince Did you ever accompany your parents Bernhard – their warmth and humanity What life lessons could be learned from being the child of a diplomat? were visible during that encounter. And abroad? if so, what was it like to be a gain a certain perspective on life – in my case I gained an appreciation Life as the child of a diplomat can be isolat- foreignerYou josé ramos-Horta – at the time, his there? of the differences between cultures.approach It wasn’ttoalways easyindependence – moving never achieving in is ing and full of uncertainty, putting a strain on It was a great experience living abroad. – but the experiences I gained are priceless. Growing up in an international friendships and forcing young people to adapt I didn't feel like a foreigner, yet naturally East Timor through non-violence and the environment doesand not lifestyles, leave room forpeople's prejudices. If you want towas flourish, you self-determination inspiraabsorbed different cultures Marcus Mellbin

quickly to new cultural environments and languages.

life as a son of a My father, Franz-Michael Skjold has served in Germany, diplomat isMellbin, a very Brazil, China, Afghanistan, and Japan. privileged one – What country did he represent? andDenmark canforat He represented mosttimes of his career (1985-2013). In 2013, he joined the European External Action Service and was be superficial. appointed European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for In which countries did your father serve?

Afghanistan and Pakistan. What years was he active? My parents were stationed in Bonn from 1988-1991. Brazil was a short deployment, which lasted less than a year (1992). We moved to China in 1994 shortly after my brother, Victor, was born. We lived there until the summer of 1999, after which we returned to Denmark. In 2007 my father was appointed the first Danish ambassador to Afghanistan, where he stayed for a one year term. After that, he was appointed the ambassador to Japan, where he served until 2011. In 2013 he was appointed EUSR for Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he has served since. How old were you when your parent or parents were diplomats? I was born in 1989 while my parents were stationed in Bonn. 30 30

Graduating from the English college in Prague

tional. Later, he was awarded the Nobel with respect forkeep the views voiced. Learnmust an open mind. Peace Prize. ing the basics of the local languages and Travelling abroad at a young age gives children some unique experiences but making friends of diverse background it can be very taxing on them. Every time you move, your children must build a new social network – new country, new school, new friends. Your parents can make all the difference in the world – mine certainly did. My father coached my football team in China, and my mother helped with school activities. For my birthday parties, all my class mates were invited. Things like this help children make friends. What is the best story you remember from your time abroad? While my father was the ambassador to Japan, he created an event to protest against nuclear proliferation. It used the slogan “Have a nice Doomsday!” I remember suggesting that the banner symbols be folded paper cranes; a reference to the story of Sadako Sasaki, who was one of the hibakusha or “bomb-affected people”. The symbol was adopted and in the early hours of 6 August 2009, a large group of supporters ascended Mt. Fuji. At 8:15 (the time at which the bomb was dropped on that day in 1945) we held a minute’s silences at the summit to commemorate the victims of the Hiroshima bombing. One year later, I attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Service with my father, where we also folded paper cranes. Thereafter we visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which we almost had entirely for ourselves, as the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, was also touring the museum after the ceremony.


DIPLOMACY magazine, there are 171 countries on the diplomatic list in Denmark. Of these, 74 have embassies in the Copenhagen area.

The centre pages of our supplement are devoted to a comprehensive list of these – together with photographs of each ambassador. This also includes ambassadors stationed in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.


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Diplomacy, Issue 3: CPH POST Supplement, Spring 2018  

Diplomacy, Issue 3: CPH POST Supplement, Spring 2018  

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