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Silvia A. Fernández de Gurmendi, ICC President


LOOKING AHEAD Philippe Couvreur, Greffier de la Cour internationale de Justice


Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General OPCW




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Diplomat Magazine

By and for Diplomats Year 2, No 1, June 2015

First Ambassadors contributing writers, founders of Diplomat Magazine in June 2013

Publisher Editor graphic design printing

Dr. Mayelinne De Lara Roy Lie Tjam Studio Kliek, The Hague Gianotten Printed Media

Diplomatic adviser in Brussels Baron Henri Estramant

Associate Editors

Major General, Fabien Ndayishimiye, Embassy of Burundi Anna Maria Mistretta, Embassy of Italy

Junior Editor

Eugene Matos De Lara, University of Ottawa

Junior Publisher

Duke Michael of Mecklenburg, University of Leiden


Henry Arvidsson Robert Huiberts Walter Buonamassa Kim Vermaat Hester Dijkstra Photo on the cover:

Marwan Bassiouni

Stichting Diplomat Magazine is a non-profit Dutch foundation. It is the first diplomatic magazine in the Netherlands’ history, published by and for diplomats in collaboration with experts in international relations and diplomacy, the academia and dedicated volunteers from the Netherlands and overseas. A broader selection of articles and contributions can be found in our free online version at: www.diplomatmagazine.nl The editors do their best to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine. However, mistakes and omissions are, regrettably, possible. No rights may therefore be derived from the material published. All rights reserved. Nothing in this edition may be reproduced, stored in an automated database, or made public, in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, by photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher.

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The Netherlands’ very first diplomatic magazine has fast become a popular and supportive accompaniment to embassies and diplomats, international organisations and NGOs, but also to governmental and academic associations, innovative firms and a broad range of professionals involved in all aspects of international relations. In this special edition of Diplomat Magazine, we are pleased to share with you the views and insights of some of the pillars of The Hague’s international community. This great city has established itself as the Legal Capital of the world and the International City of Peace and Justice, and is now rapidly becoming a focal point for international security and cyber governance too. On this and more, we present the analysis of Bernard Bot, former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Carnegie Foundation. In addition, “The world’s legal capital: a project under construction,” by Steven van Hoogstraten, Director General of the Carnegie Foundation – Peace Palace, offers an astute view on how The Hague might go about extending and solidifying the titles for which it is renowned.

Photography by Kim Vermaat

H.E. Carlos Jose Arguello, Ambassador of Nicaragua, Dean of the Diplomatic corps H.E. Roberto Canzadilla, Ambassador of Bolivia, vice-Dean of the Diplomatic corps H.E. James Lambert, Ambassador of Canada H.E. Huynh Minh Chinh, Ambassador of Vietnam H.E. Martin Valentino, Ambassador of Malta H.E. Yasumasa Nagamine, Ambassador of Japan Dr. Eugenio Matos, Chargé d’Affairs, Embassy of the Dominican Republic

Dear readers,

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of The Hague by Canadians troops. Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague, pays tribute to the more than 15,000 people living in the city who lost their lives, around 12,000 of whom were Jewish. In the years following those tragic events, The Hague also became a city of hope and promise; no one knows better the value and meaningfulness of each life than Rabbi Shalom Awraham Soetendorp, rescued in his childhood by a Dutch couple. As a remark on the power of diplomacy, this edition also highlights the successful initiative of the MENA department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in organising a get together for all MENA countries. What is common to China, Denmark, United Arab Emirates and Hungary? An attentive read of the articles by their respective ambassadors will reveal that connectivity, innovation, renewable energy and start-up culture are shared aspirations towards which each country is working. What’s new in Diplomat Magazine? Our first article in French, at the initiative of S.E. M. Philippe Couvreur, Greffier de la Cour Internationale de Justice. M. Couvreur offers a judicious and historically-informed piece, delving into the origins of arbitrage as a means of resolving international disputes. In this special edition we celebrate the empowerment of the women of the world, adeptly represented here by the President of the International Criminal Court, Silvia A. Fernández de Gurmendi, who looks to the future in her mission to safeguard global, fair and impartial justice. We have been inspired by the profound expressions of solidarity, responsibility and vision by lady ambassadors, delivering their messages in spectacular ball gown dresses as masters of diplomacy and leadership. Before closing, I would like to extend my gratitude to our contributors: heads of international organisations, ambassadors, diplomats past and present, professors and key professionals in international relations but no less our great team of volunteer writers, photographers and international students, who, with an enormous sense of commitment, knowledge and hard work, together make Diplomat Magazine possible. Thank you to you all.

Dr. Mayelinne De Lara Publisher



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DIPLOMAT VIP Ahmet Üzümcü, OPCW Petra J.M. Smulders, MENA Ingrid van Engelshoven, The Hague Bernard Bot, Carnegie Foundation Lambert Grijns, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague Rabbi Shalom Awraham Soetendorp Michèle Coninsx, Eurojust Philippe Couvreur, CIJ Steven van Hoogstraten, Peace Palace

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DIPLOMAT Ambassadorial Orsolya Szijjártó, Hungary Chen Xu, China Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Bangladesh Vestine Nahimana, Burundi José de Bouza Serrano Ole E. Moesby, Denmark Willys Delvalle Velasco, Panama Vjosa Dobruna, Kosovo Eduardo Ibarrola – Nicolin, Mexico Abdalla Hamdan Mohammed Ahmed Alnaqbi, United Arab Emirates Carlos Herrera Rodríguez, Peru



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‘Yet it will not be easy, will not happen overnight, and most importantly, will not be possible without global cooperation and support.’



The International Criminal Court Looking ahead By Silvia A. Fernández de Gurmendi, ICC President. Photography: Marwan Bassiouni.

As the new President of the International Criminal Court I have been entrusted with the great responsibility of overseeing the proper administration of the Court and thereby helping to ensure fair and impartial justice in situations where atrocious crimes have occurred and there is no other recourse to justice.

The ICC hears cases regarding war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Its goal is to bring to justice those responsible for these crimes, and to help prevent such crimes from occurring again. Its mandate is clear, and the Court is determined to meet these goals. Yet it will not be easy, will not happen overnight, and most importantly, will not be possible without global cooperation and support. As a judicial institution, the International Criminal Court is a distinct kind of international organisation, since independence from external influence is essential to its identity and achievement of its goals. Without independence, its raison d´être is compromised. The Court and the international community share the responsibility of upholding at all times the independence of the Court, which is vital for its credibility and legitimacy.

In other words, without cooperation, the Court can neither be efficient nor effective. However, cooperation may not be forthcoming or may diminish if potential supporters lose confidence in the ability of the Court to deliver high quality justice. Both aspects - cooperation and performance - are interrelated. With respect to its performance, the proceedings of the Court are perceived as too lengthy, and not as efficient or effective as they should be. This perception must be addressed, as it poses a potential risk to our ability to gain and maintain support and cooperation. This in turn would jeopardize the ability of the Court to enhance the quality of its operations. While many delays and difficulties may derive from factors beyond the Court’s control, the Court needs to identify and address the problems that are indeed within its powers to resolve. There is, for this reason, a compelling need for the Court to undertake wide-ranging reforms to improve its operations. Important initiatives are already underway within each of the Court’s organs. The Prosecutor is implementing a new Strategic Plan adopted two years ago. The Registrar has launched a project to restructure and streamline the Registry. The Judges have embarked on a “lessons learnt” process to take stock of the Court’s judicial practice and to propose amendments to its legal texts, if needed.

‘Twelve years down the road, it is now urgent to assess results and seek to identify best practices and harmonize solutions.’ At the same time, as the ICC’s first President Judge Kirsch once said, the Court is both independent and interdependent. States and organisations have a crucial role in allowing the Court to fulfil its core mandate. Non-cooperation or lack of timely cooperation significantly affects the Court’s ability to collect evidence, protect witnesses or arrest its suspects in the situations and cases that are brought before it. Likewise, without cooperation, the Court cannot provide adequate reparations to victims and ensure awareness and understanding of its work by affected communities and society at large.

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The legal system of the Court is based on a combination of elements derived from different legal systems and traditions; thus, any amendments to its provisions should take into account the need to preserve its hybrid character. One fundamental aspect is the unprecedented role granted to victims of the crimes who may participate in the proceedings to express their views and concerns and seek reparations for the damage suffered. »


diplomatmagazine The interpretation of this unique and innovative system has raised considerable legal and management challenges, and the various ICC chambers have given different responses to problems that were raised during the first years of the Court’s existence. Twelve years down the road, it is now urgent to assess results and seek to identify best practices and harmonize solutions. In light of our past experience, I believe that, rather than piecemeal revision of individual provisions of the legal texts, it is necessary to address the proceedings in a holistic manner, with a view to diagnosing practical problems and proposing comprehensive remedies. As part of a court-wide effort to improve its operations, inter-organ discussions have also started to develop performance indicators that may serve to assess and improve the operations of the Court. It is important to develop a coherent, court-wide vision of how best to ensure high quality of justice at the ICC. This is not a simple task as there are inherent difficulties in evaluating the performance of a court, in particular an international criminal court.

‘I believe that, rather than piecemeal revision of individual provisions of the legal texts, it is necessary to address the proceedings in a holistic manner, with a view to diagnosing practical problems and proposing comprehensive remedies.’ While acknowledging these and other difficulties, we must all recognize that the challenges the Court and the international community currently face have multiplied and their nature has changed. Not too long ago, the international community wondered whether the creation of Court was at all possible and, after its inception, whether it would ever become relevant. The Court has indeed become relevant as the concept of accountability for international crimes and the importance of a justice component in the settling of conflicts are now recognised. The role of the Court in ensuring this accountability is also increasingly recognised. The central question today is whether the Court is sustainable and whether its relevance will be maintained and continue to grow in the years ahead. As said, the sustainability of the Court will require the combined efforts both of the institution itself and of the global community since both aspects - performance and cooperation are intertwined.


As the new ICC President, my priority is to contribute to the Court’s sustainability by seeking to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its performance. I trust that broad support and cooperation with its activities will be forthcoming. I also hope that States and organisations will deploy all necessary efforts to enhance the universality of the Court. While a significant number of States have now joined the ICC, the Court has not yet achieved universal participation, which is essential for the effective exercise of its global mandate. Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi took office as the President of the International Criminal Court on 11 March 2015.


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“Historically, the Netherlands has always looked outwards. In view of the country’s open economy, it is important for parliamentarians to engage in international relations.”


By Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Photography: OPCW.

Last month, the OPCW and its States Parties marked an important yet somber commemoration as it relates to our mission to rid the world of chemical weapons. On 21 April, the town of Ieper in Belgium hosted a commemorative event by the OPCW marking one hundred years since the first large-scale use of chemical weapons during World War I. Attended by nearly one hundred Ambassadors and over three hundred participants, the event called attention to the important mission of our organisation, and it reaffirmed our determination to achieve a future forever free from these terrible weapons.

OPCW and The Hague Partners in Peace

A century ago, in Flanders, chlorine gas was used as a weapon for the first time, initiating the widespread use of chemical weapons throughout World War I. That first use in fields near Ieper resulted in the death of 5,000 soldiers, with twice that number wounded by the chemical attack. The pervasiveness of chemical weapons throughout the war would leave over 90,000 dead by the end of the war, with over a million injured by such brutal weapons.

Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, the OPCW, the organisation charged with implementing the treaty, has made significant progress in realising the goal of a world free of these barbarous weapons. The Organisation has so far overseen the destruction of 87% of existing stocks of chemical weapons spanning 98% of the world’s territory and population. We anticipate that all remaining stocks will be destroyed within the next eight years.

At the historic gathering in Ieper, our 190 States Parties issued a declaration reiterating their commitment to ban the production, use and possession of chemical weapons. The “Ieper Declaration” honoured the memory of all victims of chemical warfare, and it is intended to serve as a lasting reminder of our shared commitment and firm resolve to ensure that chemical weapons are never again made or used.

‘This will be the first time that an entire class of weapons of mass destruction will have been eliminated under international verification.’

Many are not aware that some of the earliest efforts to prohibit these toxic weapons began in The Hague, well before their frequent use in World War I. Negotiated at two international peace conferences in 1899 and 1907, The Hague Conventions were formative attempts to prohibit the use of chemical weapons under international law. These initial efforts, and the 1925 Geneva Protocol, eventually led to the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international treaty that bans the use, possession and development of an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. diplomat magazine #2

This will be the first time that an entire class of weapons of mass destruction will have been eliminated under international verification. This development will certainly be a major milestone towards global peace and security. Furthermore, we hope that the remaining six countries will join the OPCW in the near future in order to achieve full universality of the Convention. As the internationally recognised city for peace and justice, The Hague is uniquely suited to host an organisation that is working to ensure a world free of chemical weapons.

During my tenure as Director-General, the OPCW has enjoyed excellent relations with the City of The Hague, especially our strong personal and professional links with Mayor Jozias van Aartsen and his team. This past month, it was a great honour to join Deputy Mayor, Ms Ingrid van Engelshoven, in Washington to showcase The Hague’s international institutions during Hague Week. Additionally, to create a lasting legacy of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the OPCW, the Organisation, in partnership with the City of The Hague, established the annual “OPCW-The Hague Award.” This award is intended to honour and recognise individuals and non-profit, nongovernmental organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to advance the goals of global chemical disarmament. And we continue to reach out to students by giving lectures and presentations on our mission, and open our doors to residents of the city on the city’s annual International Day. We cannot imagine a more fitting home for the OPCW than The Hague. As we move towards a future free from chemical weapons, we look forward to strengthening our bonds with our host city in our common pursuit of a more just and peaceful world.



MENA Ambassadors meet MFA MENA Department By Petra J.M. Smulders, MA – Senior Policy Advisor at the Middle East and North Africa Department (MENA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (MFA). Photography: Kim Vermaat.

MENA Departement’s team

‘What was true for our bilateral relations 400 years ago, is still true today: we can learn from each other and we need each other.’

For Dutch diplomats, The Hague represents more than just ‘headquarters’. Here we seem to be blessed with a variety of work and challenges. The Hague, legal capital of the world, city of peace and justice, offers many opportunities to interact with different stakeholders. Last year I was involved with the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), this year I was Liaison Officer for the Global Conference on CyberSpace (GCCS), but in day to day life I am part of the Middle East and North Africa Department (MENA). Last February MENA director, Mrs. Birgitta Tazelaar hosted a get-together with all the MENA ambassadors and their staff at Pulchri Studio. It was a significant moment to have the entire Foreign Affairs MENA department and all the MENA embassies present at the same time. The goal was to strengthen our ties and to express the importance our Ministry attaches to the MENA region, being one of the cradles of civilization and of urban culture. Three of the world’s major religions originated in the region: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Universities existed in MENA long before they did in Europe. Mrs. Tazelaar welcomed the cooperation in addressing mutual challenges such as combating ISIS as well as grasping opportunities in areas like business and education.


She referred to some of the most long-running and high-profile foreign policy issues in the world. Since 2011 the region has experienced major changes, driven by the political and economic demands of citizens of the region for more inclusive societies with a fair prospect of the future. At the same time changes are also visible in Europe. Foreign and domestic policy is becoming more intertwined. This demands new ways of thinking and working, including intensified interaction with, our esteemed colleagues from foreign missions in The Hague. Mrs Tazelaar stressed that relations with MENA countries are highly important to the Netherlands. What was true for our bilateral relations 400 years ago, is still true

today: we can learn from each other and we need each other. Therefore the diplomatic corps in The Hague and our Brussels- and London-based colleagues are invaluable to us: as the first point of contact and as our most important partners in managing relations with your countries. Mrs. Tazelaar ended her speech by thanking her staff, a small but very dedicated team. A team that I am proud of being part of.


MENA director Birgitta Tazelaar together with: 1: H.E. Dr. Alireza Jahangiri, Ambassador of Iran 2: H.E. Haim Divon, Ambassador of Israel 3: H.E. Abdulaziz A. Abohaimed, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia



The Hague international component By Ingrid van Engelshoven, Deputy Mayor of The Hague. Photography: Roos Trommelen.

On 11 June, the New Ambassadors Trade Meeting will be held for the second time this year. The venue will be the World Trade Centre The Hague, where Frans Engering is a splendid host. I consider myself fortunate to live in a city that can claim to be home to so much diplomatic talent. For example, for the next Trade Meeting, new representatives from the following countries have been invited: the Central African Republic, Colombia, Djibouti, the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Gambia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe. They presented their credentials in Noordeinde Palace. King Willem Alexander receives new ambassadors there every Wednesday. This is because The Hague is the political and administrative capital of the Netherlands, as well as being the royal residence. At the meeting in the WTC, Dutch guests will include leading directors of the WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency (WFIA), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion (NCH), the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), the International Chamber of Commerce and relevant regional trade promotion organisations, such as the Netherlands African Business Council and the Latin American Trade Board. For the invited ambassadors, this is an excellent opportunity to become quickly and efficiently acquainted with the most important people in the field of trade promotion. For the city of The Hague, it is a great way of getting to know these new ambassadors. I have been Deputy Mayor for five years now and since the elections of 2014 have been responsible for the Knowledge Economy, International, Youth and Education portfolio. The international component is new, although a wide-ranging perspective of the world is something that I learned at home as a child. My father worked for an oil

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company and regularly spent time abroad. The fact that The Hague is a city without walls is therefore something that feels familiar to me. It allows me to enjoy jogging along the tide line. I then see the sea not as the end of the world, but as the start of new horizons. I share this mentality with the readers and creators of Diplomat Magazine. I am convinced that meeting people from a different culture opens up opportunities. Of course, I will not deny that there are tensions between countries, religions and population groups. But the answer is not to retreat into your own community and close yourself off to the world. That would mean doing yourself and others an injustice. The Hague is developing at lightning speed as International City of Peace, Justice and Security. Although New York may be the headquarters of the United Nations, The Hague is not very far behind. We are home to the court of the United Nations, The International Court of Justice. In the Peace Palace, people are working to solve international issues relating to peace and justice 365 days a year. If you ask people of The Hague to name a city icon, I will wager that many will mention the Peace Palace.

The Hague is proud of its status and increasingly communicates this to the wider world. In 2014, the Nuclear Security Summit was held in the World Forum. The Catshuis is just opposite it. Our Prime Minister Mark Rutte could use it as his official residence, but it is mainly used for top-level consultations in national politics. During the NSS, the leaders of the six most powerful countries needed to consult with each other. The Hague was ready and waiting: the Catshuis was made available as a platform for the world leaders. If you wish to be a player on the world stage, you sometimes need to put yourself in others’ position and feel their needs. Of course, on the basis of your own qualities. We have found these qualities in The Hague. Increasingly, The Hague as an international city is becoming the driving force for its economic development. This realisation is beginning to penetrate the very fibres of the city. I recently heard a taxi driver talk of his pleasure in meeting international visitors at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. The taxi ride often is their first introduction to the city. The taxi driver enjoys pointing out the buildings and green areas of The Hague to guests. “It makes you a kind of ambassador for the city,” he says. He’s right, that taxi driver is also doing our city a diplomatic service.




The Peace Palace an inspiring beacon for peace and justice By Bernard Bot, Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Carnegie Foundation. Photography: Femke Schoots.

With remarkable insight the then Secretary General of the UN, Boutros Boutros Ghali coined the phrase “The Hague, legal capital of the world.” He did so during the inauguration of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1997.

and more important, of Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American entrepreneur who financed the building of the Palace. Perhaps even more significant than Carnegie’s generous financial contribution were his inspiring ideas about international arbitration and legal education. He was convinced that war could be eliminated if states would henceforth submit their conflicts to international arbitration and so best contribute to the universal desire for a better world. In fact, the Peace Palace was in the first place built towards that purpose. The Permanent Court of Arbitration meanwhile has gone through an encouraging development with an impressive load of new cases every year.

This fortunate situation was of course not created from one day to another. It was the result of a long and arduous process aimed at becoming the world center of activities in the field of international law. On August 28, 2013 we celebrated 100 years of These efforts were initiated as early as 1899 the Peace Palace, this time in the presence of during the First International Peace Conference. It was followed the Dutch King Willem Alexander and UN Secretary General Ban by a Second Peace Conference in 1907. These two Conferences led Ki-moon. This celebration once again sent a clear signal that we to the foundation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration followed will continue to work towards a world without violent conflicts by by the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) in 1922. The means of mediation, arbitration and international jurisdiction. PCIJ was also the predecessor of the International Court of Justice as we Meanwhile The Hague has know it today, installed in 1946 as demonstrated its ability to attract ‘Perhaps even more significant the principal legal organ of the UN. a great variety of international organizations and tribunals such than Carnegie’s generous financial As chairman of the Carnegie as the OPCW, Europol and Foundation which manages the Eurojust, tribunals on Yugoslavia, contribution were his inspiring ideas Peace Palace, it is a great pleasure Sierra Leone and Rwanda and even about international arbitration to inform the reader of Diplomatic more important the International Magazine about the background of Criminal Court which opened and legal education.’ the Palace and the institutions it its doors in July 2002. I should houses today. not forget to mention The Hague Conference on Private InternaThe Hague may rightly be called the legal capital of the world, for tional Law which organizes periodic meetings in the Peace Palace the average Dutchman or foreign visitor, it is the Peace Palace that between experts from all over the world. Many agreements symbolizes the embodiment of this ambition. It was inaugurated touching on subjects of everyday concern have been negotiated and on August 28, 1913 in the presence of then Queen Wilhelmina concluded here.


diplomaticevents Carnegie also was a great believer in permanent education and insisted on the creation of a library specializing in works dealing with international legal problems. The Peace Palace Library has grown into a world renowned institution and is one of the most outstanding libraries in its field. The introduction of electronic files and systems has furthermore allowed scholars and students from ‘... we will continue all over the world easy access to its impressive collection of to work towards legal books and journals.

a world without violent conflicts

Not less important was the institution of The Hague Academy of International by means Law in 1923. It is famous for its summer courses. of mediation, It teaches postgraduate arbitration and students from all over the world in public and private international international law subjects jurisdiction.’ and stimulates research in these fields. As a student, many years ago, I profited greatly from these courses and from the friendships made during that period. Another consequence of these developments is the growing number of diplomatic missions The Hague has managed to attract. This has permitted third states to follow the proceedings in the many legal institutions and courts on a day-to-day basis. Among members of the diplomatic staff one often counts highly qualified lawyers and judges who, as young students, attended The Hague Academy of International Law. Does all this mean that the Peace Palace can rest on its laurels? By no means. Competition from other countries and cities, in Europe as well as Asia, stimulates us to explore new avenues and not merely consolidate what has been created so far. In this context I can only repeat what I wrote on the occasion of the 100 years celebration. “It remains a huge task to work on an international system in which the inevitable tensions that will occur can be stripped of their potentially violent charge by means of international law.” I am convinced that the Palace will remain an inspiring beacon and a living monument to Peace and Justice for a long time to come.

Global Conference on Cyber Space 2015’s welcome reception Photography: Kim Vermaat.

At the Global Conference on Cyber Space the conference hosts, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bert Koenders and the State Secretary of Security and Justice, Mr Klaas Dijkhoff together with Mr. Jozias van Aartzen Mayor of The Hague and more than 42 governments, intergovernmental organizations and companies, launched the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) in The Hague. ‘The GFCE is a key initiative to give political momentum to global cyber capacity building, make available technical expertise as well as new funding to strengthen cyber security, help fight cybercrime, better protect our data and support e-governance. We should all benefit from the potential a free, open and secure internet has to offer. The GFCE is a pragmatic, action-oriented and flexible platform for policymakers, practitioners and experts from different countries and regions. Goal is to share experiences, identify gaps in global cyber capacities, and to complement existing efforts in capacity building.’ ‘The Netherlands has a lot to offer’, says minister Van der Steur of Security and Justice, ‘In the field of Cybersecurity and cybercrime we have good practices, tools and methods to share. Still we need to learn and improve. In the GFCE we will share our experiences and learn from participating nations and non-state actors. All will benefit from getting the knowledge and best-practices together in one platform. Cyberspace will get better with this initiative, paving the way for further international cooperation.’ Membership of the GFCE is open to all countries, intergovernmental organizations and private companies who subscribe to The Hague Declaration on the GFCE. Civil society, the technical community, think tanks and academia will also be encouraged to be involved in the GFCE, contributing to the development of best practices, sharing of knowledge and advising on capacity building efforts. The four focus areas of the GFCE are: cybersecurity, cybercrime, data protection and e-governance. An annual high level meeting amongst members of GFCE will evaluate the G progress made and discuss and formulate requirements as well as best practices in cyber capacity building. The city of The Hague warmly supports the establishment of the GFCE, which further strengthens the role of The Hague as a central hub for cyber organizations.


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AIDS 2018 a shared opportunity

By Lambert Grijns, Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV/AIDS at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photography: Barbra de Niet.

Would you have ever guessed that a Ministry of Foreign Affairs works on issues such as maternal mortality and sexuality education? I certainly did not when I applied for diplomatic service. But whilst working as a diplomat in different countries in Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa and Latin America I came to understand how important it is that people, especially adolescents, can make informed decisions and have access to services when it comes to love, (sexual) relationships and pregnancy. So when I was asked to become the Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV/AIDS in 2013 I did not hesitate for a second.

‘I think in this work it is crucial to recognize that there is no right or wrong.’ In our Dutch SRHR policy we focus on youth, on access to information, commodities and services as well as the promotion of rights (including for sexual minorities). In order to progress on these four goals we work with a variety of different actors; multilateral organizations, governments, civil-society organizations, companies and faith-based organizations. I think in this work it is crucial to recognize that there is no right or wrong. As a diplomat, I learned that to work effectively with others you have to be able to listen, to find a common language and to treat diverging views with respect. And to share what you are proud of: in my case the Dutch experiences with SRHR, resulting in one of the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies and abortions in the world. Another success I would like to share with you is about the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in 2018. The Netherlands won the bid for this great event, which will bring more than 20,000 people to the Netherlands to discuss the future of the AIDS epidemic, including world leaders, pop stars and VIPs. We need their, and our, prominent and collective attention to keep HIV/AIDS

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high on the international agenda. The conference is a platform and an instrument. It cements our political commitment to women and girls in Southern Africa, who are especially vulnerable to HIV. The same applies to the status of key populations, such as sexual minorities, who primarily live in middle-income countries.

Central Asia, even face an increase in new infections, especially among key populations. Worldwide, adolescents are the only group amongst whom AIDS-related deaths are not declining and just one in four infected children and adolescents under the age of 15 years has access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.

The vulnerability of young girls and key populations has been on the Dutch agenda for some time. Most recently, during a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS on April 9th, here in The Hague. Minister Ploumen for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation discussed strategy with UNAIDS, the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Aids Fonds, a prominent Dutch civil-society organization. Conclusions at the end of the day were ambivalent. Positive in the respect that the number of deaths has been greatly reduced, thanks to medication, education, testing and condom use. But also worrisome: still, every hour 30 people are newly infected with HIV, particularly teenage girls. Even in the Netherlands we see 1100 new cases of HIV every year. And some countries, for example in Eastern Europe and

That is why it is so important that HIV/AIDS is kept high on the international agenda. If we want to bring a halt to new infections, we need strong political will and to work on a number of fronts simultaneously: treatment, care and prevention. This means making ARTs as affordable and widely available as possible and maintaining proper care for the people who have contracted HIV. But just as importantly, we should keep working on prevention. We cannot accept that people, especially young people, get sick- only to start treating them later in life. So yes, there is still so much to be done. I invite all of you to join us at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam and see how we can move forward further, together. And to join us in our work as a Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


C diplomatVIP

A virtue based on strength of

character By Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague.

This year it will be seventy years ago that the Second World War came to an end and The Hague was liberated by the Canadians. That war with the battle for the royal seat in May 1940 and the five years that followed, were undoubtedly the most dramatic period in the history of The Hague. A period in which more than 15,000 people living in The Hague lost their lives. Most, about 12,000 of them, Jewish residents. The war caused huge material damage too, the traces of which can still be seen today.

“The day before yesterday there was war and yesterday too and there is still war in my time time that is not just mine”

This article is an edited version of the speech given by Mayor Jozias van Aartsen on 1 March this year at the commemoration of the tragic bombing of the Bezuidenhout district of The Hague. The ceremony took place in the Christus Triomfatorkerk (Risen Christ Church) in the presence of British and other diplomats. Among those leading the oecumenical service was the Reverend Canon Dr David Stone of Coventry Cathedral, the church destroyed by the Luftwaffe in 1940 and which, in 1995, donated a Cross of Nails to the churches of the Bezuidenhout.


Lines from a poem by Remco Campert, who was born and raised in The Hague. His father Jan Campert perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp. The actor, Bram van der Vlugt, who also grew up in this city, quoted this poem in a radio interview he gave a few years ago. During the programme he talked about the dramatic events experienced by his family during the Second World War. It was a distressing story which in many ways reflected the war years of The Hague. Bram van der Vlugt’s mother was Jewish and was murdered, along with her own mother and other family members. When the occupying forces cleared Scheveningen the Van der Vlugt family ended up in the Bezuidenhout. Along with many other families from Scheveningen and other areas of the city which had been cleared or even torn down. There in the Bezuidenhout, the young Bram then witnessed the terrifying bombing.

It was on 3rd March exactly seventy years ago that a large part of the beautiful Hague district of the Bezuidenhout, with its typical architecture and street patterns, was accidentally bombed by the Royal Air Force in an attempt to disable the destructive V2 rockets which the German occupying forces were firing from this area at Britain, causing death and destruction there. Owing to a compounding of errors the bombs landed instead on a densely populated residential area. More than 500 people lost their lives that day and in the days that followed. With another 400 missing, many of whom were never found. The bombing of the Bezuidenhout, together with the German air raid on Rotterdam and the allied bombing of Nijmegen – also a tragic mistake – were among the worst and most deadly air raids that the Netherlands suffered during the Second World War. On that day 3,300 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, along with 290 businesses, 64 offices, 5 churches, 15 schools and 8 hospitals. The bombing made 12,000 people homeless, many of them losing everything they had. The survivors took flight. As they did so they saw the most horrific sights, witnessing scenes of inferno. Someone recently said: ‘Every time I see a group of refugees on television today, I am again reminded of how I too had to flee on 3 March 1945.’


“The day before yesterday there was war and yesterday too and there is still war in my time time that is not just mine” For countless survivors the war never completely ended, however many years have passed since. The wounds inflicted on that terrible Saturday were simply too deep. The sorrow too great. On top of this, in the decades after the war little thought was given to the bombing. This was most certainly because it was an attack by our allies. Besides which, these were the years of reconstruction. Years of looking forward, not back. More recently, however, the bombing has gained more notice rather than less, which is a good thing. Now as the group of people who experienced it first-hand is becoming smaller, the stories need to be handed down to the present generation and to future generations. And that is certainly happening. Books have been published

and documentaries made in which the survivors tell their stories. There is a package for primary schools and recently an historic walk through the Bezuidenhout was organised. Photos with explanatory captions placed around the neighbourhood show just how much the appearance of the area was changed by the bombing. History can be found literally on the streets there.

‘It makes us realize all the more how fortunate we are to be able to live here in peace.’

You soon feel a sense of unease looking at pictures of the bombed Bezuidenhout: that was the day before yesterday, in 1945. But it is still going on today. In the cities of Syria that have been reduced to rubble, in the East Ukraine, and elsewhere in the world. It makes us realize all the more how fortunate we are to be able to live here in peace. And that we must continue to do everything in our power to banish such suffering from the world.

Or, to put it in the words of that great philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who spent his final years in The Hague, and whose fundamental ideas about peace and freedom have lost none of their power and relevance more than three centuries later. “Peace is not the absence of war, but a virtue based on strength of character.” A virtue which we in The Hague, the international city of peace and justice, will continue to strive for and promulgate.


First Annual Diplomat

New Year Party at Crowne Plaza Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

On Friday 23 January 2015 and in the presence of the united States’ Ambassador H.E. Mr. Timothy Michael Broas, H.E. Mr. Olexander Horin Ambassador of ukraine, H.E. Mr. Abdelouahab Bellouki, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Ms. Vestine Nahimana, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Mr. Willys Delvalle Velasco, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama and other head of diplomatic missions, Crowne Plaza & Diplomat Magazine’s first official New Years reception was sponsored and hosted by famous hotel Crowne Plaza Den Haag – Promenade, in partnership with the Diplomat Card. On this beautiful winter’s day the mellow tunes of the Diplomatic Magazine Jazz Band set the celebratory scene and greeted all guests attending this event. General Manager Vincent Pahlplatz speaking about the evening said: ‘Hopefully this is the first edition of a new tradition that we, as the Crowne Plaza Den Haag – Promenade, will host for many years to come.’





By Rabbi Shalom Awraham Soetendorp. Photography: Ido Menco.

At the end of the book The Altruistic Personality, a penetrating study of the motives of rescuers of Jews in nazi Europe, authors Samuel and Pearl Oliner write: ‘If we persist in defining ourselves as doomed, human nature as beyond redemption and social institutions as beyond reform, then we shall create a future that will inexorably proceed in confirming this view.’ The rescuers refused to see Jews as guilty or beyond hope and themselves as helpless, despite all the evidence that could be marshaled to the contrary.


powers triumph They made a choice that affirmed the value and meaningfulness of each life in the midst of a diabolical social order that repeatedly denied it. Can we do otherwise? On April 16th, in the village Velp near Arnhem, a statue of a girl holding a doll was dedicated to the memory of those rescuers, amongst them Ria and Bertus van der Kemp, who saved my life. In May 1943, Ria, a 47 year-old German born mother of an adult son, had to make the life decision to open or close the door to an unknown baby with all the risks such a choice entailed. How much time do you think it took my foster mother to decide, I once asked a primary school class for the first time. A boy of eleven raised his hand ‘no time sir’: the wisdom of a child. Yes, these are the no-time decisions that truly make a difference. And only last year, the nephew of my rescuer, who is now 90 years old, was able to relate the story that characterises him. ‘I was seventeen years old when your foster father came home. He pulled up his sweater and showed me a large copper shield that covered his belly. Unscrewed, it turned out to be a delicate thin container in which he carried litres of milk smuggled from a farm.’


He did so week after week for a period of two years. Thus Bertus, an ordinary man, used his talent as coppersmith to keep up my strength and sustain another Jewish girl. On the day of liberation of Velp seventy years ago, he gave his life shielding me from a fire bomb. My wife and I belong to the minority of the Jewish community that survived. Out of a Jewish population of 140,000, over 100,000 were killed in concentration camps. It was Queen Beatrix who, in a moving speech to the Israeli parliament in 1995, expressed her feeling of shame that despite many acts of brave resistance, no more was done to help the persecuted. The situation in the Netherlands should however be placed in a more general historical context. The aforementioned study points out that the behaviour of people under cruel occupation witnessing the persecution of a minority in their midst follows a recurrent pattern. A majority collaborates completely with the persecutors. A minority shows empathy for the persecuted and is even prepared to risk its life to protect them. And the majority

diplomatVIP looks the other way, closes the doors and attempts to save its skin. The main difference is made in the classroom. The experience of having a good compassionate teacher who creates and maintains harmony, who teaches respect for the other at all times, and fosters loving relationships helps the individual to make the fateful no time decision.

fanaticism as well as protect the freedom to express one’s own identity. This should be one of the main concerns of the European Union in the coming years.

Sira, my wife, and I belong to the dwindling number of survivors who have a physical connection to the Second World War and impart our life lessons to the next generation.

‘Yes, these are the no-time decisions that truly make a difference.’

This awareness has motivated me to work towards the teaching of compassion in schools. In the Netherlands, during the second week of November, a large number of schools was engaged in lessons and debates introduced by public figures, artists, policemen, politicians, etc. on how to show and receive respect. Education through respect has been adopted recently in the Philippines, Burundi, and the Congo.

Yes, on the one hand, there exists a tension between the absolute freedom of speech and on the other hand, the ultimate freedom not to be hurt in one’s deepest feelings. But fortunately, through discussion governed by mutual respect, we are able to diffuse this tension and find a beneficial modus vivendi. This ability is more strengthened by a quiet revolution that takes place in our midst.

It is painfully clear in these turbulent days how vital this form of education is. It is my firm belief that anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination are a curable disease. But it requires the united efforts of educators across borders, the alliance of interfaith, and intercultural cooperation to contain the spread of hatred and violent

Different spiritual traditions, including humanism, move closer and closer towards each other. This extraordinary hopeful process is evidenced in The Hague by the interspiritual gathering that takes place annually on Prinsjesdag, in the Grote Kerk, hours before the reopening of Parliament. And rescuers forever point the way.

When we were born, the chance of us ever becoming parents and grandparents was nonexistent. But today, we are the proud parents and grandparents of beautiful, joyful children and grandchildren because of the power of compassion. We are also part of the miraculous revival of Jewish life in The Hague and thus our belief is unshaken that the soft powers of compassion will triumph and your children and children’s children will live in a world filled with cooperation, love, truth, and righteousness. May The All Merciful One grant us the wisdom and courage to be able to draw strength from each other.




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Terrorism and the Need for International Cooperation By Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust. Photography: Eurojust 2015.

Eurojust, the European Union’s judicial cooperation unit, aims to stimulate and improve the cooperation and coordination of the investigation and prosecution of serious cross-border crime between national authorities of the Member States. It does so by coordinating the activities of the relevant national authorities and facilitating the exchange of information and the collection of evidence. The fight against terrorism is a priority for Eurojust. The EU legal framework regarding terrorism includes two framework decisions criminalising terrorism and terrorismrelated offences, such as public provocation and training. The issue of returning foreign fighters has underlined the relevance of establishing channels that allow efficient cooperation at international and European Union level.

At European Union level, Eurojust monitors national responses, collects and analyses information on the EU, national, and third State legal frameworks, identifies challenges and facilitates the execution of European Arrest Warrants (EAW) and mutual legal assistance (MLA) requests. Eurojust’s coordination meetings are designed to bring Member State law enforcement and judicial authorities together ‘to plan strategic, informed and targeted operations in cross-border crime cases, including terrorism. The objectives of such meetings include, among other things, exchanging information and facilitating and coordinating the execution of MLA requests. Eurojust also participates in and funds joint investigation teams (JITs) and can request the competent authorities of Member States to establish this key coordination tool. These teams consist of prosecutors, judges and law enforcement personnel who carry out criminal investigations in one or more States and allow sharing and requesting information in a safe and effective framework. diplomat magazine #2

The National Correspondents for Eurojust are responsible under Article 12 of the revised Eurojust Decision for maintaining the Eurojust National Coordination System (ENCS). The ENCS facilitates the carrying out of Eurojust’s tasks within Member States, maintains the flow of information and assists Eurojust National Members in identifying the relevant authorities for the execution of requests for judicial cooperation. The National Correspondents for Terrorism ensure that Member States abide by their obligations to send information on terrorism matters to Eurojust. The National Correspondents for Terrorism also inform Eurojust of all terrorist activity in their State and provide information on the entire process (from interviewing suspects to the indictment stage) to the National Members of Eurojust. Eurojust receives information on convictions from Member States under Council Decision 2005/671/JHA, but additional information could include prosecutions, links to relevant cases and requests for judicial assistance (including letters of request addressed to or by other Member States, as well as the relevant responses). The Eurojust Terrorism Convictions Monitor (TCM) is published regularly since 2008. Developed on the basis of open sources information and information exclusively provided by the national authorities to Eurojust in conformity with Council Decision 2005/671/JHA, it provides an overview of terrorism-related convictions and acquittals, as well as pertinent judicial analysis of relevant counter-terrorism cases. Better information sharing is crucial, as relevant information can be used as evidence to secure convictions and should provide a

better overview of the challenges and best practice of investigation and prosecution. Eurojust’s counter-terrorism meetings bring together the law enforcement and judicial authorities of Member States and third States. These meetings enable an enhanced exchange of information on best practice and obstacles regarding cross-border terrorism. They also provide overviews of current trends and future challenges. However, there is also a need to cooperate on a more international level, as terrorism is a global problem. In terms of Eurojust’s cooperation with third States, there are Eurojust Contact Points in 23 non-Member States and Eurojust has signed six cooperation agreements with third States (the United States, Norway, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), agreements that allow for the exchanging of personal data. Liaison Prosecutors from Norway, Switzerland and the USA are currently posted at Eurojust. Enlarging the contact point network to include representatives from the Middle East and North Africa is under discussion, given that many African countries have suffered heavy terrorist attacks in recent years and the current conflicts in the Middle East. Eurojust assists Member States in investigations and prosecutions involving third States; the Eurojust Decision also foresees the posting of Eurojust Liaison Prosecutors to third States. The issue of returning foreign fighters calls for cooperation at European and international level and for the engagement of Eurojust and other relevant organisations.



Steltman Watches moves to Plaats 16 in the Hague

Top brands at home in prime location Photography: Chris van Houts.

After 16 years to have been located on Noordeinde 15 Steltman Watches moved to a new and larger building on Plaats 16. In the new stylish boutique the particular watch brands of this Hague watch specialists now all have the space to display their brands vision to the public. In addition, the new store is just steps away from sister company Steltman Juwelier. The design and implementation of the new Watch store lay in the hands of architectural firm Heyligers design + projects . In close consultation with Steltman, Heyligers created a store in which the brands are able to bring their brand forward and stand for their image without compromising the main brand: Steltman. Steltman has a heritage of nearly 100 years old and the service-minded brand DNA that was motivated by founder John Steltman is still the main pillar of its success. The individual brands have almost all been given a shop-in-shop in a design that is decorated in reliefs with the Mastersign of Johannes Steltman-the entwined ‘J’ and ‘S’. Jewels & Watches in the new shop 250 m2 space at his disposal at three levels, in which the brands Patek Philippe Breguet and a prominent place, and where the worlds of experience further by brands like Chopard, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier and Panerai take shape. Also Dutch watch greats, such as Christiaan van der Klaauw, Grönefeld and Aspen are there to admire. Jewels & Watches has many models in stock, both for men and for women. There is also a small selection of jewellery from the collection of Steltman juwelier present. Craftsmanship and workmanship is another pillar where Steltman built, hence the private uurwerkmakersatelier clearly visible behind in the store is located. The clockmakers of Steltman by most of the padded brands certified to perform maintenance and repairs in house and their work can be admired from the store.


LA CONTRIBUTION Par S.E. M. Philippe Couvreur, Greffier de la Cour internationale de Justice. Photographie par: UN Photo/CIJ-ICJ/Frank van Beek.

La République dominicaine comptait parmi les quarantequatre États représentés lors de la seconde Conférence internationale de la Paix, tenue à La Haye du 15 juin au 19 octobre 1907. Par sa présence, aux côtés de seize autres Etats d’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes (Argentine, Bolivie, Brésil, Chili, Colombie, Cuba, Equateur, Guatemala, Haïti, Mexique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Pérou, El Salvador et Uruguay), elle contribua à la composition géographiquement plus équilibrée de cette conférence, le Mexique ayant été le seul, parmi ces pays, à être invité à participer à la première Conférence internationale de la Paix en 1899. Ces deux réunions internationales ont représenté une nouvelle forme de diplomatie, les discussions n’ayant pas eu pour objet de régler les suites d’un conflit international, à l’instar des conférences connues jusqu’alors, mais au contraire de consolider et de développer le droit international, ainsi que de limiter la course aux armements, en vue de prévenir de futurs conflits et maintenir la paix. Les Conférences de La Haye ont donné naissance à plusieurs conventions internationales d’importance majeure, visant à réglementer les méthodes de guerre — et posant à cet égard les bases du droit des conflits armés et du droit international humanitaire moderne —, et à institutionnaliser et encourager le recours aux modes de règlement pacifique des différends internationaux entre Etats.

Marqués par les interventions étrangères et les conflits au cours de leur histoire, et profondément attachés aux principes d’indépendance et d’égalité des Etats, les pays d’Amérique latine représentés à La Haye en 1907 furent de fervents avocats du développement de l’arbitrage international, lequel devait représenter, sinon le seul moyen légitime de règlement obligatoire des différends entre Etats, du moins le préalable impératif au recours aux armes. La République dominicaine était de ces Etats si attachés à l’arbitrage international que le principe en était inscrit dans sa propre Constitution avant même qu’il ne soit consacré dans des conventions internationales générales, et à une époque, faut-il le rappeler, où la guerre était encore un moyen admis de régler les



JUSTICE ET PAIX INTERNATIONALES DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE DOMINICAINE conflits. La Constitution de la République Dominicaine adoptée en 1880 disposait ainsi que « les pouvoirs chargés par la loi de déclarer la guerre ne devront pas le faire sans avoir auparavant proposé l’arbitrage d’un gouvernement ami ». C’est à la République dominicaine que revient le mérite d’avoir formulé en premier, lors de la Conférence de 1907, la proposition la plus audacieuse qui soit imaginable : rendre l’arbitrage obligatoire pour tous les Etats, et pour tout type de différend pouvant survenir entre eux, dès lors qu’ils ne pourraient les régler par des moyens diplomatiques. La délégation dominicaine ne se nourrissait pas d’illusions et reconnaissait, en exprimant ce vœu en faveur de l’arbitrage international obligatoire et sans restriction, que le jour n’était alors pas encore arrivé « où toutes les nations, harmonisant leurs divers intérêts avec les intérêts les plus hauts de l’humanité et de la vraie civilisation du monde, [pourraient se mettre] d’accord sur le mode de réaliser une telle aspiration ». Aussi, et en dépit des progrès continus de l’arbitrage international dans la pratique internationale au XIXe siècle, les Etats réunis à La Haye en 1907 se sont-ils bornés à déclarer, dans l’Acte final de la Conférence, leur foi dans le principe de l’arbitrage obligatoire, sans s’engager formellement et de manière générale à y recourir à l’avenir.

‘La République dominicaine était de ces Etats si attachés à l’arbitrage international que le principe en était inscrit dans sa propre Constitution…’ La délégation de la République dominicaine, composée de Francisco Henriquez I Carvajal, ancien Ministre des affaires étrangères et futur éphémère président de la République (1916), et de Apolinar Tejera, alors recteur de l’Institut professionnel de Saint Domingue, s’est par ailleurs illustrée en défendant le principe d’une très large interdiction du recours à la force pour le recouvrement de réclamations pécuniaires. Ce principe, élaboré par le célèbre juriste et ministre des affaires étrangères argentin, Luis Drago, fut inscrit dans la fameuse Convention « Drago-Porter », adoptée par la seconde Conférence de La Haye. Cette Convention constitua le premier jalon vers l’interdiction générale de l’emploi de la force entre Etats, consacrée au lendemain de la seconde Guerre mondiale.

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Après que son territoire fut une nouvelle fois occupé (1916-1924), la République dominicaine rejoignit la Société des Nations en septembre 1924. Fidèle aux idéaux de la justice internationale qu’elle avait défendus à La Haye en 1907, Saint Domingue souscrit alors à la compétence obligatoire de la Cour permanente de Justice internationale, première véritable juridiction permanente et universelle à voir le jour, à laquelle la Cour internationale de Justice a succédé en 1946. Membre fondateur de l’Organisation des Nations Unies, la République dominicaine fait partie des soixante et onze Etats qui acceptent à ce jour, de manière générale et par avance, que tous leurs différends juridiques puissent être soumis au jugement, obligatoire et définitif, de la plus haute juridiction internationale. Le vœu qu’exprimait la République dominicaine, il y a plus d’un siècle à La Haye, de voir l’ensemble des Etats adhérer au principe d’une justice internationale obligatoire ne s’est certes pas pleinement concrétisé à ce jour ; sa contribution à la réalisation des premiers pas effectués dans cette direction doit néanmoins être saluée.



The world’s legal capital, a By Steven van Hoogstraten, Carnegie Foundation. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

In 2012, the City of The Hague has been given the right to include the two terms “Peace” and “Justice” in its coat of arms. This was done by an official decree, ending the primacy of the Haagse Ooievaar (The Hague Stork), which one could find on the letterhead of the city’s administration. This caricature was dubbed as the Reiger by The Haguenois (say “de règer” to come close to the city’s dialect). So Peace and Justice came to replace an old feature of the city, and those who are working in the world of international relations will be pleased with this development.

So the City of The Hague is definitely a city of international orientation, a city where these notions of peace and justice are important. Everyone will understand that this image is based on the work of the international institutions, which produce a unique mix of administration of justice and international regulation, like the International Court of Justice of the United Nations and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (both in the Peace Palace), the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and The Hague Conference on Private International Law.

Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called “the Legal Capital of the World, the Epicentre of Justice and Accountability”. These were the exact words he used in his speech during the centenary celebration of the Peace Palace in 2013. It is tempting to continue on the work of the international institutions, but for this article I would like to highlight the layer of activities which one finds underneath the level of official institutions. The second Peace Conference of 1907, supported by the legacy of Hugo Grotius and the work of Tobias Asser, led to the creation of The Hague Academy of International Law. Since 1923 , academic summer courses on international law - both public law and private law - have been organized in the Peace Palace. These courses bring some 600 students to The Hague for 3 weeks. So, well over 40.000 students have been formed in The Hague, enjoyed the city in all respects, stayed with hospitable landlords and landladies. They make for an impressive group of alumni. The same can be said about the Institute of Social Studies which has given extensive education and training to many students from the developing world. At the Institute of Social Studies the students normally stay for an educational program which takes a longer period of time. When the diplomatic conference on the International Criminal Court had to decide

‘City of The Hague is definitely a city of international orientation this image is based on the work of the international institutions.’ These are the key international players; I could go on with other notable institutions in the sphere of European cooperation (Eurojust, Europol) and the NGO’s. The creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia led for the first time to the notion of The Hague as the “Judicial Capital of the World”, which developed over time in what the United


on the location of its Headquarters ( his was in 1994) many delegates said to the visiting Mayor of The Hague Wim Deetman of that time : “we know The Hague well, because we participated in the work of The Hague Academy or the Institute of Social Studies.” And The Hague became the preferred partner for the International Criminal Court. The city is now allowing for a 300 million new headquarters to be built on the corner of the Waalsdorperweg and Alkemadelaan. The court is a major asset for the further development of The Hague. Staying on the path of the academic institutions, the T.M.C. Asser Institute has over nearly 50 years built a name for itself as an interuniversity institute for study and teaching of international law. It is part of the structure of the University of Amsterdam, in the sense that the funding comes from this university. The same story of international awareness and fame can be attributed to the Clingendael Institute, which is essentially devoted to international relations, and is or should be the diplomatic school of the Netherlands. The experts of Clingendael Institute are often asked to give their comments on the Dutch radio and TV about international defence matters, energy policy, or the Middle East and so on. Other partners of The Hague Academic Coalition (HAC) are showing an eagerness to play their distinctive roles in the international arena, like The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (Hill) with its innovative legal concepts.



project under construction

Still on its way up is The Hague Institute for Global Justice (THIGJ), meant to be a strong think & do tank for questions of international justice, more in particular the interface of justice, peace and global governance.

The Netherlands Government made the start of this institute possible with a royal subsidy, but does expect The Hague Institute for Global Justice to become funded by external (non-government) sources by 2017 /2018. The ambitions of The Hague Institute for Global Justice can be seen as becoming a sort of Brookings at the North Sea, and its staff is working hard to deliver high quality services and create a professional profile which does not take the place of other more established institutions. With the Leiden University now well implanted in The Hague (2000 students, Grotius Centre for International Law, and a University College for promising young students), with the Haagse Hogeschool (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) bringing over 10.000 students to The Hague, and the Technical University of Delft now on its way to also start programs in The Hague, one can safely say that The Hague is gradually attracting a serious academic

profile, even without having its own Alma Mater. I think it would be a good idea to make all this more visible, for instance with one official day of the year in full colours, in a location of some importance and a speech looks at the ethics of international justice. Such an event could well set the agenda for the Legal Capital for the year to come. It would fill a void, which I notice basically every day: we are all very active but the grand design is missing. The concept of the Legal Capital of the World is founded on the pillars of the institutions, but the open debate, the statements by high level visitors and sparkling intellectual exchanges are too limited. In some way or other we have not yet been able to get this organized. As I said in the beginning, the coat of arms of our City of The Hague mentions Peace and Justice as the central notions, which means that the basis of an important heritage is there. But we still have to do a good deal of shaping of that heritage in the years to come. Be open to visits by journalists and legal professionals, attract visiting professors, organize public and televised debates, create a structure where public and private partners can meet, are all elements of a more structural approach.

‘I think it would be a good idea to make all this more visible, for instance with one official day of the year in full colours.’ diplomat magazine #2

The same goes for being ready to host international negotiations or mediations, which seem to stick to Geneva or to capitals of other countries. It would help undeniably if support would be forthcoming for the cultural side of the efforts in

‘The concept of the Legal Capital of the World is founded on the pillars of the institutions, but the open debate, the statements by high level visitors and sparkling intellectual exchanges are too limited. In some way or other we have not yet been able to get this organized.’ the field of peace and justice like the recent week of the Orchestre pour la Paix, which will go on to play in Geneva and New York if sufficient funds can be found. We should find a way to reinstate The Hague Prize for International Law, which has its place next to the more peace oriented Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize which was awarded in the Peace Palace in an elegant fashion in 2014 to Algerian Lakhdar Brahimi, the famed UN envoy and mediator. These are just a few thoughts on how we can improve a quality which is inherently available but needs to be polished.


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a smile and a thought

A Look Behind the Scenes… Diplomacy at work: Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations Nearly 200 countries were represented in Sendai (Japan) to finalize the post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction - previously known as the Hyogo Framework. The choice to hold this meeting from March 14-19 in Sendai was not co-incidental - the consequences of the triple disaster known as “Fukushima” from March 11, 2011, are still there to see. Despite this sense of urgency implied by location, a lot of frustration surfaced during the meeting due to political gamesmanship and manoeuvring. Let’s take a look behind the scenes.

By Eelco H. Dykstra, MD. Photography: Frederick Linck.

The columns put a playful spotlight on the interface between the Dutch and the International Community it hosts. Yes, his musings may appear at times to be mildly provocative at first sight but they are first and foremost playful – with a little irony thrown in here and there… You be the judge! His columns are intended to give you ‘a smile and a thought’. A smile because perhaps you hadn’t quite looked at something that way and a thought because the column may leave you wondering…


Worldwide, the trend is clear: disasters cause an ever-increasing number of victims and ever-growing socio-economic damages. So much so, that even the private sector nowadays considers investing in disaster risk reduction to be part of their core business. In other words, they see this no longer as a luxury but as a necessity. Major – and not so major – corporations have aligned themselves with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and are putting resources such as money, knowledge, or both, in a global trust fund called “R!SE”. One example is the Rockefeller Foundation who is spending around $100 million to set up a global network of Chief Resilience Officers in cities around the world.

‘Worldwide, the trend is clear: disasters cause an everincreasing number of victims and ever-growing socio-economic damages.’

And here we hit the first snag. Climate Change.

Much of the international discussions on disaster risk reduction focuses on rising sea levels, global warming and more extreme weather patterns. While some parts of the world accept the overwhelming evidence that it is high time to prepare for hitherto unseen emergencies and disasters, other parts of the world stick to a more-of-the-same, business-as-usual approach. Negotiations such as the ones in Sendai are complicated by distrust and opposing fractions and regional power blocks. Not even diplomatic principles such as the ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ (CBDR) tool, is then of much help. Trying to reach an agreement when there is only an agreement to disagree is notoriously difficult… As recent as six months ago, nobody had foreseen these difficulties as it was widely believed that everybody considered the Sendai meeting as a technical and neutral meeting on disaster risk reduction, a topic that everybody recognized as important. A second problem with these kind of meetings consists of a combination of confusion, time pressure and loss-of-face.


Instead of a stand-alone meeting on a neutral and technical topic (how to arrange for public-private cooperation, funding and technology transfer for disaster risk reduction) the Sendai summit all of a sudden became a station on the route of controversial and heated international summits on climate change, i.e. Addis, New York and Paris.

Time pressure…

Because amid all the disagreement an agreement had to be reached on a framework for disaster risk reduction, a marathon of negotiations started over a period of 36 hours during which smaller groups of 20 countries ironed out the most controversial issues during sessions from 10 pm to 4 am (!).



The hosts, i.e. Japan, looked at the confusion on the last day of negotiations and felt that time was slipping away. To avoid loss of face, the Japanese took over the meeting but not after first besieging and berating the delegation of the USA which was seen as a major roadblock to reaching agreement. Eventually, an agreement was reached. An agreement which was not bad at all. An agreement with which all kinds of tools for disaster risk reduction can be developed and implemented. But the conclusion after Sendai was also this: “This process is a disaster...” In line with the name of my column “A smile and a thought…”, I’d like to make the following suggestions to diplomats and the diplomatic community involved in preparing next summits:

1. Do not merely share the final product of these summits with the world but tell them how the agreement was reached, where the pitfalls were and how the problems were overcome. 2. Tell the world about the many hours, the many stressful moments and the advanced skill levels that are needed to reach an agreement amid disagreement. 3. Consider hiring completely independent chairs for these meetings, international people who are very experienced as crisis managers. 4. Do involve the host-nation as soon as possible in co-determining what the desired impact of the meeting will be.

With these suggestions, the world will never wonder what the fuss was all about and will never consider these summits as mini-holidays for well-paid diplomats. Never. And the benefits for the diplomatic community?



hungary HUNGARIAN STARTUP CULTURE By H.E. Orsolya Szijjártó, Ambassador of Hungary to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

What do Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and NASA have in common? They have all distributed videos on Ustream, a broadcasting application tool and one of the many Hungarian startups. Since the establishment of startups as LogMeIn in 2003, Ustream in 2007 and Prezi in 2009, Hungary, and especially the city of Budapest, is growing into one of the most important and vibrant startup centres of Europe. Prezi, an online presentation programme, has over 50 million users worldwide and still attracts 55.000 new users every day. Next to its first office in Budapest, which employs over 170 people, it also has an office in San Francisco. Ustream is a platform to share videos and is used by broadcasters all around the world. It has 30 million active users and 80 million people who view Ustream videos worldwide. Ustream started with an office in Budapest and has expanded now to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Seoul. LogMeIn, a remote control application for accessing computers, also began its journey in Budapest and has now offices in, among others, Australia, the US, the UK and Ireland as well. These offices employ over 1,000 people worldwide. There are several reasons for the fact that Budapest has been growing substantially as a new vibrant centre for startups and creative industries. First of all, there is an abundance of qualified personnel available in Budapest and since the city is located at the heart of Europe, it also attracts foreign talent. In addition, the Hungarian government supports the startup culture in Hungary and has allocated 450 million euros to back these startup companies over the next six years. It is estimated that the share of the creative industry in Hungary’s GDP equals five to seven percent. A vibrant and innovative startup culture is not only of importance for Hungary, but also for Europe in general; innovation is a great incentive for economic growth. The Netherlands has also recognized this and has recently launched the StartUp Delta programme, led by former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. The aim of this programme is to connect the startup culture in Amsterdam with the rest of the Netherlands and with Europe in order to create a strong and innovative European startup system. Here there lies a lot of potential for close European cooperation and the Embassy of Hungary in The Hague is looking forward to contributing to this.


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Connectivity for Common Prosperity

By H.E. Mr. Chen Xu, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Connectivity has been the unremitting pursuit of human society since ancient times. ‘Better Roads lead to Better Life’, a well-known idiom in China explains this concept incisively. The Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road closely connected Asia and Europe long time ago, on which many travellers, navigators and explorers, as well as camel teams and fleets with different kinds of commodities busied to and fro. Thanks to these two roads, Asia and Europe learned from each other and promoted their respective prosperity through exchanges.

‘Today, unprecedented interdependence among countries further highlights the importance of connectivity.’

Today, unprecedented interdependence among countries further highlights the importance of connectivity. Since 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has put forward the strategic Initiative ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’, aimed at bringing relevant countries closer, so as to create and enjoy harmonious and peaceful lives together. This Initiative links Asian-Pacific Region and Europe, sponsors for peaceful development, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness. It inherits spirit of ancient Silk Road, conforms to trend of globalization and desire of common development, and provides an inclusive platform connecting China’s economy and interests of countries along the belt and the road. It is delighted to note that momentum between Asia and Europe for connectivity

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has been even stronger. In 2013, a threedimensional network of interconnection and communication has been strengthened through Connecting Europe Facility program. During President Xi Jingping’s historical visit to the EU in 2014, both sides confirmed the great potential to improve their transport relation, and decided to develop synergies between the EU policies and China’s ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ Initiative to jointly explore common initiatives. Recently, the APEC Connectivity Blueprint has been endorsed in Beijing, which set an vision of achieving a seamless and comprehensively connectivity in 2025. At the same time, connectivity is getting an increasingly wide support. In June 2014 UNESCO adopted a joint application of China, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and included East section of the Silk Road in the World Cultural Heritage List. In July, two young men who named themselves ‘Big Holland’ and ‘Small Holland’ started a journey of exchanges from Shanghai in China, they traveled eleven countries along the ancient Silk Road and arrived at their hometown Rotterdam at last in October.

In December, the first ‘New Line of YI Wu China to Europe’ train arrived in Madrid, taking 17 days and 13,000 kilometers across 12 countries. The train took Christmas gifts from China to Europe and brought back Spanish red wine, olive oil and other European products, which enriched the New Year menu for the Chinese people.

All of these manifest that the One Belt and One Road Initiative is contributing to the connectivity of culture, personnel and trade among relevant countries, and bringing true benefits to people. China is ready to further expand its opening up and share opportunities of development for mutual benefits, and become as supporter, builder and beneficiary of the One Belt and One Road Initiative together with interested countries. As long as China and the EU continue their cooperation in infrastructure construction, regulation coordination and personnel exchange, comprehensive connectivity and common market of Asia-Europe will be realized definitely. It will also deepen the China-EU partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization. Asian and European countries, like the lights at night, will always be shining and flaming with further promotion of connectivity.





By His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Antim.

Sensing my absorbed meditating mood, my wife, on her arrival at the Schiphol Airport recently, threw out a religious challenge: ‘When did you become so religious? What sounds like a light-hearted query lead us to a formidable discussion on how I tend to see my tenure in the Netherlands as nothing short of a water pilgrimage. To make my point on how the Netherlands remained so dry amidst all these water, I offered her a romantic plot. Informing her that Schiphol Airport’s lowest point being 3.5 m below sea level, I would have been waiting on the shore of a river to grab her outreached hand from a colourful boat in Bangladesh. So we were on a joy ride, in a boat, if she were to arrive in Bangladesh, instead of the Netherlands. When my first ever Ambassadorial assignment landed me in the Netherlands in March 2014, I think it also gave me an opportunity to do something immediate and practical about my old obsessions-how could we remain afloat in Bangladesh even if we go under water? What is the way out?

I came to believe that there is a sacredness in Dutch water. It was never a mark of weakness, but of power. Dutch showed the world how to keep one’s head above water even if forces of nature prove seemingly insurmountable. What was their weakness, the Dutch turned it into an overwhelming reservoir of expertise and resilience.

‘I came to believe that there is a sacredness in Dutch water. It was never a mark of weakness, but of power.’

When we talk about resilience, the world came to witness, the people of Bangladesh are no less endowed with their ability to bounce back. Among its immediate neighbours, Bangladesh has the highest life expectancy (68.3 years), the lowest infant mortality rate (42 per 1,000 live births) and one of the lowest maternal mortality ratios (194 per 100,000 live births). But it remained trapped to its geography.

As I make my slow pilgrimage through the watery landscape of the Netherlands, a sense of awe and mystery seems to gather and grow. The process of my transformation came to a head with my discovery of water being at the front and centre of whatever they do here in the Netherlands. It is next to impossible leaving a gathering of even three to four professionals in the Netherlands without meeting a water expert.


Geography made Bangladesh a virtual playground of world’s three of the largest river systems — Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM). It is located on an active sedimentary basin and the intricate network of alluvial rivers that carries an average quantity of 0.5–2.8 billion tons annual discharge and sediment load from the Himalayas. More or less like the Netherlands, Bangladesh is also a floodplain. The altitude normally does not exceed 11 m above the sea level


‘The people of Bangladesh are no less endowed with their ability to bounce back.’ except in the hilly areas of Chittagong and Sylhet. About 80% of the total land area constitute floodplains while terraces and hills account for about 8% and 12% respectively. To make it even more challenging than the Netherlands, Bangladesh houses 57 cross-boundary rivers, of which 54 are shared with India and the remaining three with Myanmar. Bangladesh is the common lower riparian of all these trans-boundary rivers. The combined discharge of water from the GBM rivers is second only to that of the river Amazon. Defending against floods from such a massive network of cross boundary rivers requires a regional framework in the Himalayan basin area which is not there yet. Hopefully, countries in the Himalayan basin will, someday, take a page from the European networks of cooperation in the water sector to develop a basin wide framework for water cooperation. As amazing as it may sound, some sources suggest that there were primitive flood defences in what is now the Netherlands as far back as 500BC. Windmills, for which the country is famous, have been helping to pump water off the land for more than half a millennium. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Netherlands, with almost half of her population living below the sea level, remained floodproof. They learned how to protect against flooding and developed a sophisticated system of almost 3,800 kilometres of flood defences, including earthen levees along the main rivers as well as sand dunes, coastal dikes and five major coastal protection works and storm surge barriers along the coast. The first component is a primary sea defence system constructed as a system of closure works and Storm Surge Barriers in the tidal inlets. It is connected by a system of natural dunes and man-made sea dikes that are capable of withstanding 1 in 10,000 year flood events. Now they embarked on a plan to make more room for waters as a part of their Delta plan. After years of workings, finally in 2014, we, in Bangladesh, have been able to conclude framework with the Netherlands for a holistic, long-term, vision- aptly called “Delta Plan 2100”. This long-term vision, combined with the use of scenarios as well as incorporating our own initiative for “Blue Economy” with that of the Netherlands “Blue Gold”, will hopefully put in place a plan to make Bangladesh as floodproof as possible. More than flood proofing, what I would personally like to see in Bangladesh is the inculcation of the Dutch way of thinking where disaster avoidance generally takes precedence over disaster relief. To the credit of our thousands of innovative people, Bangladesh is globally known for its excellent post disaster management skill. But working to avoid disaster is completely different from working after a disaster. This is what I long to learn as I continue this pilgrimage for the rest of my tenure! Hartelijk bedankt, Nederlandse vrienden!

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burundi La situation au Burundi Par S.E. Vestine Nahimana, Ambassadeur du Burundi au Pays Bas. Photography: Henry Arvidsson.

16 mai 2015 La Haye L’Ambassade du Burundi à La Haye voudrait porter à la connaissance de l’opinion internationale ce qui suit:


L’Ambassade du Burundi a suivi avec intérêt la situation politique et sécuritaire qui prévaut au Burundi depuis le 26 Avril 2015 qui s’est soldé par un coup d’état manqué qui a été mené par un groupe du corps de l’armée et de police, laissant derrière lui les dégâts humains et matériel assez importants;


L’Ambassade du Burundi voudrait s’associer aux autres forces vives de la Nation pour condamner avec toutes ses énergies les forces négatives qui veulent replonger le pays dans le chaos, oubliant ainsi que le recours à la force est contraire aux principes de la démocratie;


L’Ambassade du Burundi félicite, salue la bravoure et encourage les loyalistes pour leur patriotisme avec lequel ils ont combattu les mutins. Ils viennent de rassurer le peuple burundais quant à leur protection tant à l’intérieur que sur les frontières du pays;

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L’Ambassade du Burundi salue également la retenue avec laquelle le peuple burundais a démontré en restant calme et serein au cours de ces moments difficiles; L’Ambassade du Burundi salue le courage et la détermination du Chef de l’Etat Burundais, Son Excellence Pierre NKURUNZIZA, qu’il vient de manifester encore une fois en regagnant le pays malgré les conditions quasi impossibles et ce pour rassurer sa population garant du pouvoir;


L’Ambassade du Burundi rend hommage le plus mérité à tous ceux qui ont contribué de près ou de loin à la réussite de Son retour; L’Ambassade lance un appel pressant aux partenaires du Burundi de continuer à accompagner le processus électoral selon les prévisions de la CENI et les engagements de tous les acteurs politiques;


Enfin, l’Ambassade du Burundi lance également un appel vibrant à la communauté internationale pour faire une analyse impartiale et juste de la situation afin de contribuer à la stabilité de la sous-région en général et du Burundi en particulier.





Destino Holanda

By H.E. Mr. José de Bouza Serrano, Ambassador of Portugal to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Henry Arvidsson.

Frontiers fix the boundaries of countries, divide people and create national compartments, a fact reflected in maps and territories, but, people have always and even more so in the enlarged communitarian space, moved easily because emigration is, essentially, moving. A change of house, scenery, work and country is, in most cases, based on a wish to improve conditions of life and family. More than fifty years ago, on the 22nd of November 1963, The Convention between the Netherlands and the Portuguese Republic was signed in Lisbon regarding emigration, recruitment and the outplacement of Portuguese workers in the Netherlands. And whereas this Protocol marked, in the beginning, the arrival of a small group of workers also known as “gastarbeiders” to this country, the number of Portuguese in search of a better life since then has grown steadily. Others came for political reasons, mainly students, who refused to fight in the colonial war, finding more support and tolerance in this society. But we have to go further back in History to see that already in the 17th century the first Portuguese Jewish emigrants sought refuge in the Republic of the Netherlands for religious reasons. They found refuge in Amsterdam where they built the famous Portuguese Synagogue, a well preserved universal monument. In the 20th century, after the First World War, Holland felt the need of more workmanship, especially in the areas of agriculture and fishery. Most Portuguese emigrants therefore moved to this country and continued to do so until the beginning of World War II. The end of this destructive period marked the renewed recruitment of foreign workmanship, this time mostly for the primary sector and the mining industry. The injection of capital provided by the Marshall Plan stimulated the secondary sector, specifically the electro domestic, car, aeronautic and petrochemical industries. During the sixties the number of “gastarbeiders” reached 1500, but as a consequence of the family reunion that started with the Protocol of ’63, this number soon went up to 2,000 and later on to 3,500 Portuguese.


After the Revolution of April 1974, the statistics indicated 7500 Portuguese people working and living in the Netherlands, a number that grew higher together with the negotiations about the adhesion of Portugal to the European Communities. The Dutch Foreigners Law made it possible that many of our compatriots adopted the Dutch nationality, also were there more mixed marriages and children born from these mixtures who were registered as Dutch citizens (however, many of them were registered at the Consulate-General of Rotterdam). This important increase of Portuguese initiated a considerable movement of associative activities. It would be interesting to study and describe this process in order to understand how they came to conquer the statute they have nowadays.

The Federation of the Portuguese Community in the Netherlands, founded in the 80-ies of the former century decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this way of living that changed the lives of many Dutch and Portuguese people, of whom many still live here with their descendants or return because their homesick of the country that once received them. For that reason the Federation organized, in November 2013, at the University of Amsterdam, a symposium called “Destino Holanda” (Destination Holland) that was followed by the publication, last year, of a book with the different stories, lives and experiences describing this particular phenomenon of emigration. If we want to have a fruitful future, besides the past that

‘…that already in the 17th century the first Portuguese Jewish emigrants sought refuge in the Republic of the Netherlands for religious reasons...’ Today, the Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy has about 30 thousand registered Portuguese. The European economic crisis that started in 2008 and its effects on Portuguese society are felt in a way that a lot of young people emigrate because they cannot find employment in their home country. But, being citizens of the European Union and having the advantage of the mobility that comes with the European space, they don’t feel or see the necessity of being registered at the Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy so that many of them remain unknown and we only come across each other in our daily life by coincidence.

I have just described briefly, this common way of being Portuguese has to be based on plurality, tolerance and an imaginative belief that is attractive for new generations. This is how Portuguese people will remain an important component in the economic development and social wellbeing of Dutch society that welcomed them and has grown with their daily work.



State visit to Denmark

our vision of a green future

By His Excellency Mr. Ole E. Moesby, Danish Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Antim Wijnaendts van Resandt.

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima paid a state visit to Denmark from the 17th -19th of March 2015 at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort. As the ambassador I was very delighted to accompany the Royal Couple during the state visit. Denmark and the Netherlands have strong ties, marked by a like-minded culture, extensive people-to-people links and a vibrant trade and investment cooperation. Both countries strive for an open and plural society, with a strong political engagement. And both participate actively in the discussion about creating green solutions to ensure the best chance for a cleaner and greener future for our planet. In that regard the state visit focused of exchange experiences concerning the green innovative growth agency.

The importance of exchanging experiences in the area of green innovative growth is an essential driver for economic growth and improvement. We want to promote the sharing of knowledge and experiences and facilitate investment; and both countries wish to develop expert knowledge in the areas of research, technology and environmental standards. The Danish energy policy is clear: the entire energy supply; electricity, heating, industry and transport, is to be covered by renewable energy by 2050, and we are ready to take major steps to get closer to this target. The Danish picturesque island, Samsø is a role model in self-sufficiency. It is the first island in the world to be completely powered by renewable energy. Widely known, it is a significant international showcase for Danish energy technology. It has amassed a great deal of specific experiences with the implementation of a broad variety of local renewable energy projects, from wind turbines to CO2 neutral district heating plants, rapeseed oil tractors and solar energy panels. Each year more than 5,000 scientists, companies, politicians, journalists, school children and energy tourists from all over the world visit Samsø, to see the sustainable energy island and learn from the local experiences.

‘The Danish picturesque island, Samsø is the first island in the world to be completely powered by renewable energy.’ diplomat magazine #2

It was a very captivating experience to visit the island together with the Royal Couple. Interestingly we were welcomed by Marcel Meijer, who is the Mayor of Samsø municipality. Mr. Meijer is in fact Dutch and he is two a large extend the personification of the like-mindedness between our two countries. He has been instrumental in driving the green agenda for Samsø. On the island we were guided through a “green-day” full of inspiration and interesting activities. We visited Samsø Energy Academy where the Majesties took part in round table discussions about ideas and thoughts regarding the 100% self-sufficient and fossil free island. Another interesting event was the visit to consumer-owned district heating plant based on straw “Ballen Brundby” which gave a clear picture of the potential of renewable energy on the island. The “green-day” ended with a delicious lunch, purely made of local products to illustrate the local community´s ideas of self-sufficiency. The very enriching day at Samsø marked that Denmark is really approaching the core of the Danish goal about being environmentally friendly. What fascinated me most of all during the visit was the local interest in becoming a green model society this participation clearly affects the success of the project. When everybody takes an active part in this “energy democracy” we are guaranteed a much better future for our planet.




building bridges for regional dialogue

VII Summit of the Americas

By H. E. Willys Delvalle Velasco, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

With great determination and pride Panama has made all efforts necessary for the success of the VII Summit of the Americas, on April the 10th and 11th, and due to concerns about our region, since the very beginning proposed as the main theme: “Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation for the Americas”, a crucial meeting at which converge the 35 countries of the Americas confirmed by high level of each delegation. This Summit is framed by the valuable exchange of views and the discussions on regional topics based on the eight themes that supported the main program of the meeting: health, education, environment, citizen participation, democratic governance, migration, energy and security.

‘This Summit is framed by the valuable exchange of views and the discussions on regional topics.’ and on the highest level of education to the Heads of States and Government, as well as coordinate assessments and analyze the challenges of current situation on cooperation between universities.

Panama welcomes all participants in a friendly environment to share the concern about the difficulties that involve the countries of our hemisphere in diverse aspects, as well as the great challenges that require a common strategy, aiming to achieve the main goal: prosperity and equity for our people. Prior and parallel to the official program of the Summit of the Americas, several pre-Conference events have been organized to take place, including four major events to strengthen the process of the presidential meeting such as the Business Forum, the Youth Forum of the Americas, the Forum of Civil Society and Rectors Forum, held for the first time as an innovative high level dialogue in Panama. The First Forum of Rectors represent the space in which authorities of the foremost centers of highest education in the continent can present their points of view and recommendations on prosperity


With great enthusiasm, Panama has been totally committed to working hard and offer the appropriate conditions for a fruitful dialogue in order to promote respect for our diversity as societies and the will of looking forward for understanding through consensus, sending a strong message that all efforts should be deployed for deep hemispheric consolidation. In terms of foreign policy, Panama has worked hard to promote the convergence, building bridges between nations, approaching positions and making efforts to strengthen the principles of international peace and security, returning to the historical vocation of seeking reconciliation and promoting the tools that enable the implementation of an effective and practical diplomacy. Thus, Panama offers comparative advantages to the world including all the services that have developed around our privileged geographical position, the Panama Canal has expanded as a strategic point between the logistics and multimodal platform which is available for international trade, with last generation ports in both sides of the country,

on the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts, and complemented by the activities of a highly qualified financial center.

It has also facilitated our air platform through the Hub of the Americas which is located in Panama City and connecting all the main cities and countries of the hemisphere with convenient flight schedules that gives the business, tourists and cargo a parallel connectivity al around the world. The legal stability remains the strength of commercial transactions, with incentives for multinational enterprises and creating sustained growth. We see a prosperous future ahead for this five-year period, with the optimism of the hard work of the Panamanian people, at the same time it is expected that our neighbors and friends undertake joint efforts to identify opportunities that can generate benefits for the people of the Americas, with the determination to increase cooperation and strengthen common values that can create an impact in our region. Hosting the Summit of the Americas represents and will represent Panama’s strong and decisive start of a new phase, the consolidation of a forum in which our region converges the challenge presented: is to effectively work for the welfare of the citizens of the Americas, with the expectation of generating an increase in the quality of life and human development with equity.


VII Summit of the Americas By Martin Kammandel and Baron Henri Estramant. Photography: Embassy of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Heads of state and government from 35 countries in the Americas met in Panama City, Republic of Panama between 10 and 11 April 2015 for the VII Summit of the Americas. Such summits are held every three years to discuss inter-American economic, social or political issues since 1994. ‘The GFCE is a key initiative to give political momentum to global cyber capacity building, make available technical expertise as well as new funding to strengthen cyber security, help fight cybercrime, better protect our data and support e-governance. We should all benefit from the potential a

free, open and secure internet has to offer. The GFCE is a pragmatic, action-oriented and flexible platform for policymakers, practitioners and experts from different countries and regions. Goal is to share experiences, identify gaps in global cyber capacities, and to complement existing efforts in capacity building.’ ‘The Netherlands has a lot to offer’, says minister Van der Steur of Security and Justice, ‘In the field of Cybersecurity and cybercrime we have good practices, tools and methods to share. Still we need to learn and improve. In the GFCE we will share our experiences and learn from participating nations and non-state actors. All will benefit from getting the knowledge and best-practices together in one platform. Cyberspace will get better with this initiative, paving the way for further international cooperation.’ Membership of the GFCE is open to all countries, intergovernmental organizations and private companies who subscribe to The Hague Declaration on the GFCE. Civil society, the technical community, think tanks and academia will also be encouraged

to be involved in the GFCE, contributing to the development of best practices, sharing of knowledge and advising on capacity building efforts. The four focus areas of the GFCE are: cybersecurity, cybercrime, data protection and e-governance. An annual high level meeting amongst members of the GFCE will evaluate progress made and discuss and formulate requirements as well as best practices in cyber capacity building. The city of The Hague warmly supports the establishment of the GFCE, which further strengthens the role of The Hague as a central hub for cyber organizations.

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kosovo Why The Hague is of particular significance for the Republic of Kosovo By H. E. Ms Vjosa Dobruna, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Eberhard Laue, Aspect Media.

Guests from all over the world have their picture taken in front of one of The Hague’s most prominent landmarks: the Peace Palace. All know that the famous building, which is only a few hundred meters away from the Embassy of Kosovo, is the seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Fewer are aware of its particular significance for the Republic of Kosovo. In July it is five years that the ICJ said that Kosovo’s declaration of Independence on 17 February 2008 was not in violation of international law. The streets of Kosovo’s capital Pristina were almost empty on 22 July 2010. People had gathered in front of TV sets in excited anticipation of an announcement by the ICJ in response to the request from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to give an advisory opinion on the question: ‘Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of SelfGovernment of Kosovo in accordance with international law?’ The announcement was a striking victory for Kosovo and voided Serbia’s intention to have Kosovo’s declaration of independence declared as illegal. Serbia had as part of its policy to deny freedom to Kosovo initiated the request by the UNGA to obtain the opinion from the International Court of Justice in the first place. Ten judges had the opinion that Kosovo had every right to declare unilaterally its independence. Only four judges saw the case differently. Additionally the court also assessed whether Kosovo’s declaration of independence violated the UN Security Council resolution 1244. This resolution was in 1999 the basis to establish the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) as an ‘interim administration for Kosovo … which will provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development provisional democratic self-governing institutions’.

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The ICJ concluded that resolution 1,244 was adopted for humanitarian purposes, stabilization and reconstruction; to supersede the Serbian legal order; and to set up only a temporary, interim regime. The judges determined that the resolution 1,244 did not prohibit a declaration of independence; that the authors represented the people of Kosovo and were outside the UN framework. The People of Kosovo understood the opinion also as a victory and acknowledgment of their decade-long nonviolent civil disobedience and resistance, opposition to the apartheid of Serbia, the war, and a triumphant outcome of years of internationally-sponsored negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina over the question of Kosovo’s future political status. The opinion also represented a milestone in support of the roadmap for Kosovo as it was designed by UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari. In his Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement (the “Ahtisaari Plan”) he had recommended to the UN Security Council that Kosovo should become independent, subject to a period of international supervision. Kosovo made a binding commitment to fully implement the Ahtisaari Plan and welcomed a period of international supervision. The supervision ended on 12 September 2012.

Although not legally binding - the statement did not represent a judgment - the ICJ opinion had politically a major impact on the recognition by other countries as it closed the issue of legitimacy of the Declaration of Independence in the context of international law. Many concluded that the existence of the state of Kosovo cannot be ignored as it is based on the right of self-determination. Independent Kosovo became the seventh independent state emerging from the broken Yugoslavia. By now Kosovo is recognized by 110 UN Member States, including the United States and 23 European Union Member States. The Republic of Kosovo is committed to deepening the cooperation with neighboring countries and further integration into regional and international organizations and also Europe. Early May the European Commission approved the text of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the European Union and Kosovo. Once approved by the EU Member States it will be signed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the EU and is expected to come into force next year after ratification by the Assembly of Kosovo.




New opportunities

By H. E. Eduardo Ibarrola – Nicolin, Ambassador of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to OPCW. Photography: Embassy of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Mexico is a great country. It is a stable democracy with regular federal, state and municipal elections and respect of human rights. In geographical extension Mexico is number 14 in the world with coastlines on two oceans and a great biodiversity; the country has a majority young population, reflecting a hardworking, studious and dynamic social environment that share family and friendship values, making them a competitive labour force.

Cultural diversity is part of our History. Today, Mexico is the result of an encounter of two worlds, as a highly respected historian said, based on the existence of indigenous population living in its territory before the arrival of the Spaniards in the early Sixteenth Century that mixed with the culture they brought from Europe.

For decades Mexico has had an open economy with a significant presence of domestic and foreign private investment. We have signed free trade, promotion and protection of investment agreements with more than 40 countries. The output of the country is based in a broadly diversified manufacture sector, including high-tech products (aerospace, automotive); agroindustry and commodities; energy and mining; infrastructure and a broad scope of services. Mexico has a consistent and solid macroeconomic stability with a reduced deficit, public debt under control, low inflation and strong international reserves.


The President, with the support of the vast majority of the political forces represented in Congress, enacted several structural reforms. Some of them are aimed at increasing Mexico´s productivity: energy, antitrust, financial system, taxes, telecommunications and broadcasting and labour. Others are focused on extending

‘We have signed free trade, promotion and protection of investment agreements with more than 40 countries.’

Internationally, Mexico is a country of multiple belongings. Geographically we are located in North America and most of our trade, investments and migration is with the United States and Canada; but we are culturally Latin American with a very close relationship with Central and South America and the Caribbean; historically we have strategic relations with the Atlantic countries and we are developing intense relations with the Pacific Basin countries. With a view to achieving greater equality and maximizing the potential of the country President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012 – 2018) set five goals that are orienting his government: combating crime and promoting the rule of law; poverty reduction; improve quality education; economic growth and improving infrastructure; as well as intensifying a responsible international presence.

the rights of Mexicans and strengthening democratic freedoms: education, legal system and political – electoral. These structural reforms will tackle inequality and poverty and will promote growth, employment and social security. Historically, Mexico and the Netherlands have sustained good international relations. The Netherlands was among the first countries to recognize the Independence of Mexico from Spain. In 1827 both countries signed a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce. Today, both countries participate in several multilateral fora (climate change, disarmament and nonproliferation, human rights) and in several international organizations of the UN System; the courts of international justice located in The Hague, OPCW and OECD just to mention a few.


‘Mexico has a consistent and solid macroeconomic stability with a reduced deficit, public debt under control, low inflation and strong international reserves.’

For almost a century some Dutch companies have been in Mexico doing business. Shell and Philips are two good examples, and KLM just had his 60th Anniversary of daily nonstop flights from Amsterdam – Schiphol to Mexico City. On the other hand, Mexican firms are now investing in the Netherlands (telecommunications, food and beverages, infrastructure) and several Mexican products can be bought in Dutch stores. Heineken just announced an important new investment in the State of Chihuahua in the North part of Mexico where the company will build a new brewery. The Netherlands is developing a project in the State of Tabasco for water management that will help the local government and the population avoid the frequent floods that affect those low lands in México. Agribusiness is another good example of the projects that are carried out together. Wageningen University is implementing several agropark projects that could benefit the producers in Mexico and will make more efficient the commercialization of their products. Mexico has an important Embassy in The Hague. It is a medium size dual diplomatic representation: bilateral and multilateral. It is important to point out that the Embassy of Mexico in the Netherlands is in permanent coordination with the Dutch Embassy in Mexico City to develop and follow up different programs between the two countries.

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PROMEXICO, a federal government agency responsible for supporting the exportation of Mexican products and coordinating the attraction of foreign investments to Mexico has a permanent office of representation at the Embassy in The Hague. The business community can take advantage of these professional services of information, advice and match making.

Mexico is also a country of unique beauty. The large influx of visitors can enjoy the traditional Mexican hospitality, wonderful weather and delicious food. In addition to unique beaches, there is also a wealth of archaeological sites and colonial cities, with the ever presence of spectacular museums and all kinds of artistic expressions. You can see the multiple options for traveling to Mexico in www.visitmexico.com. European tourists do not require a visa to travel to Mexico.

Mexico has also four Honorary Consuls in the Netherlands that help us in the promotion of business with Mexico. All of them are distinguished Dutch citizens with experience in trade and investments and an extended professional background.

Mexico is one of the most competitive countries for productive investment. The business community in the Netherlands is invited to look at the changes that are taking place in Mexico, to invest and trade with a country where you will find a robust domestic market and a strategic geographical location. But most important, visit Mexico and enjoy amazing places that you will always remember.

The Dutch – Mexican Investment Council (DMIC) is a recent informal group that holds together companies with presence in Mexico or with the intention of doing business in Mexico , in order to exchange experiences, ideas and projects. There is a Mexican community in the Netherlands. Very often you will find lovely babies in the premises of the beautiful building of the Embassy whose parents are requesting birth certificates or new passports; usually the mother is Mexican and the father Dutch. There are also young Mexican professionals working in Dutch firms, especially in the ones that have investments in Mexico or Mexican stock. Education is another good example of the interaction between both countries. NUFFIC has an office in Mexico, promoting the presence of Mexicans in Dutch universities studying a variety of programs from engineering to performing arts. The Netherlands is now a good opportunity for Mexicans to study abroad.

‘For almost a century some Dutch companies have been in Mexico doing business.’



United Arab Emirates

Accelerating the Drive for Innovation

By H.E. Mr. Abdalla Hamdan Mohammed Ahmed Alnaqbi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Under the direction of President H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the cabinet of the United Arab Emirates approved the naming of 2015 The Year of Innovation in a special meeting convened on 30 November 2014. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa stressed that the UAE is giving the utmost priority to innovate, saying, ‘We live today in a world witnessing rapid changes and continuous developments, full of opportunities, discoveries and invention. Announcing 2015 as the Year of Innovation comes to support federal government efforts, attract national skills, increase distinguished research, as well as boost efforts to build a national cadre who are able to lead our future in this field towards more progress, prosperity and innovation.’ The declaration follows the launch of the National Innovation Strategy in October 2014, by H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. The strategy aims to make the Emirates the most innovative country in the world by 2021. Focusing on seven sectors of the economy - renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space - the National Innovation Strategy involves 30 initiatives to be completed within three years, including new legislation, innovation incubators, investment in specialized skills, private-sector incentives, international research partnerships, and an innovation drive within the government. After launching the strategy last year, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, “Today, more than any other time, we need to boost innovation among young people, build nurturing environments in our society, and encourage our schools and universities to equip our youth with skills in research and discovery


methodologies. We want our public and private sectors to explore new horizons to develop our economy. Innovation is our only way to build a great history of the UAE. The future will be for those who adopt innovation.” Current annual investment in innovation is Dhs14 billion (approximately $4 billion), of which Dhs7 billion goes to research and development. Even so, under the new initiative, spending on innovation will increase significantly. This may seem ambitious, but that is nothing new for a nation renowned for its daring projects and home to the richest city in the world, Abu Dhabi.

and construction. Much of this development has been intangible, but many projects have contributed to the UAE’s worldwide reputation for daring greatly: Khalifa Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the world, Ski Dubai, a state-of-the-art indoor ski slope, the man-made Palm Islands and World Islands, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and other spectacular structures. Yet the leadership of the UAE is well aware of the unsustainability of depending on one source of national income. With the infrastructure and urban environments now largely completed, the UAE has developed the Vision 2021 plan to diversify the economy by 2021 through expansion of a number of new industries.

‘The strategy aims to make the Emirates the most innovative country in the world by 2021.’ ‘The UAE is already the most innovative Arab nation. Our target is to be among the most innovative nations in the world. The competitiveness race demands a constant flow of new ideas, as well as innovative leadership using different methods and tools to direct the change,’ said Sheikh Mohammed. Thus far, the UAE’s booming economy has been reliant on petroleum products: oil-related activities accounted for 49.38% of its total GDP in 2009. To develop the country, the UAE has spent billions of dollars from oil income on infrastructure

Vision 2021 aims to ‘transform the UAE economy into a model where growth is driven by knowledge and innovation.’

The focus on cultivating innovation - the ability to achieve change that creates a new dimension of performance - is meant to support this economic diversification, and cultural barriers to innovation, such as fear of failure and an aversion to taking risks, are starting to diminish in the UAE. According to research, 71% of UAE millennials (those 35 years old or younger) currently have entrepreneurial aspirations.

Another essential element of an innovative ecosystem is fostering and supporting these young entrepreneurs, accomplished in the UAE via more than 10 incubators and accelerators, a substantial increase from

diplomatAMBASSADORIAL the 3 active in 2008. These include in5 (in Dubai Internet City), Turn8 (by DP World), i360 accelerator, Silicon Oasis Founders, SeedStartup, Endeavor, twofour54’s Ibtikar, afkar.me, the First Steps Business Center, and the Dubai SME (small-to-medium enterprises) Business Incubation Center. These incubators and accelerators offer a variety of mentorship and business support services for UAE nationals and immigrants alike. SeedStartup, for example, brings international start-ups to a three-month acceleration programme held in Dubai. The government has undertaken many initiatives to support the funding of innovation. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority´s ICT Fund aims to drive the country’s ICT sector by providing R&D funding, scholarships for students of ICT engineering programmes, and support for incubators. Additionally, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (with approximately $550 million in capital) aims to develop local SME´s in Abu Dhabi by providing microfinance and start-up loans and by supporting entrepreneurs with training programmes.

Meanwhile, the government continues to revise economic policies and the institutional framework to empower the private sector and to strengthen foreign investment. One recently revised policy is a new law opening the door for innovationbased companies operating in specific activities defined under the law to benefit from the 100% ownership, tax-free, and other benefits regulated by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone. The establishment of free zones specially tailored for innovation-based companies that invest heavily in research and development activities in both the public and private sectors is a vital step in fostering innovation goal attracting SMEs from all over the world. In our pursuit of international partnerships in support of innovation, the UAE Embassy in The Hague works with our Dutch counterpart to strengthen our ties and explore every possibility for collaboration. One cooperative project is Gas Storage Bergermeer, a collaboration between UAE Energy Company TAQA and Royal Dutch

Shell, which opened in April and is Europe’s largest open access gas storage, contributing to security of supply, the energy transition, and lower energy prices for the people of Northwest Europe. For 2015, we are exploring ways to increase our cooperation. The Netherlands is renowned for its educational institutes that focus on innovation, such as Wageningen University and TU Delft. To learn from their experience and reputable research, we invite the possibility for future collaboration in pursuit of innovation in the sectors of agriculture, technology and technological research with these institutes. In addition, we are working with multiple Dutch ministries and institutes to reach out to Dutch SMEs to explore benefits and accessibility to the UAE market. We are determined not to leave any stone unturned as we explore possibilities for innovation in all sectors and we will continue to work with our Dutch and other international partners to achieve this goal.



investment seminar By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamasa.

Tunisia Investment Seminar, a joint initiative by NCH, VNO, NCW, FIPA and several other institutions took place at the Malitoren, The Hague on Friday April 24, 2015. Dutch- Tunisian entrepreneurs, as well as some Ambassadors attended the seminar. The welcome address was delivered by Mr. Niek Jan van Kesteren, Diretor general of VNO-NCW(host), Mr. Salim Rabbani, chairman MENA Business Council of NCH (moderator), H.E. Mr. Karim Ben Becher Ambassador of Tunisia, Mr. Tjerk Opmeer, deputy director DIO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Madame Amel Azzouz, Secretary of State for Investment and International Cooperation, delivered an animated and convincing keynote address. This is the second VNO NCW - Tunisia Seminar since 2012. In his address Mr. Tjerk Opmeer, Deputy Director International Enterprise Department, MFA. encouraged participants to interact.

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Madame Amel Azzouz, Secretary of State for Investment and International Cooperation.

State Secretary Azzouz has recently attended a conference in Venice on “Exceptional Tunisia” Yes, Tunisia is exceptional says Azzouz since army, civil society and political elite dialogue and this has lead to a compromise. 70% of MP supports the stable government. A new code for investment is expected to be published as well as the restructuring of public banks. Furthermore, in June 2015, FIPA will organize the Carthage Forum of Investment, which will hopefully attract investors. At the end of the successful seminar, an expert panel consisting of representatives of: UTICA, CTNCI A and Hilfresh answered questions, this was followed by a Tunisian networking lunch.




The Hague and Arequipa

By H.E. Carlos Herrera Rodríguez, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography Ambassador: Jeanette Somocurcio. Landscape of Arequipa: Promperú.

Having recently arrived in The Hague, people often ask me how I feel. I usually respond: at home. Perhaps I should be a little more explicit. To say “at home” in this case is a reference to the land of my birth, Arequipa..We Arequipeans tend to be insufferably proud. More so since one of our most illustrious fellow countrymen, Mario Vargas Llosa, was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature. We pass the time relating everything to our land, manifesting a very particular and regional pre-Copernican view of the world. That said, it seems especially disconcerting to compare The Hague and Arequipa. A horizontal landscape in permanent dialogue with the sea contrasting with a city built in the middle of the desert, hoisted to an altitude of nearly 2,400 meters, and surrounded by volcanoes that reach 6,000 meters. A climate marked by rain and humidity in contrast with blue sky and intense aridity the greater part of the year. Nevertheless, the resulting populations are similar. Austere, hardworking people who were forced to, and did, confront the challenges of nature. Paradoxically, a profusion of artists, category of the population known to be engaged in activities of dubious practicality, without which life would be painful if not unbearable. And, above all, the rule of Law.

‘We Arequipeans tend to be insufferably proud. More so since one of our most illustrious fellow countrymen, Mario Vargas Llosa, was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature.’

When one settles into a bench in the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa, at midday, the bright sun forces you to squint. That said, looking with your eyes half closed makes your vision more acute. The forms and the shadows acquire clearly defined shapes and borders. Reality is clearer. This implies that the concepts become clearer as well.

I like to imagine that it is as a result of this that among the Pleiades of illustrious men produced by the city; there are mathematicians and scientists of the highest caliber along with watercolorists and more than a few caricaturists. The same conceptual clarity is also a necessity in the creation and administration of the law, and Arequipa is recognized as the juridical capital of the country as a result of the contributions of illustrious personalities and the proliferation of magistrates, lawyers, “paper pushers” of all classes and levels. The city is the official seat of the Constitutional Tribunal of Peru, and 3 of its 7 members (including their President) are originally from Arequipa.

In fact, one of the members of the Tribunal, Carlos Augusto Ramos Nuñez, has a thesis which is much less romantic and probably much more objective regarding the importance of Law in Arequipa: ‘Perhaps the abundance of lawyers and lawsuits in Arequipa can be explained by the preponderance of small rural landholders - a source of frequent judicial problems.’ If Arequipa is the juridical capital of Peru, The Hague is that of the world. I can speculate about the reasons for this (similar to and at the same time different from Arequipa: in the romantic version, the Dutch light, changing as in the landscapes of Vermeer, or in a dramatic chiaroscuro of Rembrandt, illuminates and clarifies the range of human problems. Looking at the situation more objectively it is obvious that a people engaged in commercial relations around the world need a method to resolve disputes). The result is that the iconic image of this city is the Peace Palace, the seat of the International Court of Justice.

‘If Arequipa is the juridical capital of Peru, The Hague is that of the world.’



In any case, in Peru, today, The Hague has gained a permanent place in the collective imaginary as source of justice in the world after the judgement of the International court of Justice on January 27th, 2014 which resolved in a definitive and peaceful manner our maritime dispute with Chile. The name of “The Hague” has become a historic one for us; in the same way that cities and places all over the world identify themselves with great military victories or defeats. A fortunate and promising sign of the times. When, shortly after taking up my post, I visited the then President of the International Court of Justice, the Slovaque jurist Peter Tomka, I presented him with a Peruvian publication commemorating the judgement of January 27th. In one of the photographs, the imposing figure of Tomka reading this ICJ decision from a giant screen in the Plaza de Armas of Lima is watched by an expectant multitude as though it were a World Cup football match.

Tomka was impressed and amused by the image. (He mentioned it anecdotally in a later public event). Following our meeting, he had the courtesy to offer me a guided tour of some of the halls in the Peace Palace. In one of those august chambers, among portraits of the distinguished jurists who had made their contribution to world peace, he showed me that of Don José Luis Bustamante y Rivero, Peruvian president between 1945 and 1948, and President of the International Court of Justice between 1967 and 1969. Did I mention that Don José Luis Bustamante y Rivero was born in Arequipa?

‘The name of “The Hague” has become a historic one for us; in the same way that cities and places all over the world identify themselves with great military victories or defeats.’

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ceremony of merit An ambassadors’ Ambassador By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

A Ceremony of Merit was held by Diplomat Magazine at Carlton Ambassador Hotel in January in honor of the departed Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands, H. E. Retno L.P Marsudi. She was Indonesia’s first female Ambassador to the Netherlands. The ceremony’s testimonial was delivered by Dr Bernard Bot, former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands and the current President of the Carnegie Foundation. Dr. Bot referred to Ambassador Marsudi as: “An ambassadors’ Ambassador”. Dr. Bot dwelled on the centuries old historical ties between the Netherlands, the former colonial power and (independent) Indonesia. Minister Marsudi as for her new position as Indonesia’s first ever female Minister of Foreign Affairs, elaborated on her vision and mission for the country with the emphasis on taking Indonesia’s foreign policy to the Indonesian people focusing on four main areas, namely: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Protecting the sovereignty of Indonesia Protecting Indonesian nationals/citizens Economic diplomacy Maintaining Indonesia’s active role in regional and international forums.

Warm Farewell for Sri Lankan Ambassador buddhi Athauda By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

On February Ambassador Buddhi K. Athauda was awarded Diplomat Magazine’s Certificate of Merit, in recognition of his many contributions to the diplomatic community in The Hague. The United States Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Timothy Broas, commented on Ambassador’s Athauda’s extensive experience in the private sector, specifically mentioning his senior management experience with Iridium LLC, pioneers in mobile satellite telecommunication technologies. He has held many prestigious positions in various multinational organizations while representing his country in the Netherlands. Presently, the Ambassador is the Chairman of the Budget Committee of the Permanent Court of Arbitration for the years 2014 & 2015. He also serves as Chairman, Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), elected unanimously as Chairperson of the year 2014, by member countries at the 25th Annual Meeting of Governing Council. Further, Ambassador Athauda was unanimously elected as Vice-chair of 18th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at the sessions held in December 2013. Ambassador Athauda took the podium following Ambassador Broas’ introduction and was especially pleased to share a few words about the Diplomatic Council, a Global Think Tank founded by him and where he serves as President. It currently enjoys over 5,000 supporters in 16 countries.



Certificate of Merit Awarded to Departing Ambassador of Thailand By Ann Daly. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

On January, His Excellency Dr. Virachai Plasai, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Netherlands was awarded a Certificate of Merit by Diplomat Magazine. Prior to being appointed as Ambassador, Dr. Plasai was the Director-General, eneral, Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs from September 2007 to May 2009. He also served as Director-General of Department of International Economic Affairs during 2006-2007. This year marks the 28th anniversary of his distinguished career in Thai Diplomatic Service, which began in the Department of Political Affairs in 1987. His other overseas posts were as First Secretary at the Royal Thai Embassy in London and as Minister Counselor for legal affairs at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. While serving as the Thai Ambassador to The Hague, he also acted as the agent of the Kingdom of Thailand in the case concerning the interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the “Temple of Preah Vihear� (Cambodia v. Thailand) before the International Court of Justice. Although Ambassador Plasai will be leaving the Netherlands soon, his calm, generous and creative personality will certainly be missed.

Au revoir eugenio! By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Many friends and acquaintances attended a party to say farewell to Eugenio Matos, Minister Counsellor of the Dominican Republic, a wonderful personality who all agree made a significant contribution to the diplomatic community of The Hague.

for more pictures see: diplomatmagazine.nl

Eugenio Matos has been a key driving force behind the scenes at Diplomat Magazine, overseeing the creation of the project from its humble beginnings with a handful of volunteers in 2013, to the supervision of the first published paper edition. Dr. Eugenio Matos is currently Minister Counsellor of the Dominican Republic Ambassy in Buenos Aires.


Perverse incentives in foreign policy By Barend ter Haar. Photography: Maaike Vink.

Are there also perverse incentives in foreign policy? That is the question a diplomat asks himself after reading the new book of Joris Luyendijk, entitled Dit kan niet waar zijn (This can´t be true), to be published in English under the title: Masters of the Universe, A Journey Through The Alarming World Of High Finance. In this book Luyendijk describes how the financial world almost crashed because bankers responded to a perverse incentive to take irresponsibly high risks, while their bosses didn´t understand what was going on. How large is the risk that such a crisis will happen again as long as bankers are supposed to promote public interests, but are paid for promoting private interests? How to deal with the tension between the responsibility banks bear towards the public for the (long term) functioning of the economy (why, otherwise, should governments pay to prevent banks from going bankrupt) and the responsibility they bear towards shareholders for maximizing (short term) profits? In principle these responsibilities might be combined, but that will be difficult as long as bankers are rewarded one-sidedly for maximizing short term profits. No doubt, this is worrisome, if only because the financial sector is such a crucial part of the world economy. But these problems are not unique. In every organization the attainment of fundamental goals is threatened by perverse incentives.

Take development cooperation. Lifting marginalized people out of poverty is one of the most difficult tasks a government has. Lifting people out of poverty in other counties is even more difficult. Development cooperation therefore can only contribute to lasting results when a long term view is taken. However, ministers come and go and in the few years of their tenure they want to show concrete results. This often puts ministry officials in a difficult position. Should they meet the request of their political masters to come up with a report that sums up the short term achievements and underplays the failures?

‘Building peace usually requires an investment of political attention, manpower and money for more than ten years.’ The same is the case with peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Building peace usually requires an investment of political attention, manpower and money for more than ten years. However, the political and

military capacities of most countries are not equipped for that. Now what should a responsible official do? Should he write a report extolling the positive results of a short term involvement, or should he tell the whole truth? A final example of perverse incentives is the evaluation of chairmanships of the European Union. It is a public secret that for many, if not most, ministers and officials the step from representing a relative small country to leading a global player with world-wide responsibilities is too large. Lack of vision, lack of leadership and lack of continuity are therefore the rule rather than the exception. But officials are usually expected only to report the accomplishments and to keep silent over the missed opportunities. Lessons that could be learned are rather forgotten. In all these three cases fundamental goals (durable development, lasting peace and an effective European policy) are endangered by the perverse incentive to concentrate on short term deliverables that make a nice heading in the press, but have no lasting impact.

‘How large is the risk that such a crisis will happen again as long as bankers are supposed to promote public interests, but are paid for promoting private interests?’



Trade missions

diplomats’ expertise required By Dr. Huub Ruël, Professor of International Business. Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Photograpy: © windesheim.

The global economy and the economic balance of power are shifting; the role of Asia as an economic power house has become very clear over the past decade and it is here to stay. After the financial crisis of 2007 and the subsequent global economic recession, many countries have tried to give their national economy a boost by pushing an economic internationalization agenda. And not only developed economies have been doing this, many emerging economies are doing so as well. In many countries the role of the foreign mission and of the diplomats working at embassies and consulates is turning towards an economic and commercial focus. Ambassadors and consuls and their staff are expected to deliver on economic and business support goals more than ever before. Economic and commercial diplomacy has gained and will keeping on gaining in importance and emphasis. Trade missions are an important instrument of governments at the national and subnational level for stimulating their economies by supporting businesses with gaining access to new markets, establishing bilateral trade agreements, attracting foreign investment, and giving national exports a boost. Ambassadors, consuls, and other diplomats working at foreign posts are usually involved when a trade mission from the home country visits a host country. They are asked to help with ‘match-making’ and finding potential business partners, to provide reports on market opportunities, to network ahead of the mission’s visit, to organize meetings between business and government representatives of the home and host country, and so on. The effectiveness of trade missions, however, is sometimes questioned. Although trade missions have been around as a tradeenhancing instrument for ages, their actual positive effects have not been confirmed unequivocally. Research on trade missions reveals a mixed picture of what they can do for individual businesses and for the trade volume between nations. Some studies have shown positive results on the market expansion of individual firms and on trade volumes between nations, while others show no or even negative results.

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The main reason for these mixed results is that the research has neglected to look at the role of preparation of the participants, the structure and content of the trade mission program, and the follow-up after the trade mission. These aspects seem to be the key success factors of trade missions. It is the responsibility of ambassadors, consuls, and diplomats at embassies to achieve the maximum effect with taxpayers’ money. For that reason it is of great value to keep on improving the way in which they organize or assist in the organization of trade missions.

‘Economic and commercial diplomacy has gained and will keeping on gaining in importance and emphasis.’

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My research group is working on studies to identify and confirm the key success factors of trade missions. At the moment we are about to finalize a research project report. The results so far suggest that:

4. Embassies and consulates need to show their openess to support home-country businesses in order to lower the barrier for business to contact them for advice and support.

1. Serious interviews with potential participating firms: set realistic and feasible goals or otherwise do not join the mission

5. After the mission: a thorough evaluation of the trade mission with the participating firms is crucial, as is actively staying in contact for at least a year after the mission. Turning contacts into contracts takes in most cases at least a year or more, so continuing support in this is needed.

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2. Ahead of the mission: participating firms have to prepare for trade missions by providing training in cross-cultural communication, in the history, national and business culture of the host country, in business relationship-building in the host country, and in business presentations.


3. During the mission: a well-prepared match-making program, with individual one-to-one meetings between hostand home-country businesses, has to be part of the mission if serious commercial outcomes are targeted.

Organizing or assisting in the organization of trade missions is an important role for the embassies and consulates of many countries. Diplomats can deliver added value, their role and position gives them access to parties that may not be accessible to the business community. They are expected to know the host country and the business culture and customs and therefore can be of great value for business. Applying these essentials in trade missions and putting maximum effort in supporting the home-country business sector to turn contacts into contracts is taxpayers’ money well spent.


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THE HAGUE BECOMES AN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CENTRE By Jhr. mr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland, Justice (Judge) in the Court of Appeal and honorary Special Advisor on International Affairs of the City of The Hague. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

For many decades the City of The Hague is already well known all over the world as the International City of Peace and Justice or — as the former Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros Gali said — the Legal Capital of the World. Recently Secretary General Ban Ki-moon repeated that during the celebrations of 100 years Peace Palace on August 28, 2013. The most well known international courts are the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration — both in the Peace Palace — as well as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), but there are also smaller tribunals like the Iran - US Claims Tribunal and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). So far about peace and justice. Not so well known yet is a quickly growing third activity in The Hague: security. Since 1997 the world wide Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the biggest and most prominent example of an international organisation in the field of security in The Hague. Most foreign ambassadors in the Netherlands are also Permanent Representative for their country in OPCW (only USA, Germany and the Netherlands itself have a special Permanent Representative for OPCW). Important and well known also is NATO C1 Agency and also very well known in Europe is Europol, the European police organisation, also based in The Hague since the 20th century. In the 21st century these security activities are growing quickly. In 2014 no less than 13.700 jobs in The Hague are linked directly or indirectly with security. In that year The Hague Security Delta (HSD) has been established: a leading security cluster with the HSD Campus where over 25 governmental organisations, enterprises and

knowledge institutions from all over the Netherlands permanently work together on security. Well known also are two organisations on cyber security that settled in The Hague: the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

‘In 2014 no less than 13.700 jobs in The Hague are linked directly or indirectly with security.’ But not only in The Hague based institutions on security are important: The Hague was recently chosen as the place for summits and other congresses in that field. Everyone will remember the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in March 2014, with State Presidents and Prime Ministers from all over the world,

including President Obama of the United States of America. More recently the 4th Global Conference on CyberSpace (GCCS) took place in The Hague (April 16 and 17, 2015), with over 1,200 participants — cabinet ministers, businessmen and NGO’s — from over a hundred countries from all over the world. The subjects were cyber security, cyber crime, freedom and privacy, economic growth and social benefits, international stability etc. Apart from that big conference, several side conferences took place that week (International ONE Conference; the yearly congress of the National Cyber Security Centre NSCS) and The Hague Security Delta (HSD) organised an interesting Cyber Security Week. One of the results of the 4th Global Conference on CyberSpace was the decision to establish a permanent Bureau on cyber in The Hague: the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise. This again is a further step to The Hague as an International Security Centre.

‘One of the results of the 4th Global Conference on CyberSpace was the decision to establish a permanent Bureau on cyber in The Hague: the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.’ DiPLOMAT MAGAziNE #2



Choosing an Internationally

British Education

By Uhuru Tyrie-Socha. Photography: Andy Catterall.

For parents living and working abroad, selecting a suitable school for their children is one of the first priorities in any posting. For the majority, an international school is the obvious choice – lessons offered in the English language, smaller class sizes, excellent facilities and top class teachers are all appealing concepts for most parents – however, these are not the only reasons why so many parents make this choice. The attraction of an international school education filters way beyond the confines of the classroom, as it provides students with the opportunity to learn and interact within a truly culturally diverse environment, promoting a broadminded spirit of acceptance and interest in other beliefs and values.

the whole individual, producing students with high aspirations and confident independence - these principles still stand at the BSN today, with the school priding itself on the fostering of strong values such as mutual understanding, respect for others and high personal endeavour.

The global popularity of international schools is evidenced by The BSN caters for the children of many diplomats and Embassy UK-based International School Consultancy Group (ISC), whose staff located in The Hague, as well as for numerous international recent research revealed a global increase organisations and corporations who have in the number of students in international their headquarters in and around the city. ‘During the past 10 years schools. During the past 10 years the With around 2,250 students aged 3-18 years, market has doubled in size with now more spread across 4 campuses in The Hague the market has doubled in than 6,000 international schools across the area, the BSN is the international school of size with now more than world, and almost 10,000 further schools choice for more families than any other. predicted to open before 2021. In just 12 6,000 international schools months, student numbers have risen from The rich diversity of the BSN community across the world.’ 3.3 million in 2013, to 3.6 million last year. is deeply entwined into the school’s fabric, providing a unique dimension to the school Since opening its doors in The Hague more ethos and character. The global exposure than 80 years ago, The British School in the Netherlands (BSN) has that students and children experience during their time at the school seen a huge number of changes. Not only has the school transformed enables them to connect with each other’s cultures - in the classroom in relation to its size and location, but perhaps more specifically, the and beyond - as well as develop a strong understanding of different BSN has evolved enormously in terms of the international makeup traditions, values and beliefs from a very early age. This is combined of its students, who now represent some eighty five nationalities. The with a curriculum built on solid British foundations, providing a school was founded on the principles of developing and challenging uniquely distinctive educational experience for the students.

Fact File The global appeal of the UK-based curriculum is underlined by figures showing that it has by far the largest share of the international education market. ISC Research indicates that 3,115 international schools use a UK-based curriculum, leading to GCSEs and A-levels. This represents 41 per cent of the international schools market, making it more than twice as popular as the next most widely chosen, the International Baccalaureate, which is taught by 17 per cent of international schools.






By Augie K Fabela II, Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus, VimpelCom, Ltd.

The mobile future is truly a global future. in many ways, it is eliminating barriers, transcending borders, and enabling a quantity and diversity of connections unimaginable until very recently.

The global reputation of the UK education system, coupled with a modern and innovative approach to teaching and learning which fosters an early acceptance of responsibility for one’s own learning, are some of the reasons many parents opt to buy into the British education system. Following a UK curriculum means the BSN, together with other British international schools worldwide, can draw on a large pool of highly qualified teachers. Furthermore it’s broadly recognised that British school-leaving qualifications provide a passport to universities across the world – whilst many European countries accept each other’s qualifications for university entrance, A-levels are also respected further afield in countries including the USA and Canada, therefore providing students with access to some of the top institutions in the world. That said, the BSN actually provides the best of both worlds by offering a choice between the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or IB Career Related Programme and the traditional British A Level route, during the final two years of schooling. The Association of Graduate Recruiters recently observed that many employers have problems in recruiting for graduate positions, citing a lack of candidates equipped with the necessary skills and experiences required by international organisations. As the term ‘Global Graduates’ becomes the buzz phrase amongst employers and universities, it becomes increasingly important for students to develop exactly the kind of skills they learn in an international school environment.

‘Internationally British approach helping differentiate it from other local international schools.’

British International Schools around the globe, offer an exceptionally unique educational experience, blending the quality of the world renowned British education system, with a distinctively international dimension. The popularity of the BSN’s approach continues to grow — its Internationally British approach helping differentiate it from other local international schools and attracting not just expatriates from all over the world, but also an increasing number of internationally minded Dutch families as well. DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE #2

The change in the nature of these connections is worth mentioning specifically — as it is the catalyst of the transformation towards this “mobile future” from the “mobile present.” With voice giving way to data, we continue to connect people with each other. Increasingly, we are connecting people with information, ideas, and larger communities. Importantly, as the heart of the emerging digital world, mobile is becoming the means by which people conduct every facet of their lives, their work, their social lives, and their economic activities. Mobile is also becoming the hub of an interconnected web-consisting of customers, devices, data, behaviors, social networks and processes, which depend on the systems and infrastructures that form the backbone of our operations. One thing we see as giving us an advantage in shaping this digital future for our 220 million customers, in 14 countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe is the fact that we are headquartered here in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam. Aside from giving us an environment which helps us attract top talent from all over the world, our base in the Netherlands also connects us to an innovative community of entrepreneurs, professionals and thinkers who are looking at the mobile future and developing ideas and solutions that are focused on the kinds of markets where we work. etherlands is an important The Netherlands player in building mobile approaches to social challenges as well as commercial opportunities. With our home in the Netherlands, etherlands, we are proud to be part of this effort to shape the mobile future, for our customers, and to all they connect with.



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Magnificent Bangladesh ‘My greatest strength is the love for my people, my greatest weakness is that I love them too much’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador for Bangladesh to the Netherlands, invited me to participate in the April 2015 “Visit Bangladesh” program which was hosted by the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Courtesy calls were made on the Office of the Prime-Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and on the Minister of Information. In addition there were visits to various state corporations and a garment factory. An integral element of the program was the colorful and carnivalesque Bengali New Year celebration which took place on April 14. Bangladesh is a magnificent South Asian country impregnated with resources yet to be explored. Hospitality and a young motivated workforce are Bangladesh’s hallmark, with a population of about 150.000.000, 17.000.000 of which are living in the capital Dhaka. After a bloody struggle, Bangladesh became liberated in 1971 under the vibrant leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He is unmistakably the endearing father and friend of the nation Bangabandhu. “My greatest strength is the love for my people, my greatest weakness is that I love them too much,” Rahman once stated. Forty years after his brutal assassination in a military coup, he is still omnipresent. His image is everywhere and his inspirational philosophy continues to live on. The speakers at the “Visit Bangladesh” program included Hon. Prime Minister Sheikh Hessian’s top advisors: Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Political advisor to the PM, doyen of Bangladesh politics Mr. H.T. Imam and

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Mr. Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, media advisor to the PM. 2021 is expected to be a top year in Bangladesh’s 50 years of existence, with substantial increase of the GDP, significant decrease in poverty, and increased scientific development. The aspiration is that by then the country would become a middle income country and thus obtain its rightful place among the nations.

Investing in Bangladesh

Currently, the Bangladesh’s thriving economy is based on: 1. The garment industry, dominated by female workers 2. Small scale farming, Bangladesh is self sufficient in food 3. Remittances by the Diaspora - expatriates 4. Pharmaceutical industry 5. Ship building - export The Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) and the Bangladesh Board of Investment (BOI) are there to attract and facilitate investors, and the Government provides many incentives for investors to open factories. Furthermore, new investors enjoy tax holidays for 5 years. In order to stimulate rapid economic growth of the country, particularly through industrialization, the government has adopted an ‘Open Door Policy’ to better attract foreign investment.

Padma Bridge, a prestigious project

One way for enhancing the economic prosperity of the country is through improved infrastructure. As such, the Government of Bangladesh has embarked on the construction of an ambitious US$.3.60 billion bridge over the Padma River named “Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project” which will not only benefit its southwest region but the entire country. The bridge is expected to be operational by 2019.

Currently the link between the southwest zone and the rest of the country across the Padma River is only accessible by ferry, which provides a very limited service with very long waiting times. Thus, a multipurpose bridge will enhance freight, passenger, railway transportation and optical fiber telecommunication between Dhaka and major points in the southwestern zones allowing for rapid development as well as national and regional economic growth. But in addition to assuring the economic growth of the country, Bangladesh has also made impressive strides in other important humanitarian areas as well. Gender equality, a very sensitive topic, has manifested itself in Bangladesh in a very exemplary form. The country’s PM is a woman, its opposition leader is also a woman and so is the speaker of the house. This proves that Bangladesh has found a way to close the gap of gender inequality, a point which has been recognized worldwide (WIP Award) and which was recently noted by Hilary Clinton in one of her speeches. Another very important area is the Government’s capability to take care of its people. In lieu of the Rana Plaza tragedy, we are told by Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, that not only were the families handsomely compensated but that the number of labor inspectors have been increased, new labor laws are in the process of being adopted and that there has been an acceleration in the implementation of a minimum wage package for the garment industry. Sad, indeed, was the tragedy but the Bangladesh authorities are putting measures in place. And finally, the people of Bangladesh can enjoy freedom of speech as the media is opened to the private sector and there are no state interventions. H.E. Hasanul Haq Inu, Minister of Information, envisages creating broadcasting commission, similar to that in U.K and the USA. It was certainly a pleasure for me to accept the invitation of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Bangladesh Ambassador in the Netherlands and to participate in the “Visit Bangladesh program.’’





The US provides 56% of worldwide food aid with Haiti as its biggest client. However, the US also retracts what it offers with farm subsidies. This initiative is a national legal project that directs the benefits towards US farmers by giving them ownership of a food aid monopoly. The “Food for Peace” program costs US taxpayers 1.5 billion in 2012 alone. The total amount of agricultural subsidies per year averages to 300 billion USD. Quality standard control in developed countries tends to be significantly higher than the developing counties, sometimes barring the possibilities for mutual trade. Additionally, subsidies allow American agricultural producers to export and sell in developing states at a competitive or sometimes cheaper price than its equivalent found domestically. These reflect a double standard that hinders a developing country’s full potential. The effects of these policies on Haiti have lead to a market flood of US grown products. In 2011, US exports to Haiti totalled $326 million and drove former President Bill Clinton to state that these neoliberal market actions “may have been good for some farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked for Haiti, it was a mistake”. The distributional

By Eugene Matos De Lara and Amelia Baxter.

Evidence suggests that agricultural liberalization can have nefarious effects on the poorest countries. More powerful states use liberalization processes to gain concessions from weaker states without lowering their own domestic protections. I argue that agricultural trade in some developing countries should be strongly regulated and in turn, diminish neoliberal market trends within these states because of its negative effects on local producers. The negative effects can be dismantled by over viewing its causality by domestic subsidies and the market flooding.

and collateral effect on the poor has witnessed the disappearance of Haitian rice and with it, Haitian food sovereignty. Haiti had self-sustained food security up until the 1980s, supported predominantly by its rice production. Since the 1990s, Miami Rice aid and trade imports have “outpaced” the domestic production. In 2000, US rice imports totalled 219,590 metric tons (t), when domestic production was 130,000t, in contrast to 1985 when local production amounted to 163,296t and US imports were weighed at 7,337t. This empirical evidence demonstrates two things. One is the substantial decrease of agricultural production in Haiti. Two, the drastic decrease of the price of rice and the apparition of an additional 178,957t per year demonstrate that the consumption of rice in Haiti has changed to the extent that it outpaces the Haitian agro-productive force of rice in any year. Consequently, by relying more on American prices and quantity, food sovereignty in Haiti is almost nonexistent. In summary, not all developing countries benefit from agricultural liberalization. “Few developing countries find themselves in a position to compete internationally in liberalised agricultural markets most

notably, Brazil, Argentina, China, and those of the former Soviet Union — have demonstrated the competitiveness to take advantage of such market openings. The smallest-scale farmers are likely to benefit the least, as large-scale industrialised producers capture most growth in export markets”. As an alternative, food sovereignty stipulated by Kim Burnett professor at the University of Ottawa, offers a more direct solution than agricultural liberalization in the food crisis by identifying the potential strength of local market and small scale producers socially, economically and on the global macroeconomic scale. Food sovereignty is a right to “healthy and culturally appropriated food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods” (K.Burnett & S.Murphy, 2014). This idea offers a counter proposal to today’s neo-liberal macroeconomic trend. Food sovereignty has unraveled many initiatives aiming to increase smallholder representation, their market power, awareness of organics, and indigenous cultures in agriculture. In hindsight, it is safe to state that food sovereignty carries the perspective of food producers in most developing states while liberalization does not.

‘Quality standard control in developed countries tends to be significantly higher than the developing counties, sometimes barring the possibilities for mutual trade.’ 64




By Peter Knoope, Associate Fellow ICCT -The Hague. Photography: Qphoto.


Religion is an important identifier. It gives shelter and secures values. It offers belonging and personal cornerstones for moral guidance. It’s a home and a family and can constitute a major part of a person’s identity. Religion can be a powerhouse.

When one takes the trouble to study the motivations of young people that feel attracted to political violence, one discovers that there is a diversity of reasons that drive people to make that choice. Lack of other, more attractive, propositions is just one of them. Grievances about injustice and societal or collective political exclusion are another. Anger and frustration about a failing governance system is not unusual. One comes across feelings of humiliation and alienation. And not unusual also is the idea to be occupied or dominated by foreign powers. All these reasons are found, along with pure excitement and potential of fame and a reason to live and die for. It changes with time and place.

Of late a renewed debate is raging as to what exactly the role of religion is in the wave of terrorism that is increasingly gaining momentum and expanding its space in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, Kenya and Cameroon. I can go on to France and Denmark or to Mali and Nigeria. It does not seem to stop; and it is constantly taking us by surprise, popping up in new and unexpected places. Many of the attackers claim that religious texts, or interpretations of these texts, inspire them to fight and kill infidels or other opponents to their cause. So it seems simple and logical to go along with the narrative of the attackers and find the answer to the question, as to the “why”, in the religion. And a relevant number of my fellow counter terrorism experts do. The religion offers the inspiration and the collective, it offers the words of the “all mighty” and the terrorists find justification for their violent actions in their interpretation of those words. But then again the fast majority of those who identify with the same religion claim that it is all wrong. The correct interpretation of the religion is non-violent and peaceful. And based on the facts, that claim seems correct. Most religious people are pleasant non-violent individuals. So it’s not the religion that is the issue, but the weird thinking of some. And then there are those that have studied and analysed the texts, referenced by DAESH (formerly known as ISIS) and AQ, and come to the obvious conclusion that; yes, it’s all there! There is no escape; the religion offers the ingredients necessary to justify the struggle and the killing. From there those analysts subsequently conclude that it is obvious: terrorism is the potential outcome of religion.


You will notice the absence of religion in this list of motivations. So again: “what does religion have to do with it?” The answer is rather simple. Religion offers identity and a home. It is the cover that is put on top of the driving motivations by those that recruit amongst the angry restless youngsters that seek to find a way to express anger and frustration. Those that feel excluded, humiliated or oppressed, are brought under the comforting umbrella of the religion. And interpretations do the rest to justify actions, identify and dehumanize the “other”. The debate that is raging, whether religion is the issue or not, is the wrong discussion. Religion, and what it offers to people, is abused by the brokers of violence. That abuse is not inherent to (a specific) religion. Since religion is an identifier it can offer consolation and shelter to the homeless and the seeker, to the angry and the humiliated. And that is exactly what happens: Abuse and falsification. It works. So for those who seek the answer to the real question, which is; ‘how to fix the problem?’, the only path to take is to look at the motivations of the restless youth and try to address the real issues and leave religion as such out of the equation.




The Bedrock of Botswana’s Being

By Sefalana R. Matambo, Second Secretary, Embassy of Botswana to the Kingdom of Belgium and Permanent Mission to the European Communities. Photograpy: Atine John Bosco (Left photo) Jean-Claude Lesuisse (right photo).

Long before the lexicon was conceived, the people of Botswana were already living the concept of Botho. The word, derived from Setswana, the national language of Botswana, describes a latent consciousness that one’s own sense of humanity is deeply rooted in the humanity of others in the community, whom we traditionally consider our extended family. It speaks to the very core of our humanity and says, “I am because you are” [“Motho ke motho ka batho”], a social contract of earning respect by first giving it. It is humanness as an essential element of human growth, compassion, humility, sharing, responsibility and accountability. Most importantly, for us Batswana (citizens of Botswana, singular: Motswana), it is greater than doing what is good because it is right. It is an innate manner of existence that permeates the grandness of the cultural spirit of Batswana across every aspect of our lives – the home, community life, education, the workplace, national policy. It is the social and cultural cohesion that ensures no Motswana shall rest easy knowing that another is in need.


The concept of Botho is upheld within Botswana’s five National Principles, the other four being: Democracy, Development, Self-reliance and Unity. All are derived from Botswana’s cultural heritage and as a collective, are designed to promote kagisano [social harmony]. Botswana’s Vision 2016 acknowledges Botho as one of the tenets of our cultural heritage which has guided the country’s successful socio-economic development to date. Through the common sense of a shared identity and destiny within every man, woman and child, and the idea that empowering others is to gain empowerment, the five National Principles set a broader context for the objectives of the country’s national development, namely: Sustained Development, Rapid Economic Growth, Economic Independence and Social Justice. In adapting to the age of rising globalisation, technology and rapid urbanisation, Botswana has become a melting pot of diversity. Our National Principles have proven to be all the more important and influential in directing the excellent relations we have cultivated with the international community. The atmosphere of friendship, respect and mutual understanding elements of Botho - is the platform upon which Botswana promotes all aspects of

the country’s national development agenda. Botho embeds itself in our interactions with the international community, encourages us to cultivate fraternal bonds of friendship with Governments and their peoples across the world, urges us to be ambassadors of goodwill, compels us to be one with our neighbours, both near and far, and instils a profound sense of duty to defend the defenceless, care for the vulnerable and seek social justice for all. Botho is a powerful and revered cultural concept that unites us all and, by virtue of its true essence, excludes none. It is an unwavering, universal ‘Welcome’, an invitation to become part of a shared value that promotes harmony and respect amongst people living together, from our families and neighbours at home, to our international friends and partners abroad.

‘After all, motho ke motho ka batho...’


The Soft Power of Parliamentary Diplomacy By Dr. Davor Jancic, Senior Researcher in EU Law, T.M.C. Asser Institute The Hague, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam. Photography: Dick Blom.

The world has become too globalised, too interdependent and too interconnected for diplomacy to be left to executive actors alone. For better or worse, Westphalian sovereignty belongs to a bygone era. Many decisions and policies with a decisive impact on the lives of both individuals and states as socio-political and economic communities are nowadays made outside the framework of those states.

A vast multitude of international or supranational organisations - whose scope is global (e.g. the UN, WTO), regional (e.g. the EU, Council of Europe, Mercosur, African Union) or crossregional (e.g. NATO, OSCE) - set the parameters, or even directly govern, important segments of domestic regulatory affairs. Since this rapid development of global governance is a corollary of governmental action, parliaments are effectively denied the possibility to legislate on transnational policies and exercise democratic control over their creation. To compensate for this, parliamentary diplomacy has flourished in the past several decades. This phenomenon testifies to the evolving nature of representative democracy in the 21st century. Parliamentary diplomacy encompasses foreign affairs activities of individual parliamentarians (e.g. Speakers, chairpersons), groups of parliamentarians (e.g. committees, delegations, intergroups, friendship groups), bilateral interparliamentary forums (e.g. Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue), or international parliamentary institutions. The latter is the most advanced form of parliamentary diplomacy and ranges from parliamentary organs of international organisations (e.g. Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe), those that are only loosely linked to an international organisation (e.g. NATO Parliamentary Assembly), to those that are not associated to an international organisation

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whatsoever (e.g. Interparliamentary Union, Latin American Parliament). The world leader in parliamentary diplomacy is the European Parliament. It possesses a rather developed internal structure for conducting autonomous international affairs not only via its committees (e.g. AFET, DEVE, INTA, LIBE), delegations and intergroups, but also via assemblies it has created with international and regional parliamentary partners (e.g. Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, Euronest Parliamentary Assembly). All of these institutional manifestations of parliamentary diplomacy exercise soft power, because they as a rule possess no legally binding powers. However, their impact is realized through functions that complement those carried out internally within the legal orders in which these parliaments are established. These functions of parliamentary diplomacy are aimed at debating global challenges (e.g. terrorism and climate change), conflict resolution (e.g. advocacy in the Libyan and Syrian crises), discussing bilateral or multilateral international agreements, assessing the implications of extraterritorial legislation, approximating regulatory approaches to prevent legal disputes and political frictions, protesting diplomatic misconduct (e.g. US NSA online surveillance over the EU), strengthening domestic scrutiny and accountability mechanisms, nurturing the exchange of information and best practices, capacity building (e.g. democracy support, election observation missions, exchange of parliamentary know-how), and, generally, improving diplomatic relations between states and regions. These activities are carried out through dialogue fostered during countless visits and meetings that parliamentarians organise around the globe.

Yet this does not mean that parliamentarians must become political globetrotters, traveling the world in search of peace and cooperation. In legal terms, the soft power of parliamentary diplomacy can become hard if it is firmly embedded in internal constitutional orders, where binding legal powers are available. Parliamentary diplomacy is therefore also a cognitive category. Parliamentarians should incorporate the outcomes of their diplomacy in domestic affairs by taking a broad perspective in conducting their daily business. Though elected locally, parliamentarians must think globally. This is important not only to shield domestic interests from unwanted external influence, but also to avoid backlash that is likely to occur due to the high level of interlacement between polities if action is taken in complete disregard of the interests of ‘others’. These two sides of the same coin are pertinent. Acting as diplomats, elected representatives can attend to these exigencies of contemporary policy making. Combining the soft power of parliamentary diplomacy in external affairs with the hard power in internal affairs is a recipe for reconceptualising representative democracy. To borrow the terminology of Harvard’s Joseph Nye, parliaments need to exercise smart power in the fast-paced global, digital age of today. They are advised to adapt to the changing nature of global governance if they are to preserve the good functions they perform in shaping their societies. Failing to do so could harm the interests of their constituents in the long term and parliamentary diplomacy is one of the ways of addressing this.





By Ynze Kliphuis, real estate lawyer at Russell Advocaten. Photography: C. Vroom.

Embassies, Consulates and Diplomats enjoy diplomatic immunity. Nevertheless, Dutch law is applicable to real estate owned by diplomats and diplomatic missions in the Netherlands, because these premises — regardless of their diplomatic status — are Dutch territory. What is important to know before you buy or lease real estate in the Netherlands? DuTCH REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS

Dutch contracts are concise when compared to common law contracts, because basic rules are codified in laws, acts and regulations. These rules do not have to be repeated in the contract. Moreover, the meaning of a Dutch contract is not only in its wording, but also in the intentions, expectations and factual behaviour of the parties involved. To minimize conflicts, it is important to clearly record these in the contract.


Buying is a long term investment. Prices for housing accommodation in Amsterdam and The Hague are rising. Here, buying is an attractive investment if the premises suit your needs for a number of years. Leasing offers more flexibility. This can be pleasant in case of a short stay or changing needs with respect to square meters. A Diplomat with a large family and staff will need more space than a young, single employee at the beginning of his or her diplomatic career. In addition, lessees only need to perform small daily maintenance activities. Office space will be abundantly available in the years to come. Those in search of a (common) office space should be able to negotiate competitive lease conditions. It is important to verify in advance whether your purposes for the premises, correspond with the zoning plan (not all villas in Wassenaar may be used as an office) and whether municipal permits are required. Changes to the building that have an effect on the appearance of the premises (cleaning/ painting the facade or changing single glazing into double glazing!) require a permit, especially if the premises are a registered monument or part of a conservation area, as is the case with most Embassies. Security measures for Embassies, such as alarms, cameras, fences and/or roll-down shutters, often require a permit.



For buyers it is important to do as much research as possible into the state of the premises (No defects? All permits?) and into its designated use according to the municipal zoning plan. The seller can only be held accountable for hidden defects if these defects prevent the normal use of the premises, e.g. foundations affected by woodworm or seriously polluted soil. For the purchase of real estate usually a written deed of purchase is used. A separate notarial deed of transfer is required for the transfer of ownership, which has to be registered in the land register. After that, the buyer will be owner and the premises are safe from seizure by a creditor of the seller.

Therefore, it’s wise to check in advance whether major changes have to be carried out. If both location and rent are attractive, it’s worth considering to ask the landlord whether he gives permission for a major reconstruction. As mentioned above, a municipal permit may (also) be required for changes.


Office space is usually leased for a definite period of time. A fixed term lease will be terminated by operation of law, but the tenant must receive an eviction notice. The lease of office space for an indefinite term can formally be terminated one month ahead.

In the event of leasing it’s important to realize that tenants are allowed to make only minor changes to leased premises without prior approval from the landlord, for example paintjobs to the interior, putting a coat of arms on the façade or erecting a flagpole. Major changes, such as implementing thorough security measures (fences and/or bulletproof glass), removing walls or extending the premises, require the landlord’s approval which can be replaced by the District Court’s permission.

When property is leased, usually a deposit must be paid. If the lessee returns the leased property without defects to the lesser, the lesser has to refund the deposit, Therefore, the condition of the leased object has to be documented (with photos) at the beginning and at the end of the lease. We advise the lessee to be present on both occasions.

Residential accommodation is usually leased for an indefinite term. However, it is also possible to lease or let for a fixed term, for instance if you will stay in a different place for a short period of time. This must be laid down in a so-called ‘diplomats clause’. Lessees of residential accommodation enjoy a lot of protection and it is difficult to evict them from their lodgings.


Although Embassies and Consulates, and diplomats, enjoy a special status in the Netherlands, they have to deal with Dutch real estate law when it comes to their Dutch premises and houses. If questions or issues arise, it is advisable to get specialist legal advice.



Trends in Diplomacy, the “ and Innovation in Diplom By Ron Ton, Director Clingendael Academy.

As a consequence of changing dynamics at the global and regional levels, the role of diplomats is constantly evolving. Diplomats have to be able to adapt to the quickly evolving diplomatic context and be flexible towards changing patterns of diplomacy. As Director of a large and lively diplomatic training centre like the Clingendael Academy, I witness the trends in diplomacy and the changing role of diplomats on a daily basis. As the Clingendael Academy we make sure that we are constantly innovating our programmes and methods in order to stay abreast of these developments. In addition to the growing importance of for example economic diplomacy and public diplomacy, we can identify at least four more trends in diplomacy that are strongly related to one another: the internationalisation of home-based policy areas, the emergence of ‘hybrid diplomacy’, the virtualisation of diplomacy and the increasing significance of specialised diplomacy. The relationship between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and expert ministries in capitals is changing fast. Expert ministries dealing with e.g. agriculture, energy, transport, justice or economics are searching for a new balance between a country’s internal and external affairs. Now, as a result of increasing global governance and international cooperation, we witness a fast internationalisation of these sectors. This demands an further inclusion of these topics into foreign affairs and hence a closer cooperation and policy coordination between expert ministries and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This internationalisation of formerly home based policy areas implies more specialised forms of diplomacy, in which permanent representations and diplomats are to develop specific expertise on such issues as climate, water, food safety, sustainable development and human rights. At the same time, this thematic approach requires the involvement of all types of actors. The international playing field has moved beyond a purely intergovernmental context, in which more actors have gained


ground in international affairs, in particular non-state actors. Governments will have to effectively involve all of them to ensure efficiency and a broad political foundation in its international policies. Diplomats are therefore expected to have a large network of relevant actors that is open and flexible, that can be organised into groups of varying composition and around different themes or interests. In the 21st century, international relations are hybrid and cannot be dealt with through classic diplomacy. We can therefore speak of ‘hybrid diplomacy’: a combination of traditional intergovernmental diplomacy and modern network diplomacy. In hybrid diplomacy, when dealing with many influential foreign actors, it is essential for diplomats to use public communications

Affairs Lord Palmerston upon receiving the first telegram on his desk was supposed to have said in 1840: “My God this will be the end of diplomacy!” Such a quote would be applicable on the IT and social media revolution today if not integrating new technological change. Today we have to learn how to handle virtual and non virtual diplomacy in a single diplomatic environment. Therefore, in my view the modern diplomat is a “3-C diplomat”: Connecting, Consistent, Coherent. Connecting reflects the networking and communications between people, relationships and stakeholders. Consistency is required to pursue a persistent foreign policy strategy, while coherence is needed to manage the complexity of interrelations between all internationalised policy areas.

‘The impact of virtual diplomacy may surely not be underestimated.’ media for interaction with a wide range of non-governmental entities. Public diplomacy has thus become an integral part of diplomacy as it establishes a dialogue designed to inform and influence. The way a country communicates with foreign civil societies and ‘brands’ itself influences public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policies and, as a result, influences the politics of other governments. The impact of virtual diplomacy may surely not be underestimated. MFA’s increasingly are creating a virtual space for information gathering, public communications, internet based networking and the use of social media. Websites have become the first entrance of the public to contact MFA’s. Diplomatic deliverables like consular matters quickly transform to a virtual dimension. The British Minister of Foreign

At the Clingendael Academy, we train over 500 diplomats each year from all over the world representing the Netherlands, South East and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America (which is one fifth of the total of 2,500 participants annually). We give special attention to the above mentioned trends in diplomacy, always bearing in mind the specific context of each region and country. With the role of diplomats changing in this hybrid environment, we constantly innovate our training programmes in order to ensure that they continue to be most relevant for diplomats and prepare diplomats for the future to come. Against this backdrop I would like to specifically highlight two new unique training programmes that are a result and reflection of the changing diplomatic landscape.


3-C diplomat” atic Training One of these innovative training programmes focuses on ‘Blue Diplomacy’, which intends to strengthen the role of diplomats in promoting sustainable development as described in the Blue Economy. More traditional approaches towards achieving sustainability, such as related to the Green Economy, simply promote reducing the use of resources - for example by investing in environment-friendly technologies - thus implying more costs. The Blue Economy goes beyond this approach by encouraging us to respond to basic needs with what we have, to introduce innovations inspired by nature and invest less, and to generate multiple benefits including jobs and social capital. Water plays an important role in these Blue Economy-inspired solutions, and therefore comprises one of the elements in our training programmes. Governments need oceans and their resources to run the economy, to transport global goods, and to provide a sustainable living for many. How can diplomats promote partnerships in naval and maritime sectors, while sustaining healthy oceans? The training programmes in Blue Diplomacy combine the Blue Economy with the knowledge and skills needed for diplomats who, for example, promote sustainable trade relations between their country and another. Training programmes include economic, public, and water diplomacy, corporate social responsibility, dilemmas in sustainable development policies, and public private partnerships. By participating in an interactive sessions and by conducting working visits, we provide the diplomats with the knowledge, tools and experience needed to be most effective in promoting sustainable development.

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Second, our Negotiation and Mediation Skills Programmes are at the core of our activities as diplomatic training centre for more than 25 years. We ensure that at the end of our training programmes, participants leave the Clingendael Academy with advanced knowledge of negotiation processes and the skills needed to successfully conduct and develop strategies for a negotiation and mediation process, whether this is in a bilateral or multilateral setting. Recently, the Clingendael Academy launched a new initiative: “Negotiation training as a conflict resolution instrument” to train, advice and coach specifically parties in conflict and their mediators. Large scale, multi-issue, multi-party and politically sensitive negotiations are a highly specialised form of bargaining. In conflict situations many of the parties in negotiations are not experienced in strategic political negotiations, in working from a mandate or in setting clear priorities for the negotiations. It is also important to train actors and individuals mediating these processes. After all, mediation is a facilitation of a negotiation process. What drives the negotiator, who are the negotiators representing, what are the mandates of the parties at the table, what are the pressures the negotiators are under, what are the group dynamics at the table and what role does the mediator play? It is paramount that those who facilitate fully have to understand negotiation processes and the behaviour of negotiators. In order to strive for a successful outcome of peace processes, training mediators in negotiation skills and processes is of crucial importance. The training sessions of the Clingendael Academy provide a toolkit to groups in conflict to make conscious choices during the negotiations and to avoid pitfalls of the inexperienced negotiator, all to enlarge the possibility of durable peace.

‘Diplomats have to be able to adapt to the quickly evolving diplomatic context and be flexible towards changing patterns of diplomacy.’

Therefore, it’s wise to check in advance whether major changes have to be carried out. If both location and rent are attractive, it’s worth considering to ask the landlord whether he gives permission for a major reconstruction. As mentioned above, a municipal permit may (also) be required for changes. When property is leased, usually a deposit must be paid. If the lessee returns the leased property without defects to the lesser, the lesser has to refund the deposit. Therefore, the condition of the leased object has to be documented (with photos) at the beginning and at the end of the lease. We advise the lessee to be present on both occasions. Office space is usually leased for a definite period of time. A fixed term lease will be terminated by operation of law, but the tenant must receive an eviction notice. The lease of office space for an indefinite term can formally be terminated one month ahead. Residential accommodation is usually leased for an indefinite term. However, it is also possible to lease or let for a fixed term, for instance if you will stay in a different place for a short period of time. This must be laid down in a so-called “diplomats clause”. Lessees of residential accommodation enjoy a lot of protection and it is difficult to evict them from their lodgings.



THE GERMAN LANGUAGE IN EUROPE A NEW LINGUA FRANCA? By Andreas Weishaupt, BA, Former trainee at the Goethe Institut - Amsterdam.

With an approximate 100 million native speakers and increasing demand for language courses, German is far from becoming a dead language. English is without a doubt the lingua franca of our times, be it in politics or diplomacy, in sciences, the economy or in the media. America’s position as the world’s power house and the global rise of the Internet hugely stimulated the language’s popularity. Anglicism and Americanisms can be found in any country, any newspaper, and in many households’ daily communication. But is English really the only language that matters? Some scholars predict that in the long run, German might give way to other languages such as English literal and ironical It isformer when we or Chinese. Others,meanings. such as the Dutch Minister of bridge gaps unwittingly, as we so often Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermanns, seedo, German as the key that they may prove to a constructive EU.misleading. In the Netherlands, German has long been on every schools’ curriculum. Whereas students nowadays often regard English as more important, there is a constantly STORIES IN A CAPSULE high demand for language courses among adults, especially One of professionals. the most “The effective forms are of more oriented business Netherlands persuasion involves manipulation towards England insteadthe of Germany, although Germany’s of inference. isBy providThe Senate of said the Timmermanns, development of more important to us“, Netherlands very internationally oriented who is also anis ambassador for “Mach Mit!“, a program designed andpromote actively in parliamentary to the engages German language. The Goethe-Institutes in diplomacy. and Historically, Amsterdam Rotterdamthe offerNetherlands specialised German courses hasbusiness always looked outwards.asInwell view the trainings that for communication as of cultural country’s economy, it is interactions. important for are meant open to improve bilateral parliamentarians to engage in international relations. Thewith advantages of the parliamentary In commerce Germany language has an enormous diplomacyimportance are that parliamentarians are strategic said King Willem-Alexander of the ideally placed to build between Netherlands during a visitbridges at the end of May 2014 to the conflicting parties and that they are not Westphalia. neighbouring Bundesland of Northern-Rhine bound by the positions taken by the government. between This increase Personal in interestcontacts reflects the rise of Germany to members oftheparliament of different statesstable economy. becoming EU’s strongest and most are pment of the 11th international democratic Furthermore, meeting of German-speaking heads legalstates order.inInRostock, international parliamentary of initiated by Germany’s President fora parliamentarians are in placethe to engage Joachim Gauck, demonstrated language’s prevalence in other countries, where it is being spoken by about 100 million native speakers. Official language in Austria, Liechtenstein, and Germany; as one of several official languages in Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, and the Alsace region in France. Making German the mother tongue * Since implicit communication with the most native speakers in Europe. is a particularly useful resource in diplomacy, forthe thechoice reasons in the English may be thatoutlined first comes to mind, but when it seems advisable to master it introduction, comes to European affairs, knowing German, too, is highly the unsaid rather than be mastered by it. shifting in East important and profitable. And with powers In West, order with to doAsia so, one needs unGermany as the strongest and on the riseto and player in Europe, who knows what the future might bring.



The progress of EU-Georgia relations will be high on the agenda of the 4th Eastern Partnership Summit which will gather Heads of State and Government from the EU and it Eastern Partners in Riga (May 21-22). Participants are expected to reconfirm the strategic importance of EU’s Eastern Partnership and their supportto Georgia’s European aspirations. Georgia has made great progress in meeting European standards since the last Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius (November 2013). The Georgian government in record time negotiated, initialled and signed on 27 June 2014 an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU (provisional entry into force since 1 September 2014). The ENP country progress report published on 25 March 2015 noted Georgia’s continued progress on reforms throughout 2014 and highlighted “achievements notably in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms and substantial progress in the visa liberalisation process.” Visa liberalisation, which will demonstrate the tangible benefit of EU integration to citizens, is a key priority for Georgia. On 29 October 2014 the Commission’s 2nd progress report on the implementation of the “Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation” confirmed the country had successfully completed the first phase of the process and could move to the second phase. Since then, Georgia has completed all the remaining technical criteria. At Riga, the Georgian government trusts that this state of affairs will be recognised, and that, in line with the Eastern Partnership principles of differentiation and “more for more”, a decision will be made granting visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Georgian citizens. This would be an important outcome of the Summit, for Georgia but also for the region and the EU. The Riga Summit, the first since the signature of the Association Agreement, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine, and the signature of Russia’s so-called “treaties” with Georgia’s occupied regions: Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, comes at a critical time for the future of the Eastern Partnership programme and of the region. It is of the utmost importance that the Summit deliver a strong statement of EU commitment to the region, and concrete initiatives for the further integration of those countries who have chosen a European path – regardless of Russian opposition. Granting visa liberalisation to Georgia, a clear frontrunner of the programme, would boost credibility of the EU and the Eastern Partnership and thereby security and continued reform in the region.


Soirée Cedarus Libani By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamasa.

With a reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Embassy of the Republic of Lebanon celebrated the country’s 71st independence Day, many came to present their felicitations to Ms. Abir Ali, Chargé d’ affaires a.i and to join in the festivity. The ancient country of Lebanon with its modern cosmopolitan capital city of Beirut is a true beacon in the region. Despite the current Syrian refugee crisis which is causing strain on the Lebanon’s political and socio-economic system, the country is looking to the future unfazed – a very resilient people indeed. Lebanon and the Netherlands enjoy excellent relations and the Netherlands is supporting Lebanon to deal with the Syrian refugees crisis that put a lot of pressure on its political and socio-economic system due to the more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees that Lebanon is hosting.





Sharyn van Ees-Cooper

‘Ambassador’ for The Hague By Ellen Brager. Photography: Henry Arvidsson.

When I was asked to interview Sharyn van Ees-Cooper for Diplomat Magazine it seemed like a routine assignment. Little did I know that there is nothing routine about Sharyn. What was meant to be a 1-hour interview turned into a 2.5-hour conversation during which she asked me as many questions about myself as I about her. Because that is her trademark: personable, warm and engaging. A woman determined to leave a positive mark on everything she does. Sharyn is the spouse of Roelof van Ees, Director of Cabinet and Protocol at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They met in Vienna in 1991 where she had moved from the United States to live temporarily with her family (her father was employed at the International Atomic Energy Agency) while working as a journalist and PR person. Roelof had recently arrived in Vienna for his first diplomatic posting

Her advice to

and approached her on the street to ask for directions. Within a few weeks they met again at the farewell party of Dutch diplomat Piet de Klerk (Sherpa for the preparations of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit) and his wife Vicky to whom they both had ties. Sharyn had just as whirlwind a social life then as now and she didn’t recognise Roelof at once, but he remembered her and struck up a conversation. Although she had no inkling at the time, this chance newcomers is to encounter would eventually lead her to The Hague.

‘explore the city and surroundings by bike.’


The newly-married couple arrived in the Netherlands in 1994. However, it wasn’t until ten years later, after a stint in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and a second posting in Vienna, that they finally settled in their home in Benoordenhout where they have raised their three children: a daughter of 18 years and two sons aged 17 and 13. Enterprising as Sharyn is, it didn’t take her long to land a job as the editor of thehague. com, the English-language website of the Municipality of The Hague. The website has a double mission: to inform international residents of The Hague about the city and to make its reputation as City of Peace and Justice known to a wider audience. ‘My role allows me to use my journalism and editing

diplomatICSpouses skills while sharing my enthusiasm for a truly fantastic and highly liveable city. It has a one-of-a-kind character as a beautiful city by the sea, seat of the Dutch government and home to some 160 international institutions and organisations working together for a safe and just world,’ Sharyn explained. She keeps people informed and up to date on the city’s news and events not only through the extensive website but also through the municipality’s English-language social media like Facebook and Twitter as well as the fortnightly The Hague Newsletter. ‘I see myself as a sort of Ambassador for The Hague, singing the city’s praises and shouting from the rooftops about all the great things the city has to offer.’ Sharyn is also a regular contributor to DutchBuzz radio. Outside of her nearly full-time job at the Municipality of The Hague, she juggles her roles as mother and spouse operating in diplomatic circles with making time for friends and sports and staying actively involved in the Jewish community. However, as a real Culture Vulture, she says if it were up to her she would spend more time indulging her passion for the Arts. Sharyn adores all kinds of cultural expressions, but highest on the list is performing arts, especially theatre. She has always taken a keen interest in drama. She dabbled in some acting in high school and took English literature courses in drama at Boston University. In February she took to the stage as one of the play readers in the charity fundraiser The Vagina Monologues.

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‘It was a high-impact piece with some hard-hitting moments, but all in all a great cast and great fun to do!’

mainly in Het Paradijs studio theatre of the Koninklijke Schouwburg.’

‘My role allows me to use my journalism and editing skills while sharing my enthusiasm for a truly fantastic and highly liveable city.’ Her love of theatre has translated into volunteer work for STET The English Theatre. Since 2011 she has served as a member of the Board of the foundation, which she has wholeheartedly supported since its inception in 2006, attending nearly all of its productions as an enthusiastic audience member. STET produces and promotes high-quality English-language theatre in the Netherlands, with an emphasis on The Hague. Its programme now averages 8 to 10 performances a year, including the highly popular open-air performances of Shakespeare in the summer and A Christmas Carol in December. Sharyn explained, ‘In the early years performances were staged in sometimes unusual venues in The Hague, such as almshouses, chapels, shops, museums and small theatres. However, over the past few years STET productions have been performed

In addition to her passion for theatre, Sharyn enjoys modern dance, art exhibitions (particularly under the tutelage of an art historian), jazz and literary evenings. While her love of reading fiction has been put on a back burner, she still tries to find the time to read the newspaper to keep up on current news. Quite a few of her evenings are taken up by accompanying her husband to social events, such as dinners, receptions and concerts organised by the diplomatic community. This affords her the opportunity to speak to many international residents and she is thrilled by the positive impressions they have of The Hague. Her advice to newcomers is to ‘explore the city and surroundings by bike, take the less-travelled paths, get out and enjoy the rich cultural scene and seek information to make the most of your time here.’ Information she is happy to share!


LIFTING GLOBAL CULTURE - SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2015 A wave of global culture will sweep through The Hague during the third annual Embassy Festival, taking place on Saturday, 5 September 2015 from 12:00 - 20:00 on the picturesque Lange Voorhout. The Embassy Festival is an international event that spotlights the many different cultures that reside in The Hague through a bustling one-day outdoor programme of music, activities, art, theatre, culinary delights, debates and readings. The Embassy Festival is a great opportunity to present your embassy’s country and culture to a broad public. With approximately 15.000 visitors a big audience may be reached at the Embassy Festival. Join the Embassy Festival to show our visitors everything your country has to offer! More information: www.embassyfestival.com Contact us at: embassyfestival@prooost.nl


Reopening of Mesdag Panorama Text and photography by Henry Arvidsson.

Born in Groningen in the year 1831, Mesdag grew up inland and was drawn to the sea, moving to The Hague in 1868. His painting talent established him as a marine painter in art circles, and in 1881, even the master Vincent van Gogh took notice and mentioned a Mesdag watercolor (Aquarelle) in a letter to his brother Theo. Mesdag was commissioned to paint a “Hague Maritime Panorama”. Together with six others, including his wife Sientje (who is painted into the panorama), he took up pens and brushes in May 1881 to paint the 14.5 metres high and 114.5 metres long canvas in a matter of months. Now, you do not have to go to the beach to see the sea. Simply visit the aptly named Zeestraat in Den Haag to experience the ocean and get the taste of salt on your tongue.

A musical welcome to newly accredited Ambassadors By Roy Lie Tjam. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

To welcome the new Head of Mission appointed to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Diplomat Magazine, in collaboration with the Residentie Orkest, entertained on May 8th the newly accredited Ambassadors and spouses at a magnificent concert. The Residentie Orkest is The Hague’s most renowned Philharmonic Orchestra. This special occasion was hosted by Diplomat Magazine in conjunction with the Residentie Orkest at Dr Anton Philipszaal / Lucent Danstheater.

The Hague Philharmonic played Weber and Schubert. - Jérémie Rhorer, conductor - Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano - Leo Samama, narrator




Students engage with diplomacy

A synopsis of

Clio Conference By Joe Ray, Speakers Coordinator, Clio Conference 2015.

On 30th April 2015, Clio, the study association of the International Relations programme at the university of Groningen, welcomed a number of diplomatic guests, professors and 150 university students to a conference entitled Diplomacy unravelled: Power and Prudence in a New Era. Many students of International Relations have a strong interest in diplomacy but few know its inner workings. With this in mind, the conference was organised by Clio in order to explore in detail the various dimensions of diplomacy, allowing motivated students an opportunity to learn about the profession from an array of distinguished diplomatic speakers. The conference was opened by Master of Ceremonies Mr. Jan-Willem Bertens, former Ambassador of the Netherlands to Central America, who captivated the audience with some enthralling anecdotes from his career on the diplomatic frontline. The keynote address was then given by His Excellency Mr. Håkan Emsgård, Swedish Ambassador to the Netherlands,who provided conference attendees with a range of insights into the unique aspects of diplomatic life which set the profession aside from other careers. Mr. Emsgård was followed by Mr. Jan Pronk, former Minister and Special Representative of the UN SecretaryGeneral in Sudan, who emphasised with eloquence and passion the importance of diplomatic conciliation in the face of military conflict. Rounding off the plenary session was Ms. Désirée Bonis, former Ambassador of the Netherlands to Syria, yria, who spoke of the many challenges encountered by diplomats when representing their countries abroad. In keeping with the conference focus on the modern age of diplomacy, Ms. Bonis also highlighted many of the changes which the diplomatic profession has undergone in recent years. In the afternoon a selection of interactive workshops took place, enabling participants to engage in greater depth with the various aspects of diplomacy. These included Diplomacy and the Media, Diplomatic iplomatic Negotiations, Commercial Diplomacy, iplomacy, Diplomacy and NGOs, Military Diplomacy and the Future of Diplomacy, iplomacy, and were led by a host of experts and distinguished professionals from the field, including Baron Henri Estramant from Diplomat Magazine.


By Catherine A. Dailey, edited for the printed edition by Amelia Baxter. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa and Volvo Ocean Race.

The twelfth edition of the Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante on October 11, 2014. On June 19, seven teams competing in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race, including the Dutch “Team Brunel,” will sail into the harbour of Scheveningen during the colourful Volvo Ocean Race Festival (June 18, 19 and 20). This “pit stop” is part of the ninth and final leg of a grueling nine month 38,739Nm (nautical mile) ocean sailing event covering four oceans and 11 ports on five continents before finishing in Gothenburg, Sweden. The event is open to the public and most day activities are free of charge. Some 100,000 visitors are expected to attend. The Hr. Ms. Groningen, the Royal Dutch Navy’s SAR (search and rescue) and patrol ship will be in port and open to the public for visitation during the event.


the Volvo Ocean Race New Zealand

On March 8, the Worldhotel Bel Air - official hotel partner of the Volvo Ocean Race Festival The Hague - hosted a party with the New Zealand Ambassador to the Netherlands, Janet Lowe, to celebrate the departure of the Volvo Ocean Race boats from Auckland. The plan was to watch the boats live on TV as they sailed out of Auckland harbour to their next destination Itajai in Brazil. However, due to bad weather caused by Cyclone Pam (which wrecked havoc in Vanuatu), the race organisers sensibly decided to postpone the departure date. As Ambassador Lowe said, “This is the Volvo Ocean Race not the Ocean Survival Race!”. Regarding the Auckland stopover, the Ambassador noted: ‘New Zealand is a sailing nation. Be it as a hobby, lifestyle or career, New Zealanders have a strong affinity with the sea. You can hardly drive an hour in our country without hitting the coast, and Kiwis can be found sailing all over the world... Auckland, which is known as the “City of Sails”, has more boats per capita than any city in the world. New Zealanders are therefore delighted to be hosting the Volvo Ocean Race once again’.

‘There is no prize money. It’s all about the sport and the honour and glory of winning’ Dutch Volvo Ocean Race media manager and founder of Diabo Diana Bogaards gave a fascinating presentation on the history and background of the Volvo Ocean Race and its special features. ‘There is no prize money. It’s all about the sport and the honour and glory of winning,’ she said.


On April 19, His Excellency Piragibe dos Santos Tarragô, the Brazilian Ambassador to the Netherlands, warmly welcomed around sixty-five guests to the Worldhotel Bel Air in celebration of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) start of Leg 6 “Itajaí to Newport”. The hotel’s General Manager, Stephan van der Meulen, opened the presentation and introduced Ambassador dos Santos Tarragô, who briefly spoke about the Volvo Ocean Race’s visit to Itajaí. Remarking upon Brazil’s worldwide image as a “nation of sports”, he commented further that his country hosted the FIFA World Cup™ in 2014 and looks forward to welcoming international sports enthusiasts to the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. In addition to an exuberant performance by samba dancers and the Legendairs, a Dutch eight-man street carnival drum squad, the program also featured light bites of Brazilian inspired culinary favorites. Diana Boogards summarised Leg 5, Auckland to Itajaí. While elaborating on some of the finer points of ocean racing sail culture specific to the Volvo Ocean Race and “Life at the Extreme,” she commented on the “match racing” that occurred at Point Nemo, the “oceanic pole of inaccessibility,” in the Southern Pacific Ocean. Point Nemo, the furthest location in the ocean from land, is so remote that all six Leg 5 competing teams deposited research buoys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor ocean currents in the remotest ocean on earth! Also noteworthy was the 24-hour speed record set by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Some 300,000 supporters are estimated to have visited the VOR race village in Itajaí and The Hague expects a similar number of visitors to the festival in June.

Photo on the right: Dutch Volvo Ocean Race media manager Diana Bogaards; Mr. Stephan van der Meulen, General Manager of Worldhotel Bel Air; New Zealand Ambassador to the Netherlands Janet Lowe; Hermann Megenthaler, who sailed for Mexico in the 1984 Olympic Games; Joanne McCauley, Executive Assistant to the Ambassador

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Educating For The Future “American School of The Hague nurtures and inspires character, commitment, creativity, and learning.” University preparatory program for students aged 3-18 years

www.ash.nl / admissions@ash.nl


APM Terminals Maasvlakte II The world’s safest, first fully automatic and zero emission terminal welcomes 500 dignitaries and guests Rotterdam - APM Terminals organized an event which was attended by King Willem-Alexander and 500 representatives of the port industry and governments from around the world in occasion of the official opening of the new Maasvlakte II terminal, the most technologically advanced and most durable container terminal in the world. APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer said: ‘APM Terminals Maasvlakte II is clearly a game-changer in the shipping industry. It is significantly safer. The terminal is emission-free by using renewable energy and register 40% more productivity — thanks to automation.’ APM Terminals Maasvlakte II in Rotterdam is the world’s first container terminal where the cranes, SQC (Super Quay Cranes) are controlled remotely. A fleet of 62 battery-powered Lift AGVs transports containers between the quay and the stacks. This also applies to the barge and rail facilities. The Lift-AGVs also represent the world’s first series of AGVs actually a container can lift and drop independently. The 54 Automated Rail-Mounted Gantry Cranes (ARMGs) positioning the container in the stacks without the intervention of employees. The energy of the terminal is powered by wind energy, making the terminal emits no CO2 emissions or pollutants.


APM Terminals Maasvlakte II, was built on land which is completely extracted from the North Sea, also it was designed as a multimodal hub for reducing truck traffic in favor of the barge and rail connections with the hinterland. Construction began in May 2012 and in December 2014 the first commercial ship to the quay arrived to the port. The existing container terminal of APM Terminals on the first Maasvlakte, which will remain in service, handled 2.46 million TEUs in 2014 .

‘APM Terminals Maasvlakte II, was built on land which is completely extracted from the North Sea’


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Sportscamps.nl Partners:

13-17 July & 17-21 August 2015 SPORTKAMPEN.


WTC The Hague International Trade & Investment Gala 2015 For World Trade Center The Hague it has become a tradition to host the WTC The Hague International Trade & Investment Gala at the end of each year and this year will be no exception. On Friday October 30th, WTC The Hague accentuates the bridging role of the WTC between commerce, government and politics at a regional and international level by bringing together the key people in the international trade and investment sectors during this prestigious event held at the WTC The Hague. For the first time, the gala will directly benefit a charity, namely UNICEF. WTC The Hague houses in her office space many national and international operating companies and is one of the most active WTC’s in Europe. Each year they also welcome representatives of other Dutch WTC’s and foreign WTC’s for the gala. Especially for them an afternoon program before the gala is set up, which gives them they get a change to get in contact with each other. The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is one of the largest trading networks in the world (331 WTC’s all over the world).

During the first WTC The Hague International Trade & Investment Gala the highlighted country was Germany, “Germany, Dutch most important economic partner.” Last year’s theme was Great Britain and underlined the trade relations between the Netherlands and the neighboring country. Alderman Van Engelshoven said during the ceremony: “WTC The Hague is important for the economic growth of The Hague, this is where the international business community comes together and new ideas flourish.”

Every year a country is chosen as a central theme. This theme is reflected in all the culinary elements of the evening, in speeches during dinner and is accentuated by the presence of mutual Ambassadors of the theme country and companies interest in the subject country. This year’s theme is the United States of America.

Would you like to participate in this year’s gala and offer you clients a great opportunity to mingle with those that are important in International Business and Investments while enjoying an exquisite dinner with excellent wines, very good company, a compelling keynote speaker and a unique atmosphere? Please visit the website www.wtcthehaguegala.com for all information about the program and attendance.

WTC The Hague is delighted that The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and the American Embassy in The Hague are special partners of the gala. Another special fact is that ambassador Mr Timothy Broas the Ambassador of the United States in the Netherlands will be a key note speaker. Apart from the key note speaker, the evening program will feature welcoming remarks by special guests and beautiful performances. Of course special attention will also be given to the charity.




South Africa celebrates the commencement of the third decade of liberty. Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

H.E. Mr. Vusi Bruce Koloane, Ambassador of the Republic of South-Africa in the Netherlands, together with many friends of South-Africa and a high number of Ambassadors, celebrated Freedom Day 2015. The celebration took place at the Bel Air Hotel The Hague on May 28, 2015. Freedom Day is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It is significant because it marks the end of years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela.

Mr. and Mrs. Vusi Bruce Koloane, Ambassador of South-Africa to the Netherlands together with H. E. Ms. Nimota Nihinlola Akanbi, Ambassador of Nigeria. Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, OPCW’S Director General and H. E. Vusi Bruce Koloane, Ambassador of South-Africa

Pilgrimage to Mecca By Roy Lie Tjam.

Pilgrimage to Mecca was the theme chosen for the afternoon soiree organised by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia with Aramco Overses Company, H.E. Ambassador Mr. Abdul-Aziz Abohaimed, and Aramco Overseas Company’s Managing Director, Mr. Fahad Al- All, started at the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde (the Dutch National Museum for World Cultures) with the inauguration of a permanent “Pilgrimage to Mecca” gallery in the museum on Tuesday March 17.


Subsequently, at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, Mr. Stroomer, a linguist, gave a lecture regarding inscriptions on “Palm sticks”. The evening proceeded with the very lively Leiden-Aramco Lecture on Ancient Arabian Civilization: “Ancient Arabia: Forgotten Civilizations at the Heart of the Ancient Near East” by Michael Macdonald of Oxford University. On a same note, the launch of the LeiCenSAA, Leiden Center for the Study of Ancient Arabica, under the eminent directorship of Dr. Achmed Al-Jallad took place.


Un magnifique défilé de mode tunisien Croatian delicatessen in Amsterdam Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

Croatian delicatessen products store Embassy.hr opened in Van Baerlestraat 87 in Amsterdam. In a prestigious location, close to the famous Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Croatian delicatessen products store Embassy. hr was opened on 12 February 2015. Embassy.hr, is the first Croatian concept store in Europe. The shop aims to introduce and promote rich Croatian gastronomic and enological culture to the Dutch market and at the same time to promote Croatian tourism by combining mobility, ecology, green technology and tourism. The core idea is to provide tailor made touristic tours to Croatia for Dutch visitors. Besides vintage wines coming from different regions of Croatia, food products are from organic production and the highest quality, such as truffles, extra virgin olive oil, cheeses, sweet brandy made of wild fruits, honey and various herbs, just to name a few. The opening of the store was attended by Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands H.E. Ms. Vesela Mrđen Korać.


Photography: Gualtiero Buonamassa.

A l’ocassion de la clôture de l’exposition “Carthage”, tenue du 27 Novembre 2014 au 10 Mai 2015, un défilé de mode fascinant organisé par l’Ambassade de Tunisie a eu lieu au Musée National des Antiquités de Leiden le 08 Mai 2015. Le défilé de mode est l’oeuvre du styliste Tunisien Faouzi Naouar qui a présenté sa collection printemps-été haute en couleurs avec différentes variations selon la tradition typique à chaque région et ville de Tunisie. Il a ainsi présenté avec succès une mosaïque d’habits traditionnels avec un design de mode et une touche moderne dans un style créatif et original. Son Excellence M. Karim Ben Bécher, Ambassadeur de Tunisie, a salué les relations dynamiques de coopération bilatérale avec les Pays-Bas, ce qui a rendu possible l’organisation d’une telle exposition sur Carthage et mis en valeur, son histoire, sa culture et sa civilisation inoubliable. Il a souligné que c’était le plus important événement jamais organisé sur cette ville punique à l’étranger et a mis en exergue la haute qualité et le nombre de pièces archéologiques exposées qui sont venues principalement du Musée de Bardo et du Musée de Carthage en Tunisie. Il a exprimé sa satisfaction sur le fait que la plus importante exhibition sur Carthage ait attiré près de 130,000 visiteurs, donnant à la Tunisie plus de visibilité et espérant un impact positif sur le Tourisme. L’Ambassadeur Karim Ben Bécher a ensuite L’ LA indiqué que la coopération fructueuse avec le Musée National des Antiquités ntiquités de Leiden sera poursuivie, avec une exposition à organiser sur l’archéologue Néerlandais Humbert, Jean-Emile H umbert, considéré comme le découvreur moderne de Carthage au XVIIIème Siècle.



Diplomats meet & Greet Diplomats Meet & Greet is held at Carlton Ambassador Hotel in collaboration with Diplomat Magazine and Diplomatic Card. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Cuban celebrations On January 22nd, the Diplomats Meet & Greet was hosted by His Excellency, Fermín Quiñones, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba at Carlton Ambassador Hotel were most authentic delicacies were offered to the attendees that also enjoyed the renowned Cuban Mojito. The Embassy of Cuba screened images and sounds of its culture and tourist attractions. It is expected that thanks to the strategies and promotional efforts of the Embassy of Cuba, bilateral trade and tourism with the Netherlands will increase in the next coming years. Each January 1st, the Cuban people celebrate the Anniversary of its 1959’s historical Revolution.

Hungarian overwhelming hospitality Her Excellency Orsolya Szijjártó Ambassador of Hungary hosted a dazzling Diplomats Meet and Greet, Hungarian style, at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel on April 9, 2015, a month of overwhelming Hungarian hospitality. After welcoming her guests, the Ambassador spoke about Hungary’s renowned characteristics: hospitality, rich cultural history, tourism including one of Europe’s most popular annual music festivals, and of course, Hungarian wine. Hungary has been producing excellent wine for centuries. The networking party also enjoyed authentic goulash (soup) and scores of other delicacies.



Peru Meet & Greet Quinoa, Pisco y Calor! It is the tradition at Diplomat Magazine’s Meet & Greets that the host Embassy presents its guests with a selection of the best of its home country. “It was not easy to choice”, said Ambassador Carlos Herrera Rodríguez in his welcome speech, referring to the rich Peruvian cuisine. It didn’t take long before the downstairs bar of the Carlton Ambassador Hotel was packed with diplomats, expats and friends of Peru. Everybody agreed that there was a lot of “calor”, referring not only to the temperature but to the “calor humano”, the personal warmth that was so generously conveyed by Ambassador Herrera, his wife and his staff and that typifies Peruvian hospitality.

more pictures diplomatmagazine.nl/2015/01/31/cuban-diplomats-meet-greet forfor more pictures see:see:diplomatmagazine.nl


Women Ambassadors to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Photography: Hester Dijkstra.

In this special edition, Diplomat Magazine celebrates the empowerment of the women of the world by paying tribute to a group of Heads of Diplomatic Missions accredited to The Hague, City of Peace and Justice. As pillars of society, these inspiring and visionary women exemplify social and political engagement, mastering the art of diplomacy and leadership with an admirable sense of solidarity and responsibility to their country and to the world.


Croatia ‘The Hague is an extraordinary host city with a great mixture of Dutch politics, business, traditions, open-minded spirit and relevant international organisations which makes our diplomatic life very inspiring and rewarding. In short a top diplomatic post.’ H.E. Ms. Vesela Mrđen Korać, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Burundi ‘In my capacity as Head of diplomatic mission accredited to The Hague in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in my role as wife and mother, I welcome the work done by women Ambassadors accredited to The Hague, city of peace and justice. Their solidarity is an eloquent sign of their responsibility. On this day dedicated to mothers, I strongly appeal to all Moms in the world to focus their attention to the education of the girl and the woman only pillar of the family, society, country and the world whole. Long live women ambassadors accredited in The Hague! Vive Cooperation.’ H.E. Vestine Nahimana, Ambassador of Burundi to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


‘The Hague as the Legal Capital of the world, International City of Peace and Justice, is a great city to work and to live in.’ The Hague ‘I am happy to work together and welcome such an active and inspiring group of female heads of mission to The Hague.’ Deputy Mayor Ingrid van Engelshoven.

Hungary ‘It is good to see that every day more female ambassadors are being appointed, this is in line with the growing role of women in both politics and business life. I believe that a balanced leadership between men and women is the right direction and that we have to support each other to achieve this’. H.E. Ms. Orsolya Szijjártó, Ambassador of Hungary to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Nigeria ‘The Royal Kingdom of Netherlands and Nigeria has been together many decades ago. We are happy that the relationship is waxing stronger and stronger. We find the Diplomat Magazine quite interesting. Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria Long live Royal Kingdom of Netherlands.’ H.E. Dr. Nimota Nihinlola Akanbi, Ambassador of Nigeria, Dean African Group of Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Kenya ‘My experience in the Netherlands has been exciting especially for executing Kenya’s Economic Diplomacy Policy where I have been promoting Kenya as an Investment and Tourism destination. On the other hand it has been challenging because of Kenya’s engagement in International legal diplomacy both at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. Nevertheless, considering all factors it is satisfying when one feels that they have contributed towards the developing of their country.’ H.E. Ms. Rose Makena Muchiri, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to the Kingdom of The Netherlands.

Kosovo ‘Being a diplomat in The Hague is such a privilege; the vibrant community of internationals jointly with Dutch people makes it very enjoyable to live and work. The City is big enough in culture and small enough to get around easily and feel at home.’ H.E. Vjosa Dobruna, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Lebanon ‘It is a great privilege to be part of this wonderful group of smart, professional, and influential Ladies Ambassadors in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a pioneering and leading country in women’s rights and women empowerment.’’ Ms. Abir Ali, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Embassy of Lebanon to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Cameroon ‘As a member of the group of female Ambassadors, I have to say that it has been wonderful working with such amazing women. I have been here for several years and living and working in the Netherlands has been an enriching experience for both my children and myself. I would like to thank the team of the Diplomat magazine for the exposure and support that they give to us all for our work.’ H. E. Ms. Odette Melono, Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

ARMENIA ‘The Hague has a very diverse and interesting diplomatic community. It provides significant impetus to our work in this country. And having a representative group of Lady Ambassadors gives additional charm to the Corps Diplomatique’. H.E. Ms. Dziunik Aghajanian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

bahrain ‘I had te opportunity to express to His Majesty my hopes that the longstanding friendship between our two countries will continue to grow and flourish in the years ahead. On both my official visits to the Netherlands, I have been privileged to make many good friends and to experience for myself the friendship and hospitality of the Dutch people. I can assure you that I will continue to work to bring Bahrain and the Netherlands closer together at all levels, and I look forward to making many new friends as I do so.’ H.E. Alice Samaan Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


JAGUAR Feel the passion with Jager Auto Blankespoor Jager Auto Blankespoor is the regional Jaguar Dealer. Under the direction of Richard Jongejan the dealer gives great service, as well as beautiful cars. “We have all the Jaguar models ready for you to test drive; you are welcome experience the comfort, see the beauty and feel the passion of our service, brand and models at any time.” Jager Auto, part of the Stern Group, already has two Jaguar and Land Rover dealer businesses in Noord-Holland. The acquisition of Jaguar Blankespoor in The Hague fits this perfectly. The beautiful showroom and modern garage including expert mechanics is located on Neckar 1 in The Hague. POWERFUL COMBINATION Stern has many brand dealers under their wings. The professional dealer organization is already represented in Purmerend and Heemskerk with Jaguar and Land Rover, under the name Jager. Richard Jongejan: “A wonderful dealership is arising in the region Haaglanden that brings together professionalism, guaranteed mobility and exclusivity under the name Jager Auto Blankespoor. There are many benefits to purchasing a new Jaguar at Jager Auto Blankespoor B.V. We have over 100 years of experience and offer 3 years of warranty without distance limitations. We also have a pick up and return service.”

WITHOUT SALES TAX AND BPM TAX We offer very competitive rates on all the new Jaguar models, particularly for the specific group of people who work for the various Embassies and International organizations located in the Netherlands. For this group of discerning customers we are able to offer an additional reduction of 15% on the price after deducting the sales tax and BPM tax. THE HISTORY OF JAGER BLANKESPOOR The company was founded in 1907 by Jan Blankespoor, the great grandfather of former director Hanneke Raaphorst. As a specialist in English brands it acquired dealership of Jaguar in 1967. Blankespoor became an exclusive dealer for Jaguar in 1990. In 2007, Jaguar Blankespoor had existed for hundred years. Richard Jongejan: “The father of Hanneke, Kees Raaphorst, further developed Blankespoor into a great business. With the acquisition we build on that foundation. We add a dash of Stern. Better, more exclusive, and because Stern has a lot to offer, mobility is guaranteed.”

FUTURE Ever since its establishment Jaguar has evolved from a producer of motorcycle sidecars to one of the leading automotive designers. Richard Jongejan: “Jaguar has a future. There are many new models in the pipeline including a beautiful SUV. They will offer strong competition to the German car brands. With the XE Jaguar introduces an enormous innovation: the aluminum body construction. This lightweight car architecture, together with the advanced chassis technology and the new Ingenium engine family, offer unique benefits in this class. The result: exhilarating performance, maneuverability, precise and alert steering, and refined and comfortable driving characteristics. You can be proud when you have a Jaguar on your doorstep. Be surprised by what Jaguar has to offer. Exclusivity and professionalism are made tangible by Jager Auto Blankespoor. The first floor in the wonderful showroom on Neckar is dedicated to enthusiasts of exclusive secondhand cars. There, leading brands are shown off and are waiting for their new proud owner.”




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Profile for Diplomat Magazine Netherlands Europe

Diplomat Magazine The Hague June, 2015 issue  

This is the very first diplomatic magazine in the Netherlands' history, founded in June, 2013. Published By and For diplomats.

Diplomat Magazine The Hague June, 2015 issue  

This is the very first diplomatic magazine in the Netherlands' history, founded in June, 2013. Published By and For diplomats.