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Georgia’s European way

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Colophon Diplomat Magazine

By diplomats for Diplomats Year 3, No 1, June 2016 ISSN: 2468-3469

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

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

Publisher Editor

working together & partnership

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, H.E. Bert Koenders, inspired us in the making of this special issue of Diplomat Magazine with his memorable address to the heads of mission on June 6 concerning the Netherlands’ bid for the UN Security Council. The Minister’s speech, featured in this edition on page 12, focused on the need to build solid partnerships with other countries, the importance of listening to others and the value of working together to solve international issues.

Dr. Mayelinne De Lara Roy A Lie Tjam

In this issue, women ambassadors to the Netherlands get together to work on areas of common endeavour, and H.E. Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, explains the importance of prioritising children’s education in times of crisis.

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 Hester Dijkstra Marian van Noort

Kim Vermaat Robert Huiberts

Photo on the cover:

Henry Arvidsson

graphic design Studio Kliek printing Gianotten Printed Media

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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: 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.

Diplomat Magazine

Zuid-Hollandlaan 7 2596 AL The Hague, the Netherlands

This is a spirit that Diplomat Magazine embraces in our work with The Hague’s many embassies. It was with cooperation and friendship in mind that Diplomat Magazine celebrated the inaugural Diplomats Gastronomic Festival at Hanos. This unique event brought together the embassies of Afghanistan, Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and a major Dutch food distributor, with the aim of promoting commercial diplomacy and increased trade between the Netherlands and its partners. Staying with the theme of partnership, Diplomat Magazine and Nyenrode Business Universiteit are delighted to announce the establishment of a master scholarship programme worth 40,000 euros for diplomats and international students. And after working closely with Dow Jones for many weeks, Diplomat Magazine is now accessible as a source in Factiva – a leading global collection of licensed news, web content and company data, owned by Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Henceforth, Diplomat Magazine will be made directly available to some 1.3 million users.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, H.E. Gigi Gigiadze, explains Georgia’s European way, and Christopher Schlaeffer, the IT master behind VimpelCom, talks about creating new opportunities through digital transformation in the fourteen countries where the company is established. The Ambassador of Russia, H.E. Alexander Shulgin, discusses the long-standing ties and ongoing cooperation between his country and the Netherlands. Another call for joint action is made by Lyal S. Sunga in his article, ‘United Nations Reform is Needed Urgently for the Sake of Our Human Security’, while Carlotta Duken explores the ‘New Migration Challenges Facing Europe in 2016’ from an IOM perspective. Diplomat Magazine continues to internationalize, and in this edition we host two articles in French. Mariaroaria Lorio of the University of Geneva examines the globalization of terror, and we interview Véronique Micléa about the promotion of Peruvian art from a linguistic ‘française et péruvienne’ perspective. As always, I extend my gratitude to our photographers, editors and junior team, and sincerely thank the embassies for their constant support. Diplomat Magazine is dedicated to you all.

Dr. Mayelinne De Lara


Photography by Eugene Matos. For all the very latest diplomatic news, views, photos, events and more, just go to:






inspire excellence vision creativity


diplomatmagazine Sitting

Cameroon H.E. Ms. Odette Melono Senegal H.E. Ms. Maymouna Diop Sy Czech Republic H.E. Ms. Jana Reinisova Armenia H.E. Ms. Dziumik Aghajanian Canada H.E. Ms. Sabine Eva Nolke


Chile H.E. Maria Teresa de Jesus Infante Caffi Venezuela H.E. Ms. Haifa Aissami Madah Greece H.E. Ms. Teresa Paraskevi Angelatou Burundi H.E. Ms. Vestine Nahimana Norway H.E. Ms. Anniken Ramberg Krutnes Sudan H.E. Ms. Rahma Salih Elobied Salih Finland H.E. Ms. Katri Viinikka Kosovo H.E. Ms. Vjosa Dobruna Latvia H.E. Ms. Ilze Ruse New Zealand H.E. Ms. Janet Lowe Albania H.E. Ms. Adia Sakiqi

collaboration & partnership ‘In the spirit of collaboration and partnership, fundamental values embraced by Diplomat Magazine, we dedicate this issue to the women Ambassadors accredited to the Netherlands. In addition to their regular ambassadorial functions and busy personal lives, these exceptional women now meet monthly to work together on common agendas, exchange ideas and support one another in the exercise of their diplomatic duties. Diplomat Magazine applauds the efforts of the Ladies Ambassador Group in the Netherlands.’ The meeting in this occasion was hosted by H.E. Jana Reinisova, Ambassador of Czech Republic. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

DIPLOMAT VIP H.E. Mr. Erlan Abdyldaev, MFA Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Gigi Gigiadze, Deputy MFA Motoo Noguchi, Trust Fund for Victims at the ICC P. Potman, Asia and Oceania Department, Dutch MFA Lyal S. Sunga, the Hague Institute for Global Justice

DIPLOMAT POUCH 25 26 30 31 32

DIPLOMAT Ambassadorial Russia H.E. Alexander Vasilievich Shulgin Sweden Per Holmström azerbaijan H.E. Mir-Hamza Efendiyev bahrain H.E. Fawaz Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa australia H.E. Dr. Brett Mason india H.E. J.S. Mukul chile H.E. María Teresa Infante Caffi thailand H.E. Ittiporn Boonpracong latvia H.E. Ilze Rūse Lithuania - Brussels H.E. Gediminas Varvuolis The netherlands H.E. Ambassador Pieter de Gooijer bhutan Tenzin Rondel Wangchuk brazil H.E. Mr. Piragibe Tarrago el salvador by Viviana Knorr

34 37 38 41 42 44 45 47 48 49 51 52 53 56

Christopher Schlaeffer Barend ter Haar Prof. dr. André Nijhof & Nika Salvetti Anis H. Bajrektarevic Jhr. Mr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland Mr. Li Fei Carlotta Duken Mariarosaria Iorio

Ceremony of merit Greece


DIPLOMAT TOURISM & CULTURE Argentina: Hired assassins and polo horses From the International Womens Club with love


59 60 61 62 63 64 65 67

57 68 71 72 75 / diplomat magazine #4



diplomatmagazine The Kingdom’s ability to work in a multicultural arena is a natural competence, due in part to the Kingdom extending from Europe to the Caribbean to incorporate Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten.

The Netherlands candidate for the UN Security Council Koenders addresses Diplomats By Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. Photography: Henry Arvidsson.

On the first day of Ramadan, Ambassadors credited to the Netherlands came to The Hague to join the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a special meeting. H.E. Minister Bert Koenders set forth in a memorable speech his government’s approach to diplomacy, partnership and the intention of the Netherlands to be part of the UN Security Council. Ambassadors not only from The Hague but from Brussels and London too listened attentively to Minister Koenders’ brilliant and enthusiastic dissertation about the Netherlands’ Security Council candidature for the period 2017 – 2018. He emphasised in particular the Dutch nation’s effectiveness, flexibility and pragmatism in the service of the international community, considering the interests of all countries, big and small. “Today I hope to tell you about our candidature, but also I want to hear from you about your own expectations. This is a sincere personal position and also an official decision – to represent not only ourselves but to represent you,” explained Minister Koenders. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, a UN member with roots in both Europe and the Caribbean, has extensive, proven experience in diversity and dialogue. “We are living in a particularly significant time,” continued Minister Koenders. “We have an enormous amount of issues that we need to solve together. More than ever, diplomacy is at the forefront of the action and more than ever we have to find solutions as a whole. Today’s greatest challenges do not stop at our national borders; in our day they can only be addressed successfully with a commitment to global governance and the existing multilateral system.”


“The major challenges facing the world, regarding the protection of civilians, women and children, migration, water, security and peace, can be only addressed from a global perspective, and the UN is the only system equipped to do it. The UN is not perfect; more work needs to be done to reach a further balance, to make the UN more representative and inclusive. We need to work on reforms, but the United Nations is the only global organisation for achieving peace and stability. It has the power and legitimacy to bring all parties to the table and the Netherlands will successfully contribute to that.” Making reference to Dutch culture and customs, the Minister went on: “We are not mysterious people, we are often very direct, we can be frank and a little blunt at times. But we mean well and we stick to our promises.” The Minister described

The Dutch and Caribbean people of the Kingdom are also intimately related to water.As Minister Koenders put it: “Water has helped shape our identity. Water connects people. Water is the basis, the source of all growth. But water doesn’t stop at borders, and when there’s too little or too much of it, water can be a great challenge.” The Minister noted that as with all global issues, managing water cannot be done by states unilaterally. It takes cooperation and long term vision, along with innovation, research, strength and perseverance. “Through our history with water, we have learned to form bonds, to look beyond borders and build partnerships. Water is both our Kingdom’s strongest asset and its biggest challenge. Our Kingdom is surrounded by water on almost all sides,” the Minister added. “Water connects all countries in our Kingdom. Since the new constitutional order of 10 October 2010, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four autonomous countries: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. Together, we are one UN Member State.”

The Dutch campaign for a seat on the UN Security Council is based on partnership, transparency and inclusiveness. As Minister Koenders noted, the values of peace, justice and development are integral to how the Dutch see the world. “Why those three, together? For a simple reason: Development without peace is impossible. Peace without justice is untenable. And justice without development is no use to anyone. “Building lasting peace requires robust and long-term mandates. Since 1947, we have contributed over 125,000 personnel to more than 60 UN and UN-mandated peacekeeping operations around the world. We will continue our work to make peace operations more effective. First and foremost, we need more cooperation, and we need better cooperation, on the ground and between headquarters, between countries, regional organisations and local actors. Partnerships are crucial for us.

“We can only achieve lasting and sustainable peace by promoting cohesion between diplomacy, defence and development. We support a strong focus on prevention, early warning and addressing the underlying causes of conflict. Particular attention is needed for the position of women and children in conflict.” The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world focused on building and promoting an international legal order. An increase in UN interaction with the International Court of Justice and other international organisations in The Hague will be a key priority of the Netherlands’ tenure on the Security Council. “We will not lose sight of the fact that only 15 countries are members of the Security Council, while 178 are not. I pledge we will continue to be an approachable partner, now, after the election date, throughout a possible membership and after.”

“More than ever, diplomacy is at the forefront of the action and more than ever we have to find solutions as a whole”

the Dutch as defenders of democracy and reliable partners, able to address international issues, ready to listen to the proposals of others and able to build solid partnerships with other countries. The country is focused on bringing back to the UN agenda the fundamental problems of the world with the pragmatic solutions everybody needs. “We need new and smart coalitions and networks committed to taking the lead and finding creative solutions, without losing sight of the legitimacy broad participation brings. New and smart alliances are what the Kingdom of The Netherlands can offer, and I believe that’s where our candidacy distinguishes itself. We are serious about partnerships and about putting people first,” said the Minister.

diplomat magazine #4



To mark the beginning of the Holy Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims around the world, Ambassadors of Muslims countries to the Netherlands celebrated Iftar – the breaking of the fast – in the company of the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Bert Koenders, after sunset on June 9.


Photography: Kim Vermaat.

It was an opportunity for the facing many challenges, but I have “We need to stand Dean of the Arab countries, no doubt in my mind that we are Ambassador Nabil Abuznaid, head strengthened by each other.” together to resolve of the Palestinian Mission to the the dire situation of Kingdom of the Netherland, to talk After greeting guests, Minister the Syrian population. about the meaning of Ramadan. Koenders gave a stirring speech “Ramadan is much more than in which he paid tribute to the Not only as politicians just not eating and drinking; it is strength of those fasting and the and diplomats, but first a time to purify the soul, refocus joy of sharing Iftar with and foremost as part of sincere attention on God, and practice them. He also recalled the occasion our responsibility as self-discipline and sacrifice. some years ago when the current Muslims are called upon to use this Ambassador of Algeria invited him human beings” month to re-evaluate their lives in to celebrate Iftar. light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties “At special occasions like this it is with mixed feelings that we look with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to to the world around us. Conflicts, war and battles are breaking clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word families and communities apart in many regions of the world. for “fasting” (sawm) literally means “to refrain” - and it means not And unfortunately also in a region that is home to many of you. only refraining from eating and drinking, but from evil actions, My thoughts tonight go specifically to the children of Aleppo and thoughts, and words. many other cities and villages in Syria,” Minister Koenders said to the audience of more than 120 special guests. The physical effects of the fast are felt by Muslims as a reminder of those who suffer throughout the year -- those who are poor, “We need to stand together to resolve the dire situation of the homeless, refugees -- and who cannot meet their basic needs. It Syrian population. Not only as politicians and diplomats, but first reminds Muslims not to be wasteful and to feel empathy for those and foremost as part of our responsibility as human beings. who face hunger on a daily basis, we should feel grateful for the bounties of Allah: clean water, sufficient food, comfort of a home, “Like all neighbours, the European and Arab countries have many health of our family members. There are so many in the world who common experiences and challenges. It is safe to say that our must survive without these basic needs, and Ramadan is a time for societies are changing. us to give thanks and reaffirm our commitment to helping those in need. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to clear “Tolerance between different groups and individuals should not be the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one’s self on the taken for granted. We all share the same responsibility to ensure worship of God and charity to mankind” he said. “We are all united dialogue and mutual respect for each other’s traditions, beliefs and here today in our respect, friendship, and genuine support of one opinions. another in our quests to make this world a better place. Our jobs are not easy, and we have much work to do as representatives of nations

On the picture:

Mr. Ali Al Thayedi, Counsellor, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Embassy of Kuwait, H.E. Mr. Abdelouahab Bellouki, Ambassador of Morocco, H.E. Mr. Taher Farahat, Ambassador of Egypt, Chargée d’affairs of Lebanon, Ms. Abir Ali, H.E. Ms. Rahma Salih, Ambassador of the Sudan, Ambassador of Algeria, H.E. Noureddine Ayadi, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E Bert Kounders, Mr. Nabil A.O. Abuznaid, Head of the Palestinian Mission, H.E. Mr. Breik A.B. Swessi, Ambassador of Libya, H.E. Muhammed Al Said, Ambassador of Oman, H.E. Mr. Karim Ben Becher, Ambassador of Tunisia, H.E. Dr. Obaidullah Obaid, Ambassador of Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Alireza Jahangiri, Ambassador of Iran, H.E. Abdulaziz Abohaimed Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Saywan Barzani, Ambassador of Irak, H.E. Mr. Ahmad Al Mufleh, Ambassador of Jordan, and Ms. Mariam AlShamsi, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Embassy of United Arab Emirates.


Ambassadors of Tunisia, Oman, Morocco, Lebanon, Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, the Director General of the OPCW, the President of the International Court of Justice, the Registrar of the International Court of Justice, the President of the Court of Lebanon, the Mayor of Wassenaar, together with judges from the International courts of justice sitting in The Hague, notable business people from the Muslim community, civil servants from different Dutch Ministries notably from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, religious authorities attended the Iftar sowell organised by Muslims ambassador in The Hague.

“Joining hands is crucial to building a more secure and peaceful world. We need each other in order to tackle challenges that don’t respect borders”

“Responding to the issue of migration remains a top priority for me and for the EU.’ The Minister said ‘People are still undertaking the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. The combination of regional instability, demographic and socioeconomic factors, and climate change still impels refugees and migrants to take this dangerous route to Europe. Unfortunately, successful and unsuccessful attempts by migrants and refugees trying to reach our shores continue to dominate our headlines.

“Closer cooperation between our countries is needed so that no more lives are lost at sea. Developing local capabilities for managing migration flows is key. This is of course a long-term effort. We need to have an open and creative discussion on the matter. It is of supreme importance that our policies be in line with international human rights obligations: that commitment should remain a cornerstone of our efforts. “Joining hands is crucial to building a more secure and peaceful world. We need each other in order to tackle challenges that don’t respect borders. My country is strongly committed to effective multilateralism, for reasons of principle and necessity.” The Netherlands is a leading candidate for the UN Security Council for the period 2017 – 2018.








International Relocation and Cross-Cultural Mobility At the beginning of the new school year, and periodically throughout, American School of The Hague (ASH) welcomes new students, families and teachers into its international community. At the same time, the current community “refreshes” for the new school year and students are faced with different classes, making new friends, learning new routines, which can be a lot of change to adapt too. This can leave new ASH members feeling disoriented and lonely, experiencing grieving for those they left behind, or facing cross cultural confusion, misunderstandings or conflicts within their new learning situations and living environments.


To help ease the transition process, A Safe Harbour was established at ASH many years ago and is still considered one of the best Transitions Programs in the international school community. A Safe Harbour isn’t just one program or one person, it is an umbrella of individuals, activities, programs and committees that work hand in hand to help each of the community members with all of the aspects of arriving, orientating, integrating and departing. It is a network of teachers, students and parents working together to provide a comprehensive approach, to address the challenges and opportunities that arise with moving among cultures. Due to these collaborative efforts, A Safe Harbour committees work together “to help students, parents, and staff cope with the challenges, and maximize the opportunities, inherent in the experience of international relocation and cross-cultural mobility”. Throughout the school year, A Safe Harbour helps families, staff, and students transition to the School and to their new lives in The Netherlands:

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Expat Life Experience - addressing the various transitional phases that individuals pass through and identifying challenges faced as expats, Third Culture Kids and Global Nomads. Student Ambassadors - selecting and training of 60 students, Grades 9 - 12, who help run New Student Orientation in August and any intakes during the school year, as well as communicating with new students prior to their arrival. Student Ambassadors hold weekly meetings throughout the year to plan for, and train, students for Orientation Week in August.

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Regular Parent Welcome Coffees - held by the PTO and their various committees to give new parents an opportunity to expand their social network within the school and feel more at home in The Netherlands. The various committees within the ASH PTO help families’ transition, be it through practical information on living in the host country to getting settled with the dynamics of the School. Staff Ambassadors - helping new staff transition to ASH, checking-in with new hires throughout the school year to make sure they are settling in well. The key to a good arrival is a good departure, no matter where you go in the world, which is why A Safe Harbour initiatives also support students, parents and staff when departing from the American School of The Hague community. The joint efforts of parents, staff and students are what make the ASH community flourish. A Safe Harbour - bridging cultures, bridging lives.

American School The Hague

Rijksstraatweg 200 2241 BX Wassenaar 070 - 512 1060




Education in emergencies must be a priority to improve children’s prospects for the future

Education is a fundamental right of every child. Children who today suffer from the effects of emergencies need education to grow and thrive. To become doctors, engineers or teachers. To create a brighter future in their countries when stability returns. The EU stands firmly on their side and is leading the way to ensure that they receive quality education and psycho-social support in safe places. But the challenge goes beyond the capacity of one organisation, or by humanitarian community alone. The international community has a joint responsibility. Development agencies need to work closely with humanitarians and intervene at an earlier stage. The future of these children and their countries depends on it.

“We must invest in education for a better future”

education in emergencies Education is crucial for the development and protection of children during emergencies. Without education, there’s a real risk that children do not learn to cope in a crisis and are more exposed to risks and dangers. We have committed to step up EU’s financing for education in emergencies from 1% to 4%; from €11 million in 2015, to €52 in 2016. By the end of 2016, EU humanitarian aid will have enabled access to education for over 3 800 000 children living in emergencies in 46 countries around the world. 37 million children caught up in emergencies do not have access to education.

By Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. Photography: The European Commission.

Education is crucial for the development and protection of children during emergencies. It is as vital as shelter, health, food or water. Without education, there’s a real risk that children do not learn to cope in a crisis and are more exposed to risks and dangers. Out of school, they are more vulnerable to be recruited by armed groups or criminal gangs. But most importantly, they are not able to contribute to the recovery of their countries.

“The international community has a joint responsibility”

For these reasons I believe investing in education should be a priority. As part of my mandate, I’m proud to say that we have committed to step up EU’s financing for education in emergencies from 1% to 4%; from €11 million in 2015, to €52 in 2016. this promise is now already a reality. This means that the EU has quadrupled its support for education in emergencies to enable children to continue learning during and in the immediate aftermath of crises. And this is possible thanks to the outstanding work of EU’s humanitarian partner organisations on the ground. Together, we improve access to quality education and psychosocial support for pre-school, primary and secondary children; distribute school materials and uniforms; arrange transport to educational centres for those who need it; and rehabilitate and build schools and learning spaces.


The good news is that by the end of 2016, EU humanitarian aid will have enabled access to education for over 3 800 000 children living in emergencies in 46 countries around the world. However, our efforts need to continue as 37 million children caught up in emergencies do not have access to education. The international community needs to give education in emergencies the importance it deserves. It can be lifesaving. Besides providing learning opportunities, schools are places where girls and boys in emergencies can have access to clean water, food and medicines. These are also safe spaces for children to play and interact with their peers. During my recent field visits to Ukraine, Turkey or Lebanon I saw the determination of children to go back to school. But also the challenges they face: girls and boys who cannot attend a course because the classroom is overcrowded or who cannot follow a lesson because they have no books.

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diplomatmagazine In closing any institution, and especially an international criminal tribunal, which determines the criminal responsibility of individuals and deprives accused and convicted persons of their liberty, it is important to do so with competence, efficiency, and adherence to the institution’s founding principles. I believe that the successful completion of the Tribunal’s work can only be achieved if it is realized in a manner that maintains the highest standards of due process and fairness. I will do my utmost to ensure that the closing down of the Tribunal does not detract from its basic purposes, and that principles of fairness remain paramount.

With regard to the second major task, as President I am determined to strengthen and consolidate the image of the Tribunal, particularly throughout the former Yugoslavia. To achieve this, it is important to understand that the Tribunal’s legacy is not limited only to its jurisprudence, the cases of those persons it has convicted and acquitted, or the stories that can now be authoritatively told about the events that unfolded in the former Yugoslavia. Its legacy includes many more components, most important of which are the existence and operation of domestic courts in the region to deal with these same crimes, and the affirmation that the outside world cares about what happened during the conflict. I firmly believe that the work started by the Tribunal, which is now being taken up in domestic war crimes proceedings, enhances the prospects for justice and greater reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia and assists in deterring future atrocities.

“The Tribunal has brought some of the most notorious figures of the late twentieth century to justice” Photography: Allen Borrelli.

ICTY President Carmel Agius Reflects on How the Tribunal is Preparing to Close Down

Since the beginning of my presidency the Tribunal has made strong progress towards completing its mandate, delivering judgements in the appeal case of Prosecutor v. Jovica Stani{ić & Franko Simatović and both the trial cases of Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić and Prosecutor v. Vojislav Šešelj. The Tribunal is now left with two trial cases and two appeals cases. This is a significant and exciting time in the Tribunal’s history: not only is the Tribunal in its final biennium, it is also concluding some of its biggest, most important trials and its largest ever appeal case. I feel privileged to be overseeing the completion of this work in my capacity as President.

The Tribunal has brought some of the most notorious figures of the late twentieth century to justice. Indeed, there are significant achievements to reflect upon as we near the end of the Tribunal’s lifespan. At the same time, it is important to remember that the Tribunal is not perfect: no institution is or can be, and particularly no institution which has had to break new ground in international justice like the Tribunal. In addition to praise, the Tribunal has received its share of criticism along the way, particularly in relation to the costs involved and the slow pace of proceedings. While some

“I will do my utmost to ensure that the closing down of the Tribunal does not detract from its basic purposes”

During this critical period, the biggest challenge faced by the Tribunal is staff attrition, as well as its effect on staff morale. My predecessors and I have cautioned the United Nations Security Council about this issue on several occasions. As our mandate draws to a close, highly qualified staff members are leaving to take up more secure employment opportunities, which is of course understandable. However the loss of experienced staff members, who have institutional and case-specific knowledge, will be particularly damaging in the second half of 2017 if the Tribunal is left with insufficient staff to complete all judicial work on time. As the Tribunal continues to downsize, I am doing everything in my power to ensure that ongoing trials and appeals are fully supported. I regret to say, however, that this is becoming an increasingly difficult task.

criticism may be warranted to an extent, there are also politicallymotivated misconceptions about the Tribunal amongst the different ethnic groups. This is where outreach and education efforts become particularly crucial. It must be emphasised that there is a great deal to be proud of, and a general sense that the Tribunal has done the job that was assigned to it. There are no outstanding ICTY fugitives, and 94% of the Tribunal’s proceedings have been concluded. The impact of the ICTY will continue to be felt for many years to come, and it will take a long time to fully evaluate its work. Regardless, I genuinely believe in that work and I am proud to have been part of such an important ‘experiment’ in international justice. I look forward to continuing to lead the Tribunal during its final chapter with the support of my colleagues, the other Principals and the international community.

As the last President of the Tribunal I am ultimately responsible for two major tasks before the closing of the Tribunal: concluding the judicial work by the end of next year, and ensuring that the legacy of the Tribunal is preserved beyond 2017.


However, in order to ensure that the Tribunal has a truly lasting impact, its work must be complemented by education and outreach efforts to increase local communities’ access to information about its achievements, and to promote a greater understanding of the Tribunal’s work and its contribution to peace and justice in the region. It is my intention to highlight and increase these efforts during the Tribunal’s final biennium, through a series of legacy-related events both here in The Hague and in the region.

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Prestigious Cercle International Diplomatique et Consulaire on visit

The new employment law in actual practice:

How does the court decide?

Photography: Hester Dijkstra. On the picture HRH Princess Léa of Belgium and H.E. Chris Hoornaert.

Under the High Patronage of HRH Princess Léa of Belgium, CIDIC (Cercle International Diplomatique et Consulaire – Centre Européen de Diplomatie Economique) and DEA (Diplomatic, Economic and Academic) supported by H.E. Mr Chris Hoornaert, Ambassador of Belgium, visited the Netherlands from 10 - 12 May 2016. This on the occasion of the Dutch Presidency of the EU Council. CIDIC was founded in 2010; it has over 650 members and sympathisers. HRH Princess Léa of Belgium is the Honorary chairperson of CIDIC The Board of Directors is made up of: Baron Ernest Laminne de Bex, President;

Mr Paul van der Vloet, vice president; Mr Christian Mouvet, Secretary General and Treasurer and Mr Frederic the Pryck, Chairman of the Executive Committee.

While in the Netherlands, members of the mission participated in an extensive but very interesting three days program.

The CIDIC-DEA mission visit aimed at bringing together Dutch and Belgian entrepreneurs, businesses and universities, in order to deliver real diplomatic, economic and academic scope to the Dutch EU Presidency. After The Netherlands, there will be a CIDIC-DEA missions to Slovakia. In 2017, missions are envisaged to Malta and the United Kingdom.

Tulips, cheese, and … insurance


Besides for its tulips and cheese, the Netherlands is well known for the many insurance possibilities. What insurance do you need and what would be wise to insure? Read more in this article. Health Care Insurance

According to the Dutch Health Insurance Act a health insurance is required for all residents in the Netherlands, and everyone working and paying for social security in the Netherlands. Exceptions are made for diplomats or employees working at certain international organizations (so called ‘volkenrechtelijke organisaties’, like NATO and EUROPOL). As an employee of these organizations you are not entitled to the Dutch Basic Healthcare system and it will thus be important for you to find out whether your employer covers (all of) the necessary costs for healthcare. If not, you can apply for a private insurance from an insurer in the Netherlands.


Car Insurance

You can take out an insurance for both business vehicles as for personal vehicles. In the Netherlands you are obliged to insure your motorized vehicles for ‘Legal Liability’. This insurance covers damage to third parties caused by the motorized vehicle. In addition, you have the option to insure damage to your own vehicle(s) caused by fire,

Contact details

Kröller Assurantiën B.V. Laan van Nieuw Oost-Indië 123 2593 BM The Hague T +31 (0)70 342 24 00

In 2015, the Work and Security Act became effective which brought about drastic changes to employment law in the Netherlands, especially for Embassies and Consulates. Jan Dop, Head of the Embassy Desk at Russell Advocaten, will inform you on how the courts decide on different aspects of the new employment law.

on the difference between the most recent salary of the employee and the amount of unemployment benefits for a period of six months (the employee is expected to find a new job during this period). This resulted in a fair compensation of EUR 10,000.

Dismissal permit or legal proceedings required to dismiss local staff

Embassies and Consulates obliged to pay transition compensation

Employee illness even more complicated

The level of fair compensation


For Embassies and Consulates, the most drastic change is the requirement of a dismissal permit or legal proceedings to dismiss locally hired staff. This requirement is effective since 1 July 2015, before that date this was not mandatory for Embassies and Consulates. Therefore, it is important for Embassies and Consulates to be aware of the fact that requests to set aside employment contracts are rejected by the courts much more frequently. This applies in particular to requests based on the inadequate performance of employees, in which is decided that the employer has not made sufficiently clear that it concerns inadequate performance, or has not done enough to help the employee perform better. This shows how important it is for Embassies and Consulates to maintain sound personnel files. If the personnel file is not well-maintained, the request to set aside the employment contract is likely to be rejected.

Up to 1 July 2015, Embassies and Consulates could often terminate the employment contract of their employees without being obliged to pay a severance payment. However, since 1 July 2015, each employee, whose employment contract lasted for two years or longer and is terminated upon initiative of the employer, is, in principle, entitled to transition compensation, including employees of Embassies and Consulates. The amount of the transition compensation is based on the length of the employment. The entitlement to transition compensation will lapse due to imputable acts or omissions by the employee. On top of the transition compensation a fair compensation may be granted to the employee due to imputable acts by the Embassy or Consulate as an employer. Courts are free to determine the level of the fair compensation. In one case the employee was granted a fair compensation of twice the transition compensation, being more than EUR 30,000. In another case the court based the level of the fair compensation

Employee illness is a very complicated subject under Dutch employment law and requires adequate and precise guidance. During the first two years of illness the employer is obliged to pay at least 70% of the employee’s wage and is in principle not allowed to terminate the employment contract. Furthermore, the employer is obliged to stimulate the employee’s reintegration. As of 1 July 2015, employee illness became even more complicated due to the fact that employers are, in principle, obliged to pay transition compensation to employees whose employment contract is terminated after two years of illness. Based on our experience, Embassies and Consulates are often confronted with difficulties concerning dismissal cases and employee illness. Often these difficulties can be prevented by adequate and timely guidance. Please visit the website (www. or for an extended version of this article with practical examples.

theft or even broader with a ‘Limited or Fully comprehensive insurance’. Please be aware that not all insurance companies insure vehicles with a CD (Corps Diplomatique) license plate. Kröller is equipped to insure vehicles with CD and CDJ license plates.

Insurance broker

It is wise to contact an insurance broker who is well acquainted with staff of international organizations. An insurance broker exactly knows the exceptions that may apply to your specific situation. Kröller is one of them. And to welcome you to the Netherlands we offer you 20% discount on many insurances. Please visit expats for more details.

More information

Would you like to get further information about how the new employment law works in actual practice for Embassies and Consulates? Or do you have any other questions regarding hiring and firing staff? Please contact: Jan Dop, LL.M. ( diplomat magazine #4


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Verkaart uses fully trained, safety-certified (VCA) professionals who have been vetted, for the benefit of the services we provide to diplomatic sector offices and residences, to ensure they have a certificate of good conduct (CGC).


Evolution of interests and priorities of Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia


By H.E. Mr. Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. Photography: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the region with a parliamentary governmental system. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we were the first country, which introduced its national currency, became a member of the World Trade Organization and opened its borders to the international community. The Kyrgyz Republic fully supports the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UN GCS), which provides a solid basis for effective counteraction to international terrorism, creating a framework for cooperation between countries and international organizations in this area. For the purpose of UN GCS implementation, the Central Asian states adopted the Joint Action Plan on November 30, 2011 in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), which is being implemented by the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the national strategies and concept. Enhancing the unity of people of the Kyrgyz Republic and improvement of inter-ethnic relations are the most important preconditions for successful development of the country. Special attention is paid to improving general education of the population and close cooperation with youth. In this regard, a new version of the State Policy Concept in the sphere of religion in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2014-2020 was developed. At present, the Kyrgyz Republic has acceded to 10 of the 16 international unified UN documents regulating the offenses and counteraction measures in the field of terrorism. Efforts aimed to align national legislation with the ratified international conventions and amend the existing and develop new regulations are continuously underway. It should be noted that terrorism is closely linked to drug trafficking, and the drug threat emanating from Afghanistan is one of the major barriers to sustainable development of countries in our region. According to the latest data of the UN Office on Drugs and

Crime, a record amount of opium poppy was cultivated in Afghanistan in 2014; the total cultivated area was 224 thousand hectares. According to UNODC estimates, it is about 6 thousand 400 tons of the opium poppy. Compared to previous years, opium poppy cultivation has increased by 18%. Afghanistan territory remains the main hotbed of spread of the drug threat with the non-stop drug trafficking through Central Asia to Russia and Eastern European markets along the “northern route”. At that, part of the drugs remains in the Central Asian region, which leads to involvement of the population in the drug related business, worsens the crime situation and negatively affects drug abuse scale. Despite major regional conflicts in Syria and Iraq with continuous destructive activities of the extremely radical terrorist organization “Islamic State” (IS), the Afghan problem remains as the most acute in the Central Asian region. Activation of radical Islamist forces and weak protection of the external borders of the countries in this region pose a threat not only to Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan that border with Afghanistan, but to southern borders of the Kyrgyz Republic as well. From our side, we believe that the priority is ensuring stability and sustainable development of the Afghanistan economy, which is crucial in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. From our side, Kyrgyzstan is ready to closely interact with Afghanistan as part of the regional trade, energy and communication projects.

One of the essential tools for sustainable development and ensuring security of Kyrgyzstan is strengthening the entire spectrum of cooperation with our immediate neighbors. In the context of our region, we deem cooperation and comprehensive dialogue as the only and with no alternatives way for addressing the existing issues. On the other hand, we have to note that not all of the existing problems in the Central Asian region are successfully and promptly addressed. We, first of all, mean the development of trade and economic relations on an equitable and mutually beneficial basis. Issues related to joint water use are acute on the agenda of interstate relations in Central Asia. In this respect, it should be noted that when following the course of development selected by Kyrgyzstan, it will pay special attention to the development of its hydro-power potential, which is the basis for sustainable development of the country. Our principled position is that water and energy are integral and inseparable from each other. In this respect, in order to exercise its right to development, Kyrgyzstan uses its water and energy potential to achieve incremental socio-economic development, including based on the “green” economy model.

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Georgia’s European way

Georgia has advanced reforms and contributed to the establishment of the legislative policy and institutional framework in compliance with the best European and international standards. Mr. Gigiadze highlighted justice reforms with new regulations being adopted in the area of human rights. Last year Georgia adopted anti-discrimination law and achieved good results in terms of media freedom, consolidation of democracy and institutional building. He emphasised that the reforms were first and foremost for the benefit of the country.

By Elizabeth Naumczyk. Photography: Henry Arvidsson.

Interview following the roundtable meeting on “Georgia’s European way and foreign policy priorities” on the occasion of the visit of the Georgian Delegation to The Netherlands led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Gigi Gigiadze, 25 April, 2016 at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bezuidenhoutseweg 67, The Hague. Diplomat Magazine was given the unique opportunity to conduct an interview with Mr. Gigi Gigiadze, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs who was keen to explain his current visit concerning bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and The Netherlands. The Minister’s schedule included a roundtable meeting on Georgia’s European way and foreign policy priorities organized by the Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations and the Embassy of Georgia, at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after which this interview was conducted. The Minister began by saying: “Georgia has very good record on reforms. Georgia has a good achievement in terms of overall development of the country. Has a good record in terms of getting closer to the European Union (EU) in terms of accepting and taking over the values which are the most important ones in the EU. Georgia always used to be and continues to be a true European country....Georgia is one of the first Christian countries in the world. We always felt Georgia belongs to Europe and European civilization … after regaining independence the situation has changed and we are free to choose and we would like to keep this choice.”


In 2015 The Netherlands was the third biggest investor in Georgia. Dutch expertise, especially in the agricultural sector is highly valued, as is the assistance of the Dutch Government through governmental agencies in the implementation of projects in agriculture and rural development as well as human rights, and so forth.

There is a high expectation that Georgia will achieve the visa liberalization with the EU during the EU Presidency of The Netherlands in couple of months. Mr. Gigiadze who was the chief negotiator and led a group of governmental institutions on the Visa Liberlisation Action Plan (VLAP), said he was proud to have had the opportunity to work with people in this group who did “such an amazing job and have achieved such a success”.

The VLAP is a technical instrument and not linked to any political item. Mr. Gigi Gigiadze said, if the visa liberalization is done during The Netherlands EU Presidency, it will further build on the relationship between the two countries and solidify the partnership.

“We always felt Georgia belongs to Europe and European civilization”

Visa liberalization will affect every aspect of the social life in Georgia, “no one could imagine a year ago, it would be happening.” Once in place, it will provide the younger generation with the opportunity to travel to the EU and see what they were taught from childhood, “see what Europe is based on, how Europe is functioning…the main deliverable – people will increase their belief in the whole process.”

In December 2015 the European Commission in its fourth and final progress report recognised that Georgia had fully implemented all the reforms necessary for visa liberalisation with the EU. Georgia, said Mr. Gigiadze has “overfulfilled” its obligations by even completing additional recommendations. On 9 March, the Commission presented the legislative proposal on amending the respective regulation allowing short-term visa waiver for Georgian citizens within the Schengen area. The proposal is being discussed at the EU Council and the European Parliament and is expected to be in place before July 2016.

The Minister explained the importance of European integration in Georgia’s foreign and domestic policy. All the main political parties in Georgia agree on the foreign political agenda and these parties represent the majority of the population. Georgia belongs to Europe and is guided by its longstanding goal to integrate into the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Today, Georgia’s main aim is to achieve the closest possible political association and economic integration with the EU by continuously reforming the country and surveys show that last year it was one of the best performers “we are already a very reliable partner of the EU” noted Mr. Gigiadze.

Georgia can also contribute its ancient technology of wine-making spanning some 8,000 years. Georgia was the first producer of wine and has some 550 grape varieties. It is called the “cradle of wine-making” and traditionally the process has been to use huge clay pots anchored in the ground contributing to the special flavour of Georgian wine. Mr. Gigiadze added he highly appreciated the support of the Dutch Government for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-recognition policy, its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, as well as the UN Resolution on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and contribution to the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

The DCFTA, which is an essential component of the Association Agreement, is a major opportunity for the modernisation of Georgia’s economy, as well as a huge stimulus to reform. Providing access to the world’s largest market of 500 million consumers without tariffs and quotas is set to enhance Georgia’s attractiveness to foreign investments and create jobs in the country. The economic reforms implemented under the DCFTA have already contributed to enhanced trade with the EU and increased foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow. It is to be said that all EU Member States have completed the ratification procedures of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, including the Netherlands, which finalised the ratification process in September 2015. While undergoing final procedures at the Council, the Agreement is expected to enter into force in summer establishing the new legal framework of the enhanced EU-Georgia relationship. The Association Agreement has been provisionally applied since September 2014. For its part, the Georgian government remains committed to seizing the full potential of its enhanced relationship with the EU and making the best use of these agreements and reaping the benefits of the political association and economic integration process. Mr. Gigiadze ended by saying that Georgia attaches great importance to the Dutch EU Presidency and wishes success in the fulfilment of its important agenda.

Farewell reception for ICTY Judge O-Gon Kwon By Roy Lie A Tjam.

H.E. Mr. Jonghyun Choe, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in the Netherlands hosted a farewell reception for the Korean ICTY Judge O-Gon Kwon at the Hotel Des Indes, in The Hague, to celebrate Judge O-Gon Kwon’s 15 year service to the court. In his address, Ambassador Jonghyun Choe recounted how while serving in New York he joined the campaign trail, canvassing to get Judge O-Gon Kwon elected to his position within the ICTY. In order to celebrate his success they went to the Korean restaurant in Manhattan, but now about 15 years later hosting a farewell reception for Judge O-Gon Kwon, to thank him for all his hard work and dedication to the ICTY. Judge O-Gon Kwon is the first Korean judge to be elected into the august office of international justice. O-Gon Kwon remarked how his time has flown by but prides himself on having served at the ICTY, the exceptional experience and the contributions he had been able to make to international criminal justice court.

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We are happy to answer all your questions, and can swiftly provide you with a quote on request. Hofstad Tours: craftsmanship, exclusivity, success. diplomat magazine #4


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Modern diplomacy and enduring interests in Dutch-Asian relations

The Trust Fund for Victims Dignifying life

By Peter Potman, director of the Asia and Oceania Department at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photography: Communications Department of MFA.

By Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the Board of Directors, The Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court.

His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a member of the first Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) said, “We want to recognize those who over the several years have been the faceless ones, the anonymous ones, the ones who have been side-passed, and so in that process, help to heal trauma, help to heal wounded communities, help to make whole what was broken.” His ambition is now reflected in the main strategic goal of the TFV Strategic Plan 2014-2017: victims and their families overcome harm, lead a dignified life, and contribute towards reconciliation and peace-building within their communities. Since my article to this magazine in June 2014, the TFV has made steady and substantial progress as the ICC Rome Statute’s primary vehicle for providing redress to victims of the most serious international crimes. Under its assistance mandate, the TFV assisted, during the period of October 2014 to June 2015, 59,695 direct beneficiaries and 126,703 indirect beneficiaries in northern Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. In their most recent annual meeting in April 2016, the Board of Directors reiterated its ambition to extend the provision of assistance to victims to more ICC situation countries. Assistance programmes provide three categories of support to victims, namely, physical rehabilitation, psychological rehabilitation, and material support. Physical rehabilitation consists primarily of referrals of individuals in need of medical care to other service providers for cases requiring orthopedic or plastic surgery, fitting of prostheses, treatment of wounds or infections, fistula treatment and other types of care. In Uganda, one of TFV implementing partners produces prostheses and orthotics devices and fits them to beneficiaries in need and conduct outreach visits to assess utilization and improvement of those with devices. Psychological rehabilitation involves the management of


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psychological and mental health of victims who have suffered serious psychological trauma and/or personality disorders. At the family and community level, its goal is to reduce stigmatization of victims, and to promote a greater sense of trust, shared responsibility, and peaceful coexistence among community members. Material support aims at improving the economic status of victims through education, economic development activities, creation of employment opportunities, and savings and lending groups using a Mutuelle de Solidarite (MUSO) model. The target beneficiaries include: victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); widows/ widowers; former child soldiers/abducted youth; orphans and vulnerable children; victims who suffered a physical injury and/ or who were psychologically traumatized by violence; and family and other victims. The TFV’s programmes adopt one or more of these three categories of assistance depending on the needs of victims and availability of services.

As for its reparations mandate of implementing the Court-ordered reparations awards against a convicted person, the TFV has continued to actively engage in the ICC’s judicial proceedings to establish legal and operational mechanisms for providing meaningful redress to victims. The ICC’s Appeals Chamber issued principles on reparations and order for reparations against Mr. Lubanga in March 2015 for the first time in the ICC’s history, and concrete reparations programmes and their operational mechanism are currently being developed before a Trial Chamber. As Mr. Lubanga is deemed indigent, the TFV Board of Directors suggests exercising its discretionary power to complement one million Euros to reparations programmes. The crimes committed were enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 in eastern DRC from 2002-2003, and the number of potential direct beneficiaries (former child soldiers) is roughly estimated at 3,000. However, recent efforts to contact those who have participated in the criminal proceedings demonstrate the degree of difficulties lying ahead, in particular in identifying those who have never contacted the Court and whose present whereabouts are unknown. The TFV is the first of its kind in the history of international criminal justice and its mandates are highly challenging. For it to accomplish its mandates successfully, it requires even stronger moral, political and financial support from the States Parties and the international community. All of the TFV’s programmes are financed through voluntary contributions and private donations. The new Board elected in November 2015 is fully aware of the need to further strengthen the TFV’s resource base. On behalf of the Board, I would like to cordially request you to join us in helping victims regain their dignity, life and hope.

As Director of the Asia and Oceania Department I and my team look after our relations with two thirds of the world’s population. We do so with just over 20 people. As the Dutch say: if you are not strong, you have to be smart. On my first day in office, two years ago, freshly returned from Shanghai, where I served as Consul-General, the Ministry had switched to new working methods as part of our modernization drive. In Shanghai I had a large fancy office. Now I could pick a desk in a large bright room with some twenty people. No more long, dark corridors and a director safely tucked away behind a protective secretary, but a more egalitarian structure and easier communication possibilities. Indeed, in a world that rapidly changes into a network society, diplomats must adapt as well. We have to become more digitally savvy, use social networks, and be able to work outside of our office. Better ICT, including iPhones and iPads, helps us to work from any place in the world. One of the core innovations to me is an enhanced interaction with the stakeholders in our foreign policy in the Netherlands. No more ivory tower, because our society is now so internationalized that many people have a stake in foreign policy formulation. That is why we have developed a domestic outreach program, called ‘Asia Carrousel’, through which we organize (networking) events with and for our partners. For instance, together with the University of Leiden, we brought together our ambassadors in Asia and our universities to deepen our relationship and benefit from their knowledge. They, for their part, interact with Asian students and universities, which from a diplomatic perspective is crucial, since diplomacy is

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no longer just about States, but also about the interaction between various non-state actors, hence the importance of ‘people to people contacts’.

“the Asia and Oceania department is trying to combine the classic virtues of bilateral diplomacy with the demands of a modern age” On another occasion, Asian and Dutch Ambassadors, together with a large group of Dutch experts from the office of the National Prosecutor, the Police and NGOs, discussed the challenge of combatting human trafficking between Asia and the Netherlands with a view to better cooperation. Of course, our core business remains advancing bilateral relations, and promoting Dutch policy priorities in an Asian context. In doing so, we are not confined to the Netherlands. In May I travelled to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in preparation of the next Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which will take place in July. ASEM offers a unique platform for cooperation between the two regions of our

Eurasian continent, for instance in the field of trade facilitation, cultural and student exchanges, global governance and regional crises. For me, it is also a great opportunity to meet personally with so many of my Asian colleagues. Because, all modernity’s attractions aside, in diplomacy, still nothing beats face-to-face contact!

Another classical, indispensable part of our work is the organization of incoming and outgoing visits of Heads of State and/ or Government. This allows us to interact with a wide range of actors, including, of course, our colleagues from the Asian embassies here in The Hague. For the recent visit of President Joko Widodo, for instance, we were in close touch with many stakeholders: the Port of Rotterdam and Leiden University, Dutch companies, and the colleagues preparing the meetings with Prime Minister Rutte and the audience with His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. On such occasions old and new diplomacy come together in advancing the broad range of interests of our country and its inhabitants. In sum, the Asia and Oceania department is trying to combine the classic virtues of bilateral diplomacy with the demands of a modern age, in which multiple stakeholders want to have a legitimate say in our foreign policy and where the digital revolution has created the need for multiple communication channels and a more flexible approach to when and where we do our work. But of course, I still look forward to meeting you at the next reception!



diplomatVIP Hutu militia from massacring between a half million and one million Rwandans in 1994, and there are more recent examples. Since the Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011, four Council draft resolutions to negotiate peace, condemn the violence and refer the situation to the International Criminal Court, were vetoed - the death toll is now climbing to 400 thousand.


United Nations Reform is Needed Urgently for the Sake of Our Human Security

Yet protecting human security is everyones business since anyone anywhere can fall victim to war or other breach of the peace. As the race for new Secretary-General warms up, thankfully, certain candidates have been emphasizing UN reform as a priority concern. In our interdependent world, United Nations reform is needed urgently for the sake of our human security.

Lyal S. Sunga has conducted monitoring, investigation, reporting, technical cooperation, education and training in some 55 countries over the last 25 years in human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law. He is Head of the Rule of Law program at the Hague Institute for Global Justice in The Netherlands, and Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden

By Lyal S. Sunga. Photography: UN. Verra Real Estate 2e Schuytstraat 115a 2517 XD The Hague t. +31 (0)70 346 2131

The United Nations Security Council is responsible for determining the existence of any threat to or breach of the peace or act of aggression and for taking measures to restore international peace and security (under articles 39, 41 and 42 in Chapter VII of the Charter). Whereas the General Assembly can only recommend rather than compel action, the Council can invoke Chapter VII and adopt a resolution binding on all member States to address the situation, even using military force if necessary to restore peace and security. Where UN collective security fails, we see the tragedies of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and other unresolved armed conflicts.

It is well known that no draft Council decision, except those on purely procedural matters, can be adopted without nine affirmative Council votes including the concurring votes of the permanent members, which means in practice either an affirmative or an abstaining vote. This allows China, France, Russia, the UK and US to block any Council draft resolution, even if all other 14 Council members vote for example to deploy UN peacekeepers to a troubled zone to keep belligerents apart and enforce peace.

Including veto privileges for permanent Council members in the Charter was intended in 1945 to ensure that UN coercive action could be taken only where all 5 major powers agreed. It would also make collective security action, based on the an attack against one is an attack against all principle, more effective, by ensuring that big powers did not line up on opposite sides of a conflict, escalating tensions, perhaps even risking nuclear war.

“Permanent Council members frequently use their veto powers in ways that prioritize their political and strategic interests over international peace and security”


Reforming the UN, a process initiated in 1992, and revamping the Council from anachronistic, hamstrung and ineffectual, to representative, responsible and responsive, are admittedly no easy tasks. Charter amendment requires a two-thirds majority of the 193 member States including all permanent members. Agreement will have to be reached upon: altering veto privileges (which some current permanent members strongly oppose); making regional representation more equitable; improving Council working methods; and optimizing the relationship among the Security Council, General Assembly and the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

The Razali Formula (1997) favours expanding permanent Council membership, but without extending veto powers to new members. Kofi Annan’s Plans A and B (2004) leave veto powers and current permanent membership intact, increase only the Councils non-permanent membership, and tinker with the length of non-permanent member terms. Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, South Africa and Nigeria among others, insist on becoming permanent members, while certain others put themselves forward. The complex variety of proposals, shifting member State support for them, and challenges of reaching agreement, seem to cry out for reforming the UN reform process itself!

In practice however, permanent Council members frequently use their veto powers in ways that prioritize their political and strategic interests over international peace and security and that can let armed conflicts and all the human misery associated with them continue. Since 1945, vetoes were used to block draft Council decisions for example to: address the Palestine question; condemn the USSR’s 1956 invasion of Hungary; impose a cease-fire between Egypt and Israel (Suez, 1956); demilitarize Jammu and Kashmir; condemn Southern Rhodesia’s racist regime; admit Vietnam as a UN member; denounce apartheid; expel South Africa from Namibia; denounce the US invasion of Grenada; and denounce the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. The Council failed to stop the Khmer Rouge from wiping out millions in Cambodia from 1975-1979, or to prevent extremist

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Bike for Dad


Russia and the Netherlands:

“I believe it is important to extend cooperation between our countries in dealing with the new threats and challenges that we face, particularly in the fight against international terrorism”

longstanding ties and fruitful cooperation

As for the relations between our countries, I would like to emphasize that we consider the Netherlands as one of Russia’s key partners. We value what has been done in many practical areas of mutual cooperation - particularly in the trade and investment sectors, and in the fields of culture and cultural exchanges.

It was a great pleasure to start working in the Netherlands as Ambassador of the Russian Federation. The Netherlands is a country that combines the best of European tradition with the latest developments in social life. With a rich cultural heritage and a prosperous economy, it enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the centres of world trade. The Dutch are a sporting nation – they play perfect football and volleyball, and they are skilled at speed skating and ice skating.

Russia and the Netherlands historically have maintained strong and long-standing ties, which have developed at a steady pace. Dutch merchants first appeared in the Russian northern city of Archangelsk during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. Early nautical charts that helped sailors find their way to Russia were created in this period. The Netherlands inspired Peter the Great to open a window to Europe. It was a good model of an influential European country for him. The Russian czar, while being trained as a shipwright in Amsterdam, met with merchants, architects, sculptors, book printers and inventors. Thus Peter I picked up practical ideas which he later implemented to modernise the political structure and economic and cultural life of Russia.


On the 21st of February 2016 celebrated the 200th wedding anniversary of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna, sister of Alexander I and Nicholas I, and the Dutch Crown Prince of Orange, who became in 1840 the King of the Netherlands, Willem II. Their marriage in the Winter Palace church in St. Petersburg exemplifies the very close ties that bind our two countries and peoples. It is well known that Anna Pavlovna was deeply engaged in charity work, and patronized educational institutions for children. She always extended a helping hand to her Motherland. When Russia was involved in the Crimean War of 1853-1856, she organized for medical supplies to be sent to soldiers on the front line.

H.E. Ittiporn Boonpracong, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand in the Netherlands, organised a solemn ceremony to celebrate the 88th anniversary of H. M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The day concluded with a biking spree in The Hague of many members of the Thai diaspora along with friends leaded by Ambassador Boonpracong.

Our nations have never waged a war against each other - on the contrary, we have always been allies and partners. The Netherlands and Russia have the same colours on our national flags, and the famous Russian Gzhel is strikingly similar to blue and white Delft porcelain painting.

By H.E. Mr. Alexander Vasilievich Shulgin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: J. van der Meyde.

“The Netherlands inspired Peter the Great to open a window to Europe”

Bike for Dad, concluded the festivities of the 88th anniversary of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Unfortunately, the cooperation between the two countries is now going through uneasy times. There has been a significant drop in the turnover of commodities. However, we see a range of positive developments – flagship Dutch businesses, such as Shell, Unilever, Philips and DSM are going to remain in the Russian market. The Netherlands remains one of the key EU trade and investment partners of Russia, securing the third and the second positions in these sectors respectively.

Our countries are united not only by historical and cultural links, but also by deep ties of friendship. 2013 was marked by the Russia-Netherlands friendship year, unprecedented in the history of relations between our countries, which featured more than 600 political, economic and cultural events. These were held at many high-profile venues including the main exhibition complex Hermitage Amsterdam, which was opened earlier in 2009.

My task as the Ambassador of Russia is to promote the next steps in furthering collaboration between the Dutch and Russian business circles. I believe it is important to extend cooperation between our countries in dealing with the new threats and challenges that we face, particularly in the fight against international terrorism.

Such topical issues deserve our joint efforts, particularly when it comes to the conservation and restoration of monuments related to the historical, cultural and scientific heritage of Russia and the Netherlands. Among relevant challenges are saving the remains of sunken ships, the study of the compilations of Dutch collectors in Russian libraries and museums, and the preservation of artefacts in both countries.

Brazil joins “Apostille Convention” The Federative Republic of Brazil as represented by its ambassador to The Netherlands, H.E. Sr. Piragibe Dos Santos Tarragô deposited last December its instrument of accession to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (so-called “Apostille Convention”). Following the usual procedural steps, the Convention shall enter into force for Brazil on 14 August 2016, making it the 111th Contracting State to the Convention. For more information:

As we look to the future of our relationship with optimism, I am confident that existing obstacles will be overcome, and that time-tested bilateral cooperation will help foster our mutual return to a path of sustainable economic growth for the benefit of our peoples, and for the sake of peace and security in Europe and around the world.

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Sweden A feminist foreign policy, relevant also in The Hague By H.E. Per Holmström, Ambassador of Sweden to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Mr. Sîren Andersson.

More than 20 years have passed since The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and more than 15 since the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Many positive developments have taken place in the meantime, but we are all far from reaching our objectives when it comes to gender equality. More work is needed. In 2014 the Swedish Government and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström declared that Sweden would conduct a feminist foreign policy. At the time, the term was met with some giggles, some misunderstandings, some hostility, but also with a lot of anticipation and enthusiasm. Today, it is a more broadly accepted concept and some countries are actually following suit. Apart from the obvious principle, working towards gender equality is not a zero-sum game. Instead, empowering women and girls is a win-win situation, for individuals as well as for societies. And on a more personal note, as a parent, how could I wish for anything else than for my teenage daughter – and the millions of her likes throughout the world – to live in a world where they can achieve their full potential and live lives free of discrimination? I am happy and proud to do my part to try to achieve that goal. It all starts somewhere.

W W W .T H E F L O O R I N G C O M P A N Y . N L

The objectives of the Swedish policy cover a wide range of areas, such as full enjoyment of human rights, freedom from physical, psychological and sexual violence, participation in preventing and resolving conflicts, and post-conflict peacebuilding, political participation and influence in all areas of society, economic rights and empowerment as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). To make it simpler, and maybe a bit catchier, we like to talk about the 3R’s as a concept, those being (equal access to) rights, representation and resources.[1] In The Hague – rightly called the capital of peace and justice – the concept of equal access to rights is more pertinent than in many other places. Among the many institutions in the city, the International Criminal Court – the ICC – is perhaps the most well-known, and absolutely one of the more important, as its task is to make judgements on the most serious crimes, such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. As it should, the Court is a fully independent institution, but that does not exclude participation by “member states” - the State Parties - in promoting the Court’s activity and its mandate. Many are actively engaged in encouraging so called universality (attracting more signatories), promoting States cooperation with the Court, or in our case furthering the concept of complementarity, a bit simplified this implies working towards adapting states’ legislation, procedures and administration so that prosecuting the most serious crimes can take place in the state concerned, rather than at the ICC.

Sweden, deeply committed to a wellfunctioning multilateral system, is proud to take on a special role in this important effort, together with Botswana. In doing so we have been focusing specifically on victims of sexual and gender based violence in conflict. Sadly, such crimes are frequent, and in some instances cynically used as a strategy in conflicts. By working together with the Court, governments, administrations and civil society in identifying hurdles and solutions, our aim is to raise awareness but also to increase the possibilities for those victims to be able to gain access to justice. It is far from academic. Real people, real women and girls (and men), face stigma and genuine obstacles to having their voices heard. Any one victim helped is worth the effort.

“In The Hague – rightly called the capital of peace and justice – the concept of equal access to rights is more pertinent than in many other places”


Frederikstraat 569 I 2514 LR Den Haag I T +31(0)70 40 64 579 diplomat magazine #4




“Azerbaijan’s counter military operations did not take place in Armenia-Azerbaijan border, nor in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region” Azerbaijan’s multi-vector cooperation transcends neighboring countries and it is underpinned by the realization of far-reaching common objectives. Therefore, Azerbaijan’s engagement and partnership with the EU aimed at contributing to the realization of the latter’s strategic objectives. These objectives are not limited to securing future alternative gas volumes through Southern Gas Corridor but fighting against growing threats, such as radicalization, religious extremism which can be easily translated into deadly acts perceived as crimes against humanity.


Cooperation mood with Europe cannot be ruined by long-standing security challenges

By H.E. Mr. Mir-Hamza Efendiyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Throughout its history, Azerbaijan has played an important role in bridging East and West through connecting Central Asia with Anatolia, the Black Sea and beyond. Traditional east-west corridor is now reinforced by huge energy infrastructure projects initiated by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan as an enabler and contributor to the European energy security is investing on new pipelines and sophisticated interconnections across the region pledging to bring billions of cubic meters of natural gas volumes through Southern Gas Corridor. This multibillion dollar project has been inspired by successfully realized regional oil and gas pipelines such as Baku – Tbilisi –Ceyhan and Baku – Tbilisi – Erzurum, backbones of long-term diversification strategy of Azerbaijan.


The long-term perspectives of contribution of Azerbaijan to the development of east-west corridor cannot be entirely attributed to trans-regional oil and gas infrastructure projects. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project which is to be operational by the end of this year is widely acknowledged as an inherent component of revived Silk Road initiative. This railroad will join the ranks of the region’s most critical infrastructures once China’s Silk Belt concept comes to the fruition.

Azerbaijan, a predominantly Shiite Muslim country, is also home to several other ethnic and religious groups, including ancient Zoroastrian, Christian, and Jewish communities. Respect and tolerance for national minorities has played a vital role in the development of the country from antiquity to the days of the Silk Road to modernity. Today multiculturalism, religious tolerance is more than a state policy in Azerbaijan; it is a reflection of the mood of the society.

And it is also equally important that fighting new threats should not be done at the cost of overriding fundamental values, especially those related with religious tolerance and multiculturalism. Terrorism bears no ethnicity, religion or race. It has no faith. However, the relations of the EU with Muslim world are at great risk with domestically rising political populism against Islamaphobia under the pretext of fighting terrorism which is prone to drive the EU to the possible confrontation against Muslim world. Europe should avoid becoming a side of further polarized and alienated world. New geopolitical developments and complexities in the EU neighborhood will shape its future relations with Azerbaijan. It is due to these circumstances the EU and Azerbaijan have decided to upgrade their bilateral contractual relations which will reflect the strategic spirit of long-term engagement.

The question is why now? The devil is in the timing of provocations.

Azerbaijan hosted second meeting of Advisory Council on Southern Gas Corridor in 29 February which was attended by EU vice-president Maros Sefcovic and joined by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. Both vice-presidents in Baku reconfirmed the EU’s full political support and solidarity in timely realization of this project. Azerbaijan and its European partners set date to hold a groundbreaking ceremony of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, a downstream component of Southern Gas Corridor in May. High Representative also retains the tone and emphasis of the EU’s clear position on explicit support of territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the beginning of April President of the Republic of Azerbaijan paid a visit to the US and held fruitful meetings with US leadership in Washington where the latter expressed support to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and also hailed Azerbaijan as a crucial partner addressing key challenges in the region.

And then it happened…

Feeling more abandoned and isolated in the region with an attempt to sabotage these developments Armenia launched unprecedented military provocations along the frontline. It was unprecedented because military operations directly targeted civilians living in the frontline areas as

well as critical regional infrastructure projects. One fact should not be dismissed. Azerbaijan’s counter military operations did not take place in Armenia-Azerbaijan border, nor in the occupied NagornoKarabakh region. Azerbaijan armed forces fought in the occupied districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh region.

So, what is next?

Azerbaijan’s roadmap to peace and stability is clear and based on international law. The principles are enshrined in relevant UN Resolutions, OSCE documents and decisions as well as numerous resolutions of the European Parliament adopted in this framework. They all stress support to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Azerbaijan, call for unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from occupied territories and ensure safe return of internally displaced persons with dignity to their places of origin. Armenia’s goodwill and constructive engagement in this regard will open perspectives for full-fledged regional partnership in the South Caucasus which will eventually create favorable and equal opportunities for all countries to benefit from existing and perspective trans-regional initiatives in the region. South Caucasus is in close proximity to the EU, thus we believe that it is also in the best interests of the EU. Cooperation mood of Azerbaijan with Europe cannot be ruined by long-standing security challenges.

Unfortunately, ongoing occupation of the territories of the Azerbaijan by Armenia keeps posing threat the peace and prosperity in the region. The persistent presence of Armenian armed forces in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 adjacent regions despite the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions demanding unconditional and immediate withdrawal of occupying forces from these territories is a source of instability and frequent outbreaks of deadly military confrontations along the line of contact. The recent provocative acts by Armenian armed forces in April 1 sparked tensions in the frontlines and triggered adequate military response of Azerbaijan. Though ceasefire deal has always been fragile so far, this time the conflict has experienced an unprecedented confrontation.

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Bahrain Bahrain and the Netherlands:

a Friendship for the Future

By H.E. Fawaz Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (From Bahrain’s Embassy in London). Photography: the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Last month, I was delighted and honoured to present to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander my credentials as the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Netherlands, and to formally take up my role in developing the ties between our two countries. During my visit to The Hague, I was touched by the generosity of the welcome I received and by the enduring warmth and hospitality of the Dutch people.

During my friendly discussions with His Majesty and government officials, I was struck by just how much our two countries have in common, and how we can build on these shared values and circumstances to develop and expand our bilateral friendship. To give just a few examples: both Bahrain and the Netherlands are steeped in history and culture and yet we share an outlook that is profoundly modern. We have dynamic, forward-looking economies that not only create skilled, high-technology jobs, but also serve as gateways to our regions and attractive destinations for foreign investment. Furthermore, both our countries play an active and constructive role on the world stage, strongly advocating the universal principles on which our security depends. These common foundations have given rise to a long history of friendly cooperation between all levels of our societies. Today, we are proud to have some 350 Dutch expatriates in Bahrain, with Dutch companies playing leading roles in fields as diverse as logistics, engineering, and professional services. As for the future, I am in no doubt that the Kingdoms of Bahrain and the Netherlands will develop an ever-stronger partnership, one which harnesses our unique strengths and resources to bring genuine benefits to both sides. For example, I am convinced that there is enormous potential to expand our trade and investment cooperation in areas such as petrochemicals, banking and finance – with a particular focus on Bahrain’s expertise as a hub for Islamic finance.

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But I want our relationship to go way beyond just commercial transactions. I believe there is so much we can do to deepen the understanding between our peoples, and to strengthen a genuine sense of friendship and mutual respect. Through cultural, artistic, sporting and social contacts and exchanges, we can learn more of each other’s rich and unique history, and forge the close and enduring personal ties that are the bedrock of effective and durable relationships.

“We are proud to have some 350 Dutch expatriates in Bahrain, with Dutch companies playing leading roles in fields as diverse as logistics, engineering, and professional services” During my time as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain, I will work tirelessly to bring about this vision, in the confidence that strengthening our deep-rooted friendship with the Netherlands can be beneficial to both countries and their peoples. As a first step, I would hope that many of Diplomat magazine’s readers will have the opportunity to visit Bahrain, and to witness first-hand the tremendous potential that undoubtedly exists. We would be delighted to welcome you.




“Hundreds of thousands of Australians claim Dutch ancestry” My fellow ambassadors represent nations that have all played a part in Australia’s story. Peoples from all nations on earth have come to Australia and made it a better country, a better place to live. With nearly 1 in 4 Australians born overseas, Australia warmly welcomes new citizens keen to build our nation. While we differ in background, ethnicity and religion, that diversity is a strength when united by shared values of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law and a commitment to take part in the life of the Australian community. This year, 2016, is a special year in the long relationship between Australia and the Netherlands. It is 400 years since the arrival of the Dutch mariner, Dirk Hartog, to the shores of Western Australia on 25 October 1616. Dirk Hartog and his ship The Eendracht were on their way to Batavia, today Jakarta, to ply the spice trade. But ship and crew went further west than any other Europeans and made landfall on an island just off the western extremity of Western Australia. He then famously nailed a pewter plate to a post before leaving to sail north and chart the coast as he went.


The Netherlands and Australia:

Bound by History and Values

By H.E. Dr. Brett Mason, Ambassador of Australia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Mr. Fabian Moers, Australian Embassy.

I am often asked why Australians feel at home here in the Netherlands. It is true that our soldiers have fought alongside each other - most recently in Afghanistan. And it is also true that hundreds of thousands of Australians claim Dutch ancestry. Indeed, my island home was literally put on the map by Dutch navigators and known for over 150 years as New Holland. But above all else, while Australians and the Dutch may speak different languages, we share a common voice. The Netherlands was an early pioneer of democracy and liberalism on the European continent. And the Dutch remain consistent and powerful advocates for these values today. It is a proud legacy. My country, Australia, is much newer. But fortunately, those same principles shaped the life of my country. Today, in forums here in the Netherlands and throughout the world, we share common values and promote common causes. As I peer out the back of the Australian Embassy I can see the tall towers of the Peace Palace, the dedicated home of international law and justice since 1913. As the fore-fathers of public international law, the Dutch hold a special place in that history. Even as a very young country, Australia saw the virtue of nations subjecting themselves to international legal norms and the rule of law. Australia ratified the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice in 1921


and subsequently accepted the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction. Australia then played an important role in the drafting of the Statue of the Permanent Court’s successor, the International Court of Justice and advocated strongly in favour of compulsory jurisdiction. Today, Australians continue to play important roles in the international courts, tribunals and other organisations in The Hague. Whether as judges, prosecutors, investigators, legal counsel or interns, Australians are prominent in formulating and enforcing international law in the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Conference on Private International Law as well as other specialist criminal tribunals. Australia and its citizens also continue to make important contributions to Europol and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

In so doing, Dirk Hartog became not only the second European to land on Australian shores but the first to realise that he had discovered a new land. Since antiquity, the ancients had posited a great unknown southern land – Terra Australis Incognita. It was Hartog who thought he must have found it. By the 1620s maps of the world no longer showed Terra Australis Incognita; instead they displayed a large landmass of unknown size dubbed Eendracht Land, named after Hartog’s ship. Within thirty years of Dirk Hartog’s voyage, Dutch mariners (particularly Abel Tasman) had mapped nearly two-thirds of the continent. They called it New Holland. This year in Australia we celebrate the man and the nation that quite literally put Australia on the map. While Dutch navigators and their cartogrophers drew Australia into the pages of the modern world, it is our shared values and common interests that sustain our relationship today. While Dirk Hartog’s pewter plate may today be fragile and dim, our relationship with the Netherlands is strong and bright.

“It is 400 years since the arrival of the Dutch mariner, Dirk Hartog, to the shores of Western Australia”

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Cyprus Signs ICMP Treaty The Republic of Cyprus became the eighth country to sign the Agreement on the Status and Functions of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). In 2014 the Agreement was signed by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg; in 2015 it was signed by El Salvador, Chile and then Cyprus. The Agreement recognizes ICMP as an international organization tasked with assisting countries to address missing persons cases from conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, migration and other causes. It does not create new international obligations for signatory States, financial or otherwise. ICMP remains a voluntarily funded organization. A total of 493 Turkish Cypriots and 1,508 Greek Cypriots have been reported as missing by both communities as a result of events in the 1960s and in 1974. During the ceremony, Ambassador Elpidoforos Economou of the Republic of Cyprus stressed that Cyprus’s “painful national experiences have helped us appreciate the importance of enhancing international cooperation and exchanging best practices for the cause of missing persons globally.” ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said that accession to the Agreement would make it easier for ICMP to work with stakeholders in Cyprus.





Upswing in Indo-Dutch

Business Relations

By H.E. J.S. Mukul, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Indo-Dutch relations go back four centuries and began as trading links. Our countries were at the starting and end-points of the ‘Spice Route’.Fast forwarding to modern times, India-Netherlands relations have acquired a ‘new momentum’ today. The Netherlands has identified India as a ‘priority country’ for economic engagement. India and the Netherlands are uniquely placed to be ‘preferred partners’ in key sectors. The objective is to take the Indo-Dutch relations to the ‘next level’. Political commitment on both sides is clear and manifest. In fact, the bilateral relations today are perhaps the best they have ever been. The past year has been particularly good for bilateral relations. Many Indian business missions visited the Netherlands. Major business delegation led by the Mayors of Amsterdam and Amstelveen and two delegations from The Hague Municipality have been to India. But the highlight of our bilateral relations in 2015 was the Dutch Prime Minister’s landmark visit to India in June 2015 with a mega business delegation. At the New Delhi Summit, our leaders have defined a clear road-map for the future. Moreover, the Dutch Prime Minister was a notable presence at the launch of India’s initiative for an International Solar Alliance in November 2015 on the sidelines of COP21 in Paris. The Netherlands was India’s sixth largest trading partner in the European Union in 2014-15 with bilateral trade of over US$ 9 billion. Similarly, investment flows both ways have been robust. During the period 2000-2015, the Netherlands was the fifth largest source of foreign investment globally into India totaling US$ 14.67 billion. Even more remarkable, the Netherlands was India’s third largest source of foreign direct investment globally during 2014-15 estimated at US$ 3.4 billion.


chile Diplomacy in Springtime! By H.E. María Teresa Infante Caffi, Ambassador of Chile to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Summer is in the air and a renovation of our ideas and endeavors is a feature of the season. In pages recently published in the NCR by two Dutch ladies who have been experiencing a unique type of touristic life in the south of Chile, the atmosphere of simplicity and timeless preoccupation in southern Chile, in a non-place, mark a powerful contrast to an agenda full of consultations and meetings in The Hague. These are timely observations in an epoch of great humanitarian turbulence and unanswered questions about the origins and ramifications of certain phenomena. By way of contrast, the inauguration of the permanent premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague will strengthen a vision of international society in which accountability and cooperation in the face of atrocity is an aim shared by all.

In December 2015, our apex knowledge chamber ‘Assocham’ inaugurated an office in the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe. The Netherlands-India Chamber of Commerce & Trade (NICCT) launched an office of NICCT (India) during February 2016 in Mumbai. Major steps have been taken for connectivity or ease of travel between the two countries. India’s unilateral introduction of electronic tourist visas (eTV) for Dutch passport holders since our Independence Day on August 15 last year has been a resounding success. During the four and half months of its operation, over 5100 Dutch passport holders have availed of the eTV to India, including for exploring business. A private carrier from India, Jet Airways, introduced direct daily flights on sectors Delhi-Amsterdam-Delhi and MumbaiAmsterdam-Mumbai since March 27, 2016 which could be a game-changer for both business and tourism visitors between our countries. Opening branches of our banks remains work-in-progress. The first Dutch agricultural ‘Centre of Excellence’ in India is in the final stages of approval. Locating of an Indian university/school in the Netherlands

is gaining traction. At the same time, bringing an Indian hotel to the Netherlands continues to be actively pursued. India’s ambitious and innovative flagship programmes like Make-in-India, Digital India, Skill India, Smart Cities, Clean India, Clean Ganga, Start-up India, etc. provide ample complementarities and opportunities for Indo-Dutch cooperation going forward. These have made a tremendous impact on business and investment climate in India. Globally, FDI inflows into India reached US$ 44 billion in 2014-15. It is noteworthy that FDI into India grew by 40% against the stark reality of FDI across the world declining by 16%. In the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business, India has risen by twelve places. Dutch business and investors are well positioned to seize the early mover advantage and be a part of the resilient and strong India growth story. To sum up, Indo-Dutch economiccommercial ties remain vibrant with robust interaction. The India-Netherlands business relations are well poised for a further upswing to the next higher level.

This is not a problem to which we are indifferent; on the contrary. As the President of Chile, Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, stated in a recent conference, the international community is “lacking an adequate global governance to deal with global humanitarian crises. The UN institutions do what they can, but they are overwhelmed and underfinanced; and they cannot deal with interdependence challenges when the logic of international organizations is member-state based. International relations are stubbornly state-centered as power continues to spread and globalization deepens. Hence, both at the global and national level we witness a collapse of authority”.

together with a strong belief in an inclusive and pluralist democracy, renovating the adherence to the rule of law.

These are some of the matters on which embassies and missions in The Hague permanently reflect, and which foster a political and cultural environment that inspires and challenges our own perceptions and daily tasks. To discern between violent extremism and the normal expression of ideas of diverse orientations, as well as a concern about radicalization among groups of persons at the core of the international debate in Europe and in other regions, is not alien to our apprehensions.

In The Hague, trust among countries is being built through different means, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons being one of the main arenas for this purpose. Participation in the discussions of imminent priorities including cooperation, together with the analysis and construction of a non-state actors’ common perspective in the Convention framework, are immediate tasks in which the Embassy is fully immersed. It will certainly depend on general agreement as to how far we can move in this direction, and whether it will be in a manner as efficient as it has been in the past when it comes to the destruction of arsenals, inspection and verification.

These are the activities we would like to share with our friends of the diplomatic community and from all over the Netherlands.

Even when this is not a current reality in our Latin American countries, we share the hurt of the victims and countries which are being targeted by the violent extremist phenomenon, and would like to express not only our uneasiness but also our solidarity. The debates currently taking place at the United Nations, Council of Human Rights and at the regional fora can count on our active participation. We witness also the situation characterized by illegal migration and the flow of persons in search of refuge.

Moving towards more contingent issues in the upcoming months, activities around technology and culture and food and new tastes among others are allocated time in the working agenda, meaning involvement in activities beyond The Hague. In May in the city of Rotterdam, there was music in the Codarts Theater. May also saw the holding of a ceremony to pay tribute to persons who distinguished themselves in welcoming Chilean refugees and exiles; a testimony to those who showed compassion

This summer will see the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the initiation of activities of the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, continuing the role of its predecessor tribunal. Solemn sittings that symbolize the will and hope of those who believe that international law can have a say in our global world, no matter how difficult is to work in these ambits. In this respect, we have all noted the latest decisions of the ICTY, also in The Hague, bringing to our minds moments of serious grievances just next to our borders.

June sees the establishment of a student network with Chilean graduates in the Netherlands. Listening to poetry will be one of the highlights, to be followed by the music of the Tricahue orchestra in the Spanish Day at the Cervantes Institute in Utrecht. An experimental initiative to bring technological games to one of the main world fairs of this kind that takes place in the Netherlands will be added. Likewise, the tasting of gourmet products in Rotterdam will not be absent this year. Thus far, the year of Kap Hoorn is not over!



Advertorial Just like its ‘big brother’ Beautiful Holland, which was released in 2015 and received by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Holland City features Layars (so-called augmented reality technology), movies that can be played with a smartphone or iPad.

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“I am delighted with my new appearance” Ms De Rooij is pleased when she looks in the mirror and sees her new appearance. Baldness and thin hair had damaged her self-esteem, but now she exudes confidence. “My only regret is not having sought help earlier,” she says. Haarhuis van Tongeren has as many solutions as there are problems when it comes to hair. Hair is often taken for granted, but what if it does not grow anymore, or bald spots start to emerge? Thin hair or baldness can lead to a negative self-image, low confidence and even social isolation. This happened to Ms De Rooij. So she approached Haarhuis van Tongeren for a free head and scalp analysis. ‘The hair at the top of my head had become thinner, and as a consequence I became insecure and avoided certain situations,” she explains. “Eventually, I gathered

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Dutch-Thai Relations in Brief

Commercial director Claudia Lakwijk, publisher of Beautiful Holland, said: “Visitors get from Holland City an all-encompassing idea of what this country has to offer. As the title suggests, we present the Netherlands as one major city. The twelve provinces are the districts, and although there are differences between them, together they form an indestructible unit.”

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courage and went to het Haarhuis. They immediately understood my problem. They helped me discretely and professionally, and they also worked out if certain costs could be covered by my insurance. With a base insurance of €418.50, their expert treatment was almost free.”

“My new hairstyle changed my life”

At Haarhuis van Tongeren the structure and colour of Ms De Rooijs’ hair was carefully assessed. A mold was made so the new hair piece was perfectly suited to her head. The final treatment took place six weeks later and within just two hours, the end result was a luxurious, full head of hair. Ms de Rooijs was delighted: ’This is just amazing. You can wash it, blow dry it or curl it, you can do anything you normally do, even swimming. The hair piece is attached to my own hair. I have it treated every two months at Haarhuis van Tongeren.”

By H.E. Ittiporn Boonpracong, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: IISD RS coverage of the Twenty seventh Session of the UNEP Governing CouncilGlobal Ministerial Environment Forum.

This year marks the 412nd year of Dutch-Thai relations. I am delighted to share with you some aspects of what we have achieved over the past four centuries.The relations between the Netherlands and Thailand could be traced back to the beginning of the 17th Century when the first Dutchman made his appearance in Siam. During that time, Siamese capital, the City of Ayutthaya, was one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and centre of global diplomacy and commerce [1] It attracted many trading partners from China, Persia and Europe. Our civilisation was depicted in an oil painting called the View of Judea (Ayutthaya), the Capital of Siam, on displayed at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.[2] A Dutch company called VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) came to Thailand to trade around 1603. One year later, diplomatic relations were officially established after Frederick Henry of Orange sent an ambassador to negotiate trading partnership with Siam in 1604. As a consequence, the VOC was granted a royal permission to have its first shipyard in Ayutthaya and later became an influential entity in commercial and socio-political aspects of Siam.

A remaining trace of Dutch community in Ayutthaya is a large shipyard and cargo establishment on the mouth of Chao Phraya River, known amongst Dutch people as the ‘New Amsterdam’. Siamese people called it ‘Baan Vilanda’ or ‘Baan Holanda’, which means Dutch village in Thai language. Baan Vilanda was recently renovated into the Information Centre on the History of Dutch-Thai Relations, following a donation by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix during Her State visit to Thailand, as the Queen of the Netherlands, for the celebration of 400th anniversary of Dutch-Thai relations in 2004. The Centre has good collections of Dutch-Thai historical items, e.g. the VOC meticulous archives, and is a hidden gem that has yet been known amongst many tourists. You may plan your visit there by visiting Solid is a word I would use to describe the Dutch-Thai relations. Even during the most sensitive time when colonialism was perceived as the biggest threat in the region, our Royal Courts still maintained trust and provided helps for each other. During that difficult time for Siam, King Rama V decided to steer the country towards knowledge enlightenment in order to maintain Siam’s partnerships with foreign countries and to avoid being colonised. The attempt was successful and it resulted in a leap of the country’s infrastructure development especially in setting up the very first water management system in Bangkok with the help of water experts from the Dutch side. In present days, close ties between the Netherlands and Thailand at every level are ever growing. The Thai Royal Archives provide records of communications which show that the two Royal Courts have been exchanging gifts and visits since the 19th

[1] UNESCO: accessed 25/2/2016 [2] Rijksmuseum: accessed 25/2/2016

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Century. And even though Thailand went through a change from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1931, which keeps the Thai Royal Family away from politics, the current Royal Families maintain close ties between each other. The exchanges of royal visits have strengthen the bond between the two countries. On Government to Government relations, the Netherlands and Thailand have entered into more and more meaningful and tangible cooperation. This year, in particular, as the Netherlands being the President of the European Union and Thailand being the ASEAN-EU coordinator, we are working together even closer for the mutual benefits of not only our countries but also our regions. In terms of people to people connection, Thailand has been the destination of about 200,000 Dutch tourists on an annual basis and definitely we would be more than happy to welcome more of them. We have just launched multiple-entry tourist visa this year. Furthermore, tourists who are 50 year-old and over may enjoy the benefit of extended stays in Thailand. You may visit or contact for more information about eligibilities and required documents. To sum up, I must say that throughout this time, the Netherlands and Thailand have been walking together on a long and steady road. I am very content to see our relations flourish. It is a proof that we are on the right track. Importantly, I am confident that together we will be able to identify better and innovative ways to develop even more meaningful relations between our countries and peoples in the future.

Royal Thai Embassy




Latvia dynamic “green pearl” of the North “When I think of the Latvian presidency in the EU Council concluded on 1 July 2015, it was characterized as ‘vibrant’. This is an adjective that I would like to use, when presenting my country as a newly arrived ambassador in the Netherlands.” By H.E. Ms. Ilze Rūse, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Martins Plume

Located in the north of Europe, Latvia with its two million inhabitants represents one of the fastest growing economies in the EU and a frontrunner of the internet speed in the world. It has a fascinating history of coexisting with Germanic, Scandinavian, Slavic influences and offers a rich cultural heritage. Just to mention that the conductors Maris Jansons and Andris Nelsons, the soprano Elina Garanca, the violinist Gidon Kremer and the painter Mark Rotko are all born in Latvia. Situated in the crossroads of trade routes, Latvia with its Indo-European origin has always had a unique geostrategic position. Dating back approximately 800 years, the relations between Latvia and the Netherlands are like “a stately oak tree.” Their historical ties have enjoyed prosperous periods of growth during the collaboration under the Hanseatic League and cities. For instance, trade in grain and timber with the Baltic sea region during late 16th century substantially facilitated the rise of Amsterdam as the “leading seaport”. During the 17th century more than 123 ships were built in the shipyards by Dutch craftsmen who settled in Ventspils, a coastal-town at the Western part of Latvia. Yet, official diplomatic ties between the countries sum up in just 96 years, as a result de facto independence interruption of the statehood from 1940 until 1991. Despite its arduous past, today Latvia presents itself as a resilient country with prudent governance and a resolute European and Transatlantic commitment since its membership in the EU and NATO


in 2004. During its EU presidency Latvia raised awareness in the EU on new security challenges, including hybrid threats, and possible EU responses, including through use of strategic communication. One of the largest presidency events - the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga on May 22, 2015, strengthened EU’s cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries. In 2016, only 25 years after regaining its independence, Latvia has plausible prospects to obtain a full membership status in the OECD of the 34 most developed countries in the world. As an outcome of farsighted structural reforms and strict post-recession austerity measures that were caused by the severe financial crisis in 2008-2010, currently, Latvia has managed to reanimate its economic growth to 2.7% in 2015 expecting an increase to 3.1% during 2016. Furthermore, its budget deficit for 2015 was estimated at 1.3% of GDP, whereas, 2016 projections expect a decline to 1.0%. The export-oriented strategy has been gradually stabilizing the external balance of trade with a current-account

deficit expected to remain at 2% of GDP in 2016. For the first time since the recent economic slump, the unemployment rate dropped below 10% in 2015 continuing to slowly decline. Currently, the lowering of interest rates in Latvia supports a revival of consumer demand meanwhile increasing retail loans. Hence, Latvia managed to pay off its 2008 IMF bailout loan, joined the Eurozone in 2014, and has successfully repaid “75%” of the EU financial loan to date. Riga, the capital city of Latvia, attracted international media attention by hosting the NATO Summit in 2006, whereas, its title of European Capital of Culture in 2014 brought a myriad of international guests. Many tourists visit Riga because of its picturesque Art Nouveau architecture and pristine sandy beaches stretching alongside the 498km long Baltic Sea coast. For many guests water temperatures are too low and they prefer to take the offer of nature tourism, as 52% of the country is covered with forests.


relations jubilee

By H.E. Gediminas Varvuolis, Ambassador of Lithuania to Belgium & Luxembourg. Photography: Kristina Jasaityte.

Year 2016 is a jubilee year for Lithuanian-Flemish relations. Flanders and Lithuania will celebrate next year their 20 years of long lasting friendship and cooperation. Within the context of the commemoration of this exceptional anniversary, the Minister-President of Flanders Geert Bourgeois intends to visit to the three Baltic States in May. Celebrations in Vilnius will be marked by a number of economic events and completed with cultural festivities. It is worthwhile noting that Lithuania over the last decades and since the restauration of its independence in 1990, has developed particularly strong relations with the federated entities of the Kingdom of Belgium and the regions of Flanders and Wallonia in the first place, by adopting and developing appropriate tools and mechanisms of cooperation. Flanders was the first Belgian entity to start building its ties with the Baltic States and Lithuania in particular. Just after the Baltic States regained their independence in 1990, the Government of Flanders opted for Lithuania to become a priority partner within Flemish foreign policy. At the beginning Flemish cooperation focused on assistance towards the building of new and democratic country in Europe, which over the years developed in to a genuine and mutually beneficial bilateral partnership. Lithuanian - Flemish cooperation was formalized by the signing the Cooperation Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of Flanders in Vilnius on March 7th 1996 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Povilas Gylys and the Flemish Minister-President Luc Van den Brande.

This formal agreement was immediately followed with practical arrangements, aimed at fostering the bilateral ties. In 1997 the first work program (for the period 1997-1999) was signed as an implementation of the above-mentioned Treaty. The cooperation program focused on a large number of competences of the Government of Flanders, ranging from welfare and culture over mobility and public works to foreign trade, entrepreneurship and education, which were of great interest to Lithuania. New cooperation programs are signed every three years in order to define and update concrete cooperation fields and projects between the two partners. The newest work program for the year 2016-2018, a seventh in a row, which has been signed on November 24th 2015 in Brussels between the representatives of the two governments, sets up further cooperation in the fields of economics, welfare and culture. A clear desire was formulated, for the upcoming 3 years, to work more closely in the fields of science, research and innovation.

“Flanders was the first Belgian entity to start building its ties with the Baltic States and Lithuania in particular” diplomat magazine #4

A whole new boost for Lithuanian-Flemish relations will be the reopening of Flanders Investment & Trade agency (FIT) office in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, due in May 2016. This step is an extraordinary gesture of the economically most advanced Belgian region and it is an obvious proof of economic attractiveness and recognition of regional significance of Vilnius. The Region of Flanders uses a worldwide FIT network for global foreign trade activities, therefore opening of a regional FIT representation office in Vilnius will undoubtedly contribute to the strengthening of trade and economic ties not only between Lithuania and Flanders but also between Flanders and the whole Baltic region. Our bilateral economic cooperation enjoys already an impressive dynamism and could be supported by examples, such as very vibrant relations between our port city of Klaipėda on one hand and the Belgian ports of Antwerp, Ghent or Zeebrugge on the other hand. Therefore one could only note with great satisfaction that relations between Lithuania and Flanders remain an important part of our respective foreign policies and will continue to optimize benefits for both partners. We hope that the positive experiences from the past will pave the way for even stronger mutually beneficial cooperation in the future.


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The netherlands Presidency of

the Council of the EU

By H.E. Ambassador Pieter de Gooijer, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union. Photography: European Union.

Being a founding member of the EU, the Netherlands holds the Council Presidency in 2016 for the 12th time. The last Presidency of the Netherlands was in 2004. The Netherlands has assumed its Presidency in difficult circumstances. Undoubtedly, the EU is being severely put to the test. It is facing a huge influx of people who have fled war and oppression. Geopolitics appears to be making a comeback, and within the EU itself, the threat of fragmentation looms. These circumstances make clear the urgent necessity of EU cooperation, whilst, at the very same time, its need is questioned by many people in Europe’s capitals and households. The Netherlands Presidency of the Council is committed to do what we, as the EU, agreed collectively to do. We do so by taking an active approach and tackling our Presidency pragmatically. Staying on course together might sound simple, but it is not. Peace, security, and prosperity are achievements that are often taken for granted. These achievements all require continuous attention and effort to safeguard them for the future. An effective EU – focusing on the essentials, on innovative growth and jobs and on its citizens – is the best instrument to safeguard those achievements for our continent.

We are confident that together we can fulfill these ambitions, but only by making connections. Connections should be made between Council member states, since solidarity forms the basis of European cooperation. Connections should likewise be made between the Council and other EU institutions, such as the Commission and the European Parliament. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, closer connections should be made between the EU and its citizens. During these six months, the Netherlands will place itself at the service of the Council with this goal in mind. We will make connections, by clarifying that there is more that unites us than divides us. In this respect, the Dutch tradition of consultation and experience as bridge-builders, may greatly contribute to our job. We have a great willingness and eagerness to make this 12th Netherlands Presidency into a success both for the EU and for its citizens.

World Press Photo 2016 Winners Migrants crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary. Hope for a New Life by Warren Richardson.

59th World Press Photo judges have deliberated long and hard. The refugee crisis in Europe, the war in Syria, the Paris attacks, the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the clashes in the US set off by police shootings dominated the entries as well as the winning images. The top prize goes to Australian photographer Warren Richardson with his “haunting” picture of a father passing a child under barbed wire. All winning photographs and entries are due to be exhibited at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam in accordance to tradition for the contest.

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Dutch luncheon for EU ambassadors Picture by Royal Dutch Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium

His Batavian Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Maryem van den Heuvel hosted a luncheon at her residence in Brussels today Wednesday January 27 for all 28 bilateral ambassadors and chargés d’affaires of EU countries with The Honourable Didier Reynders, Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium as guest of honour. The Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union, its challenges and goals were discussed but likewise bilateral relations between Belgium and The Netherlands and vis-à-vis the other bilateral ambassadors.



Bhutan happiness is a place

Brazil Olympic Games in Brazil By H.E. Mr. Piragibe Tarrago, Ambassador of Brazil to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Photography: Embassy of Brazil in the Netherlands.

Two years after the World Football Cup, the eyes of the world will turn again towards Brazil. Next August (5-21), in the stunning setting of Rio de Janeiro, a South American nation, for the first time in history, will host the Summer Olympic Games, to be followed by the Paralympic Games (7-18 September). Over fifteen thousand athletes from 206 countries will compete in 42 modalities and enjoy outstanding sport facilities, including the Olympic village, set up in different boroughs of the city. Visitors can expect an amazing experience in watching world-class contests, as well as in enjoying the friendly atmosphere of Rio and its dwellers.

By Tenzin Rondel Wangchuk, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Royal Bhutanese Embassy to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (From Bhutan Embassy in Brussels). Photography: Bhutan Embassy in Brussels.

By many idealists, the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is often referred to as the ‘Last Shangrila’, which perhaps is an extract from the 1933 fiction Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. The idea of Bhutan being inhabited by the happiest people on earth is a more current label, which again is a misrepresentation of our development philosophy of “Gross National Happiness”. For economic reasons, many Bhutanese entrepreneurs in tourism industry have unreservedly promoted Bhutan as thus to make to it more appealing to the many undiscerning tourists. DWhile the entrepreneurial success of marketing Bhutan on such platforms is not known, it cannot be denied that some first-time visitors are attracted to Bhutan for these reasons. And undertaking a journey into Bhutan in search of a Shangrila inhabited by the happies people on earth would be visiting Bhutan for reasons that may leave you disappointed. Bhutan is like any other country around the world with its own share of natural beauty, uniquely rich culture, tradition and arts and many more as also inconveniences. Bhutanese like myself have often been asked what is there to see or do in Bhutan. Bhutan’s mountains, for spiritual reasons, are banned from being climbed. We host or boast of no natural or man-made wonders. My response, with a shade of hesitation, is if you visit Bhutan, it will be to see Bhutanese people and experience the silence. My discourse on Bhutanese tourism, almost always ends there and perhaps with one potential tourist discouraged. Visitors in Bhutan spend much of their time on the slow mountainous road, trying to get from one place to another. I do not hesitate to tell many people with whom I have interacted, the borrowed words of a fellow Bhutanese, that Bhutan is a land of short distances but long drives. For an impatient traveller, driving long hours may not be an ideal way to spend a holiday.

lungs the arduous trek to the famous Tiger Nest temple and many more are common readings in many of the travelogues and travel guides on Bhutan. Perhaps what is not written about, and scantily if so, is the journey one undertakes within Bhutan. It is on such long drives across the valleys and over the mountains, that visitors truly and intimately discovers the land and the people. It will neither serve the purpose nor will it be fair to encapsulate here what a visitor will discover on such journeys as a visit to Bhutan can also be abstract. An experience in Bhutan can also lead to a self-discovery of your innate true being, expose the excesses and scarcities in your life. Many visitors’ who come to Bhutan for the first time, not-withstanding the “shortdistances – long drives” become repeat visitors. I sometimes wonder if these visitors have found their Shangrila and happiness in Bhutan or for those who never return, in their own homelands. Tourism in Bhutan is more officially promoted as “happiness is a place”, and indeed happiness can be a place.

With a vast and varied public, including foreign visitors, dignitaries and representatives of several countries, as well as a global audience of over 5 billion people, the Rio 2016 Olympic & Paralympic Games will be one of the biggest sports event ever. Our ambition is that they can also make a positive difference in the lives of Brazilians beyond the competition proper. We are sure that the Games will leave a long-lasting positive impact on the city and on Brazilian sports culture. That is why Brazil has been working hard to make them a thorough success. Since 2009, the federal government has coordinated over US$ 1 billion in investments, to make sure the Olympic legacy benefits Brazilians in all regions and contribute to developing new generations of world-class athletes. By engaging the people with the Games, we also expect that “the olympic spirit” displayed by the athletes may have an exemplary effect on the youth. An estimated total of US$ 10 billion will be invested in the Rio 2016 Olympics & Paralympics, two-thirds of that amount being exclusively geared to improvements in the city’s infrastructure. This will leave

a legacy in fields like public transportation, road infrastructure, housing and the revitalization of the port area and surrounding neighborhoods. The level of participation of the private sector, one of the highest in the Games’ history, will cover about 60% of the total investments. Preparations are at final stage, and, as of the end of January last, 97% of the construction works of the Olympic Park and the Olympic village had been concluded. Brazil is also putting in practice the largest integrated security operation in its history, with the concurrence of 85 thousand security personnel, to ensure the safety of all participants. The operation, which includes an anti-terrorism center, builds on the successful experience with the World Cup in 2014, considered a model of a nomajor-incident event. The holistic approach to security means the authorities’ attention will not only focus on Rio and the Olympic facilities, but also on efforts to make other regions of Brazil safer. As with the previous events, we are sure Brazil will once again show its capacity to organize world competitions.

Besides a great celebration (a field in which Rio de Janeiro excels), the Games will be instrumental to promote sport as a key tool for peace, tolerance and social inclusion, in particular regarding the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as in the fight against racial, ethnic or gender discrimination. In this spirit, Brazil is living its “Sports Decade”, having hosted the World Military Games (2011), the FIFA Confederations Cup (2013), the FIFA World Cup (2014) and the World Games of Indigenous Peoples (2015). At the political level, we were proud to be entrusted the role of initiator of a traditional resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly regarding the observance of the Olympic Truce. In so doing, we have reaffirmed our understanding that the Olympic Truce ideals embody mankind’s willingness to build a world based on peace, humanity and reconciliation. Brazil is honoured and proud to host the 2016 Games and to welcome citizens from around the world with open arms and its distinct hospitality.

Despite everything Bhutan does not have, visiting Bhutan is about seeing a way of life, culture, and tradition that is so uniquely different. The nerve-wrecking experience of landing onto one of the most difficult airports in the world or for those with strong


diplomat magazine #4



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Practial English Summer Courses By Shashi Beltgens, Kickstart School: Dutch and English Language Training in The Hague

Kickstart School offers an inspiring and enjoyable environment for students who are keen on improving their English language skills. Recognised for the excellence of its teachers and its cutting-edge teaching resources, it is the perfect choice for summer studies.

Kickstart’s Practical English Summer Courses are designed to help Pre-Intermediate to Advanced learners enhance their English in a fun and engaging manner. These courses focus on conversational skills, vocabulary, grammar, and communicative activities. The intensive format helps to reinforce and build upon these skills on a daily basis. Students are encouraged to participate in interactive activities in order to build confidence when speaking English. For example, a recent conversation class at Kickstart saw the students produce and present a television chat show. They wrote a script which included role plays for each member of the class. A South Korean student played the role of a doctor promoting vitamin capsules; a Croatian student with a beautiful voice sang a sweet children’s song; a Spanish student showed how to make a delicious paella; a Japanese student with excellent coordinating skills was the show’s director; and a Moroccan student and South Korean student utilised their clear communicative skills by hosting the show. They had even scheduled entertaining commercial breaks! These kinds of activities provide students with the opportunity to learn in a fun way.

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“If there is nothing unusual about someone’s appearance, we have done our job correctly”


Those are the words of Sander van Tongeren, whose business specializes in hair pieces and has a strong reputation when it comes to solutions for thinning hair and hair loss. Many people shy away from using a hairpiece. Understandable, but such a shame they feel at Haarhuis van Tongeren. Many of us know someone with a visible hair piece, and unfortunately we come to associate this visibility with hair loss, Sander explains. “What we hear most from people who have walked around with hair problems for years is that they wish they had come to us sooner.” Hair problems can have an enormous impact on a person’s self-image. If after years of dealing with this problem someone has beautiful, luxurious hair again, it can be an extremely positive change in their life. Hair loss is in many cases an enormous personal tragedy. “That makes our job very delicate,” Sander says. “All our employees are trained to be able to handle emotions sensitively, and especially to provide the customer with discreet and professional advice.

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Verkaart specialises in consultancy, engineering, design, and the realisation of technical building systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, cooling, water, sanitary facilities, drains and sewers, electricity, surveillance and security, both for offices and for residences.

Haarhuis van Tongeren is a hair salon with over 50 years’ experience. The family business has been around for more than 85 years and was founded by Leendert van Tongeren, the grandfather of Sander, and continued by his sons Hans and Leo. Sander is now the third generation owner of the company, and has been in charge for some 10 years now. Haarhuis has contracts with all the major health insurance companies in the Netherlands. Interested clients can stop by for a free consultation, and for those suffering from scalp issues, free hair and scalp analysis are available with a specialist mediscope.

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el salvador Welcoming Ceremony for El Salvador as ICC new State Party By Viviana Knorr. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

On Thursday 2 June at the International Criminal Court in The Hague the delegation of El Salvador headed by H.E. Ambassador Aida Luz Santos de Escobar, solemnly welcomed the audience to the remarkable event where the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi congratulated El Salvador for its decision to join the Rome Statue. The ceremony was held in the presence of the President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), H.E. Sidiki Kaba, ASP Vice-President H.E. Álvaro Moerzinger, many ICC Judges and representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor and Registry. The ceremony was also attended by Ambassadors from Latin American and Caribbean countries accredited to the Netherlands.


“There is a lesson to learn from these experiences. It is thanks to the active support of the 124 parties that our system has succeeded although we still need further support to achieve its global mandate”, stressed Judge Fernández de Gurmendi after adding that “A new chapter begins for El Salvador today” in reference to its participation in the assemblies and “where the nation would be playing an imperative role.” H.E. Minister Sidki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties, remarked further that “in bringing the number of States Parties to 124, El Salvador’s accession takes us closer to universality but also reminds us that we must step up our efforts to ensure that the Rome Statute family continues to grow.” A special edition of the Rome Statue was then presented by Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi to H.E. Aida Luz Santos de Escobar preceded by a video message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, H.E. Hugo Martinez where he expressed his

fond wishes of peace and justice to continue promoting democracy in the Human Rights to avoid above all further barbaric acts that have shadowed our history. In the closing speech, El Salvador’s Ambassador H.E. Aida Luz Santos de Escobar highlighted that the privilege her country has is even greater “for being the first one to be welcome in the International Criminal Court new installations in The Hague.” “To count on a place in the city of justice and peace has been a goal leading to strengthen the effectiveness and the governing procedures of the instance”, H.E. Mrs. Santos de Escobar added to her closing words not without expressing her Mission’s permanent commitment to the ICC’s work as the newest Statue Party as well as their intention to continue efforts to achieve full universality of the Rome Statute. A celebratory reception immediately followed.

ceremony of merit for the Ambassador of greece By Viviana Knorr. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

A much awaited day for the Diplomatic community happened on 10 June, as the Ceremony of Merit for H.E. Ms. Teresa Paraskevi Angelatou, Ambassador of the Republic of Greece to the Kingdom of the Netherlands was held from 15:30 to 16:30 at Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague. In his welcoming speech Mr. Roy Lie, Master of Ceremony for Diplomat Magazine recognised Ms. Paraskevi Angelatou efforts for her contribution in enhancing the bilateral ties between her country and The Kingdom of the Netherlands, and in gratitude for her support to the Diplomatic Community and Diplomat Magazine by presenting the Certificate of Merit. The Certificate of Merit is Diplomat Magazine’s official recognition to parting Ambassadors.

“Today, we honour Her Excellency H.E. Ms. Paraskevi Angelatou, Ambassador of the Republic of Greece, an esteemed member of the vibrant diplomatic corps in the Netherlands. She was posted to represent her country at a challenging time and did a remarkable job both serving the interests of Greece and garnering support for the uneasy path that her compatriots had to pursue. Her Excellency successfully carried on the responsibilities during the Greek chairmanship of EU bringing more visibility and respect to her country...” H.E. Ms. Dziunik Aghajanian, Ambassador of Armenia.

Her Excellency was accompanied by Ambassadors from Albania, H.E. Adia Sakiqi, Cameroon, H.E. Mrs. Odette Melono, Poland, H.E. Mr. Jan Borkowski, Romania HE Mrs. Ireny Comaroschi, Malta H.E. Mr. Joseph Cole, Slovakia H.E. Mr. Roman Bužek, Czech Republic H.E. Ms. Jana Reinišová, Latvia, HE Mrs. Ilze Ruse, Sweden, H.E. Mr. Per Holmströmv, Lebanon, Ms. Abir Ali, Kosovo, Vjosa Dobruna, Burundi, Vestine Nahimana, Chile, H.E. Maria Teresa de Jesus Infante Caffi, and the honour speaker for the day the Ambassador of Armenia, H.E. Ms. Dziunik Aghajanian. The National Anthem of Greece proceeded that of the Netherlands for Ambassador of Armenia take the floor immediately for her speech.

for more pictures see:

“Ms Paraskevi Angelatou warmth together with her expertise has made her an invaluable interlocutor and a good friend who will be missed —together with her Greek temperament”, stressed her friend H.E. Ambassador Aghajanian, adding the humorous touch to the memorable moment. “It was certainly a challenging time. Combined with our regular volume of work wiht the follow up of all European countries agenda it was not easy, everyone was waiting for us to accomplish the task. At the end we survived, and the Netherlands as the host country was willing to help mine. I’m glad that the work was well done, now my last task is the upcoming Presidential visit to the Netherlands.... but also I could not leave without recognising other welcoming group I met in the Netherlands, such as the “Ladies Ambassadors”. Her Excellency Teresa Paraskevi Angelatou enthusiastically remarked: “Whenever you are in search of extra sun, I will be in Tunisia as the next Greek Ambassador. Thank you for your friendship”, addressed Ambassador Paraskevi to her diplomatic colleagues at Carlton Ambassador Hotel. Appetisers accompanied the short reception that followed. Proud Sponsor: Diplomatic Card, Proud Sponsor of the Monthly Diplomat Meet & Greet.



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VimpelCom: Creating new opportunities through digital transformation Europe in 2016


UNESCO-IHE Graduation Ceremony

By Christopher Schlaeffer, Chief Digital Officer, VimpelCom Ltd. Photography: Christopher Schlaeffer.

The fourth industrial revolution we are witnessing today is all about digital. It is having a profound impact on people, economies and our society at large. The internet waits for no one and is transforming industry after industry. It’s doing this at a pace that is ever accelerating and not just in the industrialized markets of the world. The mobile industry has changed faster than any other in history. Voice is in decline. Data is the rising star. It means that people use and consume information differently. Today, about 30% of the world’s population has a smartphone. People can overcome geographical barriers, do business, learn, and access an infinite amount of interactive content. As a leading international communications and technology company, VimpelCom is experiencing this revolution first hand, in all markets of operations. The digital revolution is a great source of opportunity to leapfrog development. According to a report published by Deloitte for GSMA, enhanced data usage via mobile enabled by 3G and 4G connection can in turn lead to an increase in a country’s economic growth of up to 1.5%.

Est. 1996

One of the needs is therefore to bring digital services and opportunities directly in the hands of the unconnected, those who do not yet have access to the internet focusing on mobile data, applications, and a simplified and more accessible digital customer experience.

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This objective is clearly articulated in the recently adopted 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. One of the goals focuses on building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. A key aim is to

provide universal and affordable access to information and communication technology (ICT) by 2020 to the 4 billion people in the world who are still unconnected. This is why we are thinking differently about telecommunications and reinventing our business to focus on digital access, adapted services and innovation that meet local needs. An important focus for us is to bring together the best experts in this field to innovate around the globe, working with dynamic technology ecosystems in key digital hubs like Amsterdam, Milan, London, as well as cities such as Moscow and Islamabad. A second area of focus is investing in entrepreneurship, innovation and youth in local markets to ensure that digital tools and solutions are fully adapted to local needs, culture and habits. The innovation comes potentially from hundreds of small, digital start-up businesses providing content and solutions for local population through tools such as mobile financial services, mHealth, mAgriculture, to name just a few.

UNESCO-IHE Graduation Ceremony which took place at the end of April. 123 students from 38 countries were congratulated by the Rector a.i. Dr. Fritz Holzwarth, Dr. Flavia Schlegel Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector of UNESCO and by Mr. Brian Arbogast Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with which the Institute has been working for several years.

The new wave of digital services will contribute to new opportunities for countries and populations, with an impact on prosperity, education, health, productivity, and empowerment. We are working to unlock as many of these opportunities as we can for our customers as they navigate the digital world, in partnership with local ecosystems, governments and entrepreneurs. diplomat magazine #4



Queen Rania in Brussels, London and Oslo By Baron Henri Estramant. Photography: Zenfs Media.



After visiting Downing Street and Britain’s Premier David Cameron to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis, Queen Rania of Jordan continued her whirlwind tour of Europe touching down in Brussels early January.

By Barend ter Haar. Photography: Maaike Vink.

The Jordanian royal (45), first met with the country’s Prime Minister Charles Michel before heading to the Royal Palace for an audience with Queen Mathilde of the Belgians. In the afternoon, Rania made her way to EU meetings at the European Commission headquarters.

A misunderstanding can be extremely expensive. If only the US would have in time understood that Saddam Hussein intended to invade Kuwait or if only Saddam Hussein would have understood that the US would use force to reverse that invasion, the Gulf wars might have been prevented and the Middle East might look differently today.

There she met with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC as well as Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. After Brussels, Queen Rania al-Abdullah travelled to Oslo wherein she was received by the Royal Couple as well as the Crown Princely Couple of Norway and the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Background for all visits and meetings in the three countries was the Syria Donor’s Conference, which took place on February in London, and is being financially and logistically organised by the UK, Norway, Germany and Kuwait. Queen Rania advocated for receiving a strong economic aid for Jordan which has welcomed about a million refugees from Syria, Iraq, Palestine and even Afghanistan notwithstanding the limited resources of the Hashemite Kingdom which are being forced to the limit. Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel and Queen Rania of Jordan.

the role of the private sector

By Prof. dr. André Nijhof & Nika Salvetti. Photography: Nyenrode Universiteit.

At present many governments are in a transition from traditional aid to responsible trade and the Netherlands is at the forefront of this development. What is the background of this transition and why is the private sector involved in addressing development cooperation objectives?

During the Cold War the governments in Moscow and the West were well aware of such risks. Their worldviews differed fundamentally, but they took great care to prevent fateful misunderstandings, inter alia by implementing a number of confidence and security building measures (CSBMs). Now the situation has been turned upside down. There is no fundamental ideological disagreement between Moscow and Western capitals about pressing global issues such as climate change, terrorism and proliferation, but at the practical level it proves very difficult to agree on CSBMs that could help to prevent dangerous accidents or misunderstandings. This could be very dangerous. Western governments and think tanks have great difficulty in understanding Russia´s intentions. Is there a grand strategy behind its involvement the Crimea, in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria and Ukraine? Or is Russia just using every opportunity to enlarge its territory or its exclusive zone of influence, without a clear idea of the strategic consequences of its decisions? The most probable answer is that foreign policy is made in Moscow like it is made in most Western capitals: on the basis of contradictory ideas reacting to the opportunities and challenges of the moment without paying much attention to the longer term consequences. (Take for a West-European example the contradiction between their position that refugees should as much as possible be taken care of in their own region and their unwillingness to provide sufficient funds to inter alia the UNHCR, Jordan and Lebanon to do this properly.) Looked upon from the outside, Moscow´s policies are full of contradictions. It does accept that all the successor states of the Soviet Union are independent, but also seems to believe it has a special obligation towards people of Russian origin in those states. It knows that its long term interest is to be surrounded by stable and prospering neighbours, but it has difficulty to withstand the temptation to destabilize those states by interfering in their internal affairs. As a result, Russian actions are difficult to predict and the risk of dangerous misunderstandings is real. At the positive side: the current problems are not insurmountable, provided governments are willing to address the contradictions in their policies.


From Traditional aid to Responsible Trade:

The extreme costs of misunderstanding

About the authors:

Prof Dr. André Nijhof is full professor in Sustainable Business and Stewardship and is visiting professor at Chang Gung University in Taiwan and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Nika Salvetti is a PhD candidate and practitioner in the field of CSR, Sustainability, Social Responsibility where she worked on in different developing countries such as Bangladesh, Uganda, Guatemala, as well as in Costa Rica, the overall Balkans and Middle East.

About Nyenrode Business Universiteit

Nyenrode Business Universiteit is the only private university in the Netherlands, founded for and by business. Nyenrode pillars of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Stewardship are reflected in all of their programs which include undergraduate and graduate degrees in management, business, finance and accounting. Nyenrode is a proud partner of Diplomat Magazine. Together, they have developed the Nyenrode – Diplomat Magazine Award which recognizes the talents from the diplomat network in the Netherlands and worldwide by providing them with exclusive scholarships for the programs Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master (MSc) in Management, full-time International MBA and part-time Executive MBA. For more information visit

diplomat magazine #4

Traditional aid starts with the definition introduced by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) which in 1972 described the Official Development Assistance (ODA) as those flows of capital, goods and services to countries and territories on the DAC list of ODA recipients and to multilateral institutions with the aim to promote economic development and welfare of developing countries. At that time the formulation of a common international definition was necessary to enable the measurement and comparison of spending by donor countries. However only funding provided by public authorities could qualify as ODA. So no place for responsible trade at that time. The approach to aid for developing countries has been since changing. A main reason is that the provision of development cooperation through aid is now part of a more vast and complex global agenda which expanded its horizon to new goals, such as climate change, migration and security, taking into account the new UN Sustainable Development goals (post 2015). Also the financial instruments used for aid provision are becoming more complex and innovative; special forms of insurances and guarantees to minimize risks for private funding as well as public private financial and technical partnerships. Donors are also increasing in the form of private funding flows through charity, remittances and direct investments. But the most relevant reason for change, as also emphasized in Rome (2003), Paris (2005), Accra (2008) and Busan (2011), is motivated by the need to ensure aid effectiveness by mutual efforts and co-responsibility of donors and recipient countries.

The challenge at this point is to couple aid with the benefits of trade and investment to promote a sustainable and inclusive growth. How to do this is still work in progress but a promising example is the public-private partnership that resulted in an eco-system supporting business at the base of the pyramid. Since its launch in November 2014 the Inclusive Business Accelerator has grown to a global platform, assisting more than 180 ventures across 37 different geographies with the required ammunition to scale up their business and increase their benefits for low income communities (see And many more examples will follow with the implementation of the “A world to Gain: A New agenda for Aid, Development and Trade” policy of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Donors are also increasing in the form of private funding flows through charity, remittances and direct investments”




europe – the letzte Mensch or Übermensch

By Anis H. Bajrektarevic. Photography: Ms. Anna Lehner.

A freshly released IMF’s World Economic Outlook brings no comforting picture to anyone within the G-7, especially in the US and EU. Will the passionately US-pushed cross-Atlantic Free Trade Area save the day? Or, would that Pact-push drag the things over the edge and mark an end of the unionistic Europe? Is the extended EU conflict with Russia actually a beginning of the Atlantic-Central Europe’s conflict over Russia, an internalization of mega geopolitical and geo-economic dilemma – who accommodates with whom, in and out of the Union? Finally, does more Ukrainian (and Eastern Europe) calamities pave the road for a new cross-continental grand accommodation, of either austerity-tired France or über-performing Germany with Russia, therefore the end of the EU? For whose sake Eastern Europe has been barred of all important debates such as that of Slavism, identity, social cohesion (eroded by the plunder called ‘privatization’), secularism and antifascism? Why do we suddenly wonder that all around Germany-led Central Europe, the neo-Nazism gains ground while only Russia insists on antifascism and (pan-)Slavism? Before answering that, let us examine what is (the meaning and size of) our Europe? Where, how and – very importantly – when is our Europe?

Is the EU an authentic post-Westphalian conglomerate and the only logical postMetternich concert of different Europes, the world’s last cosmopolitan enjoying its postmodern holiday from history? Is that possibly the lost Atlántida or mythical Arcadia– a Hegelian end of history world? Thus, should this OZ be a mix of the endemically domesticated Marx-Engels grand utopia and Kennedy’s dream-world “where the weak are safe and the strong are just”? Or, is it maybe as Charles Kupchan calls it a ‘postmodern imperium’? Something that exhorts its well-off status quo by notoriously exporting its transformative powers of free trade dogma and human rights stigma–a modified continuation of colonial legacy when the European conquerors, with fire and sword, spread commerce, Christianity and civilization overseas – a kind of ‘new Byzantium’, or is that more of a Richard Young’s declining, unreformed and rigid Rome? Hence, is this a post-Hobbesian (yet, not quite a Kantian) world, in which the letzte Mensch expelled Übermensch? Could it be as one old graffiti in Prague implies: EU=SU²? Does the EU-ization of Europe

equals to a restoration of the universalistic world of Rome’s Papacy, to a restaging of the Roman-Catholic Caliphate? Is this Union a Leonard’s runner of the 21st century, or is it perhaps Kagan’s ‘Venus’– gloomy and opaque world, warmer but equally distant and unforeseen like ‘Mars’? Is this a supersized Switzerland (ruled by the cacophony of many languages and enveloped in economic egotism of its self-centered people), with the cantons (MS, Council of EU) still far more powerful than the central government (the EU Parliament, Brussels’ Commission, ECJ), while Swiss themselves –although in the geographic heart of that Union – stubbornly continue to defy any membership. Does it really matter (and if so, to what extent) that Niall Ferguson wonders: “…the EU lacks a common language, a common postal system, a common soccer team (Britain as well, rem. A.B.) even a standard electric socket…“? Kissinger himself was allegedly looking for a phone number of Europe, too. Baron Ridley portrayed the Union as a Fourth Reich, not only dominated by Germany, but also institutionally Germanized. Another conservative Briton, Larry Siedentop, remarked in his Democracy in Europe that it is actually

France who is running the EU ‘show’, in the typical French way – less than accountable bureaucracy that prevents any evolution of the European into an American-style United States. Thus, Siedentop’s EU is more of a Third Bonapartistic Empire than possibly a Fourth German Reich. The Heartland or Rimland? Despite different names and categorizations attached, historical analogies and descriptions used, most scholars would agree upon the very geopolitical definition of the EU: Grand re-approachment of France and Germany after WWII, culminating in the Elysée accords of 1961. An interpretation of this instrument is rather simple: a bilateral peace treaty through achieved consensus by which Germany accepted a predominant French say in political affairs of EU/Europe, and France – in return – accepted a more dominant German say in economic matters of EU/Europe. All that tacitly blessed by a perfect balancer– Britain, attempting to conveniently return to its splendid isolation from the Continent in the post-WWII years. Consequently, nearly all scholars would agree that the Franco-German alliance actually represents a geopolitical axis, a backbone of the Union.

Civil-Military Cooperatiom (CIMIC) Centre of Excellence (CCOE) moved to The Hague By Jhr. Mr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland LL.M, Justice (Judge) in the (Dutch) Court of Appeal and since 2004 (honorary) Special Advisor International Affairs, appointed by the Municipality of The Hague.

The Hague is not only ‘the legal capital of the world’, but also ‘the international centre of justice and peace’. That means that not only important organizations which are active to make the world more peaceful like OPCW are based in The Hague, but also military organizations, like the well known NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) in the dunes of The Hague, close to the new building of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Oude Waalsdorperweg.

Half military, half civilian and new in The Hague is the CCOE: Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) Centre of Excellence at Brasserskade 227A, formerly based in Enschede in the east of The Netherlands. The CIMIC Centre of Excellence is a multinationally sponsored, NATO accredited, training and research institution. It is dedicated to the proper development and application of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in complex crisis situations. It provides subject matter expertise on CIMIC for both civilian and military customers. The primary focus is in conceptional and doctrinal development and lessons learned, along with enhanced training and education for NATO personnel and a multitude of international and civilian guests.

Military operations have to cope with a multinational composition of forces and a variety of local and international civilian actors. Succesful facilitation through CIMIC equally supports the forces that enable a safe and secure environment and the needs of local authoroties, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). Qualified experts can bring the tools into action that are needed to manage an effective crisis response. One way to get those qualifications is through a thorough education. The City of The Hague extends a warm welcome to this CIMIC Centre of Excellence!

However, the inner unionistic equilibrium will be maintained only if the AtlanticCentral Europe skillfully calibrates and balances its own equidistance from both assertive Russia and the omnipresent US. Any alternative to the current Union is a grand accommodation of either France or Germany with Russia. This means a return to Europe of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries – namely, direct confrontations over the Continent’s core sectors, perpetual animosities wars and destructions. Both Russia and the US has demonstrated ability for a skillful and persistent conduct of international affairs, passions and visions to fight for their agendas. It is time for Brussels to live up to its very idea, and to show the same. Biology and geopolitics share one basic rule: comply or die. DUTCH AND ENGLISH COURSES FOR ALL LEVELS EXAM TRAINING SMALL GROUPS OR PRIVATE BUSINESS ENGLISH ONLINE WRITING COURSES DUTCH AND ENGLISH FOR CHILDREN CAMBRIDGE EXAM PREPARATION CENTRE CENTRALLY LOCATED IN ARCHIPELBUURT





Carry on the Spirit of Silk Road in the 21 Century By Mr. Li Fei, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in the Netherlands. Photography: Mr. Kang Yin, Second Secretary, Embassy of the Peoples Republic China.

China and Europe started doing business with each other more than 2000 years ago. Silk made in China travelled over 6500 km through the vast land of Eurasia on camel back, to arrive at the hands of European admirers. Hence came the name of Silk Road. Four centuries ago, direct trade links between China and the Netherlands was established when the first Dutch ships arrived in China through the maritime Silk Road, and brought tea, porcelain and silk back to Europe. Silk Road has represented the spirit of cooperation, openness and mutual benefit. After many centuries, trade and economic exchanges between China and the Netherlands has become ever more prosperous. In 2015, bilateral trade reached 68 billion US dollars, ranking top 3 among European countries. Every day, hundreds of thousands of containers arrive at the Rotterdam port or the Schipol airport with toys or smart phones, and leave for China with chemicals or machinery.

In 2015, Chinese companies invested 3.6 billion US dollars in the Netherlands in the form of non-financial direct investment. This figure accounts for half of China’s FDI in the EU in 2015. Presence of Chinese companies can now be found in a wide spectrum of sectors, from agriculture to logistics, from financial services to high-tech. Their investment has created decent jobs for local communities, offered quality products and services for Dutch consumers, and brought new vigor to the economy of the Netherlands.

“Every day, hundreds of thousands of containers arrive at the Rotterdam port or the Schipol airport with toys or smart phones, and leave for China with chemicals or machinery.”

Such achievements in bilateral exchanges do not come as a surprise. On one hand, the Netherlands is one the most open economies in the world. With its strong competitiveness in multiple industries and strategic position as the gateway to Europe, the Netherlands has always been among the most prominent traders and investors in the world. On the other hand, China, after many decades of remarkable growth, has become the world’s second largest economy, the biggest trader and No. 3 investor. In 2015, China’s GDP growth contributed over 25% to the world’s economic growth. Its total trade accounted for over 13% of the global trade, and FDI inflow and outflow both exceeded 100 billion USD. We are fully confident that China will continue to be a most important player in global trade and economy in the years to come. From the demand side, China has a huge market with unfathomable potential. As is widely known, China


IOM: New Migration Challenges Facing Europe in 2016

boasts the largest population in the world. Something not so widely known is that, China’s middle class has overtaken the US as the world’s largest and has been growing much faster, as revealed in a study by Credit Suisse. As the Chinese people gets richer, their immense consumption power is manifested in amazing numbers. For example, according to incomplete statistics, in 2015 Chinese tourists spent over 230 billion USD on traveling overseas, and at least half of the spending is on shopping. From the supply side, China has what it needs to further boost competitiveness, and will do what it takes. China has a comprehensive industrial chain and a large pool of highly educated talents, which provide a wonderful platform for innovative companies to try out new ideas and scale up production capacity quickly. For instance, DJI, a technology company founded in 2006 and headquartered in Shenzhen, is now at the forefront of the civilian-drone industry. With advanced technology in flight control and cradle head, DJI’s products have dominated the global market with 70% market share. The Chinese government is also making every effort to create a better business climate through deepening reform. For example, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone was launched in 2013, followed by three more free trade zones in 2015. Bold measures of streamlining administration and liberalizing market are first tested in the free trade zones, and then rolled out all around the country. We believe that the development of China will bring tremendous business opportunities for our partners all over the world, and thus bring better lives to their peoples. This is why China proposed the “Belt and Road” initiative – to carry on the spirit of cooperation, openness and mutual benefit. By connecting infrastructure and development strategies of countries along the “Belt and Road”, and by stepping up bilateral and regional cooperation, the time-honored Silk Road will upgrade into a highway for the exchanges of goods, services, technology, culture and friendship between East and West, and will be exuberant with new vitality. The Netherlands is well-known as an open and pragmatic country, and always stands for free trade. China will maintain steady and healthy economic growth as it continues to deepen reform. As the two ends of “Belt and Road”, the Netherlands and China have huge cooperation potential. Now it is high time for us to work even closer together, to usher in a new golden age in the 21 century.

By Carlotta Duken. Photography: Antonia Barthel.

The anual reception of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has become an important milestone on the diplomatic agenda in The Hague. This year’s edition, held at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague on 4 February, was dedicated to the European migrant crisis. With the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe growing exponentially, EU Member States are increasingly relying on the cooperation and support of international organizations such as IOM.

There are issues requiring EU’s urgent action. Among these, Mr. Ambrosi emphasized the particular importance of ongoing negotiations with Turkey; the fight against smuggling and trafficking; and the need for intervention at the root causes of migration such as extreme poverty and environmental degradation.

After a warm welcome from Martin Wyss, Chief of Mission of IOM Netherlands, the floor was taken by Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM’s Director of the Regional Office for the EU, Norway and Switzerland.

Following Mr. Ambrosi’s speech, IOM gave participants a glimpse into its day-to-day operations in the Netherlands. Mesdames Manon Zohlandt and Camilla Mevissen, representing IOM’s Movements Department at Schiphol Airport, presented their work through colorful moving pictures of migrants travelling under IOM’s auspices. IOM’s Schiphol team is assisting some 7,000-10,000 migrants annually. These are migrants arriving to the Netherlands under Family Reunification and Resettlement programmes; migrants leaving the Netherlands to return voluntarily to their countries of origin; or migrants in transit through Schiphol on their way to permanently resettle in their adoption country, in particular the United States, Canada and the Scandinavian countries.

The Perfect Storm

In his speech, Mr. Ambrosi placed the current migrant and refugee situation in the context of a “the Perfect Storm” of unprecedented geopolitical, demographic and humanitarian challenge which have grown both in scale and complexity. Mr. Ambrosi called the audience’s attention to the fact that the vast majority of refugees are not received by the EU, but are in fact received by developing- or even leastdeveloped countries, with hardly the capacity to manage the extraordinary pressure on their meagre resources. North Africa, which used to be the most common point of departure for the refugee route, has now been overtaken by the Eastern, or Balkan Route. Such changes in the migration patterns are placing tremendous strain on the Schengen Agreement and the principle of shared responsibility between EU Member States.

IOM’s day-to-day work

The reception was well attended by the diplomatic community and the Dutch Government: IOM welcomed over 60 representatives of embassies and consulates of 44 different countries, as well as Dutch officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Security and Justice, and the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs.

“The vast majority of refugees are not received by the EU, but are in fact received by developing- or even least-developed countries” diplomat magazine #4



La mondialisation de la terreur redéfinit les équilibres mondiaux Internationalisation du terrorisme:


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Bilingual childcare for children 0-5 years old Villa Bloom provides bilingual childcare to introduce your child to Dutch and English language and culture according to the latest developments in bilingual education. Learning through play will help your child transition easily into both Dutch and international school systems. Our approach to education Each day, Villa Bloom provides a balanced approach to learning, giving you peace of mind that your child will have fun as he or she develops socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. We will give your child the tools needed to become confident and self-aware. In a caring and stimulating environment, our passionate and engaging teachers will give your child endless opportunities to grow, learn and imagine. Curriculum We recognise that curriculum is more than simply a series of activities or what is written in manuals. We believe that curriculum is everything that happens in the group, from interactions and meals, to singing and playing. We never miss an opportunity to educate. Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic Villa Bloom teaches children life skills that go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. Playing with toys helps develop motor skills and teaches lessons about sharing with friends. Singing songs while washing hands instils an interest in the arts while forging social bonds and educating children about the importance of good hygiene. Each activity is designed with a specific lesson or outcome in mind. We provide a balance between optional and structured activities, between group and individual pursuits, and between teacher and child-directed experiences. We teach seasonally relevant lessons. Out of School Care for the International School of The Hague and the Kleine Keizer Villa Bloom offers a high quality after school care programme at a conveniently located location in The Hague. Our Out of School care programmes are offered in small groups, in a caring, educational and safe environment. With a range of active, stimulating and quiet activities, there’s something for every child. Villa Bloom provides Out of School care programmes for children who attend the International School of The Hague and the Kleine Keizer school in The Hague. Are you looking for activities for your child during the holidays? At Villa Bloom’s Holiday Day Camp children can try new activities, make new friends and have lots of fun in a safe and supportive environment! Villa Bloom offers a wide range of activities including sports, arts, music, movement, chefing, science, dance and theatre as well as visits to museums, the zoo and the park. Each day begins at 8:30 am and finishes at 6:30 pm.

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Par Mariarosaria Iorio, analyste politique.

En 2015, les terroristes ont porté leur lutte politique au cœur du vieux continent. L’illusion de l’Europe forteresse a volé en éclat. Selon les politiciens, les solutions pour retrouver la sécurité et la stabilité seraient d’ordre policier et relèveraient du contrôle des flux migratoires. Or, le terrorisme ne peut être abordé sans regarder la question de la division internationale du travail et de la lutte contre la pauvreté. Ils ont attaqué les terrasses, les salles de concert et les stades. Les terroristes ayant grandi en France ont touché aux symboles de la vie sociale européenne. En effet, l’organisation, les ressources et les stratégies des groupes terroristes sont de plus en plus précises. De même, leur capacité de frappe s’est renforcée au fur et à mesure du temps. Reste que les raisons de ces attaques sont multidimentionnelles. Au Nord, la perte de repères est une cause importante du basculement pour certains jeunes. Cette situation doit nous interpeller sur la capacité des sociétés européennes et des autres pays industrialisés à créer des valeurs fédératrices pour les jeunes de toute couche sociale et de toute origine. L’évidence montre que le décrochage scolaire résultant d’un système éducatif figé à l’ère industrielle, la dérive familiale, un système social qui stigmatise l’échec, ont fait de beaucoup de jeunes des proies faciles de l’embrigadement. Ces jeunes cherchent à exister dans un monde qui les a annulés. Une société ne peut se développer et ne peut garantir la paix en son sein tout en laissant une frange de sa jeunesse sur le carreau.

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Au Sud, le manque de développement économique équitable et de perspectives d’emploi dans les pays pauvres est un élément déterminant. Car la mondialisation a exclu beaucoup de jeunes des opportunités créées par la croissance économique. La faiblesse des institutions nationales, un faible contrôle du territoire et l’absence de véritables politiques éducatives et de formation des jeunes ont créé un terrain fertile pour les recruteurs de terroristes. Une interpellation du système des Nations Unies est inévitable. Les Objectifs du Millénaire n’ont pas été atteints: c’est une évidence. La pauvreté est toujours présente, l’alphabétisation reste un défi, l’emploi est absent et l’injustice sociale une réalité dans beaucoup de pays en développement.

Deux visions du monde s’affrontent

Aujourd’hui, l’Etat de droit en tant que garant des lois sociales s’oppose aux visions basées sur les droits dérivant des textes fondateurs des religions monothéistes. Les peuples deviennent de plus en plus conscients du type de société qu’ils souhaitent sur terre, sans nier leurs croyances, quelques qu’elles soient. Dès lors, l’affrontement nationaliste à l’intérieur des frontières européennes et à son extérieur n’est pas la réponse.

Par ailleurs, le fait que l’Europe ne soit pas allée assez loin dans la formulation d’une politique étrangère commune l’oblige à répondre aux attaques terroristes par des actions d’urgence, des décisions prises malgré le manque de réflexion, faute de temps. La paix ne peut être atteinte qu’en s’attelant aux causes profondes de ce malaise devenu mondial, notamment à la division internationale du travail et à la pauvreté. L’exploitation des pays pauvres par les pays industrialisés dans le cadre de la division internationale du travail ne responsabilise pas les pays du Sud et les garde en situation de dépendance.

« Une société ne peut se développer et ne peut garantir la paix en son sein tout en laissant une frange de sa jeunesse sur le carreau » Plus que jamais, il est impératif de changer les rapports Nord-Sud, car sans jeunesse, il n’y a pas de développement économique, social et politique. Et sans développement équitable, il n’y a pas de paix mondiale durable.




« Nous développons la capacité de nous adapter plus facilement aux changements et nous accumulons des éléments d’autres cultures sans modifier la nôtre »

Véronique Miclea:

vie diplomatique et cultures

Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Nous étions déjà venues dans cette résidence mais nous ne l’avons pas reconnue tant elle avait changé. Son jardin est soigné, plus aéré, la maison est lumineuse et légère malgré son âge et sa grandeur imposante. Un visage souriant nous attend, c’est le chef Alberto Lara, et là, nous sommes convaincues, nous sommes bien arrivées à la résidence du Pérou à Wassenaar.

« Je me suis toujours préoccupée du développement des enfants dans ce contexte particulier d’expatriation » Rencontrer Véronique Micléa pour une entrevue est un projet depuis la première fois que nous l’avons vue. Elle intrigue avec ses couleurs flamboyantes, ses longs cheveux châtains, son sourire et sa discrétion. Nous pensons à une artiste mais dans quel domaine? Une peintre, une dramaturge, une écrivaine? « Quand je suis arrivée aux Pays Bas, je me suis rappelé les voyages de mon enfance quand mon père nous emmenait visiter ce pays si riche artistiquement. Un de mes souvenirs marquants est la visite du Mauritshuis. Je me souviens de cette très belle maison et d’avoir été impressionnée par ce musée avec une atmosphère intime. Puis une grande émotion: l’autoportrait de Rembrandt jeune homme.


Actuellement, je vis à La Haye et j’apprécie énormément les musées de ce pays, notamment leur modernisation et extension, avec une esthétique contemporaine qui rehausse la beauté du bâtiment et des collections. Une activité qui me tient à cœur est de faire connaître et diffuser l’art contemporain péruvien. En effet le Pérou est une terre de nombreuses cultures très variées. En Europe on connaît plutôt la culture Inca, celle que les espagnols ont rencontrée, quand ils sont arrivés, mais il y a de nombreuses cultures pré-incaïques : Chavin, Mochica, Paracas, Nazca, Chimu...

Il est aussi intéressant de faire connaître les artistes contemporains et de créer des liens avec les Pays-Bas. Avec mon mari, quand nous avons vu le jardin de la résidence, nous avons pensé y installer des sculptures contemporaines, d’autant plus qu’il y a déjà une culture du « jardin de sculptures » dans ce pays. Notre projet s’inscrit dans le désir de mettre en valeur des sculptures dans une nature baignée par la belle lumière du nord ainsi que de créer des ponts culturels entre le Pérou et les Pays-Bas. Nous avons déjà installé deux sculptures de Lika Mutal, artiste néerlandaise qui habite à Lima. »

« Je me souviens des deux premiers plats que j’ai dégustés quand je suis arrivée à Lima, le ceviche de lenguado, poisson cru mariné au citron vert, avec piment et oignon ; la parihuela, une soupe dense de fruits de mer très variés, de poissons, avec des herbes aromatiques (coriandre, persil) et piments. Des plats baroques, aux mélanges exubérants et harmonieux. Ce fut le début d’une découverte riche et étonnante. En équipe avec notre chef Alberto Lara, diplômé du Cordon Bleu de Lima, nous avons contribué à faire découvrir cette merveilleuse cuisine aux Pays-Bas. Notamment, la participation du Pérou au premier Festival Gastronomique Diplomatique en mai 2016. Il y a deux livres de cuisine péruvienne traduits en néerlandais : Ceviche de Martin Morales et Peru de Gaston Acurio. » Véronique Micléa est une spécialiste diplômée de la langue française. Elle a exercé sa profession de linguiste et professeure de français à Paris, Lima, Quito, Washington, en accompagnant son mari diplomate, tout en élevant sa fille Morgana. Véronique a aussi publié de la poésie, traduit des livres et collaboré avec des artistes contemporains à travers ses textes.

Elle partage la vie de son mari, l’ambassadeur du Pérou aux Pays-Bas, depuis qu’il est troisième secrétaire, et a su adapter sa carrière et l’éducation de sa fille aux nombreux déménagements. « En tant que femme de diplomate, mère et professeure, je me suis toujours préoccupée du développement des enfants dans ce contexte particulier d’expatriation. Un des préjugés, que j’aimerais combattre, sur la vie des diplomates est lié à une phrase que j’ai souvent entendue : « ah ces enfants qui n’ont pas de racines et ont une vie instable…» En réalité, dans cette vie à l’étranger, nous portons nos racines dans « la tête », nous ne perdons pas notre culture à commencer par notre langue maternelle et nous nous

enrichissons perpétuellement au contact d’autres cultures. Cela correspond au concept des « Enfants de la Troisième Culture ». J’ai observé chez les enfants de diplomates, une capacité particulière d’analyser ou de sentir leur nouvel environnement et de s’y adapter rapidement en créant une culture propre à eux, à savoir, sans renier la leur, absorber celle du pays où ils vivent. De plus pour certains, comme ma fille, qui ont une double culture venant de leurs parents, la situation est complexe mais encore plus riche. Ce ne sont pas des enfants divisés comme certaines expressions l’affirment : « Cette personne est à moitié française et à moitié péruvienne », car comme le dit l’écrivain franco-libanais Amin Maalouf, ces identités multiples s’ajoutent. Ainsi, ma fille est péruvienne ET française. » La traduction d’un nouveau livre, la publication régulière de poésies dans une revue française, le projet du jardin de sculpture de la résidence et la diffusion de la gastronomie péruvienne font partie de ses multiples activités, tout en accompagnant avec une complicité hors de l’ordinaire, son mari, l’ambassadeur du Pérou aux Pays-Bas.

« Une activité qui me tient à cœur est de faire connaître et de diffuser l’art contemporain péruvien »

Une manifestation prestigieuse de la culture du Pérou est sa gastronomie, classée parmi les plus célèbres du monde, elle a tout de suite impressionné Véronique Micléa dès son arrivée en 1986, époque où la cuisine péruvienne était méconnue en Europe.

diplomat magazine #4





hired assassins and polo horses

h e s ou h a “Already

2” 7 9 1 e c n i s old name

Photography:Celia Alfie

Why are nine of the top ten polo players in the world (with a handicap of 10), and 19 of the top 20 (with a handicap of 9), all from Argentina? “We start young, we play all year around, our horses are well-trained and… we are obsessed with the game,” explains Ruben Jabib, owner of Argentina Polo Day, one of the emerging polo companies in Argentina. The international handicap system is based on a scale that starts at -2 for novices, rising to 10 for the very best players. In Argentina the handicap system starts at 0, so a regular player there is a very good one outside their country.



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Professionals and amateurs from around the world travel to Argentina Polo Day, in Capilla del Señor (Chapel of the Lord), an historical city located 82 kilometres in the northern part of Buenos Aires Province, for training, to take intensive classes, to play professional tournaments and to buy horses. Luxury accommodation and the best instructors can be combined with participation in Argentina’s top high handicap tournaments: The Triple Crown (Tortugas Country Club, Hurlingham Polo Club and Palermo Polo Open).







While polo is often considered an elitist sport in Europe, in Argentina it is popular game enjoyed by many. Farmers often have their own playing pitches where they organize family matches, and major league matches are televised, often attracting crowns of over 40,000.

Many companies are increasingly using new technologies such as embryonic transplantation and cloning, but the time-tested tradition of breeding and training a polo horse is still deeply rooted in the Argentinean culture.



Equestrian culture is deeply embedded in the country. Just few kilometres from downtown Buenos Aires one can find the vast fertile, lowland plains – Pampas – where countless world-class horses are bred. They are admired and purchased by enthusiasts from around the world, be it Mexico or the United Arab Emirates.



In any professional polo game in Europe, one can easily identify Argentinean polo players; they are sometimes called hired assassins as they score so often. Argentinean polo teams come once a year to Wassenaar and Friesland in the Netherlands among many other cities in Europe to play a season against local teams. The near-untouchable Argentineans are widely regarded as the best in the world.

The professional polo season in Argentina runs from September to December, but the game is played at a lower level throughout the year.

There are more than 13,000 active polo players nationwide –more than any other country in the world. Unlike in many other nations, polo businesses often come in the form of small, family-run companies, making the sport a proud family heritage. These family companies are involved in every aspect of the game, from breeding the horses to manufacturing the polo sticks.

diplomat magazine #4




from IWC with Love An Interview with Barbara Couwenbergh By Ellen Brager. Photography: Henry Arvidsson.

The important function that the International Women’s Clubs fulfill is well known in diplomatic communities around the world. For many expat women it is an essential source of support to smooth their transition to a new post and their integration into a new culture. While everything is unfamiliar upon arrival in a new country, the IWC is a safe haven of like-minded people who are experiencing the same challenges or have already overcome them, and are willing to share what they have learned in the process. The group is also strengthened by the many local members who are happy to share their vast resources at the various meetings and social events.

The IWC of The Hague was founded in 1978 and today counts more than 330 members from over 60 countries, including diplomats from China, Ireland, Lebanon, Taiwan, Cyprus, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The activities they organize range from historical and cultural excursions, arts and crafts activities, game and sports sessions to book clubs, language classes and lectures, as well as charity events and fundraisers. On the second Monday of every month a special guest speaker is invited to speak at the Club Meeting about an important aspect of the local society, and once or twice a year the club organizes a Country Morning, during which the members of a specific country, with the participation of their Embassy, present their home country from all possible angles: history – culture – economy – tourism – cuisine - the arts. Most recently it was Mrs. Orsolya Szijjártó, Ambassador of Hungary, who presented her nation at such a Country Morning, treating the IWC members to a very interesting

presentation that included a wonderful Hungarian mezzo soprano and fascinating Hungarian dances. The guest speaker at the December Club Meeting was Roland Kieft, Artistic Director of the Residentie Orkest. After an introduction by Henriëtte van Aartsen, Honorary President of the Club, he took the audience on a virtual tour behind the scenes of this important The Hague orchestra. These are just a few examples of the caliber of activities and events organized by the IWC for its members. It is obvious that such happenings require a lot of thought, planning, coordination and dedication. It is precisely this dedication that makes Barbara Couwenbergh stand out as the current President of the IWC of The Hague. When she speaks about the Club it is clear that her heart and soul are in it. She became an active member in1994 and later took on the responsibilities of Program Manager, a job that she absolutely loved, so much so

New Dutch Museum of Antiquities’ exhibitions

that when offered the Presidency she did not accept right away. Does she regret it? She admits that it was hard to hand over the Program Manager’s responsibilities to someone else with a different vision and approach, but that her position at the helm of the organization has allowed her to meet many interesting people and to learn about subjects she may not have known about otherwise. “Luckily I have a great example to follow in Hanneke van Eekelen, the original Founder and still Honorary Member”, she says. “I admire how she has been able to take the back seat despite her obvious emotional attachments. She is always available to give advice when I need it, but will never impose her opinion.” Barbara was born in the Polish city of Łódź, often called the Manchester of the East as a result of its rapid growth in the mid 19th century due to the flourishing textile industry in which her ancestors played a major role. As a young child Barbara moved with her parents to Straubing, a little village in Lower Bavaria, where she spent her childhood. She went on to study French Language & Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris where she met her husband, a Dutch tourist in the City of Love. He swept her off her feet and took her to Holland. They settled in Delft and once adjusted to her new life, she took up her studies again in Leiden, switching from French to German Language & Literature and adding a double major in Art History and Pedagogy. It is evidence of her strong will and determination that she managed to finish her studies in only five years while having two young children at home. “Back then there was no consideration at the universities for married women with children”, she remembers, “they should better stay at home! And there were no computers. When we had to do research we had to spend hours in the library. It was not easy.”


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With three degrees under her belt, she soon obtained a job at the Sorghvliet Gymnasium as a German teacher. “My first class was a disaster”, she recalls. “My Dutch was still not all that fluent and the teenagers I had to teach thought my accent was hilarious.” But she survived and later moved to the Lycée Français, a job she enjoyed a lot because it brought her memories from her time in Paris. Now retired from her teaching job, she dedicates a good part of her time to the IWC. She has been a Board Member for the past three years and President since last year. It is with evident pride that she mentions that in the last month alone the Club added 26 new members. The vast majority are native English speakers, but many other countries are represented. Since the by-laws cap the Dutch membership at 25% there is a long waiting list of locals with an interest in the international community of their city. She is especially grateful to the very active Dutch members who donate so much time and resources for the benefit of the other members. What are the conditions to become a member? Be able to communicate in English and be a woman. Anyone with a foreign nationality at birth is welcome, while Dutch membership is capped. Will the Club ever be open to men? “Who knows?”, says Barbara. “There has been some discussion about it in the past, but it is a delicate issue because of the international nature of the Club.” So, for the time being, Barbara’s mission is to serve international women only, a job she does with love.

The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden) opened no less than four exhibitions. The extraordinary rituals associated with death and entombment in the world of ancient Egypt is the subject of ‘Egypt. Land of immortality’; ‘Cutting-edge history focus exclusively on the fascinating history and symbolism of swords, while ’Roman Coast’ tell the story of the Dutch coast during the Roman period. In the museum’s entrance hall artist Teun van Staveren exhibit a series of paintings entitled ‘Admiring Baalbek’. Information

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Rapenburg 28, Leiden



cuba meet & greet

a great way to start the new year!


Enjoy the unique ‘golden’ experience of ’t Goude Hooft.

By Ellen Brager. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

It is Thursday evening at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel and the guests start to arrive under the watchful eye of Arwin Paulides, manager of the hotel that since long has become the home base of Diplomat Magazine. In the line at the coat check, mostly Spanish, English and Dutch are spoken. His Excellency Ambassador Fermin Quiñones and his spouse Aimara welcome diplomats, government officials, business people and friends with Cuban warmth. A freshly prepared mojito, Cuba’s famous cocktail, dissipates the last of the winter cold from outside. The first Diplomats Meet & Greet of 2016, sponsored by Diplomatic Card and Jaguar, marked not only the New Year, but also the 57th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.


In his welcome speech, Ambassador Quiñones praised the triumph of the revolution as a turning point in the history of the country and the region. At the same time he asked to remember the many Cubans who sacrificed their lives to achieve and uphold this victory. Despite the persistence of an economic and commercial blockade which has been in force for the past 55 years, Cuba has achieved some remarkable successes. Last year the economy grew by 4% and prestigious companies around the world are showing increased interest in the Cuban market. The relations with the European Union continue to improve and especially the bilateral relations with the Netherlands have strengthened and grown, opening new opportunities for economic projects and cooperation in many other areas. With free access to education from elementary to university level and health care for all, Cuba has become an example for the region. Moreover, tourism grew over 17% with the arrival of more than 3.5 million visitors to the country in 2015.

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When looking at the glossy brochures on the tables, that last statement isn’t hard to imagine. Cuba is indeed a favorite tourist attraction as it has something to offer for everybody. After the Ambassador’s speech the guests mingled, making their way to the richly filled table with hors d’oeuvres. Repeated happy New Year wishes filled the air along with the Cuban music played softly in the background. Who doesn’t recognize those typical sounds, made famous worldwide by the Buena Vista Social Club? The lively chatter continues well into the evening, a sure sign of a successful event. “We continue to change everything that needs to be changed. But we will never give up on our principles, our independence and our sovereignty.” concluded Ambassador Quiñones. These are reassuring words for those who worry about preserving Cuba’s identity now that the borders are more permeable and influences from abroad have become stronger. Cuba is truly a unique country. Let’s hope it stays that way for centuries to come!

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Jean-Yves Charlier and Christopher Schlaeffer. Photography: Hester Dijkstra and Marian van Noort.

VimpelCom’s diplomatic reception

all about digital innovation The leading mobile Dutch-based company VimpelCom hosted an exclusive event in the summer pavilion of the Nieuwe of Litteraire Sociëteit De Witte in The Hague on May 30th. About fifty special guests among them Ambassadors, diplomats, Dutch parliamentarians, government officials, CEOs from the finances and communications field together with Vimpelcom’s management international team led by Jean-Yves Charlier Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VimpelCom Ltd attended the reception.

For additional information & bookings: please contact Kim Vermaat

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Jean-Yves Charlier explained the origins of the company from its Russian routes to the international company headquartered in Amsterdam today.

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First, it was time to share contacts and take pictures in a particular scenario digitally backgrounded with emblematic places and buildings from around the world.

Contact us for a free media-scan of all your promotional material, or drop by for a free brainstorm session with one of our specialists. Van Alkemadelaan 68 (opposite ANWB office) The Hague

He was followed by Christopher Schlaeffer, Chief Digital Officer, of VimpelCom Ltd., who talked about the new digital technologies, investments and VimpelCom programs to support digital development in their markets. Christopher also spoke of a solar phone, the end of the emails’ era, the low mobile telephone prices, the banking digital services in developing countries and more.

VimpelCom is an international telecommunications and technology business with more than 200 million customers and the ability to reach more than 10% of the world’s population. VimpelCom offers services to customers in 14 markets including Russia, Italy, Algeria, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Laos, and Zimbabwe. VimpelCom operates under the “Beeline”, “Kyivstar”, “WIND”, “Mobilink”, “banglalink”, “Telecel”, and “Djezzy” brands. Vimpelcom has 55,000 employees, representing more than 60 nationalities.

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diplomatiCEvents Prince Claus Chair

Frugal innovation by the small and marginal, exploring implications for development Photography: Kim Vermaat.

Professor Saradindu Bahduri holder of the Prince Claus Chair 2015-2017 delivered his inaugural lecture at ISS, Kloosterkerk in The Hague on May 23, 2016. ‘Frugal innovation by the small and marginal, exploring implications for development’ was the theme of his dissertation. The inaugural ceremony was attended by HM Maxima, The Queen of the Netherlands, the Ambassador of India, H.E. J. S. Mukul, the Rector of the International Institute of Social Studies, Prof. Dr. Inge Hutte, academics, Head of Missions credited in The Hague, Dutch Officials and his family. Dr. Bhaduri is working closely with the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa and has an extensive network in his field of studies; he was, therefore, able to connect researchers across borders and support the exchange of knowledge and experience from the Frugal Innovation hotbed India, to other emerging markets. Dr. Bhaduri is currently based at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

The objective of the Prince Claus Chair is to continue the work of Prince Claus (1926-2002) in the field of development and equity, promoting research and education in the field of development cooperation. International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

The ISS is an international research and educational institute in the field of development studies, also with a large PhD program. The ISS is based in The Hague and is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Frugal Centre for Innovations in Africa (CFIA)

The CFIA is one of the joint multidisciplinary research at Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam.


SG Ban Ki Moon in the Hague on historic visit

demonstrated their expertise in technically difficult and politically sensitive fields including maritime and territorial disputes.”

By Steven van Hoogstraten. Photography: Kim Vermaat.

It was an important week for The Hague, as the City of Peace and Justice. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visited the city for the double purpose of the celebration of 70 years International Court of Justice (ICJ), and of the inauguration of the new premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC). At the brand new headquarters of the ICC, built on the sand of the dunes close to Scheveningen, the Secretary General’s remarks at the official opening on 19 April were focused on the individual accountability for the greatest crimes of concern to mankind. He said “the inauguration of the permanent premises of the ICC is a milestone of global efforts to promote and uphold human rights and the rule of law. It is in all our interest to help the Court achieve its objectives. Its success will be the legacy we leave for future generations”. The Secretary General observed that both the United Nations and the ICC (an independent treaty organization) are fighting to end impunity on a global scale and to deliver enduring justice. He urged that more members of the UN would ratify and accede to the Rome Statute. What he said was echoed by the International Criminal Court’s president Judge Silvia Fernandez, who stated that “international criminal justice is intended to ensure that mass atrocities are addressed and further crimes are prevented. This mandate is relevant everywhere, even in places where international crimes may be unimaginable today. The Court has a global mandate but has not yet attained universal participation. Many of the world’s worst conflict zones are beyond its reach. More

countries need to join the Rome Statute, so that the ICC is able to address all crimes in an equal manner”. One might easily repeat those last words, as the adherence to the Court (now at a respectable 125 States Parties) is still only partial and major world forces have decided to sit on the fence for the moment. The following day of 20 April saw his participation in the 70th birthday of the International Court of Justice in the Peace Palace. The ICJ had been responsible for inviting the Secretary General of the UN to The Hague in the first place. In the Peace Palace the SG of the UN concentrated mainly on the conflicts between states. “Over the years, the International Court of Justice as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations has made a central contribution to the rule of law. It has stepped in effectively where diplomatic or political measures have failed. It has helped countries settle their disputes by peaceful means. And it has compiled a solid record of effective and impartial judgments, thereby building global trust in the Courts work and faith in the power of law”. Mr. Ban Ki moon further remarked that the Members of the United Nations are turning to the Court on some their most complex matters. “The judges have repeatedly

The president of the ICJ, Mr. Ronny Abraham then stated that the need for a world court working for international peace and justice is as strong today as when the Charter was first signed in 1945. In 70 years the face of the world has changed substantially. These changes have had an impact on the type of cases brought before it. Thus the Court has of late had occasion to hear a number of disputes concerning relatively new areas such as international environmental law. The Court has also heard a growing number of cases involving alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law, through which it has been able to develop its jurisprudence, at the same time taking care to consider that of the courts, tribunals and bodies which specialize in these areas, thus ensuring the coherence of international law. “At 70, the International Court of Justice has reached a serene maturity. Conscious of the importance of the mission with which it has been entrusted by Member States, it is ready to face the new challenges that might arise in the coming decade.” Both events were attended by HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, who performed the official first act on the premises of the ICC by opening a large book with the text of the Rome Statute. This set in motion a film about the key features of the ICC. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Bert Koenders also addressed the audience at both occasions with some substantive remarks. Mayor of the Hague Jozias van Aartsen spoke at the opening of the ICC, calling the new ICC building the Peace Palace of the 21st Century.

1. H.E. Ronny Abraham president of the ICJ, King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and H.E. Philippe Couvreur, Registrar of the ICJ. 2. Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. H.E. Bert Koenders. 3. H.M. Willem Alexander, King of the Netherlands and H.E. Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, President of the ICC.


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Successful 1st Diplomats

Gastronomic Festival By Viviana Knorr. Photography: Hester Dijkstra and Marian van Noort.

On Saturday 21 May at midday, under Dutch spring sunshine, fifteen embassies and their world-renowned cuisines gathered to spark up their grills, woks, and hotplates, at HANOS Food Wholesaler installations in Delft for the 1st Diplomats Gastronomic Festival. Ambassadors, diplomats and invitees appeared to savour a unique food scenery full of festive delights initiated by Diplomats Magazine’s publisher Dr. Mayelinne De Lara together with Hanos General Manager, Frans Kieftenbeld, Marloes Mos, Manager and their team. “I’m honoured because the ambassadors of Afghanistan, Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, supported our idea and made possible the first-ever Diplomats Food Festival in The Netherlands. I’m proud because today we are building -Diplomat Magazine and the embassies working together with the private sector,an event that will mark a new way of commercial diplomacy in this country.”, said Dr. De Lara before presenting the fifteen ambassadors to the public.

Welcome to the HANOS, a foodstore that excites! HANOS is a wholesaler with 26 outlets in The Benelux. We offer an extensive and comprehensive range of fresh, dry-, frozen- and non-food items from The Netherlands and abroad. We like to focus on local artisan traditions and select specialty products typically for these regions. The HANOS mission: a customer service always on an outstanding level. HANOS’ foodspecialists follow the market closely and focus on the latest trends and innovations. They will be happy to answer your questions about culinary arts and products, to inform you, to surprise you. There is always a HANOS cash and carry store nearby. Either in our delivery service to our restaurant and catering customers as in our wholesale selfservice store, we guarantee top quality. HANOS is your partner in business, focused on hospitality and gastronomy.

During the opening ceremony, Mr. Kieftenbeld made a visual presentation of Hanos and its multiples departments “enriched by 116,000 products coming from more than 34 countries”. The Mayor of Delft Mr. Bas Verkerk also welcomed everyone to his city and expressed how impressed he was by the authentic attention of the ambassadors and the quality of food exposed. Each ambassador presented their cuisine, talked about their unique products and invited the guests to seize the opportunity to taste their food and exchange impressions with their chefs.

Cooks and chefs surrounded by plenty chairs and tables with attendees enjoying their freshly made dishes were the perfect frame making the event the place to be for an unparalleled Saturday foodie-fun afternoon. “It is the highest standard of international gastronomic festival we have ever experienced in the Netherlands, regarding the quality of food, presentation and venue” said a group of attendees. The 1st Diplomats Gastronomic Festival was overwhelmingly good where participants were walking around and comfortably sample the fantastic dishes that each of the fifteen nations had to offer. Traditional drink bars were busy with attendees who could sit away and soak up the delicious atmosphere. Cookery masterclass demonstrations followed after the speeches of each of the ambassadors whose dishes where present: Argentina’s savoury stewed empanadas, Thailand’s elegant night meal Beef Massama by the renowned Iron prized chef Chef, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Surachai Jewcharoensakul, Mexico’s rich culinary heritage was delivered by chef Edwin Méndez with a world known Xocolatl mixture established as Mole Poblano.

Dutch gin from Schiedam, Sweden’s salmon dishes prepared by chef Marcus Johansson, Russian pastries and vodka, Hungary’s millenary wines, sausages, paprika and Quark’s dessert transported us from pre-columbian dishes to current modern fusion flavours thanks to the magic of the ingredients served. Never the least, Afghanistan, Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam had an unparalleled array from top wines and the very best of world-know delicacies, to new recipes to discover. One of the objectives of the 1st Diplomats Gastronomic Festival is to impulse the channels of importers and distributor exchanges between some of the world’s culinary cultures and the Dutch market. This great event was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and Diplomatic Card. Looking forward our Second Diplomats Gastronomic Festival 2017, on Saturday May 20th.

Turkey followed with an Ottoman favourite nutty Adana Kebab & kunefe, to finally wrap up, with Peru’s delights distinctive touch to highlight thanks to the vastness of the country and its Ceviche by chef Alberto Lara.

Welcome to the world of HANOS!

HANOS Den Haag-Delft Kleveringweg 57, 2616 LZ Delft

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Diplomat Magazine & Nyenrode Business University

strengthen their bonds

with a launching event Photography by Marian van Noort.

On June 1st, Diplomat Magazine and Nyenrode Business University organized a launching event to introduce their partnership to the diplomat network as well as the Nyenrode – Diplomat Magazine Award. Diplomat Magazine; the first Diplomat Magazine in the Netherlands’ history; and Nyenrode Business University; the only private research university in the Netherlands, recognize the talents from the diplomat network in the Netherlands and worldwide. Therefore, they have developed a partnership to provide the most relevant academic content on issues tackling international business and diplomacy as well as exclusive opportunities to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of business and management. According to Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher of Diplomat Magazine ‘’Diplomat Magazine’s focus is on providing members of the Diplomat network with the best and most relevant information, news and opportunities. As such, we look to partner with top institutions and organizations in different sectors to benefit our audience. Thanks to our partnership with Nyenrode Business University, we are connecting a network of business leaders with a network of international policy-makers’’


diplomat magazine #4

To celebrate this partnership, a launching event took place on June 1st at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague. During this event, members of Diplomat Magazine and Nyenrode Business University welcomed members of different Diplomatic Representations based in the Netherlands and nearby countries. The event included a presentation on the history of the University as well as the academic opportunities that it offers to starters and professionals. According to Javier Arias, Senior Marketer & International Relations at Nyenrode pointed that ‘It is Nyenrode’s mission to shape global responsible leaders. Through our partnership with Diplomat Magazine, we are providing special opportunities to key decisionmakers to further develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills. Via the Nyenrode – Diplomat Magazine Award, members of the network of this prestigious media are granted access to exclusive opportunities to pursue studies in business & management. This is a prime example of our commitment to have a long-lasting impact on society’’





For more information about this partnership visit

On the pictures, from left to right

1 Mr. Javier Arias, MBA Senior Marketing, Nyenrode Universiteit, H.E. Sheik Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh and Ghisline Crombag, Nyenrode Universiteit 2M  rs. Armonia Chang de Belchieur, Minister Counsellor of Panama, H.E. Archibishop Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Nuncio and Mr. Lucas Ottero, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of Perou 3M  r. Robert E. Anderson, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Cultural Attaché of the USA Embassy and Mr. Ramez Ali Abu Safia, Second Secretary, Palestinian Mission in te Netherlands 4 Mr. Javier Arias, MBA Senior Marketing, Nyenrode Universiteit. 5 Nyenrode Universiteit and Diplomat Magazine team, H.E. Sheik Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh 6 Dr. Mayelinne De Lara and Mr. Javier Arias.

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Lebanese Trade Mission

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On the occasion of the visit of a Lebanese Trade Mission, Ms. Abir Ali, ChargÊ d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Lebanon in The Hague, in collaboration with NCH (Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion) hosted a networking event at her residence in Wassenaar. The event held on May 10 was an opportunity for Lebanese and Dutch businesspeople to get together and consider various ways to enhance business between Lebanon and the Netherlands. The commercial team of the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon was also present at the event showing its support to the initiative started by Ms. Ali couple of years ago. In fact, the Lebanese delegation is coming every year guided by Ms. Ali, growing in numbers of participants also in tangible results. The Lebanese delegation featured companies from Agriculture, Food & Beverages, packaging, commercial law, engineering, Pharmaceuticals, garments and other sectors. Ms Abir Ali cordially welcomed the guest to this important annual event. She stated she has just returned from Lebanon a day before the event; she was there in connection with the visit on Tuesday, May 3 by H.E. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and H.E. Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. Ms. Ali described the discussions between Prime Minister Rutte and his Lebanese counterpart H.E. Mr. Tammam Salam as excellent and setting the way towards future cooperation. She thanked the Netherlands for their continuous support to Lebanon during the trying times that Lebanon and the region have been passing through.

If you would like to know more, please give us a call or send us an email diplomat magazine #4

In her speech, Ms. Ali made a special mention of the Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon attended by over 1000 participants of Lebanese origins who returned home from all over the world to develop a valuable cultural and social connection with their homeland. The meeting took place from 5-7 May 2016 at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand in Beirut, Lebanon. There were delegates from the four corners of the globe; from the Gulf States, but also from Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean which has a sizeable Lebanese community. The conference aimed at promoting the positive image of Lebanon around the world. Lebanese businesspeople are to be found all over the world mostly dedicated to business and in general considered as a progressive community. The Lebanese international conference is a demonstration of Lebanese resilience. Moreover, Ms. Ali spoke with proud confidence and referred to the strength of the Lebanese people, their knowledge and professional approach, their flexibility and capability to adjust to all business environments. She added that Lebanese businessmen are present in many parts of the world especially the Gulf, Iraq, Africa and Eastern Europe. She invited the Dutch Business community to explore

the opportunities in Lebanon and the business connections Lebanese have with neighbouring countries; Lebanon represents a gateway to wider markets. Hence, Abir Ali called for an increase in trade between the two nations and more cooperation. The speaker after Ms. Ali was Mr. Mohammad Sinno, president of the Lebanese Dutch Business Association; he invited the Dutch to team up with the Lebanese especially in the post-crisis in Syria since Lebanese businesses will be directly involved in the reconstruction of Syria once the crisis comes to an end. In a nice way, he prevented the audience to relies on news media as the only source of information. Instead, he invited Dutch business people to visit Lebanon to discover the many opportunities. For his part, Mr. Salim Rabbani, Chairman of the MENA Business Council, highlighted the importance of contact between people to people and between business to business as the best way for cooperation to grow and to create new business opportunities. The Lebanese residence was full and the perfect weather was kind enough to host the event on the lawns of the residence as well as indoor. Authentic Lebanese delicious food with choices to suit everyone was served continuously. It has been a great networking event.


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ANZAC Day 2016 The Hague

Photography: The Embassy of Australia in The Hague.

sgninwA Young men, such as Pilot Officer Sampson srettuhS of the RNZAF, who died in May 1943,

sdnilbrelloaged R 22 and beside him, Flight Sergeant

Speechley of the RAAF, who died in July 1943, aged just 20. Both sought sdnilb naiteneV to liberate this beautiful country during sdnilb namthe oRSecond World War. sdnilb lenaTheir P deaths are tragic. But the greater sniatruC tragedy would be to forget. sdnilb lacitreV

ANZAC Day commemorates all Australian, and New Zealand troops killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women. The date of April 25 is the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs), on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915. They landed there with the aim to capture the Dardanelles, an important strategic location, from the Turks. ANZAC Day 2016 was commemorated in The Hague at Westduin Cemetery. This ceremony was led by Father Sjaak de Boer from the Church of Our Saviour.

An Expert’s Guide to International Protocol launched in The Hague

“When the politicians fail and the diplomats can’t find an answer and the light of peace is blown out – it is young men like those buried all around us this morning who too often make the ultimate sacrifice” With readings given by H.E. Dr. Brett Mason, Ambassador of Australia; H.E. Ms. Janet Lowe, Ambassador of New Zealand; H.E. Mr. Sadık Arslan, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey; Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Tsamis, Australian Defence Force and Thomas Binns, Australian student. After the ceremony, the attendees moved to the Ambassador’s residence for a gunfire breakfast. So called because of the Gunfire Coffee (coffee with a splash of rum), drank by the soldiers of Gallipoli as a form of Dutch courage.

Excerpt from the ANZAC Day 2016 speech by 5851404 - 07H.E. 0 •Dr.lnBrett .elyMason. tsemohellej.www • gaaH neD GK 1552 • kcedlaW murtneclekniW • 03-92 fohkcorbnepeiD snohplA

The launch took place at the Nieuwspoort International Press Centre in The Hague on 18 April 2016. The authors are leaders in their field: Gilbert Monod de Froideville is former Master of Ceremonies to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Director of the consulting company Protocol International, while Mark Verheul he is Head of Protocol at the City of The Hague.

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By Roy Lie A Tjam.

The Expert’s Guide to International Protocol is an outstanding handbook that presents a meticulous overview of the intricacies of international protocol.

Although modern life grows increasingly casual, in many sectors protocol still reigns supreme. An Expert’s Guide to International Protocol offers an overview of its associated practices, including those found within the context of diplomatic relations and the business world.

A good number of ambassadors, diplomats, dignitaries, former Dutch diplomats, and family and friends of the authors made their way to the Nieuwspoort to witness the launching of this unique and eagerly anticipated guidebook

Featuring a wide range of countries and cultures, the book covers topics like seating arrangements, the history and use of flags, ceremonies, invitations and dress codes, and gifts and decorations. Throughout, influential diplomatic, business and cultural figures share their own experiences with protocol around the world.

Mr. Monod de Froideville recounted how he and Mr. Verheul worked together at the Dutch Royal Household and later at The Royal Hashemite Court in Jordan.

After some words of welcome from Master of Ceremonies Mr. Cees Wijburg and Dr. Saskia Gieling of the book’s publishers, Amsterdam University Press,

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Messrs Monod de Froideville and Verheul introduced the essence of their work. They also expressed gratitude to all those who had made contributions to the content of the book Prof Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former Secretary-General of NATO, had the honour of being presented with the first copy of An Expert’s Guide to International Protocol. In his acceptance address, Prof de Hoop Scheffer congratulated the authors and shared with guests some memories from his extensive diplomatic career.. An Expert’s Guide to International Protocol looks set to become the guidebook of choice for anyone seeking to navigate this complex and delicate domain.




Diplomat Magazine at Symphonic Friday By Roy Lie A Tjam. Photography: Hester Dijkstra (top), Marian van Noort (below).

Diplomat Magazine, in conjunction with Residentie Orkest, invited Ambassadors and their spouses to the Symphonic Friday at the Zuiderstrand theater. Residentie Orkest artistic director Roland Kieft delivered the welcome remarks.

What is the secret of this most famous of violin-makers? The renowned Dutch violin-maker Jaap Bolink recounted a short biography of grand master Stradivarius, and demonstrated the unique features of this particular violin. Subsequently, violinist Lucian-Leonard Raiciof, played Stradivarius in Saint-Saëns -Violin Concerto No. 3, Berlioz – Symphony fantastique. Alan Buribayev, replacing chief-conductor emeritus Neeme Jarvis who is recuperating from a fractured shoulder, was the conductor. The concert was breathtaking and the audience elated.

Ambassador Spouse Association, Residentie Orkest and Diplomat Magazine

Early on the bright spring morning, a group of ASA ladies responded favourably to the call by the Philharmonic Orchestra The Hague (RO), in conjunction with Diplomat Magazine, to attend a rehearsal at the magnificent Zuiderstrantheater on the banks of the Scheveningen beach. That very evening the orchestra was going to perform Mendelssohn symphony nr. 1, Schumann cello concert and Verhelst symphony in e. Conductor Jan-Willem de Vriend personally welcomed the ASA members, adding a special touch to the event. After the rehearsal, Eefje of the Zuiderstrandtheater took the group on a tour of the theatre.

First Cyprus-Israel-Greece tripartite meeting in Nicosia President Nicos Anastasiades, the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu presided over the first Cyprus-Greece-Israel Trilateral Summit in Nicosia last January. A joint declaration was adopted forming the foundation of the cooperation between the three countries, including, inter alia, in the fields of energy, tourism, research and technology, the environment, water management, terrorism and migration.

Office space / Memberships / Meeting rooms

In remarks to the press after the trilateral meeting, President Anastasiades highlighted that “the objective of the trilateral cooperation is the promotion of peace, stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, through the substantive and practical strengthening of our joint ventures in all the fields of cooperation and therefore it was not and it is not possible for this cooperation of ours to be directed against any other country.”

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On his part the Israeli Prime Minister pointed out, inter alia, that during the Trilateral Meeting the leaders discussed the issue of natural gas “and we decided to explore this in a very audacious way, to form a trilateral Committee between Greece, Cyprus and Israel to plan the possibility of a pipeline that would take our common resources of gas and export it to Europe via Greece. A pipeline from Israel, Cyprus through Greece to Europe. This goes along side our other plans vis-à-vis the exploitation of the energy recourses. The second thing that we are embarking on is creating an interconnecting underwater cable to connect the electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and later on Greece.”

In his own remarks, the Greek Prime Minister said that “we had today a very substantive discussion: we agreed on the opportunities and the possibilities for a close cooperation; we identified fields of common interest where we can implement joint programs in order to have immediate, practical results; we agreed on the formation of a tripartite joint working and coordinating group with regard to the critical field of energy.” Photography: The Press and Information Office, Republic of Cyprus.





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Diplomat Magazine Netherlands Summer-fall 2016  

Summer-fall issue 2016. The Hague. The first diplomatic magazine in the Netherlands' history, founded by and for diplomats. Dr. Mayelinne De...

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