February 22, 2020

Breaking News:

  • UAE – 2020 Year of preparation for the Golden Jubilee

    By H.E. Ms. Hissa Abdulla Ahmed Alotaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, recently announced that 2020 will be the “year of preparation for the Golden Jubilee” through Launching the largest national strategy of its kind to prepare for the next fifty years of the UAE in 2021, stating that all Emirati community spectrum; including citizens, residents, the public, private…

  • Belarus is Turning to a New Decade

    By Dr. Stanislav Vassilevsky, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Republic of Belarus in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belarusian-Dutch bilateral political dialogue in recent years has become more active and promising, since a higher level of contact reflects a strong common interest and a broader agenda. We have held two informative sessions of political consultations at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers and organized the first ever visit of the Dutch parliamentarians to Belarus in 2019 communicating regularly at the multilateral fora. Recent developments have created a favorable background for further intensification of contacts. We welcome the positive trend in…

  • Four Centuries of Ghana-Netherlands Relations: A Historical Perspective

    By H.E. Ms. Sophia Horner-Sam, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the Kingdom of The Netherlands. The Republic of Ghana and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have maintained a long-standing and occasionally intricate economic, historical, political and cultural relations that have evolved between the two countries since 1598 when the Dutch established a trading post, Fort Nassau in Moree, a seaside resort now located in the Central region of Ghana. The Dutch then fortified its position by conquering the Elmina Fort from the Portuguese in 1637 and established the Dutch Gold Coast (a portion of contemporary Ghana) which it administered for…

  • Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union: A strong Europe in a world of challenges

    By H.E. Dr. Gordan Grlić Radman,  Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. The Republic of Croatia is proud to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in the first half of 2020. During the six-month period, Croatia is determined to promote the interests of the European Union and its citizens and position itself on the European and international political, economic and cultural scene. Croatia’s Presidency comes at a time of great changes for the European Union; the beginning of a new institutional and legislative cycle following the…

  • Mexico: Much More than Meets the Eye

    By H.E. Mr. José Antonio Zabalgoitia, Ambassador of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Mexico fascinates, conquers and amazes everyone who visits it, but it also faces stereotyped perceptions from those who have never been there. Let me try to convince you to go, or to return one more time. Perhaps you have heard about its wonderful tourist destinations, its rich and delicious gastronomy, or its natural diversity and eye-catching landscapes. From a relaxed stay at the blue Caribbean Sea to an eco-touristic adventure through the whale sanctuaries in Baja California, Mexico has traditionally been an attractive tourist destination….

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IOM Annual reception

Feb 21, 2020

Social Cohesion In the picture Mr. Antonio Polosa, IOM Chief of Mission. By Roy Lie Atjam. The Hague, on 13 February 2020, the International Organization for Migration (1951) the number one intergovernmental organization focusing on the welfare of migrants, held her annual reception. Guests from the Netherlands and beyond came to join the festive event. The  IOM Chief of Mission, Mr Antonio Polosa, cordially welcome his guest coming from different parts of The Netherlands and Belgium, and thank them for joining him in this annual event. As expected Mr. Antonio Polosa, Chief of Mission at IOM Netherlands, presented his introductory remarks at the organization’s New Year’s Reception. A resume…

Vision for the Western Balkans: 2030

Feb 19, 2020

In the picture Ms. Jana van der Velde, Head of the Division Central and South Eastern Europe from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alessandro Rotta, from the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities . By Nynke van der Heide. The Austrian Embassy hosted a panel discussion on ‘Vision 2030 for the New Balkans: The Importance of South Eastern Europe for the Prosperity, Stability and Security of the EU’ at the beautiful Austrian Residence in The Hague. This discussion is part of the dialogue that started in December 2018 with the initiative “New Horizons for the Young Generations in the Balkans”….

Russia Celebrate the Diplomat’s Day

Feb 17, 2020

The celebration of the Diplomats’ Day at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands In the picture H.E. Mr. Alexander Shulgin, Ambassador of Russia. To mark Diplomats’ Day 2020, H.E. Mr. Alexander Shulgin, Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands, and his wife Mrs. Natalia Shulgina hosted a reception at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in The Hague. Since 2002,  Diplomats’ Day has been celebrated, as an opportunity for the nation to celebrate its foreign service and recognize the work carried out by Russian diplomats around the world. Alexander Shulgin drew the attention of the all presents to the fact that this year we…

ICC’s Rohingya Investigation

Feb 17, 2020

ICC Press Conference on the developments of Rohingya Investigation In the picture Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko, the Director of Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor. The International Criminal Court  (ICC) organised a press conference to address the current and future developments about the situation of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko, the Director of Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, recalled the events of November 2019, when the ICC judges granted the Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, a permission for a full investigation into alleged atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya within the jurisdiction of the…

Uruguay Embassy brings Poems by Ida Vitale to The Hague

Feb 17, 2020

Edith Bergansius, The Hague Hispanic Association’s president, H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, Ambassador of Uruguay and Prof. Gabriel Inzaurralde, Latin American Master Studies program at Leiden University. Once again, the Embassy of Uruguay together with The Hague Hispanic Association, directed by the president Ms. Edith Bergansius, organised a successful event to pay tribute to the reputable writer of Latin American letters: Ida Vitale of Uruguay, the winner of the 2018 Miguel de Cervantes Prize.  The Koningkerk was filled to its maximum capacity, as the members of the Diplomatic Corps including Ambassadors of Ecuador, and Chile, as well as members of The Hague…

Book Launch: The Order of the Nights of Rizal

Feb 17, 2020

By Roy Lie Atjam. The Hague, Thursday 5 February 2020. The Philippine Embassy in The Hague, together with  the Netherlands Chapter of the sublime Order of the Nights of Rizal (1911) organized the launching of the first Dutch translation of El Filibusterismo written by Dr Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. The first copy of the book was presented to H.E. Mr. Jaime Victor Badillo Ledda, Ambassador of the Philippines. Mr. Lucien Spittael a Rizal expert, delivered a lecture on the life and works of the Filipino colossal Dr Jose Rizal. Mr. Jan Mulder also delivered a lecture on Rizal. The translation into Dutch was done by Mr. Gerard Arp of Arpenco Publishers. Notably…

71st Republic Day at the India House

Feb 14, 2020

In the picture H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony, Ambassador of India. Text and pictures by Catherine Dailey. This morning, some 600 guests gathered outdoors, under sunny skies, to celebrate India’s 71st Republic Day at the “India House”, the residence of India’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Excellency Ambassador Venu Rajamony. The program opened with a flag raising ceremony and the playing of the National Anthem, “Jana Gana Mana.” On behalf of President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Ambassador Venu Rajamony extended a warm welcome to his many guests, including scores of Indians who are working or studying in the Netherlands;…

The Islamic Republic of Iran Celebrates

Feb 14, 2020

In the picture Dr. Alireza Kazemi Abadi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Netherlands celebrated the 41st Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and the National Day of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hundreds of guests came by to felicitate H.E. Dr. Alireza Kazemi Abadi, Ambassador of Iran in the Netherlands. The date was Tuesday 11 February 2020. H.E. Dr. Alireza Kazemi Abadi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, delivered the following speech. “It is a real honor for me to welcome you to the celebration of the 41st anniversary of the Islamic…

Burundian Ambassador meets with the President of the Dutch Senate

Feb 14, 2020

Courtesy Call Between H.E Mr. Gamaliel Nkurunziza, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi and the Hon. Dr. Jan Anthonie Bruijn, President of the Senate of the Kingdom of The Netherlands  The Burundian Ambassador’s, H.E. Mr. Nkurunziza recently paid a visit to the President of the Dutch Senate, during which the current political situation was discussed, whereby Mr. Nkurunziza explained the emphasis on harboring security in the country, as well as the upcoming 2020 general elections in Burundi.  The discussion of H.E. Mr. Nkurunziza and Hon. Mr. Bruijn also brought an exchange of views on the relations between Burundi, the Netherlands, and the European Union on the one hand, as well as…

The PLO strongly reject Trump’s “deal of the century”

Feb 12, 2020

In the picture H.E. Ms. Rawan Sulaiman, Head of the Palestinian Mission in The Netherlands. By Guido Lanfranchi. The Palestine Liberation Organization has officialized its firm rebuke of the peace plan recently unveiled by the United States administration. The Palestinian leadership had already criticized the US proposal ahead of its release, notably complaining about not being duly consulted during the drafting phase. Following the official unveiling [GL1] of the plan by US President Donald Trump in late January, the PLO doubled down its criticism with a strongly worded communiqué, which denounced the proposal as heavily unbalanced in favor of the demands set forth by the…

Diplomatic Pouch

First ever Dutch translation of El Filibusterismo launched in The Hague

In the picture, Knights of Rizal with H.E. Jaime Victor Ledda. Picture by Anton Lutter. By Anton Lutter. The Order of Knights of Rizal together with the Embassy of the Philippines in The Hague launched Gerard Arp’s Dutch translation of El Filibusterismo, written in the 19th century by Jose Rizal, the national hero of The Philippines. Last year during the embassies Independence Day reception Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere was presented to H.E. Mr. Jaime Victor Ledda, the Ambassador of The Philippines to The Netherlands. Ambassador Ledda held an interesting expose about Dr. Jose Rizal and his connection with The Netherlands. He mentioned…

The PLO strongly reject Trump’s “deal of the century”

In the picture H.E. Ms. Rawan Sulaiman, Head of the Palestinian Mission in The Netherlands. By Guido Lanfranchi. The Palestine Liberation Organization has officialized its firm rebuke of the peace plan recently unveiled by the United States administration. The Palestinian leadership had already criticized the US proposal ahead of its release, notably complaining about not being duly consulted during the drafting phase. Following the official unveiling [GL1] of the plan by US President Donald Trump in late January, the PLO doubled down its criticism with a strongly worded communiqué, which denounced the proposal as heavily unbalanced in favor of the demands set forth by the…

The US unveils its peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Guido Lanfranchi. On January 28th, 2020, the Trump administration finally unveiled its strategy to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US proposal – which defines conditions for the formation of two separated states – has generated much controversy. While the Israeli government warmly embraced the strategy, Palestinian leaders – who had not been consulted ahead of the release – firmly rejected it. After more than three years of work behind closed doors, the United States has finally unveiled its strategy to address the longstanding conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The plan has been drafted by a restricted team of…

Azerbaijan Parliamentary Elections

Azerbaijan prepares for the early parliamentary elections of February 9th, 2020 Baku, Azerbaijan – The elegant and cosmopolitan city of Baku is receiving thousands of local and international observers to cooperate in the upcoming early parliamentary elections of February 9th, 2020.  The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIH) has dispatched an election observation mission to Azerbaijan. The mission, which is led by Ambassador Peter Tejler, is composed of a 12-members team based in Baku and 26 long-term observers, who have been deployed across Azerbaijan since January 14th. Moreover, 350 short-term observers are set to oversee the proceedings…

Turkey. Erdogan seeks to achieve the dream of the empire’s rebirth

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Photo by Hamed Malekpour: Courtesy of WikiCommons). By Corneliu Pivariu. We are coming closer to the centennial celebration of Atatürk’s establishment of the modern Turkish state while 100 years have already passed since the Ottoman Empire’s sunset. During the last decades, under Recep Tayyp Erdogan’s leadership as prime minister or president, Turkey has continuously grown economically and, in spite of certain domestic  divisions (see the aborted coup of July, 2016), succeeded in strenghtening an important regional geopolitical position and sought to become a global geopolitical power. Although Ankara denies officially it seeks the restoration of the Ottoman…

OMG! Van Eyck was here

Van Eyck. An Optical Revolution By John Dunkelgrün. Throughout 2020 the city of Ghent in Flanders will celebrate its connection to one of the world’s greatest painters, Jan van Eyck. The most important part of this celebration will be in the Museum of Fine Arts (Museum Voor Schone Kunsten or MSK). It is the largest Van Eyck exhibition ever held with more than half of the works by him that still exist worldwide. The works are contrasted with works from his atelier, works by important contemporaries and works done jointly with his brother Hubert. The core of the exhibition, the…

Towards a World in Which All Children Can Play

By Dr. May-May Meijer. H.E. Mr. Alexander Shulgin, the ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Hague and envoy to the OPCW was interviewed in Diplomat Magazine on November 15th about the chemical attack that took place in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7th, 2018. As a result of the chemical attack the United States, France, and the United Kingdom carried out a series of military strikes against multiple government sites in Syria. H.E. Mr. Shulgin stated in the article that, because of those attacks, the world was on the brink of a major confrontation between two nuclear powers.  Just after the chemical attack in Douma, Peace SOS received a press release titled “Massive Chemical Weapon Attack Leaves…

The Challenges of Ethics and Roboethics in the conduct of hostilities and in everyday technology

By Marco Pizzorno. The new types of conflict are oriented towards the use of autonomous intelligence capable of correcting and evolving from previous errors. The current dynamics of warfare change the rules of combat and consequently, even the fundamental guarantees are forced to chase the future and its challenges. Currently, technological science has focused on new forms of intelligence, or AI, artificial intelligence. The use of drones in recent conflicts opens up many reflections on how and when a virtual conscience is able to recognize and distinguish what is considered a military target from a civilian or a civilian asset….

The equation of Communism with Nazism

De-evolution of Europe By Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević. (First Part) It was indeed cynical and out-of-touch for the EU (Parliament) to suddenly blame, after 80 years, the Soviet Union for triggering WWII. It is unwise (to say least) to resurrect the arguments surrounding the circumstances of the start of World War II. The historians have agreed, the history has been written and well documented, and is in our books already for many decades.  There is no point in contemporary politicians of eastern flank of the EU (with a striking but complicit silence from the central Europe) pushing up the facts regarding…

Being Free Is Always Better Than Not Being Free

By Igor Rybakov. (From the address at II Media Forum 2019, ‘Journalist freedom in the context of human right, new technologies, and international information security’, November 20-22, 2019, Prague, the Czech Republic) It is at least strange to hear of any crisis of liberalism here in the Czech Republic, at the European venue, where there was recently celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Tender Revolution which had marked the conscious choice of the Czech people to build a new democratic parliamentary republic with priority of human rights and personal freedoms limited by the Constitution. The ideas and foundations of liberalism…

Revisiting the Ukraine-Russia-EU triangular dynamics

By Tanvi Chauhan. With the narrative that floats around, one is tempted to think that the Ukraine crisis is all about Crimea; that it started and ended there. So what about the internal oblasts like Odessa, Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk (the South- Eastern regions) where a protracted conflict broke out? Are they not part of the resolution to the Ukraine crisis? But before any party decides on how to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, it is crucial to understand what needs to be resolved.  What needs to be Resolved? First, the negotiating status. Formal peace talks began with the Minsk-I ceasefire in September 2014…

Fundamental legacy of The Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials (1945-1948)

Picture Nuremberg trials. By Wedyan AlMadani . These – rather unfortunate – days some voices in Europe are trying, in a quite ahistorical fashion, to question the very fundaments of the antifascist legacy. Dangerous and highly destructive equitation attempts are on the way. Still, this legacy is what finally made the Old continent human and peaceful – a role model to admire and for the rest of us to follow.  Such regrettable equitations make it worth to revisit the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, which are essential pillars of the Human Rights charter brokered right after under the OUN auspices. Consequently,…

Protests in Hong Kong: the take of the Chinese government

In the picture H.E. Ambassador Xu Hong. In an open discussion with over twenty Dutch and Chinese journalists, China’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Dr. Xu Hong, voiced his government’s stance on the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The Ambassador condemned the violent actions of the demonstrators, calling for the expression of any dissent through legal channels. Since June 2019, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has been witnessing a strong wave of protests. At first, the demonstrators protested against a bill that would have allowed to extradite criminal suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China, voicing fears that…

Qatar blurs regional powers to diffuse Iran-US conflict

By Malik Ayub Sumbal. Qatar once more takes the lead as a mediator in the recent crisis that engulfed the Middle East after the targeted assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was targeted by the US drone strike at Baghdad’s International Airport on 3rd January 2020. Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to Iran directly after the incident of Soleimani’s killing is being seen as a very serious and wise diplomatic move by the Qatari side to reduce the tension in the region. For the last decade, Qatar has been…

Residentie Orkest’s New Year’s Concert

Residentie Orkest “New Year’s Concert” – Kari Postma, soprano; Kareem Abdulla, conductor. Text and pictures by Catherine Dailey. The Zuiderstand Theater, overlooking the Scheveningen harbor, was filled with anticipation for the Residentie’s Orkest’s long awaited “New Year’s Concert” in honor of the orchestra’s Business Circle and loyal patrons. Of the years, the New Year’s concert has become the “place to be” for classical music enthusiasts. The feeling of a “homecoming gathering” permeated the pre-concert cocktail reception as many of the invitees, well known in the The Hague’s business, professional and political circles, were clearly known to each other from other relationships in…

US-Iran tensions: escalation and de-escalation

By Guido Lanfranchi The transition to the new year has been marked by rising tensions between the United States and Iran. For a few days, the Middle East has been on the brink of a new potential war, with the two countries adopting a strong rhetoric and conducting military operations against each other. Despite these tense days, Washington and Tehran seem now headed towards de-escalation – although the underlying tensions between them largely remain in place. January 12th, 2020. New year, new decade, old tensions. The beginning of 2020 has been marked by a dangerous escalation of tensions between the…