January 22, 2020

Breaking News:

  • 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….

  • Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN in a Changing World

    Priorities of Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 By H.E. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam to the Netherlands Viet Nam takes over the ASEAN Chairmanship in a rapidly changing regional and  global landscape where opportunities are intertwined with challenges. Amidst the prevailing trends of peace, stability and cooperation for development, new uncertainties, disruptions and complexities are arising from the geostrategic, political, economic, societal and technological domains. As a result, regional countries are under greater pressure to carefully navigate their policies to maintain an environment conducive to peace, stability and economic growth.  Multilateralism in Viet Nam’s Foreign Policy  2020 holds a significant…

  • El Salvador to Host Historic Edition of 2020 ISA World Surfing Games

    By H.E. Mr. Agustín Vásquez Gómez, Ambassador of El Salvador to the Netherlands. The International Surfing Association (ISA) announced by mid January 2020 that El Salvador has been chosen as host of the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, to take place on May 9 – 17 of this year. Twelve Olympic Qualifiers will be determined, making 2020 a historic edition of the event. ISA President Fernando Aguerre said, “The ISA World Surfing Games will bring an unprecedented level of global attention to the country and the nearly unlimited world-class resource that is its year-round waves. Olympic dreams will be fulfilled, creating a highly…

  • China receives the new Dutch measures on telecommunication safety and integrity

    The Dutch government has recently issued an administrative order on Safety and Integrity of Telecommunications. Speaking to the press, China’s Ambassador to the Netherlands rejected speculations claiming that the order would negatively affect Chinese companies like Huawei. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has recently issued an administrative order concerning the Safety and Integrity of Telecommunications. The order stipulates that “critical parts” of the Dutch telecommunications network must be provided by so-called “trusted suppliers” – a limitation that would kick out of the game providers suspected of being engaged in espionage activities, either directly or through ties with…

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Diplomatic News

Protests in Hong Kong: the take of the Chinese government

Jan 21, 2020

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…

France Contributes USD 1M to OPCW’s Trust Fund for Syria Missions

Jan 20, 2020

The Permanent Representative of France to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Luis Vassy and H. E. Mr. Fernando Arias, Director General of the OPCW. The Hague, Netherlands – 20 January 2020 – The Government of France is contributing USD 1M toward supporting the activities of the Trust Fund for Syria Missions at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which includes the work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). The Fund supports the Organisation’s special missions and contingency operations related specifically to the Syrian Arab Republic. The French…

Andorra Contributes €5,000 to Future OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology

Jan 20, 2020

In the picture the Permanent Representative of Andorra to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Esther Rabas and the OPCW Director General, H.E. Mr. Fernando Arias. The Hague, Netherlands – 20 January 2020 – The Government of Andorra has contributed €5,000 to a special Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the project to upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store. This project will result in the construction of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”). The contribution was formalised during a ceremony at the OPCW Headquarters between OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias,…

The Russian Old New Year in The Hague

Jan 20, 2020

Reception at the Russian Embassy in the Netherlands on the occasion of the Old New Year From Right, the Ambassador of Russia, H.E. Mr. Alexander Shulgin and Natalia Shulgin with two gorgeous dressed Russian ladies during the Old Year’s reception at the Russian Embassy. On January 13, 2020, the Russian Embassy in The Hague hosted a traditional reception on the occasion of the Old New Year. The event was attended by more than 100 guests. Among them were heads of diplomatic missions accredited in the Netherlands, the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, H.E. Mr. Fernando…

Algeria Contributes €15,000 to Future OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology

Jan 19, 2020

The Hague, Netherlands –17 January 2020– The Government of Algeria has contributed €15,000 to a special Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Trust Fund to support the project to upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and Equipment Store. This project will result in the construction of a new facility, the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (“ChemTech Centre”). The contribution was formalised during a ceremony at the OPCW Headquarters between OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Lounès Magramane. The Director-General expressed: “I thank the Government of Algeria for…

The 102nd Independence Day of Finland

Jan 17, 2020

In the picture from right to left: Ambassador of Finland, H.E. Ms Päivi Kaukoranta and her husband Mr Jarmo Hopponen, Mr. Marko Kivelä, Defence Attaché (to Germany and Netherlands) and his wife Mrs Anu Kivelä. On the occasion of the 102nd Independence Day of Finland, the Ambassador of Finland, H.E. Ms Päivi Kaukoranta and Mr Jarmo Hopponen hosted a special reception. Attending were numeous diplomats and head of missions, Dutch officials, many from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Senate and the parliament, artists, politicians, members of different organisations, the Finnish embassy staff, as well as many friends of Finland who came in big…

Visit the Vakantiebeurs!

Jan 17, 2020

Incredible India at Vakantiebeurs- H. E. Mr. Venu Rajamony Ambassador of India, with his spouse, Dr. Saroj Thapa, the Mayor of Utrecht the Honorable Jan van Zanen and guests. By Catherine Dailey. The 50th annual Vakantiebeurs was officially opened to the travel trade yesterday. The largest travel expo in the Benelux is held at the Utrecht Jaarbeurs Exposition Center and is now open to the public from 16-19 January. The show is held in six halls organized around geographic regions and even features a “Cruise Hall.”  In addition to major travel organizations such as TUI, Corendon, Da Jong Intra Vakanties and ANWB Travel exhibiting;…

Happy Strings: “The Brazilian Tropical violins”

Jan 15, 2020

Brazilian Ambassador, H.E. Ms. Regina Cordeiro Dunlop and violinist Ms. Suray Soren with the Brazilian Tropical violins. Photography by Tomás Sforza. Tex and pictures by John Dunkelgrün. In these days when darkness still comes early and most news is bad, the initiative of the Brazilian Ambassador, H.E. Ms. Regina Cordeiro Dunlop, to invite this young string ensemble, was a most welcome relief. On a rainy evening a select group of people were invited to the concert hall of the “Vreedehuis”, the house of peace, which is an anthropological cultural center in the stately Archipel area in The Hague. The musicians, ranging…

Dear Rachel

Jan 14, 2020

‘Dear Rachel’ in race for title Best Book of The Hague 2019 Reporter and the most known diplomatic editor in the Netherlands, Leo van der Velde not only writes about diplomatic and society news but also a weekly letter in AD Haagsche Courant to granddaughter Rachel (8) about The Hague then and now. On the launch of Lieve Rachel, his new book, last November in Pagan Bookshop, Rachel van der Velde received the first copy from grandpa Leo. This month Paagman bookstore have made a selection of 12 of the best books published in 2019. ‘Dear Rachel’ is on this shortlist now…

100 years since Dano-German borders were drawn

Jan 14, 2020

Queen Margrethe II, Premier Daniel Günther and wife Anke Günther – Picture by Staatskanzlei Schleswig-Holstein. 10 January 2020, Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark: Schleswig-Holstein’s Premier Daniel Günther paid a call on the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at Christiansborg Castle, the seat of Denmark’s government and parliament. Behind the meeting is the year-long ‘Dano-German Year of Friendship 2020’, and the commemoration of the drawing of borders between the two countries.  Both sides agreed to stress the importance of cross-border cooperation in the upcoming negotiations on the European Financial Framework. “In concrete terms, we have agreed on a joint ministerial declaration on projects that affect Denmark…

Diplomatic Pouch

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…

Soleimani’s Assassination Triggers US–Iran Standoff

By Malik Ayub Sumbal. Amidst an environment of a tense standoff between Iran and the US since the last couple of months, the United States assassinated high-ranking Iranian military and intelligence official Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport on Friday morning along with several other Iran-backed officials operating in Iraq. The assassination of Qasem Soleimani is being anticipated as the most aggressive action, which could trigger the US and Iran towards a possible state of war by exposing the region to alarming tragedy. Both sides are making vengeful statements with objectives to undermine each other with…

Dominican Republic: A door in the Caribbean towards development

By Brigitte Saint Hilaire Ricart. “There is a country in the world placed on the same path of the Sun” … That is the way that the national poet Pedro Mir begins his masterful poem, and I am pleased to share with you that there is a country in the Caribbean that is a door towards development, and that country is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is one of the countries in the region that maintains a high social and political stability, an ongoing industrial development and a constantly growing economy, that often exceeds the growth of other countries…

Le Mali et des personnalités africaines réaffirment leur soutien à la CPI

Le Mali et des personnalités africaines de haut niveau réaffirment leur soutien à la CPI et à son mandat, lors d’un congrès majeur à Bamako Du 14 au 16 novembre 2019, la Cour pénale internationale (« CPI » ou « la Cour ») a participé au 1ercongrès international en Afrique du Barreau Pénal International. L’événement a eu lieu à Bamako, République du Mali sur le thème “Afrique: Nouveaux enjeux pour la justice pénale internationale et le Barreau Pénal International”.  Ce congrès organisé en collaboration avec l’Ordre des Avocats du Barreau du Mali s’est voulu être un espace d’échanges ouverts et…

‘Culture for Peace’ for our Common Future

Director-General, Dr. Sofija Bajrektarevic with a Culture for Peace logo (work of the sculpturist univ prof. Alem Korkut). Interview by Filippo Romeo. Today, we are talking with Dr. Sofija Bajrektarevic, vibrant and charming yet, bold and visionary founder and director of a comprehensive platform aimed at unifying potentials for the future: Culture for Peace.  From the very heart of old continent, central Europe’s shiny capital – Vienna, an interesting message of sustainability comes through a web of meanings: connecting scientific approach, artistic touch and practical yet decisive action.  What represents this Platform? Unifying Potentials for the Future – Culture for…

Greta the Swede – manufacturing the Nazarethian preachers

By Srdja Trifkovic. Seemingly out of nowhere, suddenly and rapidly, an obscure and evidently troubled Swedish teenager became a global celebrity. The phenomenon of Greta Thunberg is the theme of Srdja Trifkovic’s text. Greta Thunberg soared from an apparently lonely girl protesting climate change with a hand-written cardboard placard outside the parliament building in Stockholm to one of the best-recognized faces in the world, at least for a brief while. The Western media conglomerate would like its consumers to believe that the phenomenon has occurred spontaneously and on its own merits. Greta is in the news, they imply, because she…

How to protect human life and dignity in the digital age and cyberspace

By Marco Pizzorno. Conflict methodologies have changed and new theatres of war such as cyberspace are the battlefield of state and non-state actors. What is considered a new type of cyberattack affects the safety and protection of the civilian population. The involvement of private technology industry takes on important issues in the international context on human rights and humanitarian protection issues in the digital age. The issues related to the instability of cyberspace as a safe place, refer to the willingness of some states to arm themselves with hackers, recruiting them as real cyber fighters. These figures are capable of…

From 5G to 6G, Crucial Developments for Mankind’s Future

Life cannot be understood unless we look back and cannot be lived unless we look forward.— Søren Kierkegaard By Corneliu Pivariu. 5G technology started to literally develop for the common users in 2019 (although its proper development started in April 2008). It is estimated that in 2020 it will spread to many more countries after which, in the next few years, it will generalize worldwide in spite of different researches showing that the 5G radiations will impact negatively on human health (and that has been asserted about 4G and 3G, too,) while organisations such as US Federal Communications Commission  and almost…

Happy transformation!

By Barend ter Haar. Can we predict the future? The short answer is No. Look at the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom. Ten years ago, these governments were generally regarded as respectable and effective. Nobody could have foreseen that ten years later the world would be watching the soap opera’s caused by Trump and Brexit with a mixture of apprehension and amusement. But the longer answer is: No, we cannot predict the future, but we can influence it. That is what people around the world have done over the past fifty years by investing in education,…

Stronger than fear

By Phd. Dorian Vlădeanu. How much is too much? Can one write anything new about manipulation and fake-news? Maybe or maybe not but certainly the attention, the concern and especially the counter-action must enter into the daily survival procedures of any of us, far from excesses and paranoia, in which case we would not have solutions anymore, we would have nothing more to do. Neither for us, nor for our children or for tomorrow’s generations (if we are interested in that anymore). Who knows what public opinion is anymore (having an opinion on public opinion does not mean knowing what…

Alemania, la nítida

Por S.E. Mr. Manuel Mejía Dalmau, Embajador del Ecuador en Alemania. Sobrevolábamos la campiña alemana antes de aterrizar en Frankfurt  y mi compañero de asiento, viendo por la ventana uno de esos pueblitos que parecen de cuento, me preguntaba qué tal es Alemania, a lo que le contesté: si usted baja este rato a ese pueblito no encuentra un solo papel en el suelo, se lo apuesto. No creo que fue muy generosa, y por lo tanto buena, mi explicación, pero no le mentí. En Alemania, el orden es una forma de ser, la limpieza es parte de ese orden y…

Pakistanisation of Britain: Is Johnson the last UK Prime Minister?

By Enes Güzel. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a considerable victory in December’s U.K. general election after voters backed his pledge to “Get Brexit Done” and take Britain out of the European Union by the end of January. It was the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in 1987. As this election was all about Brexit, one can say that with this election, the Brexit dilemma is finally over and long-awaited stability is on the horizon. For many years, Brexit has consumed too much time and energy in the U.K. and occupied much of the country’s political, social and…

Understanding European Crisis

Tiberio Graziani, Chairman, Vision & Global Trends – International Institute for Global Analyses, gives an interview to Diplomat Magazine. In this interview Graziani gives his views on relations between the EU and its members, and the European political-economic future.  gives an interview to the editor-in-chief of the Soviet newspaper Izvestia. In this interview, the President gives his views on relations between the Soviet Union and the USA, and the crises of the Cold War. Many people have been talking about the EU crisis for a long time. George Soros wrote an article “Europe, please wake up” at the beginning of this…