November 20, 2019

  • l’Arménie en tete de la Francophone

    Par H.E. M. Zohrab Matsakanyan, Ministre des Affaires étrangères de la République d’Arménie. Le 27 novembre 2016, lors du Sommet d’Antananarivo (Madagascar), les Chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de la Francophonie ont désigné l’Arménie comme pays hôte du prochain Sommet de la Francophonie. L’Arménie était honorée de cette confiance qu’on lui avait témoignée en lui confiant la responsabilité de l’organisation de ce Sommet. La XVIIème Conférence des Chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement ayant le français en partage s’est tenue à Erevan, les 11 et 12 octobre 2018. Toutes les institutions étatiques nationales se sont pleinement mobilisées pour faire de la…

  • The Hague’s Ambassadors gather at the Peace Palace

    On Monday October 7th, many of the Ambassadors accredited in The Hague came to the city’s emblematic Peace Palace, a symbol of Peace and Justice in the world, and took a memorable picture all together. The meeting, which wants to symbolize the need for cooperation and solidarity in the struggle for peace among all countries in the world, was organized by the Peace Palace and Diplomat Magazine. Mr. Erik de Baedts, Director of the Peace Palace and the Carnegie Foundation, welcomed the Ambassadors at their arrival. The gathering was attended by the Ambassadors of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Ms. Adia Sakiqi,…

  • Dutch-Israeli relations: a look ahead

    The new Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Naor Gilon, explained to Diplomat Magazine during lunch at the emblematic Des Indes Hotel, his view on the relationship between the two countries. Singling out economic cooperation as a cornerstone of this partnership, the Ambassador vowed to step up his commitment towards innovation and his interaction with the youth. Israel and the Netherlands have strong and long-standing diplomatic relations. The new Israeli Ambassador in The Hague, H.E. Mr. Naor Gilon, is now ready to do his best to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries – he explained in a…

  • We are open for doing business

    By Dr. Jorien Wuite, Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten The building the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten is befitting the stature of the Caribbean island it represents in The Hague.  Stately, with large windows looking out over the prominent busy Prinsessegrachtin the political center of The Hague, this monumental building is where Jorien Wuite intends to represent Sint Maarten well and “to entice you to visit our 37 miles of splendor in the Eastern Caribbean.”  One of the first things that will catch your attention when you enter the Cabinet, is a display of maquettes in the center…

  • Komitas Vardapet, a 150th jubilee for an Armenian giant

    In the picture H.E. Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan. By Dr Tatevik Shakhkulyan and Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan. Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935) is an Armenian composer, music collector, musicologistand music performer. Devoting his entire life to research of traditional Armenian music, he created a national Armenian style of music composition and outlined paths for development of Armenian music. He was one of the pioneers in ethnomusicology in the world. Komitas is one of the most known personalities in the entire history of Armenia. His life and his activity symbolize the “Armenianness”. Many Armenians perceive him as an identity. Komitas’s birth name was Soghomon Soghomonian. He…

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Diplomatic News

Chile host Gabriela Mistral 130thAnniversary

Nov 14, 2019

Thought of Gabriela Mistral’s life, poetry and prose In the picture H.E. Ms. Maria Teresa Infante, Ambassador of Chile, Dr. Ricardo Cuadros and Ms. Edith Bergansius, President of the Hispanic Association of The Hague. Celebrating the 130th anniversary of the birth of Gabriela Mistral, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945, the Chilean Embassy in The Netherlands together with the Hispanic Association of The Hague organized a conference dedicated to the work and life of this Chilean poet. Numerous affiliates of the Hispanic Association of The Hague, as well as members of the Chilean diaspora and diplomats from…

“Passports to Paraguay”

Nov 14, 2019

“The Holocaust was a tragedy; I don’t believe anyone knows the terror unless you have been through it yourself. But, what we can do is to confront our past. We are currently in the process of exploring this part of history that is often swept under the carpet, the process of governmental institutions and diplomats helping the Jews from escaping such ordeal. Many details and stories are yet to be discovered, and it is our duty to let this part of history be known.” – H. E.  Mr. Marcin Czepelak   By Azim Butt. The Polish Embassy, in collaboration with the…

First German-Arab Business Conference North Rhine-Westphalia

Nov 13, 2019

Arab ambassadors in Germany – Picture by Land NRW, Ralph Sondermann. Thursday, 7 November 2019, Düsseldorf:  With the I German-Arab Business Conference North Rhine-Westphalia, which was opened by Premier Armin Laschet, the exchange is to be further intensified between NRW and the Arab states. With this event, the state government together with the Arab-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Ghorfa and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce NRW will support companies in their activities on the Arab markets.  Ambassadors from various Arab countries, market experts and company representatives provided information on opportunities and challenges. NRW Minister of Economics and Innovation Prof. Dr….

30th years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

Nov 13, 2019

Saturday, 9 November 2019, Berlin, Germany:  A commemoration ceremony was held on Bernauer Strasse on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  In addition to German Federal President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, President –pro tempore– of the Federal Council of States, and Premier of Brandenburg Dietmar Woidke, the Speaker of the Bundestag Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble and Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller, the ceremony was also attended by the presidents of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová,Poland, Andrzej Duda  the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman and Hungary, Dr. János Ader, the ambassadors of the latter countries, other members of the diplomatic corps,contemporary witnesses and pupils. During the commemoration,…

The Paris Peace Forum draws to an end; its legacy hopefully won’t

Nov 13, 2019

By Guido Lanfranchi. The Paris Peace Forum was born with the idea that “we have to do something”. This strong practical focus has led the organizers to concretely support innovative projects aimed at promoting good governance and sustainable peace. As this intense two-days gathering ends, the projects supported by the Forum will hopefully continue to have an impact across the globe.  The focus on practicality, actions, and solutions has been one of the defining characteristics of the Paris Peace Forum. Debates and exchanges of views are crucial – the organizers say – but at the same time there is also…

China Contributes USD 30,000 to Future OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology

Nov 13, 2019

In the picture H.E. Mr. Xu Hong, Ambassador of China to the Kingdom of The Netherlands and Permanent Representative of China to the OPCW, and H.E. Mr. Fernando Arias, Director General OPCW. The Hague, Netherlands — 11 November 2019 — The Government of China has contributed USD 30,000 to a special Organisation 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…

Hungarian National Day

Nov 13, 2019

In the picture H.E. Mr. András Kocsis, Ambassador of Hungary to the Netherlands during his speech at the Museum for Communications in The Hague commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. On the occasion of the Hungarian national day of 23 October, the Embassy of Hungary in The Netherlands organised an official reception to commemorate the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Almost 250 invitees from the Hungarian, Dutch and international community in The Netherlands attended the event at COMM – Museum for Communication in The Hague.

Eurojust and Serbia: Cooperation Agreement signed to strengthen the fight against cross-border organised crime in the Western Balkans

Nov 13, 2019

The potential for enhanced operational and strategic judicial cooperation and the sharing of information and evidence between Eurojust and Serbia have been made possible today by the signing of a Cooperation Agreement. The signing ceremony took place in Belgrade. The Minister of Justice of Serbia, Nela Kuburović, and the President of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran, signed the agreement, which will enter into force after all requirements have been fulfilled. Mr Hamran said: ‘I am very pleased to conclude this cooperation agreement with one of our key partners in the Western Balkans. Closer ties will help to make Europe safer. Serbia can benefit…

Netherlands Contributes €3.3 Million to Support OPCW Activities and Centre for Chemistry and Technology

Nov 13, 2019

OPCW Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Paul van den IJssel, formalised the contribution today at a ceremony held at OPCW Headquarters in The Hague. The Hague, Netherlands — 12 November 2019 — The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will make two contributions totalling €3.3M to support a number of major projects and activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). A contribution of €2.3M will be made to the OPCW Trust Fund to support the project to upgrade the current OPCW Laboratory and…

Anti-Semitism in Europe, Ambassador Kocsis met with Dutch Chief Rabbi Jacobs

Nov 12, 2019

On 2 October, H.E. Ambassador András Kocsis met with Dutch Chief Rabbi Jacobs and wished him Shana Tova. The situation of anti-Semitism in Europe was discussed and the Ambassador informed the Chief Rabbi about the measures taken by the Hungarian government for combating anti-Semitism. The Hungarian Jewish community is the biggest in Central Europe with dozens of synagogues, a full Jewish education system from kindergarten to university and the annual Jewish Cultural Festival, one of the biggest and most popular events in Budapest. 

Diplomatic Pouch

“Rising Tensions within OPCW”

“Tensions within OPCW are rising”, says Russian envoy at OPCW, Alexander Shulgin. The suppression by the chemical weapons watchdog of its own engineers report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma “is only another detonator which could unleash the explosive trends in our organisation.” By Eric van de Beek. On April 14, 2018, the US, France, and Great Britain launched a missile attack on Syria, in retribution for an alleged poison gas attack on Douma, Syria, at that time occupied by Army of Islam, for which they held the Syrian government responsible. Although chemical weapons watchdog OPCW did not identify…

Passports to Paraguay

In the picture Polish Ambassador H.E. Mr. dr Marcin Piotr Czepelak in discussion with Rabbi Soetendorp. By John Dunkelgrün. The Embassy of Poland in the Netherlands and the Liberal Jewish Community (LJG) in The Hague organised a screening on November 13th of the astonishing movie ‘Passports to Paraguay’ in the glass reception hall of the old Portuguese synagogue now the home of the LJG. The evening was attended by Mr. Markus Blechner, Honorary Consul of Poland in Berne, Dr. Mateusz Szpytma of the Institute of National Remembrance and above all Mr. Uri Strauss, one of the original recipients of a…

The Paris Peace Forum’s opening ceremony: multilateralism and cooperation

By Guido Lanfranchi. Paris, November 12th, 2019 On November 12th, 2019, the second edition of the Paris Peace Forum kicked off. During the opening ceremony, political leaders from across the world made clear that multilateralism and international cooperation are strongly needed in order to face the many challenges of today’s world. Our world faces several complex challenges, from environmental degradation to poverty, from war to inequalities. Several of these challenges transcend national borders – and so do their potential solutions. This is the basic premise underlying the Paris Peace Forum, whose 2019 edition is dedicated to “promoting global governance for…

Media Forum 2019: Freedom of Journalism in the Context of Human Rights, New Technologies and International Information Security

November 20-22, Prague will play host to the Second International “Media Forum 2019: Freedom of Journalism in the Context of Human Rights, New Technologies and International Information Security”. International media experts, journalists, diplomats, lawyers and political analysts will address the most pressing issues in the world of the media and try to secure fundamental solutions. More than 80 experts from around the globe are scheduled to participate in the media forum, among them – Anis Bajrektarevic (Austria), Professor and Chairperson, International Law and Global Political Studies, Farhat Asif (Pakistan), editor of The Diplomatic Insight, editor-in-chief of Global News Pakistan, Chavdar Minchev…

30 years after 9/11: How many Germanies should Europe have?

By Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević. 2019 sees the 30th anniversary of the European 9/11 – the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dislike the 9/11 that came 12 years later, which many now associate with the demise of the Anglo-American dominant capitalism, for the most – this European 9/11 marks the final end of the Cold War. Downing the Wall brought about the subsequent collapse of communism – narrative goes. Hence, it should be a date to celebrate annually as a final, everlasting opening of the road to universal freedom prosperity, globally shared rosy future – in word: a self-realisation of…

On 40thanniversary of the hostage crisis, US-Iran frictions continue to escalate

By Guido Lanfranchi. Forty years after the 1979 hostage crisis, tensions between the United States and Iran are once again escalating. On November 4th, the US administration imposed new sanctions on Iranian individuals close to the country’s Supreme Leader. On the same day, Iran announced it would walk back from another of its commitment under the Nuclear Deal – citing Washington’s lack of compliance as the move’s rationale. In early November 1979, a diplomatic standoff emerged when 52 United States’ diplomats were taken hostage by supporters of the Iranian Revolution in Tehran. In early November 2019, forty years after the…

Tanzania’s Worldwide “Karibu” at SITE 2019

In the picture Masaai Dance Troupe from the Osiligilai Maasai Lodge Photography and text by Catherine Dailey. On October 20, 2019, Tanzania’s 5th “Swahili International Tourism Expo” (SITE 2019) for the tourism and hospitality sectors was festively concluded. More than 3,000 visitors attended this year’s global event which featured over 170 international and local exhibitors.   A warm Swahili “Karibu” or “Welcome” was extended to buyers, tour operators, travel agents and media representatives, who travelled from some 60 countries to attend East Africa’s largest exposition devoted exclusively to the tourism trade. In addition to the buyers from neighboring African countries, international buyers from…

“Transparent war” against ghosts of war

By Theodor Zima, foreign policy journalist. Our technologically advanced and progressive world is literally overwhelmed by daily flows, or rather avalanches, of information. We are swimming into a sea of fakes, so hard to resist, moving further away from the shore every day. In the “golden age” of misinformation truth, especially about war, based on facts, is the only possible “lifeline” to cling to.  The essence of the unprecedented, even a bit off-putting, concept of “Transparent War” proposed by the Russian defense ministry in 2017 is that journalists from NATO and EU countries are able to visit Syria and see…

Allegory of the bonfires

By Barend ter Haar. Once upon a time there was a city by the sea with beautiful beaches. Every New Year was welcomed by two large bonfires on the beach that were built by inhabitants of two neighbourhoods that bordered the sea.  The teams of both neighbourhoods competed to build the most large and impressive pyre. That went well for several years, until the teams started building the pile higher and higher, far beyond what was permitted and far beyond what was safe. The mayor of the city was faced by a dilemma. Should she enforce the rules, in view…

36e conférence ministérielle de la Francophonie

29-31 octobre 2019, Principauté de Monaco: Sous la thématique : « Réconcilier l’humanité et la planète : perspectives dans l’espace francophone à la veille des 50 ans de l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie ». On voit sur la photo La Secrétaire générale Louise Mushikiwabo. La conférence ministérielle de la Francophonie fut précédée par la 108e session du Conseil permanent de la Francophonie (CPF), ayant eu lieu le 29 octobre. sous la présidence de M. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Ministre des Affaires étrangères d’Arménie, aux côtés de la Secrétaire générale de la Francophonie, Madame Louise Mushikiwabo. La  Conférence  ministérielle  de  la  Francophonie  (CMF)  fait  partie  des…

New Dutch labour law: the Labour Market in Balance Act

By Priscilla C.X. de Leede, employment lawyer at Russell Advocaten.  In general, Embassies and Consulates with local employees fall under Dutch law and are treated like any other employer in the Netherlands. This means that the new Labour Market in Balance Act, that will be effective as per 1 January 2020, will also apply to Embassies and Consulates. What are the fourmost important changes? I. Contracts 1. Extension of provisions for consecutive fixed-term employment contracts (chain provision) As per 1 January 2020, employers can conclude three fixed-term employment contracts in three years instead of two years, without an employee being entitled…

Making Sofia green again

In the picture Diana Totinska, HoodTransformers, in Sofia. A great community beautification project, called HoodTransformers, is taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria, co-initiated by a former Diplomat Magazine Team member, Diana Totinska. HoodTransformers started as a citizen initiative aiming to encourage locals to take care of the public spaces and the neighbourhoods around their homes and offices. Some of the activities of the association include planting flowers and plants in concrete planter boxes around the city streets, clean-up events, raising awareness and sensitivity regarding dirt and litter pollution, cleaning graffiti tags and hate speech from buildings considered as cultural heritage. They…

The Paris Peace Forum: “promoting global governance for sustainable peace”

By Guido Lanfranchi. On November 12-13th, Paris will host the second edition of the Paris Peace Forum. The initiative will draw together a large number of high-level participants, including the UN Secretary General and more than 30 heads of state and government. The Forum’s aim is to discuss concrete ways to “promote global governance for sustainable peace”.  Six transversal themes related to global governance. More than 6,000 participants, including United Nations Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres, over 30 heads of state and government, as well as representatives of international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, and foundations. More than 80 multi-stakeholder debates,…

New World, a modern fable

New World, a modern fable by Dario Poli

Trick or Brexit

By Steve Roberts. I’ve been following Brexit events for a while now. And it occurs that it’s been long long debates inside the UK and the EU. And the whole situation isn’t as crystal clear as many wish it to be. It’s not all sunshine and rainbow scenario, but it’s a great step forward for everyone. The Brexit has been delayed once more. It is overestimated, it’s not as hard as it might seem to be. It won’t result in bad interference with the citizens the residence rights in the UK will not be affected by Brexit. Apparently the EU…

“Pieter de Hooch, out of the shadow of Vermeer”

in Museum Prinsenhof in Delft Pieter de Hooch (1629- in or after 1679) ca. 1657. Portrait of a Delft Family. Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna. By John Dunkelgrün. ‘Everyone’ has heard of Johannes Vermeer and it is common knowledge that he was the most important painter in Delft, a city which during the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age, as a very important center of the arts. Much less known is his contemporary and fellow Delft painter Pieter de Hoogh and more is the pity. De Hooch is not ‘just’ one of the great Dutch painters of the…