By Roy Lie A Tjam.
On 24 June H.E. Gabriel Aguilera Peralta, Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala was honored for his outstanding contribution, in enhancing the bilateral ties between the Guatemala and The Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was also honored his support to the Diplomatic Community and Diplomat Magazine.
After the playing of the national anthem of the Netherlands and Guatemala, H. E. Sergio Ugalde Godinez, Ambassador of Costa Rica addressed Ambassador Mr. Gabriel Aguilera Peralta.
In his valediction discourse, Ambassador Sergio Ugalde Godinez started by thanking Diplomat Magazine for hosting the Ceremony, and for taking up the notable initiative to bid a private farewell recognition ceremony to diplomats who have carried out exceptional work in the Netherlands. Sergio Ugalde Godinez continued, “I cannot think of someone more deserving than the distinguished Ambassador of Guatemala, H. E. Gabriel Aguilera Peralta.
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I am also honored to have been asked to give some words to celebrate the remarkable work that Ambassador Aguilera has carried out on behalf of Guatemala in the Netherlands. Although Gabriel has been in the Netherlands for only about to two years, his contributions to the strengthening of the ties of both countries are quite tangible.
Not only was he the subject of a very warm welcome by His Majesty, King Willem-Alexander, but he quickly managed to have Guatemala in the sights of the Foreign Ministry, at the highest levels. This led to a visit by Foreign Minister Bert Koenders to Guatemala early last year. The visit not only was very successful, something the Foreign Minister commented about, but it truly served to raise awareness at the Dutch Foreign Ministry of the importance to re-open an Embassy in Guatemala, which I believe is under consideration.
Ambassador Aguilera also made significant efforts to have a firm Guatemalan cultural and commercial presence in the Netherlands. One of the very first activities that I, as Costa Rican Ambassador had the honor to participate in, was a Meet and Greet organized together with the Diplomat Magazine, at this very venue. This activity took place precisely during the time that Ambassador Aguilera was the chair of the Group of Central American countries, and his was the initiative to make the activity the success it was.
But the Guatemalan visible presence did not stop there, I recall a number of other activities, particularly related to culture and society, which enriched us with knowledge about the extraordinary qualities of the Guatemalan people. This insight, no doubt, bridges a better understanding by the Dutch and expats alike, of Guatemala.
But Gabriel´s most significant characteristic is his remarkable personae. He is of a soft touch but of a distinguishable charisma, knowledge and wisdom. His gentle approach is exemplary, as is his joyful character. His most recognizable legacy is to have built numerous new relations with peoples of all spheres of the Dutch society.
I myself am grateful for having been able to meet Ambassador Aguilera, and to have been able to share insights with him of a number of issues, from International Law to Peace and Security in Central America. Being the extraordinary academic he is, I think most of his colleagues would have to agree that we have learned much from him.
It is of course with great admiration and joy that we all gather today to witness the presentation of a Certificate of Merit for his contributions to strengthening the bilateral ties between Guatemala and the Netherlands. Very well deserved!”In his response, H. E. Gabriel Aguilera Peralta thanked all for attending the ceremony. He indicated how much he appreciated his posting in the Netherlands. However, his government has decided to assign him to another post. Furthermore, he observed, an Ambassador has more than one live, each new assignment is the commandment of a new life.
The ceremony concluded with a reception.