Precision Agriculture with Hyperspectral Sensors


Precision Agriculture with Hyperspectral Sensors, Monitoring Against Disease, Nutrient Stress, and Drought

By Ruud van der Lem, Drone-Solutions. Crop monitoring for nutrients, water-stress, disease, fungus, insect attack and overall plant health and development is a vital aspect of successful agricultural operations. Traditionally this has been carried out by visual examination of crops on the ground or sometimes from the air. However these methods are limited by the ability of the human eye to discriminate between healthy foliage and foliage suffering various kinds of stress. Often a specific condition must be well-advanced before visual symptoms become noticeable even to experienced observers. Modern precision agriculture relies on site-specific management tactics to maximize harvest and resources while reducing environmental impacts such as over-fertilization and the broad applications of pesticides. Pin-pointing areas requiring attention – be it water, weed or pathogen treatment, or nutrient adjustments – allows for spot application rather than whole-field treatment. The collection of key data at a sufficient level of accuracy depends on the availability of equipment that can be operated at a cost-effective level. Some of the benefits of hyperspectral and multispectral imaging are that these technologies are: low cost, compared with traditional scouting methods, give consistent results, simple to use, allow for rapid assessments, non-destructive, highly accurate, and have a broad range of applications. The development of aerial and ground-based spectral imaging equipment has been a major breakthrough in the expansion and practical application of precision agriculture techniques. This technology has made possible the assessment of crop stresses, characterization of soils and vegetative cover and harvest estimation, in addition to its predictive capabilities. Drone-Solutions is a specialist in providing solutions in remote sensing, represents French companies that are specialized in flying drones, land and naval robots. Some of these drones / robots are used by the French army.  

Lao embassy in London re-opened

By Baron Henri Estramant. London has join Brussels and Berlin in hosting embassies of all ASEAN member states. After a hiatus of 29 years, the Embassy of the Lao Democratic People’s Republic was reopened in London by Laotian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Thongloun Sisoulith and UK’s Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Rt. Hon. Hugo Swire (responsible for India, the Far East, Latin America and the Falklands, as well as Australasia). This reopening represents an important milestone in the strengthening of UK and Europe’s ties with Laos, but also with the rest of South East Asia; one of the most dynamic and fast growing regions in the world. By 2030 the ASEAN economy as a whole is expected to be the fourth largest single market in the world. The inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of 2015 will see economic barriers reduced further. Laos remains one of the globe’s poorest countries yet it is beginning to attract European investments as well as tourists drawn by its pristine environment, historical sites, backpacking opportunities and low prices. ASEAN comprises ten member states, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viêt Nam. The reopening ceremony was attended by HE Ambassador Manorom Phonseya (Benelux countries, EU, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland).

Lithuania becomes a Eurozone member

As of 1 January, Lithuania will become a full member of the Eurozone. In his address to the Lithuanian people Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has pointed it out as great achievement for the country, not only guaranteeing economic security, but also providing a possibility to pursue greater financial stability and sustainable economic development. “The euro will serve as a guarantee for our economic and political security, enabling further economic viability, job creation and rising public wellbeing. I firmly believe that Lithuania will contribute to the strengthening of the euro family. We happen to be among the EU economic growth leaders, and we come to the euro family equipped with determination, focus and energy to achieve the set objectives. We bring in a strong sense of solidarity and partnership,” said the Prime Minister. Foreign guests include Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas and Foreign Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkevičs, who, together with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, will be the first to withdraw the new currency – euro banknotes. According to Minister of Finance Rimantas Šadžius, the adoption of the euro symbolically completes the three-point to do list of the independent Lithuania: “We joined NATO and the European Union (EU), and now we have become part of the strongest EU financial club, which will enable us to contribute to joint decision making. This creates a strong geopolitical and economic basis for creating a prosperous welfare state, generously embracing all the people of our country.” “Great work has been accomplished and great work begins. We will still have to make sure that the euro, which tonight entered Lithuania, also calmly and smoothly appears in the purses and personal accounts of all of us. We will still have to come together and work hard so that the opportunities opened up by euro area membership become reality — i.e., real, tangible well-being. The work we have done by now and the testing performed prior to this historical night show that the Bank of Lithuania and the country’s system of credit institutions are ready for this work,“ said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board. Cash litas – euro exchange will be effected free of charge by banks, some credit unions and central banks of euro-zone countries, as well as Lithuanian post offices. Money in bank accounts will be converted automatically. For the first 15 days in January settlements in both currencies will be possible.  

All the Best in 2015 !!

                              Diplomat Magazine, founded in June, 2013, By and For Diplomats, wishes you all the best in 2015 !!! As part of our main policy since our launching at Carlton Ambassador Hotel last year, Diplomat Magazine created the novel project in the Netherlands to invite diplomats and special guests to write for us, unique in this country and Europe. In addition, this is the very first publication that had the idea to combine a magazine together with diplomatic events, to have a regular staff and photographers to report about diplomatic national days and cultural issues organized by diplomatic missions. As we go one step forward, the month of January, 2015 is announced to be the busiest one ever for us, with a series of diplomatic gatherings organized by Diplomat Magazine in collaboration with Diplomatic Card and stakeholders. Our diplomatic mission is manifold, from the academic, cultural and international relations perspective. “This magazine quickly established itself as the leader media covering a wide range of diplomatic events, and thus as the number one consulting media for an overview of the most important diplomatic events in The Hague”, said H.E. Carlos Arguello Gomez, Ambassador of Nicaragua and Dean of the Diplomatic corps, on his welcome letter, page 9, in the first printed version of Diplomat Magazine, November, 2014.  “Diplomat Magazine’s core mission is not only to bring together the diplomatic corps via this very first diplomatic publication in Netherlands’ history, but to offer them the opportunity to write about their achievements or concerns, to organize special events with Diplomat Magazine, to let them meet local entrepreneurs, journalists and other diplomatic colleagues. Last but not least is our task to introduce non-diplomats to ambassadors (local Dutch individuals that have never been involved in diplomacy or international relations) allowing them to contribute with the diplomatic community thanks to the facilities offered to them by Diplomat Magazine since June, 2013”, expressed Dr. Eugenio Matos Gomez during his farewell party organized by ambassadors, diplomats and friends at Carlton Ambassador Hotel in collaboration with World Bel Air Hotel and Crowne Plaza Hotel in December, 2014. “There is a before and after Dr. Matos’ life in the Netherlands, for us as diplomats in this country”, expressed an ambassador present at the farewell party. Dr. Matos has recently been posted by his government as Minister at the Dominican Republic Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, leaving Diplomat Magazine with over 60,000 dedicated readers.

Les adieux


Par Son Excellence  Vestine Nahimana, Ambassadeur de Burundi aux Pays – Bas. (English version follows) Speech by Ambassador Nahimana. 


Discours de l’ambassadeur du Burundi, en presence de plusieurs ambassadeurs.

Les adieux au Dr. Eugene Matos, Ministre Conseiller de la République dominicaine.

Cher Eugène Matos Ministre Conseiller,

Chers Collègues, Aimables amis de Monsieur Matos

C’est pour moi un honneur de prendre parole dans ce moment émouvant où vos collègues, amis, connaissances sont réunis pour vous dire au revoir.

Pour ce qui me concerne, c’est à la fois une joie et une tristesse ; joie parce que votre Gouvernement vous a renouvelé sa confiance de continuer à le servir cette fois-ci en Argentine en qualité de Ministre Conseiller.

Tristesse parce que ça demande un peu d’efforts de vivre à La Haye sans vous voir près de nous, de vos collègues et amis que vous avez rencontrés et connus dans ce beau pays les Pays Bas.

En effet Cher ami, l’Ambassade du Burundi à La Haye vous doit une grande reconnaissance pour les services que vous lui avez offerts gracieusement au moment où elle en avait tant besoin et n’oubliera jamais cela.

Elle gardera également en mémoire l’héritage que vous lui laissez, entre autres, les traditionnelles rencontres organisées régulièrement par Diplomat Magazine ainsi que les services que Diplomat Card offre aux Ambassades.

Notre gratitude est également adressée à l’endroit de Votre Charmante Epouse et votre Brillant fils pour avoir été à nos côtés durant toute la période que nous venons de passer dans ce pays tant sur le plan professionnel que social.

A vous tous, nous disons merci et grand merci et promettons que nous resterons toujours avec vous malgré la distance.

Cher Eugène, vous avez réussi.

Vous avez été champion dans vos relations.

Là où vous allez, vous allez certainement réussir.

En guise de reconnaissance, d’encouragement et d’adieu, je vous offre au nom de l’Ambassade du Burundi une coupe signe de bonnes relations et gratitudes.

Merci pour tous les services rendus à notre Ambassade et au revoir.


Farewell to Dr. Eugene Matos, Minister Counsellor of the Dominican Republic
Translation to English by Nicole Pierre
Dear Eugene Matos, Minister Counsellor, Dear Colleagues, Kind friends of Dr. Matos, It is an honor for me to speak at this very special gathering when your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances have come together to say goodbye to you. As for me it is bitter-sweet: both a joy and a sadness. Joy because your government has renewed its confidence in you to be its Minister Counselor, this time in Argentina.  Sadness because it will certainly take some effort on our part, your colleagues and friends whom you have met and known in this beautiful country, the Netherlands, to live in The Hague without seeing you and interacting with you. In fact my dear friend, the Embassy of Burundi in The Hague owes you a debt of gratitude for the courtesies that you had graciously shown to us when we needed it the most and, I assure you, we will never forget that. We will also remember and honor the legacy that you are leaving with us. Among other things, there are the traditional meetings which have been organized on a regular basis by the Diplomat Magazine as well as the services which the Diplomat Card provides to the Embassies. Our gratitude must also be directed towards your lovely wife and your brilliant son for their accompanying and warm presence during the time that we have spent together in this country, both professionally and socially. To all of you, we say thank you and a big thank you at that, and promise that we will always be with you despite the distance. Dearest Eugene, you have succeeded. You have been a champion in your cause. Wherever you go, you will definitely succeed. In recognition, encouragement and farewell, I offer on behalf of the Embassy of Burundi a cutting sign of good relations and gratitude. Thank you for all the services rendered to our Embassy and goodbye.   FOR COMPLETE PHOTO-ALBUM OF THIS EVENT, CLICK HERE: ORIGINAL INVITATION FOR THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS. CLICK HERE:

Iranian Foreign Minister Briefs Counterparts on the Nuclear Negotiations

In a letter to his counterparts, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif briefed them on the latest developments in the negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 Group on Iran`s peaceful nuclear program.Iranian Foreign Minister said, “My delegation has engaged in these talks with the firm mandate and strong political will to reach a comprehensive agreement. We have clearly demonstrated that we are prepared to accept a rational and fair agreement based on mutual respect and interest, in the same manner as we resist and reject arbitrary, degrading and unlawful demands. We have tried to be creative and innovative and have offered solutions.”He added, “In our Joint Plan of Action, we envisaged a common goal for these negotiations: To reach a mutually-agreed long term comprehensive solution that would ensure Irans nuclear program will be “exclusively peaceful” and “would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Irans nuclear program.” Zarif said, “Achieving the first objective is not difficult, because Iran does not want or need nuclear weapons. In our view, nuclear weapons are obsolete tools of the past, incapable of providing external security or internal stability. This is especially the case for Iran, which is content with its size, geography, natural resources and human capital, and has not started a single war in the past three centuries. A sober strategic assessment will show that nuclear weapons are detrimental to Irans security. He added, “Iran also has a solid track record of opposing all WMDs on religious grounds. Ayatollah Khamenei, like his predecessor Imam Khomeini, declared that all WMDs are strictly forbidden by Islam. For this reason, Iran did not use chemical weapons even in retaliation when Saddam Hussein gassed our troops and civilians on a scale not seen since the First World War.” Part of the letter said, “Moreover, “practical limits” envisaged by JPOA preclude arbitrary limits, which seek to shrink Irans enrichment to a token program. Such is neither practical nor realistic.” Iranian Foreign Minister pointed out, “The second objective envisaged by JPOA, namely the lifting of all sanctions, is an essential component of any agreement. But some members of P5+1 have become increasingly reluctant to abandon this counterproductive, illegal and inhuman instrument of coercion even at the expense of putting in jeopardy the entire process that provides certainty and assures transparency. Obsession with sanctions has not only obstructed a comprehensive long-term agreement, but also prevented the West from regaining the confidence of the Iranian people even after the adoption of JPOA. While Iran has shown its good faith by completely fulfilling its part of the bargain under the deal, the US and EU have adopted more measures to maintain and strengthen the sanctions regime than to live up to their sanction-easing commitments.” Iranian Foreign Minister concluded, “I am confident that a comprehensive agreement is imminently within reach. It requires foresight, political will and recognition of realities by our negotiating partners as well as the audacity to make the right choice benefitting the entire global community rather than succumbing to the whims of vocal, but increasingly unpopular, pressure groups and special interests.”    

43rd National Day of Bahrain


By Baron Henri Estramant.

The newly accredited ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to The Netherlands, Ms Alice Samaan, hosted a reception on the eve of Bahrain’s National Day in London where she is based to celebrate her homeland’s 43rd National Day.

Bahrain’s National Day is celebrated on 16 December every year. Celebrations in the country reminisce the population of the foundation of the modern state in 1783 by Sheikh Ahmed the Conqueror of the clan of Khalifa, which still rules over the islands (Al Khalifa). The date also commemorates Bahrain’s accession as a full UN Member State 43 years ago as well as 15 years of reign for His Majesty King Hamad II of Bahrain.

Bahrain1 Celebrations throughout the kingdom are arranged by the country’s Ministry of Culture led by Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa since 2008. These are presided over in Manama by the country’s monarch, his uncle and Prime Minister Prince Khalifa as well as Crown Prince Salman.  King Hamad II is normally escorted by other two sons, Colonel Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and his younger brother Major Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Albeit diplomatic relations between Bahrain and The Netherlands are handled by the former’s mission in London, consular matters are dealt with through Bahrain’s embassy in Brussels. The Royal Dutch Embassy in Kuwait City handles relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain.

2014’s festivities were ceremoniously concluded with a concert by the Tree of Life, a major touristic attraction for being the only tree in the midst of the desert.

President Kagame and Dutch minister Ploumen discuss trade partnerships

President Paul Kagame met recently with the visiting Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen with whom he discussed existing and potential partnerships between the two countries. The discussions revolved around bilateral trade and diplomatic cooperation, officials said. Speaking to reporters, Ploumen said her government wanted to go beyond the traditional aid relationships and partner with the country toward sustainable economic development. Ploumen is heading a high-level Dutch delegation, mainly composed investors who said they came to explore investment opportunities in Rwanda. The delegation includes senior executives from at least 30 Dutch companies with interests in agribusiness, logistics, energy, hospitality, horticulture, real estate, among others. “For us to be able to forge strong economic partnerships with Rwanda, we must get to know each other, establish contacts which we believe will result into strong economic ties,” Minister Ploumen said. She urged Kigali to invest in small and medium enterprises saying such businesses help fast-track economic growth. “We are impressed with the ongoing investments being made in terms of exploiting of methane gas in Lake Kivu and other infrastructure projects; this we believe is key to the country’s economic growth.” The aim of this mission is to facilitate new alliances and identify new opportunities that will benefit the two countries, she added. Louise Mushikiwabo, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who attended the meeting, held at Village Urugwiro, said: “Government presented to the Minister and the delegation the various investment opportunities but also discussed with Dutch Minister on how to scale up investments in the coun-try’s airport projects and horticulture.” We believe this is an opportunity for both governments which will help fast track economic development, Mushikiwabo added. Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, said that strengthening economic ties with the Kingdom of Netherlands was important for the country’s devel-opment. “We want to move away from foreign aid dependency and it’s through building trade partnerships and promoting investment that we will reach this goal,” he said. The Netherlands is known for land reclamation and is one of the world’s leading exporters of agriculture produce

The Martin Luther King Tribute

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute and Dinner
Sunday     January 25th   5:30 p.m.  Hotel Den Haag – Wassenaar (formerly De Bijhorst) Zijdeweg 54 (just off the A-44 at the Bridge) 2245BZ Wassenaar Adults – €30  Children to 12  –  €15
When one thinks about the Civil Rights Movement, there are no words.  A people who were enslaved and freed and then forced to live in segregation or de-facto segregation said we can, we must be free, but the force we use will be “Soul Force.” Dr. King led that movement and the hundreds of thousands who followed him, shared his belief in non-violence and his love and commitment to the United States of America and the dignity of people everywhere.  He did something so American when America is at its best, its most principled and idealistic.  He asked, in fact, he forced the nation to begin living out “the true meaning of the Dream” articulated in the Declaration of Independence.  “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” Though he was assassinated on a spring Memphis evening, the 4th of April 1968, the Movement he led still inspires and challenges the way we live and what we teach our children. Four days after his death, Rep. John Conyers called for the creation of a national holiday honoring Dr. King.  In 1983, President Reagan signed legislation designating the third Monday of January as Martin Luther King Day.  The first commemoration in the United States  was in 1986.  Here in the Hague, we have held a Tribute to Dr. King every year.   Over the years many people who were part of the Civil Rights Movement have joined us.  This year, we are honored to bring back Professor Timuel Black. “Tim” from the Southside of Chicago, turned 96 years “young” on December 7th. When I first spoke to him, he remarked “I’m old, but I’m never too old to keep on trying.” Recently, he was honored at the Library of Congress and this fall, he received an Honorary Degree from the University of Chicago, his alma mater.  His papers are in the Du Sable Museum of Black History in Chicago.  He is an Oral historian and the author of several volumes entitled “Bridges of Memory.” He is a former high school teacher and administrator, professor of anthropology and sociology and Dean of Wright Junior College in Chicago.  He is also a Jazz historian. Furthermore, he is a veteran of WWII – Normandy Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, the Liberation of Buchenwald and of Paris.   As a soldier in the segregated US Army, he was profoundly affected by the discrimination he experienced and the human devastation he witnessed in the Buchenwald death camp.  He resolved then to devote his life to peace and justice. On the Liberation of Buchenwald, he said, “ If this could happen here, it could happen anywhere.  It could happen to me.  It could happen to black folk in America.  I guess more than any single event, it was this sight that crystallized my determination to do as much as I could to bring about some sanity in a very insane world.” Professor Black was the organizer of the March on Washington from Chicago and a colleague and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He helped elect Carol Mosely- Braun, the first and only Black woman to the US Senate and Harold Washington, the first Black Mayor of Chicago.  President Obama met with him at the Medici, a University of Chicago coffee house, to discuss his future in politics. At 96, he is still writing, publishing and speaking out.  He is a man with a message that neither age nor distance can silence. We are honored to bring Professor Timuel Black back to The Netherlands. Reverend Harcourt Klinefelter and Lois Mothershed Pot will also join us.  Reverend Klinefelter worked for Dr. King for three years, until his death.  After he finished his studies at Yale Theological Seminary, he went down South to find him and became his Public Relations director. He used to sit in the kitchen with him and Coretta! Lois Mothershed Pot grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Her “baby” sister Thelma Mothershed was one of the Little Rock Nine, the young kids who were able to integrate Central High School only after the intervention of President Eisenhower and the National Guard. Lois was the first African-American President of the National Christian Students Union and the first Black student in her university. We hope you will take time out and bring your children to the 30th Tribute to Dr. King.  Adrienne West with David Cameron, Liat Alkan and ‘The Close Shaves” a chorale group from the American School will sing songs of the Movement – “Let Us Break Bread Together, “ “Oh Freedom”  and other songs Dr. King would have loved.   Jimmy Yarnell and a combo will play jazz and, as always, young people, the “Bearers of the Torch” will speak.  Finally, Timothy Broas, the US Ambassador will read the President’s Proclamation for Martin Luther King Day and share his own thoughts and feelings.   So much has changed since Dr. King and all those who first marched with him and “sat-in” with him and went to jail with him demanded the rights guaranteed to every American – indeed every human being.  However, we know that today, there is much to be done. Given the events of the last few months, it is more evident and urgent than ever! It is fitting that the motto of Martin Luther King Day is “Make this a Day on, not a day off!”  And by making each day a day on, the words of the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement will become reality “We can and we shall overcome some day.”  Join us for a simple dinner, the kind Dr. King would have enjoyed. Listen to people who were there, lto the singing and the music and wisdom of the young.                                                                                           Roberta Enschede Sponsored by OAR – Overseas Americans Remember, Anneke Beeuwkes, Roberta Enschede, Michele Fiszbajn, Jessie Rodell Further Information: Roberta Enschede 070-5118409 Reservations:  MLK RES.   A special thank you to the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy and Delta Airlines for helping us to bring Professor Timuel Black back to the Netherlands for the 30th Anniversary of the Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.                        

Diplomat’s Christmas carol singing at the Plein!

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports 3FM Serious Request and their campaign to stop violence against women and girls in armed conflict Join us for an international fund raising and Christmas carol singing at the Plein in The Hague on December 24 at 13.00 3FM Serious Request is a nationwide Dutch charity initiative collecting money for ICRC projects. This year, they support victims of violence against women and girls in conflict situations under the motto “hands of our girls”. Help us contribute to 3FM Serious Request by getting together the international and diplomatic community of The Hague in an international choir to sing international Christmas carols – including a multilingual version of “Silent Night”. We hope to welcome you all and to combine our voices to raise awareness and money for the cause. This initiative will only be successful with your active involvement and that of your family, colleagues, and friends. The more voices the merrier! Worldwide one in five women is sexually abused in her life. Sexual violence is a humiliating weapon in conflict. Reintegration of victims is important both from a humanitarian point of view and because women often stand at the basis of recovery. In the framework of Serious Request, three DJs live in a glass house for six days on a juice-only diet. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, closed the doors of the house on December 18. Bert Koenders, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit the DJs on the evening of the 24th.