Dutch Good Growth Fund

A New Agenda for Aid Trade and Investment. The Netherlands wants to move forward in the world, and move forward with the world. We are involved in global problems. Ours is one of the most open countries in the world. We depend on other nations’ development for our own wellbeing and prosperity. Sustainable, inclusive growth is in our own interests and in the interests of others. Asia, Africa and Latin America are the engines driving the world economy. They are expected to account for nearly 60% of the global economy by 2030. Asia and South America’s economic power is also reflected in global political relations. China and India have claimed their seats at international negotiation tables. And countries like Indonesia and South Africa are represented in the G20, while the Netherlands is no longer invited. Conversely,  many European countries have seen their economies contract and rates of unemployment rise sharply in the wake of the financial crisis.   Dutch Good Growth Fund country list As per the Ministry of Foreign affairs: Afghanistan Albania Algeria Angola Armenia Bangladesh Benin Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cape Verde Colombia Djibouti DRC Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia Georgia Ghana Guatemala India Indonesia Jordan Kenya Kosovo Laos Libya Macedonia Madagascar Maldives Malawi Mali Moldova Mongolia Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Nepal Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Pakistan Palestinian Territories Peru Philippines Rwanda Sao TomĂ© Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sri Lanka Suriname Tanzania Thailand Tunisia Uganda Vietnam Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

China Top 10

Two Chinese sites were placed among the world’s top 10 archaeological discoveries at thefirst Shanghai Archaeology Forum yesterday. Liangzhu in neighboring Zhejiang Province and Shimao Stone City in northwest ShaanxiProvince joined the likes of the Egypt’s Giza Plateau and sites of the Maya civilization in Guatemala. “The Liangzhu site, the cradle of the last Neolithic jade culture, is one of the biggest ancientcities discovered in China,” said the selection committee of some 40 archaeologists from 17countries. The committee said “the magnificent water system along the walls of the ancient city, andwithin and outside its palaces, offered important resources on the exploration of theChinese civilization.”

Turkish Victory Day in pictures

On the Occasion of the Victory DAy,  H.E. Mr. UĞUR DOĞAN, Ambassador of Turkey to the Netherlands, Mrs. Manolya Dogan and Military AttachĂ© Colonel Erkan Arslan and Mrs. Cigdem Arslan hoted a reception on Friday August 30. Blue skies, a warmth-sunny afternoon, and a superb garden were combined with national wines and selected food.

Cycling Diplomacy

By Roy Lie A Tjam On Tuesday 20 August a small group of Ambassadors accredited in The Hague went on a cycling tour in the vicinity of the Binnenhof, the seat of Parliament. Cycling is a good way to integrate into Dutch society it is a great pleasure, says Dr Alvaro Marcelo Moerzinger Pagani, Ambassador for the Oriental Republic of Uruguay to the Netherlands. “You will find bikes and motorcycles sharing the same lane, very unique.” Moezinger regularly uses his bike to get to the Embassy on Mauritskade Den Haag. Eduardo Ibarrola -Nicolin, Ambassador for the Federal Republic of Mexico uses his bike almost daily. He too sees the many benefits of cycling. He recounts “one day he was manoeuvred in a daring situation, being chased by an ambulance with wailing sirens” How relieved he was when he managed to make it to the pavement and clear the way for the ambulance. to proceed. The Ambassador for Israel, coordinator of the Cycling Diplomacy, relates “the environment in the Netherlands in general and The Hague is particular is conducive for cycling. The Netherlands invests in maintaining cycling paths and the promotion of the use of bikes Cycling unites, you interact with people you actually don’t know, and it also gives you peace of mind”. “I was elated when I learned of my posting to The Hague, My family and I were once here on a five day biking excursion. It was such a wonderful adventure, I had wanted to come back for a longer period to do some more biking. Here I am, Ambassador for Israel to the Netherlands. I am making strives to appreciate my rides to the full”. The Hague is an ideal place for biking, “lushly green cycling paths. The Hague is maybe Europe’s greenest city. I was once cycling and suddenly my phone rang, I picked it up and ask the caller to bear with me until I safely get off my bike. It was a Dutch MP, he was amazed to hear\know that an Ambassador was cycling in The Hague. Israel could learn from Holland, we are not that far as yet when it comes to the using of bikes” “I have come to learn the dos and don’ts of cycling in the city. The tram rails are phenomena to reckon with. My wife was once launched and ended up with a fractured rib. I truly enjoyed today’ ride, it was good to be with my confreres Ambassadors and others. I highly recommend biking to my fellow ambassadors and diplomats to take up biking during their tenure in The   Hague”. On the pictures: Ambassadors of Uruguay, Mexico, Israel, Mr. Daniel Poot from ABN-AMRO, Notary Robert Buurke, a distinguished judge from the Municipality of  The Hague, Jhr Mr. Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland and diplomats.

With His Excellency Pierre MÉNAT

 Interview with His Excellency Pierre MÉNAT, Ambassador of France to the Netherlands By Bonnie Klap. Unsurprisingly for a country known  for its elegance and style, the residence of the French Ambassador to The Netherlands, Mr. Pierre MĂ©nat, exudes exactly that: stunning architecture, coupled with unmatched elegance.  Ambassador MĂ©nat welcomes us in his magnificent reception room and bravely starts off the interview in Dutch. He soon switches to English, admitting he is not yet sufficiently fluent in Dutch, but is in the process of learning to speak Dutch. “I find it my duty to  learn the language of the country  where I  am posted as Ambassador. I did so in Romania and Poland, where I was able to speak Polish with the President of Poland. My posting in Tunisia was a bit too short to thoroughly learn how to speak Arabic.  Now I am learning Dutch,” he tells us. Ambassador MĂ©nat joined the Foreign Service in 1982. He  graduated from the prestigious Ecole Nationale D’Administration –  “ENA”-  the well known   institution,  which has educated France’s   top-  politicians, diplomats and  business people for generations. We  ask Ambassador MĂ©nat which factors contributed to the fame of France as a country. “ Until the 20th century we were a major global power. We had a well developed agriculture and a strong industry, such as textiles and trains. We also had a strong army – by the way  we remain today the first military power on the continent – The older industries, such as cars and airplanes are declining somewhat, but newer industries are now developing, such as the space-industry and technology. Times change and these days the younger generation in France is much more mobile. As for the trade between France and The Netherlands, the numbers are enormous and account for  EUR 40 billion annually, with The Netherlands exporting EUR 22 billion  worth of goods to France and France exporting  EUR 18 billion worth of goods, such as cars and pharmaceuticals,  to The Netherlands.  For example 20% of all cars in The Netherlands are French. France also imports a great deal of gas from The Netherlands, ” the Ambassador tells us. After having lived and worked in various countries, such as the US, Romania, Poland and Tunisia, we ask Ambassador MĂ©nat what his thoughts are on The Netherlands and The Hague in particular,  now that he has been living here for almost two years. Like many of his fellow Ambassadors, he has praising words for The Netherlands. “The Netherlands is a nice place to live. I am in Amsterdam almost weekly, where I usually combine work and leisure activities. The French consulate is in Amsterdam, as is the French Institute. I like the Concertgebouw. In my spare time I jog, visit theatres and museums, there are a lot of things to do here,” the Ambassador tells us. As the interview draws to an end, we ask His Excellency to share a parting message with us. What would he like to tell the readers about France? “I know France has a certain image of beautiful fashion, good wines, perfumes and interesting culture and that is good,  but I would also like to draw the attention to another aspect of our economic activities, such as our space-industry and  our new technologies. In short, I would like France to be perceived as the modern nation that we are,” the Ambassador concludes. Picture: Ambassador Pierre MĂ©nat and Mrs. Ankie Broekers-Knol, President of the Dutch Senate. This interview is an abbreviated version of the  interview to be published in the Wassenaarse Krant. 

Panama and Kosovo Diplomatic Relations

By Dr. Jose M. Teran, Ambassador of Panama. Guided by their willingness to promote the ties of friendship between their two countries, widen horizons of mutual cooperation, and support the cause of international peace and security, the Republics of Kosovo and Panama have decided to establish diplomatic relations to strengthen fruitful cooperation in political, economic, trade, technical and cultural spheres and in other fields of mutual interest, and responding to the aspirations of the two countries for friendly relations and contacts, as stated in the Joint CommuniquĂ© signed in Panama on August 27, 2013 by Ministers of Foreign Affairs H.E. Fernando NĂșñez FĂĄbrega and H.E. Enver Hoxhaj. MINISTERSBoth Governments reaffirm their commitment to the principles of the United Nations and international law, including mutual respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs of another state. The first encounter between the two countries, which concluded with this Joint CommuniquĂ©, was held in July 2013 between the Ambassadors of the Republics of Panama and Kosovo to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. JosĂ© M. TerĂĄn and H.E. Nexhi Rexhepi, in a coordinated process from The   Hague with their capitals. Foreign Ministers H.E. Enver Hoxhaj and H.E. Fernando NĂșñez FĂĄbrega. 

Is 7.6% too low?

By Chen Xu, Ambassador of China.  

How is China’s economy doing?  Is 7.6% too low?

The fact that China’s GDP grew only 7.6% in the last 6 months seems disturbing to some friends. Is it an ill omen of China’s recession? I don’t think so.

First, the recent round of China’s economic slowdown has apparently been caused by cyclical and external factors, including the impact of international financial crisis and the ongoing global recession. Nevertheless, 7.6% remains in the reasonable zone as expected, and China is still a best performer among major economies.

Second, more indicators show China’s economy still keeps the momentum of booming. For example, newly-employed workforce increased by 4.6% to 7.25 million, CPI remained stable at 2.4%, the real-term discretionary income per capita of urban residents grew 6.5% and the rural residents 9.2%. Among the 250,000 domestic enterprises recently surveyed, two thirds were optimistic about their business and the overall economic situation. Foreign trade and investment figures also show economic interactions between China and the rest of the world remain active and sound.

Last but not least, China now is accelerating its market-oriented reforms, including changing the growth model and restructuring economy. Substantial progresses have been made in improving energy efficiency, boosting the tertiary industry, coordinating development among regions etc.. Perhaps, a lower GDP growth rate might fall short of the expectation of many, but at the same time, it makes more space for further reforms towards a more balanced, sustainable and environmental-friendly economy.

What’s the next?

Nobody can predict the world economy in an accurate manner, but China herself can and will do two things in the future.

One is to keep reform on the top of government’s agenda. As long as economic development remains in the reasonable zone, we will continue changing the growth model and restructuring economy, with the financial and macro-economic policies remaining consistent and stable. Relations between government and market will be further streamlined, and market is expected to play a more active and important role in economy. The future of China’s economy will be even more promising.

The other is to dedicate herself to opening even wider to the outside world. China will continue to promote peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and to oppose all types of protectionism. Even in difficult times like today, China’s choice is always to cooperate, to share and to develop together. China’s continuous development will be good news to all.

What does it mean to the Netherlands?

Reforms and economic restructuring need extra knowledge and expertise. In fields like public administration and service, water resources management, agricultural infrastructure, high-tech etc., the Dutch can seize their opportunities in the Chinese market. I do believe the early birds will catch the worms.


Poetry and prose in diplomacy

 By Biljana Scott. Professor at Oxford University, Senior Lecturer at DiploFoundation and Visiting Professor at the London Academy of Diplomacy. ‘To campaign in poetry and govern in prose’[1] is a pithy adage known as a chiasmus: a rhetorical construction in which the second part of a sentence reverses the key words of the first part, and in so doing, redresses the initial proposition with a more desirable world view. The chiasmus is frequent in motivational speeches, and is often the device which makes a speech memorable.[2] Remember Kennedy’s ‘Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate’, and ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’.[3] And on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’, we all recall his words: ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ [4] In addition to King’s refrains, which captivate attention through rousing rhythms, his speech is perhaps most memorable because he ushers, with every dream, a vision of the future which redresses the reality of today, and does so in heightened language. This is evident in the alliteration of /k/ and also in the rhythm of the final clause ‘by the color of their skin 
’ which is strongly iambic up to the last word ‘character’, which takes a stress on every syllable for added emphasis. Whereas the poetical language of motivational speeches may seem better suited to politics than diplomacy, aspiration and redress are nevertheless central to diplomacy too. Where agreement cannot be found in the present, a shift of focus to the future may break through the current impasse: we all aspire to a better world for our children. And where the future seems too distant, we appeal to the values which define and guide us. The chiasmus ‘campaign in poetry; govern in prose’ is particularly well suited to diplomacy, which campaigns for redress, yet does so with an attention to detail which may appear as prosaic at times. Without the poetry, there is no vision or momentum, yet without prose, there is no progress.

[1] Used by Hilary Clinton during the 2008 US presidential election campaign, this adage was originally coined by Governor Mario Cuomo. http://www.dmiblog.com/archives/2007/09/campaign_in_poetry_govern_in_p.html
[2] For a discussion of the importance of the chiasmus to politics, see my article The Cadence of Counterbalance
[3] Delivered on Friday, January 20, 1961. Available online at http://www.americanrhetoric.com/
[4] Delivered at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, 28 August 1963. Speeches that Changed the World 2007:149-155, and available online at: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/

Colombia, “the best Spanish” !

                            By: Eduardo Pizarro Leon gĂłmez, Ambassador of Colombia

“To learn the best Spanish in the world, the answer is Colombia!”

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) is celebrating its 300th year anniversary. It was founded by the Marquis de Villena and Duke of Escalona, Juan Manuel FernĂĄndez Pacheco, on 13th February 1713. Its primary function, over the last three centuries, has been to achieve linguistic identity and establish common grammatical rules for those who speak the language of Cervantes and GarcĂ­a MĂĄrquez: approximately 528 million people worldwide. As we are reminded by the current Director of the Cervantes Institute, VĂ­ctor GarcĂ­a de la Concha, the greatest risk of linguistic rupture occurred in the nineteenth century, after the independence of Latin American countries. However, the idea of ​​splintering American Spanish and Spanish of Spain, was unsuccessful due to the RAE, which stimulated the creation of their own language academies in the whole region. The first of them was the Colombian Academy of Language, which was established in 1871 and spread like wild fire throughout all Hispanic nations, including the Philippines, whose Academy was founded in 1924. At present we have 22 associations, including the most recent addition, the American Academy of the Spanish Language which was founded in 1973, after the expansion of the Hispanic population in the United States. Spanish is now the world’s second language -following Mandarin Chinese- if we consider the number of those who are native speakers: 420 million people. This figure rises to 528 million people if we add those who have learned it as a second or foreign language. From this new perspective it is the third language in the world after Mandarin and English. Spanish is also one of the six official languages ​​of the United Nations. To stimulate learning Spanish, the government of Colombia recently presented the portal www.spanishincolombia.gov.co through which it seeks to turn the country into a major destination for foreigners who want to learn this beautiful and influential language. The International System of Certification of Spanish as a Foreign Language (Sicele) recognizes 77 institutions in Latin America and Spain with regular courses; 34 of which are in Spain, while the remaining 43 are located in Latin America, 20 of them in Colombia, a country that enjoys enormous prestige thanks to the quality of its Spanish. This reputation has become the motto of the national government to encourage learning Spanish in our country: “To learn the best Spanish in the World, the answer is Colombia!”.

Egypt in and out of the comfort zone

By Peter Knoope. The news coming out of Egypt these days seems to be discomforting all of us. Whatever side one is on, the events seem are troubling and worrying almost everybody. The US is debating whether it should stop its military assistance, the EU is calling for a negotiated settlement of the dispute, neighbouring states are worried about potential spill over and last but not least the Egyptian population wants stability and progress for their troubled country. But the crisis continues as we speak. Some forces keep the momentum going. Once the chain of events is set in motion there are always forces to keep that chain moving forward. This is partly due to the incapacity to control human need for revenge, but also because there are always some actors that stand to benefit from the crisis. So the question is who is the winner? Who profits from the political and humanitarian crisis? Some would claim that the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood has, over the years, adopted the colour and characteristics that are inherently connected to their real position in the Egyptian political environment: the underdog, the eternal opposition, the forbidden lot. Just like the camouflage of a chameleon, the organisation has adopted the colours that best suited its position in the Egyptian landscape. When voted into power in Egypt, the brotherhood had the advantage of being well-organised and well-rooted in Egyptian society. Sure, it also attracted those who opposed and those who protested it. A serious question therefore is whether the long history of being in opposition and an outsider position goes well with the requirements of leading a nation and governing the state machinery. There is much to be said about the quality of governance under the short but turbulent rule of the brotherhood in Egypt. Allow me to be brief on this topic but let me just remind the reader of the discomfort of almost all parties in Egypt with the way the country was run during that period. Salafists, Christians and other minorities were as unhappy as the majority of Egyptians in the cities. The way the brotherhood handled international non-governmental organisations is probably indicative of the way they managed the country: inexperienced and with little knowledge of the concept of inclusiveness as a basis for democratic leadership. What else could one expect from the traditional outsider and underdog? Recent weeks have shown the revival of the brotherhood as the underdog. Is this the brotherhood returning to their comfort zone? Nothing can justify the mass violence by the army against citizens of Egypt. I hardly think that someone can claim that the violence against demonstrators was proportionate in light of what Morsi’s followers were up to. But fact is that it catapults them back into the position that they had grown accustomed to. The Egyptian army claims that the violence was provoked by demonstrators. We saw the footage to proof it. At least some of it is true. The brotherhood certainly has some soul searching to do – were they really at ease in the position of the ruling party? Apparently very few others were. Now we all wonder what will be next. We may very well see a coalition emerging with that other eternal outsider and underdog. Al Qaeda will be more than pleased to align itself now that that position becomes more evident. They are the other champion of turning a loss into a victory, where a corps is a martyr, where a lost child is defined as eternal fame is waiting to step in. They may very well build on present frustrations, exploit the chaos and power vacuum, and profit from the current state of affairs to recruit and gain a position that they had not been able to gain for a long time in Egypt. And that scenario will bring everybody out of the comfort zone; not only Egyptians but also many others. In other words what is taking place in Egypt is a major headache for the US, EU, neighbouring states and many Egyptians. It may have brought just one actor back into its comfort zone but is has produced frowns and discomfort to all others.