‘For the Netherlands, Worldwide’ is the title of the annual conference which brings together Dutch ambassadors and consuls general in The Hague for a programme addressing current international themes and policy questions. There are many challenges, so an ambitious approach is called for. ‘The Netherlands must provide excellent service, both when it comes to promoting trade and performing consular tasks,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans.
The Netherlands supports France’s military action in Mali. Foreign minister Frans Timmermans communicated this message in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
The Netherlands is gravely concerned about Israel’s announced expansion of its settlements, including 2,610 residential units in Givat Hamatos.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have informed the coalition of Syrian opposition groups that an official representative of the coalition would be welcome in Brussels. The Benelux countries will provide assistance in setting up a mission. This mission can be used as the coalition’s official representation to the European Union, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The independent jury for the Dutch Human Rights Defenders Tulip has awarded the 2012 Tulip to Marimuthu Barathan (51) from India. It will be presented in The Hague on 9 January 2013.
The Netherlands is contributing €1 million to the trial of Hissène Habré. The former Chadian dictator is being held responsible for systematically torturing and killing political opponents on a massive scale. Senegal and the African Union (AU) have created a special tribunal of Senegalese and other African judges for the trial.
On 29 November 2012 the Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Government of the United States of America on cooperation in science and technology concerning homeland and civil security matters, was concluded in Washington.
On 28 November 2012, the Netherlands, along with Germany, the UK and 38 other countries, abstained from voting in the UN General Assembly on a resolution to grant Palestine non-member observer state status. Early last week, foreign minister Frans Timmermans consulted closely with his counterparts in London and Berlin. Thirteen EU member states abstained from the resolution, fourteen voted for, and one (the Czech Republic) voted against.
By unanimous vote, the United Nations has adopted a resolution, proposed by the Netherlands and France, to eliminate violence against women. It calls for countries to offer protection, amend legislation, train care workers and offer victims better aftercare. ‘I am glad this has succeeded. It shows that all countries believe it is important to combat violence against women and promote their rights,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans.
Fighting between rebel groups and government forces in and around the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo has resulted in a flood of refugees. Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, today pledged €3.2 million to the UN Refugee Agency for their shelter in refugee camps.