Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Kingdom of the Netherlands the Leading Force in NATO

       His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is welcomed by NATO Secretary General Jens StoltenbergHis Majesty King Willem-Alexander met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. NATO Headquarters,17 Dec 2015 ©NATO 

Secretary General expressed NATO’s gratitude to  the Netherlands for its significant Active Role in the Alliance.

 “This is a critical time for our Nations. A time when the entire European Security order, and the core values that underpin our Democratic societies are being challenged. We need a Strong, Capable NATO to ensure our common Security. Allies such as the Netherlands are essential to the effectiveness of this Alliance, Politically and Militarily,” elaborated Secretary General Stoltenberg . 17 Dec 2015 ©NATO 


Follow more news from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

The Netherlands EU Presidency 2016


U.S. Defense Secretary Carter visited the Coalition Troops and the Charles de Gaulle

On his official trip, the U.S Secretary of Defense met with high level Defense Official from U.S and the Coalition Troops stationed in Middle East and expressed his praise for their service and sacrifice to keep the Region and the World safe.

SD departs the deck of the flagship of the French Navy the Charles De Gaulle.U.S. Defense Secretary Carter visited the Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, 19 December 2015 ©DoD/U.S Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen

On the same trip on December 19,  Secretary Carter met with the Minister of Defense of France for an official discussion,  and visited the Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle, stationed in the Arabian Gulf.

“Speaking as an American, it is magnificent for me to be out here on this strong Ship with a strong ally like France. France is America’s oldest friend and ally. We’re very proud to be your friend and your ally,” stated the U.S Defense Secretary

“France not only has contributed to the efforts to defeat ISIL,  but being in the Arabian Gulf with the Charles de Gaulle means that the Nation is on a broader mission — protecting the Region’s Security.”  and continued “That’s a reminder to us of the global reach, global strength and the global reputation of France as a Force for Civilization,

…….This is the Civilized World defending itself and defending what we stand for.” concluded the U.S Defense Secretary.

Read more la France the Majestic Land, that in history, stands above all

Hungary the Ideal Land for Investment

Hungarian Foreign Trade sector reached the highest surplus in a decade already in August 2015

“The value of both Hungarian exports and imports in the month of August 2015 grew by 6.2 percent, and thus the foreign trade sector posted a surplus of EUR 25 million in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.
In the initial eight months of the year, the value of Exports and Imports increased in Euro terms by 7.4 percent to EUR 59.4bn and by 5.6 percent to EUR 54.1bn, respectively, year-on-year.  Thus, the sector’s surplus was up by EUR 1 214 million.” 15 October 2015 ©Ministry for National Economy


Read the report from the Ministry of National Economy Hungarian Foreign Trade sector reached the Highest surplus in a decade already in August 2015

In line with the informal guidelines of the European Commission and in accordance with the MoU concluded with the EBRD the Government has submitted to parliament an amendment on bank tax.   Bank Tax rate lowered as of 1 January 2016   ©Ministry for National Economy

Press release by the Ministry of National Economy, 10 December 2015  Foreign Trade surplus may reach an all-time High of EUR 7.5-8bn this year in Hungary

Hungarian Central Statistical Office

Success stories on Investing in Hungary by Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA)



The new initiative by the Leadership of Liechtenstein in the UN Security Council

The ‘Code of Conduct’ launched by Liechtenstein has been accepted by most UN Member States.

By December 2015, more than 108 United Nations Member States singed the ‘Code of Conduct’ initiated by Liechtenstein, to pledge standing firmly against genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. France and the United Kingdome the two permanent Members of Security Council with other current members of the Security Council have also signed the Code and stated their supports.

Minister Aurelia Frick and the Graphic CoC Liechtenstein MFA Oct 2015©Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein/the Embassy of Liechtenstein in USA 

The Code of Conduct was initiated by Liechtenstein under the leadership of Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick in October 2015.

And it affirms:

  • Pledge to support timely and decisive action by the Security Council aimed at preventing or ending the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes;
  • Pledge in particular not to vote against a credible draft resolution before the Security Council on timely and decisive action to end the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or to prevent such crimes;
  • Invite the Secretary General, making full use of the expertise and early-warning capacities of the United Nations System, in particular the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, to continue to bring situations that, in her or his assessment, involve or are likely to lead to genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes to the attention of the Council;
  • Pledge to fully and promptly take into account such an assessment by the Secretary-General;
  • Also invite all other Member States of the United Nations to express their commitment to this Code of Conduct.  ©The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein/the Embassy of Liechtenstein in USA

Continue to read the Code of Conduct on Security Council action against crimes against Humanity and war crimes

Liechtenstein in General Assembly of the United Nations, the 70th Session 2015

Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes


Standing NATO Maritime-2 visited Israel

SNMG2 arrival to Haifa for a PVSTHDMS ABSALON and FGS Hamburg  in the Port of Haifa/Israel  7 Dec 2015 ©NATO Maritime Command Public Affairs Office

On December 7th, the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2 (SNMG2), with its current Flagship of FGS HAMBURG of Germany and HDMS ABSALON of the Royal Danish Navy visited port of Haifa in Israel. The visit was part of their mission in their journey to the Mediterranean Dialogue Partner-Nations.

During the visit the Crew from the NATO SNMG2 met, for an official discussion, with the Israelis Naval Force. Before the Flagships depart the port– there was a joint Military Exercise, designed to bring the NATO and Israeli Armed-Forces to the higher interoperability level at the Sea.

As a Mediterranean Dialogue Partner Nation with NATO, Israel has been  playing a vital role, in the framework of NATO mission in the region, particularly in:

  • Search and Rescue
  • Humanitarian Relief Operations
  • Counter-Terrorism
  • And Emergency Planning

The NATO Standing Maritime Group-2 (SNMG2) with its current Flagship from Deutsche Marine and the Royal Danish Navy have been in deployment since September in NATO’s Counter-Piracy ‘Operation Ocean Shield’.


By Catherine Stella Schmidt

Greece and the U.S an enduring partnerships

U.S Secretary John Kerry travelled to Greece and met with Foreign Minister Kotzias in Athens. The meeting was to discuss the importance of Greece partnerships with the U.S and its  leadership in the region and in Europe.

Statement by Foreign Minister Kotzias:

“Good day. I welcome my friend Secretary of State John Kerry, with whom we work closely in the context and the spirit of the traditional bonds of friendship that join the two countries, and I also welcome him and hope we will see him again in the future, because he is a person who loves the sea and sailing, and the Greek islands. We will await him in the future.

Mr. Kerry is a great Secretary of State, distinguished for his rationality, his clear thinking and his realism. John Kerry is the Secretary of State of a country where there is a large Greek community, the role of which as a bridge between Greece and the U.S. is well known.  4 Dec.2015 © Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece

Continue to read Joint statements of Foreign Minister Kotzias and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, following their meeting (Athens, 4 December 2015)

The U.S and UK on Human Rights Day

Message from U.S Secretary of State John Kerry on the International Human Rights Day 2015


Excerpt of Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond message on Human Rights

“Our British democratic values have developed over time with human rights at their core. We are reminded of this fact this year as we mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in my constituency.

Human Rights Day – chosen by the UN General Assembly to mark the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a day when Britain, a key promoter of such rights and values, can hold its head high. This Government was elected on a manifesto commitment to protect Human Rights. We are doing that in three ways.

…..we make most progress on Human Rights around the world when our approach appeals to others’ enlightened self-interest and is sensitive to their culture and history. In short, we have to persuade countries and governments that respecting human rights will be beneficial to them.

Human Rights expertise is an important part of the training our staff receive. Teams working in countries where we have particular concerns, and their colleagues in London, see Human Rights as an integral part of what we are trying to achieve with that country. This year the Foreign Office is supporting more than 75 Human Rights projects in more than 40 countries and we are continuing to pursue a pioneering approach to preventing sexual violence in conflict.

We were leaders on Human Rights in 1215, as the Magna Carta was sealed, and we remain leaders now in 2015.

As we promote and protect those standards across the world, we are approaching human rights diplomacy in our own, British way, to ensure we get the right results.” 10 Dec 2015©UK Foreign Office

Continue to read: Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on human rights Day 2015


Netherlands the Leading Force in Promoting Human Rights

The  efforts to support Human Rights Defenders have been always main priority for Dutch Government and its policy. Those important measures are,not limited, but include:

  • Financing projects through the Human Rights Fund to enable Human Rights Defenders to carry out their work more safely and effectively;
  • Furthering the visibility of Human Rights Defenders, since visibility can sometimes help make them safer;
  • Attending trials of Human Rights Defenders to step up pressure for fair trials;
  • Organising the conference ‘Speak Truth to Power’ on 21 and 22 January 2014, attended by Human Rights Defenders and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EU member states and EU institutions;
  • Providing temporary residence to about 10 Human Rights Defenders every year through the project Shelter City. The Hague, Middelburg, Nijmegen, Utrecht and Maastricht are currently designated Cities;
  • Awarding the Human Rights Tulip annually to a courageous and innovative organisation or individual for furthering human rights. Nominees for the Human Rights Tulip can come from anywhere in the world.  ©Government of Netherlands

Continue to read on Dutch Governments Leadership on Supporting the Human Rights Defenders

Netherlands Human Rights annual Award Tulip, by the MFA


By Catherine Stella Schmidt

Israel and its Leadership in Climate Change

Excerpt of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the Climate Conference Paris

“I take this opportunity to again express the solidarity of the people of Israel with the people of France.  Both our peoples have long and bitter experience confronting terrorism. This is not surprising, because Israel and France have in common precisely those qualities that the terrorists seek to destroy: Freedom, Equality, Pluralism, Tolerance  and Democracy.” 

Today we must focus on the security, not just of the nations of the world, but of the world itself.  And even as Israel plays a Leading role in the fight against terrorism, we are also playing a Leading role in addressing climate change.

I want to say first that Israel is committed to those goals and will act accordingly, in deed and in word to fulfill them. Technology gives us the ability to do the unimaginable. Last year Israel was ranked number one in the Global Clean-Tech Innovation Index.

We are a world leader in making the use of water more efficient, therefore more energy efficient. Israel is the number one recycler of water in the world. It has the highest ratio of water efficiency in the world – 70-80%, this is thanks to innovative technologies like drip irrigation, which I know many of you are familiar with.

For decades, Israel has been a Pioneer in Solar energyWe are also developing state-of-the-art techniques to increase crop yields and to make desert agriculture possible.        30.Nov.2015 ©Prime Minister Office  Continue to read PM Netanyahu’s Speech, the office of Prime Minister