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Paul Arkwright » Former Ambassador to the Netherlands, The Hague

A particularly challenging and tumultuous 4 years

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This is my final blog before I leave the Netherlands. It has been a particularly challenging and tumultuous 4 years. As one of my colleagues put it: 4 years, 3 governments, 2 monarchs, one Ambassador. Too much has happened for me to mention one specific highlight, but a number of images come to mind when I reflect on my time here. I have attended 4 Arnhem commemorations. Every year I … Read more »A particularly challenging and tumultuous 4 years

Falkland Islanders call for self determination

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This is a guest blog by Hon. Jan Cheek, Member of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly, after her recent visit to The Netherlands. I was in The Hague in April on the last stop of my four capital trip planned to spread information about our decisive referendum. After London, a colleague and I visited Brussels before heading off to separate destinations. I visited Dublin and then returned to London to … Read more »Falkland Islanders call for self determination

Life begins at 40

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This is a guest blog by Captain Nigel Amphlett, Defence Attaché, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands Amphibious Force. On the 9th of May the United Kingdom / Netherlands Amphibious Force – the UKNLAF – celebrated its 40th anniversary. Established by a Memorandum of Understanding between the respective countries, the vision for the UKNLAF was to create a combined force capable of … Read more »Life begins at 40

Witnessing history in the making

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It’s rare in life to be able to witness history in the making. I was fortunate to have been in Berlin when the Wall came down in 1989. And this week, I was one of the lucky 2,000 in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam who witnessed the investiture of King Willem Alexander – the first King of the Netherlands for over a century. We Brits like to think we do … Read more »Witnessing history in the making

A moment of reflection

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This is a guest blog by the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, His Excellency Mr Ahmet Üzümcü, on the occasion of the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare, 29 April. Today, April 29, marks The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Remembrance Day. This day allows us all a moment of reflection. We must not forget the pain and suffering … Read more »A moment of reflection

Welkom terug in Nederland, M&S

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I still remember when Marks & Spencer (M&S) withdrew from the Continent about ten years ago. My family and I were in Paris at the time and we were sad to see the shops, and that little piece of home, close. I was therefore very pleased to welcome M&S and their Dutch CEO, Marc Bolland, back to The Netherlands at the opening of their concept shop on the Kalverstraat in … Read more »Welkom terug in Nederland, M&S

The vital importance and relevance of the Chemical Weapons Convention in today’s world

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On 8 April a two week Review Conference for the Chemical Weapons Convention opened here in The Hague. We were honoured by the attendance of Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General – it was the first time a UN Secretary-General came and addressed us formally. The Convention aims to: “exclude completely the possibility of use of chemical weapons”. Given the nature of these inhumane weapons, you would think that such … Read more »The vital importance and relevance of the Chemical Weapons Convention in today’s world

Switching off the Lights around the globe

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Can you imagine the effect it might have if we all switched off non essential lights for just one hour? Renewable Energy is the theme of this year´s Earth Hour. On 23rd of March we all have an opportunity to show our concern for the environment by doing something as simple as just reaching for that light switch. I am planning to do just that and join the global community … Read more »Switching off the Lights around the globe

Falkland Islanders send a definitive message

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There are times in life when certain news stories take you back to a previous existence and bring back strong memories. This week provided a good example as I read and heard about the referendum on the Falkland Islands. From 1993-97 I worked at the UK Mission to the UN in New York. One of my responsibilities was to cover the so-called “UN Decolonisation Committee” which considered the situation in … Read more »Falkland Islanders send a definitive message

The fight to achieve gender equality

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This is a guest blog by the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Brenda J. Hollis, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Today, over 100 years since International Women’s Day was first acknowledged, we celebrate the progress achieved in the fight to achieve gender equality. We reflect on the courage and sacrifices of those women and girls at the forefront of this fight, and the men and … Read more »The fight to achieve gender equality