The knowledge and expertise of present-day and former Dutch entrepreneurs can be extremely useful to business people in developing countries. This was the topic discussed today by international cooperation minister Ben Knapen during talks with Thijs van Praag, General Director of PUM Netherlands Senior Experts, an organisation that matches the knowledge requirement of businesses in developing countries to Dutch entrepreneurs and specialists who share their knowledge and experience free of charge.
On Tuesday, Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation Ben Knapen met with Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi of UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
The US and South Korea have asked the Netherlands to host the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014. The summit, an initiative of President Obama, works at the highest political level to combat nuclear terrorism and the smuggling of nuclear material. It will be attended by government leaders from more than 45 countries.
The cabinet has approved the 29 ambassadorial appointments proposed by foreign minister Uri Rosenthal. Before the appointments become final, the receiving states must give their approval (agrément).
A broadcast yesterday by the TV consumer programme Radar has prompted development minister Ben Knapen to launch an investigation into possible irregularities in a Dutch project in Bosnia in 2007. ‘Of course it’s important to me that money meant to promote local economic development is well spent,’ said the minister. ‘We will see if that was the case here.’
The success of the structural reforms embarked on by the Monti government is crucial not only for Italy, but also for the Netherlands and the European Union as a whole. This was the message that European affairs minister Ben Knapen conveyed today in his meeting with his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi.
The House of Representatives has agreed to the contribution of an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD) to Operation Atalanta, the EU mission concerned with protecting food transports to Somalia. The advantage of AVPDs is that the military personnel can be stationed directly on the ship in need of protection, so that no naval escort is necessary.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal spoke on Wednesday with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. During talks in The Hague, the two men discussed the Middle East peace process and the developments in the Arab region and Iran. Mr Netanyahu is visiting the Netherlands on Wednesday and Thursday.
In development cooperation, we need to take account of people, profit and – not least – the planet. This was international cooperation minister Ben Knapen's message on Wednesday to representatives of Wetlands International, the Institute for Environmental Security, and the Dutch Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal has met with Burhan Ghalioun, the leader of the Syrian National Council, one of the largest opposition groups in Syria.