The registration process for non-resident Dutch voters for the election of members of the House of Representatives on March 15, 2017 was launched on September 15, 2016. This registration process will run until February 1, 2017. Instructions how to vote from abroad in the elections for the House of Representatives of the States General on 15 March 2017 are included in this message.
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Afghanistan visited the city of Bamyan this week to discuss development projects and the overall situation in Bamyan with our implementing partners (UN-HABITAT, ANPO and The Asia Foundation), the chief of police-e-Mardumi and the governor of Bamyan. It is promising to see that the city is relatively safe and communities are committed to the development of this city and province. We met inspiring men and women who are working for the future of Afghanistan. And indeed, a lot remains to be done, for example when it comes to economic development and the position of women. As these people, the Netherlands remains committed to the future of Afghanistan and this beautiful city.
A delegation of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Afghanistan visited the city of Mazar-e-Sharif at the end of October. The purpose of this visit was to meet with civil society organizations and visit projects of our implementing partners. The visit proofed successful in getting a better image on the progress and challenges for the different projects and civil society organizations in Mazar-e-Sharif. It was promising to see that despite all the challenges, the number of students in Mazar-e-Sharif continues to grow.
Ambassador Geoffrey van Leeuwen presented his credentials to H.E. President Ghani at the Presidential Palace on Thursday the 1st of September. During his meeting with President Ghani the Ambassador underlined the strong Dutch commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan. Ambassador Van Leeuwen previously served in Afghanistan as the Civilian Representative of the Dutch Police Training Mission in Kunduz, and has wide experience in the region serving both in Pakistan, India and Kazachstan.
This morning the families of the victims of the MH17 disaster were briefed by the Joint Investigation Team on the initial findings of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17. These findings concern the weapon used to down flight MH17, the location from which it was fired and the Buk missile system’s route of transport.
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Afghanistan congratulates the organization and participants of the Kabul Model United Nations for organizing and participating in this successful event. The Embassy is proud to sponsor this event in which students enhance their researching, presenting and negotiating skills. Did you know: Today, more than 9 million children (of which 40% girls) are enrolled in schools in Afghanistan: a new generation ready to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.
Foreign minister Bert Koenders and travel expert Floortje Dessing have launched a new central helpline for travellers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can now be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at +31 247 247 247 for practical travel tips and assistance. Travellers abroad can also contact the Ministry online and via Twitter. It is estimated that about 3,000 people per day will use the new services.
The world has seen a considerable reduction in extreme poverty since the turn of the century. Yet the gap between rich and poor has widened. Greater inequality prevents people from building a decent life, stunts economic growth and leads to conflict – on top of the violence that has already forced more than 60 million people worldwide to abandon their homes. In her policy agenda for 2016, foreign trade and development minister Lilianne Ploumen shows an even greater commitment to curbing the downward spiral.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, ‘There are no quick fixes for today’s challenges: we will have to work long and hard, at international level, to find permanent solutions to the sources of conflict around us.’ The Minister made these remarks in his 2016 policy agenda, adding, ‘This will require dynamic and flexible diplomacy, choices and innovative use of resources, as well as collaboration in old and new coalitions. International diplomacy is working at full capacity, which puts a lot of strain on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it is vital for our security and prosperity.’
On the third Tuesday in September (Prince's Day), the Minister of Finance presents the National Budget and the Budget Memorandum to the House of Representatives.