At the end of November, the Clingendael Academy was proud to welcome 10 Indian diplomats in a one-week training programme at its premises. During these five days, the participants discussed topics as diverse as the contemporary energy crisis, economic diplomacy and attracting FDI’s, Indo-Pacific strategies and developments in international law. They also sharpened their diplomatic skills in the field of intercultural communication and international negotiations, by immersing themselves into challenging simulation exercises, exchanging experiences and discussing best practices. Finally, the group visited various organizations such as the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Peace Palace. The week also included a social programme, consisting of a bus tour of the Hague and several dinners, including one hosted by the Indian embassy. During the week, the group became more acquainted with the Hague as legal capital of the world and strengthened the bonds between Indian and Dutch diplomats/counterparts as well as with Clingendael trainers and lecturers.
75 years of diplomatic relations
This year, the Netherlands and India celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations. Over the years both countries have developed strong political, economic & commercial ties. Two particular areas of cooperation are water management and agriculture, in which the Netherlands has an internationally renowned position and reputation. During a field trip to Deltares, the group learnt more about the Dutch history and approach to water management, and dived into relevant water management projects in India and Asia. They also visited the Hydraulic Lab, where they could observe some models of innovative water engineering.
Innovation and entrepreneurship also largely determine the success of Dutch agriculture and Dutch food security policy; the group was, in another visit, introduced to these policies by the Special Envoy at the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture. During this presentation, reference was also made to the visit of Indian President Kovind and the First Lady to the Netherlands in April 2022. During their visit to Keukenhof, they were offered a newly bred yellow tulip “Maitri” (meaning friendship in Sanskrit); a fitting example of innovation of Dutch agriculture.
New friendships have been built this week. The training programme, being the first in-person course for Indian diplomats at the Clingendael Academy since 2019, was by all means a memorable one.