‘Towards a Secure, Sustainable and Just World’
Independent think tank and academy, ranked in top ten of Western Europe
Annual Report 2019


Highlights 2019

Launch of the Clingendael China Centre

The Clingendael China Centre, launched in early June 2019, carries out state-of-the-art analyses and policy research with the aim of providing strategic advice and tailor-made solutions for government ministries, companies, business associations and non-profit organisations. In the wake of the government launch of its China strategy, Clingendael invited European governments, businesses and other stakeholders to take part in a strategic debate on the growing role and influence of China in the world, including in Europe. Key issues discussed included the European responses to 5G, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, human rights, security of knowledge & technology and impacts of China’s rise on industrial and competition policy. Aimed at a more general audience, Clingendael hosted public evening debates in The Hague (June 2019) and Amsterdam (September 2019) with its China experts and members of parliament on stage.

Panel discussion with (from left to right) Monika Sie Dhian Ho (General Director, the Clingendael Institute), Yvette van Eechoud (Director European and International Affairs at the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy), Carlo Pettinato (European Commission, DG Trade), Luisa Santos (Director International Relations at BusinessEurope), Peter Wilson (British Ambassador to the Netherlands) and Wolfgang Stopper (Head of China Division, German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Energy).

Training as an intervention for peace in Nigeria

Clingendael Academy trained farmers, herders and (insider) mediators in Nigeria, supporting peace dialogues initiated by the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD). People involved in these dialogues are all respected leaders (e.g. elders, pastors, princes) or experienced practitioners, but only few of them ever received formal training.

One of our training interventions in 2019 was set up for community leaders from farmer and herder groups together in one training hall. The training has a big impact on the dialogue process, not only because of the training content, but also as a trust-building activity between the different camps. It was the first time ever that both groups interacted with each other directly. One of the participants commented: "If we had had this training three or four years ago, we could have prevented damage and crisis." The first agreement was signed within weeks after the training.

Senior Academy Associate Eugène van Kemenade (left) and Academy Fellow Mara van der Meer (right) training community mediators in Nigeria.

Track 1.5 high-level dialogues between the Netherlands and Spain and Italy

Two high-level roundtables were organised, in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to strengthen bilateral Dutch-Spanish and Dutch-Italian ties. The objective of the roundtables was to facilitate the exchange of views on current EU topics between the Dutch political leadership, senior officials and policy experts and their Italian and Spanish counterparts. The Clingendael Institute partnered with the Elcano Royal Institute for the Spanish-Dutch dialogue, and with Isituto Affari Internazionali for the Italian-Dutch ‘Van Wittel’ roundtable. The discussions focused on strategic issues on the EU agenda including irregular migration, climate policy, trade, and economic governance of the Union.

from left to right: Vincenzo Amendola (Italy’s Minister of European Affairs), Stef Blok (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands) and Monika Sie Dhian Ho (General Director, the Clingendael Institute).

Capacity building in Vietnam for the implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT)

Clingendael Academy continued to support the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security with the aim of strengthening Vietnam’s capacity to successfully implement its obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT). Our programmes focus specifically on Article 10 of UNCAT, which stipulates the need for law enforcement officials to be trained on the prohibition against torture and that the rules relating to their duties incorporate the prohibition.

In 2019 the focus of our Training of Trainer modules, aimed at central security sector officials, was on how to effectively train other security sector officials, in order for them to apply and uphold international and national legal standards in their own practice. The conducted ToTs proved to be another successful stepping stone in our continuous contribution and support of Vietnam’s ambition to ultimately deliver UNCAT-relevant training to tens of thousands of security sector officials within the country.

Senior Academy Fellow Nils de Mooij and Academy Fellow Amanda Klemann in the middle of central security sector officials in Vietnam (November 2019).