On Tuesday evening, August 29, 2023, the annual dinner of LVN and INLW took place in Rotterdam. It was another animated evening.
This time we had as our guests, Minister for Foreign Trade, Liesje Schreinemacher and
Group Leader in the European Parliament, Malik Azmani.
It was a packed room with more than 40 ladies and a few gentlemen who were able to get to know these two VVD politicians.
Minister Schreinemacher explained about her work and that foreign trade may seem far away, but it has a lot to do with the Netherlands as the Netherlands are an open trading country. A special time is also coming for her as a caretaker minister. We have to wait and see what she can do in the coming months until the elections.
After that the 22nd of November, with a new chamber, it will be very exciting to be able to make decisions and still get things done in the period of the negotiations of the parties that are trying to form a new government. It may take several months before a new government is installed and thus new ministers will be sworn in to take over her portfolio.
Before that, the minister, who has just become pregnant, will have been away on maternity leave for some time.
It also is a different world for Member of Parliament, Malik Azmani, now that the Dutch are all busy for the next elections in the Netherlands and therefore the European elections of next year in June 2024 have clearly faded into the background.
Azmani did admit to a question from one of the ladies that he would like to be the party leader for the VVD in the Euro parliament for another round.
The Bonn Climate Conference (SB56) 6-16 June 2022 is to express purpose of beginning to take stock of where the world stands when it comes to implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
We are in the midst of a climate emergency, which is causing human rights violations, destroying ecosystems and biodiversity, and drastically increasing inequality across the globe.
The Global Stocktake (GST) discuss about the outcomes of the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and the IPCC reports on impacts input to the technical assessment. But also about the energy, agriculture, land, ecosystems and (ground) water scarcity.
Recommendations for SB56
After extensive deliberations in the past two weeks, Global Stocktake and parties agreed on:
Ensure and promote the human rights of millions of people around the world including the rights of Indigenous Peoples who are threatened by loss of food and water sources, displacement, and aggravated conflict over scarce natural resources associated with the climate crisis.
Food Security (Agriculture)
Recognizing the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change by including agroecology and its value for food security, the climate, and biodiversity in the implementation and policies as highlighted by the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land. Food security is already and will increasingly be affected by the climate crisis.
Invest in gender-transformative climate action and in biodiversity conservation measures and the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems including oceans, divest from fossil fuels and ensure that a healthy and sustainable environment is to the full enjoyment of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, and water.
Just Transition and Decent Work
Promoting decent work by ratifying, funding, and enforcing ILO conventions on collective bargaining and freedom of association as well as on domestic workers and on the
elimination of violence and harassment. A just transition is central to ensuring socially just and equitable climate action as it is fundamentally about realizing the transition from a fossil-fueled economy to a fossil-free one in a fair and inclusive way for workers and in a manner that creates decent work conditions.
Ruth attended the SB56 KCI-6 meetings and workshops (KCI: Katowice Committee of Experts on the Effects of the Implementation of Response Measures) and the Global Stocktake SB56 meetings at the June Climate Conference in Bonn. They spoke about several urgent topics that could affect the rest of the world.
The IPCC reports have reaffirmed the urgency, with the devastating impacts on human life and biodiversity (including food security and land water scarcity) of exceeding 1.5°C, and the serious inadequacy of current mitigation pathways. In addition, the tragic Russian invasion of Ukraine, financed by fossil fuels, has highlighted the greater risks of our continued dependence on oil and gas.
This year’s UN annual climate conference in Bonn aims to lay the groundwork for success at COP27 (November 6-18, 2022) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
At COP27 in Egypt 6-18 November 2022, GST will primarily focus on implementation, and nations are expected to show how they will, through legislation, policies and programs, and throughout all jurisdictions and sectors, begin putting the Paris Agreement into practice in their home countries.
I, Ruth Richardson (INLW) will be working together with Women and Gender Constituency to ensure decisions reached do not come at the expense of ambition, climate change and of human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but instead help enable meaningful action at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, later this year.
Information about Women and Gender Constituency / Wedo
The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) is one of the nine stakeholder groups of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Established in 2009 and granted full constituency status in 2011, the WGC consists of 33 women’s and environmental civil society organizations, who are working together to ensure that women’s voices are heard and their rights prioritized in the fight against
climate change. The Women and Gender Constituency, consisting of a broad variety of national and regional network organizations, represents hundreds and thousands of people across the globe, with advocates from over 90 countries.
Committee on the Elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) about the shadow report “Women’s Rights beyond Neutrality: in Words and in Action”
The report reflects the concerns and questions of civil society regarding women’s rights in the Netherlands. You can find the full report on the website of the Dutch CEDAW-Network:
The International Network of Liberal women and the Liberal Women Netwerk enjoyed a well-attended dinner on September 2nd, 2019 in Rotterdam. Guest speakers were VVD member of Parliament Mark Harbers, he has just returned as a representative to Parliament after resigning from his post as Minister of Migration and ALDE Member of the European Parliament, Caroline Nagtegaal. The ladies were vastly interested in the present works in the European parliament with the upcoming new EU Commission and the difficult position of Great Britain. What is going to happen concerning Brexit?
Caroline Nagtegaal, who has the portfolios, trade, transport and economy, gave us a good insight of the various decisions that must be made in the very near future concerning the EU and its members. In the meantime, we still don’t know what the British will decide on the Brexit issue.
That was the link to Dutch member of Parliament, Mark Harbers who has taken up a new portfolio on Climate Change. That will involve not only Dutch laws and actions but also European coordination and technical development. This will be an interesting challenge for both members of the two Parliaments. They are both eager to face and pick up these new challenges!
Members of INLW Netherlands Chapter participated in writing the so-called “NGO shadow report concerning the NL Government report to the CEDAW Committee.
INLW was a co-signer of the NGO Shadow report
This shadow report has been compiled on behalf of the Dutch CEDAW Network by a team consisting of some NGOs and independent women’s rights experts in the Netherlands. In mid-November 2018 the Dutch CEDAW Network learned through the website of CEDAW/OHCHR that the follow-up report had been submitted by the government of the Netherlands. As a response to that the Dutch CEDAW Network started a consultation process with NGOs and CSOs. On 27 November 2018 it convened a meeting to discuss the government’s follow-up report. Other experts from NGOs, CSOs and expert institutions such as Movisie – knowledge and approach of social issues also lent their expertise through written submissions.
Link to report
The Liberal International Human Rights Committee met inThe Hague during an event organized by the Thematic International Network of the VVD and INLW.
Chairman of Liberal International Human Rights Committee (LI HRC), Mr. Markus Loening gave us some up-dates and insight in the work of the Human Rights committee.
The next day President INLW Margaret de Vos took part in the LI HRC meeting at the VVD office. The importance was stressed of the role that the LI HRC can play if a party cannot speak out about a situation in their own country, then LI HRC might be able to speak out about the problem. LI will organize a parallel event at UN CSW 62 in New York together with INLW.
Then there was a panel discussion about “The Future of the International Liberal Order: How can we make international justice work?
Chair during the event was -Mr. Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Member of the European Parliament and ALDE Party Vice-President (MRF, Bulgaria)
-Steven van Hoogstraten, CEO, Hague Institute for Global Justice
-Lousewies Van der Laan, Member of the European Parliament (1999-2003); Chief of Cabinet to the Presidency of the International Criminal Court (2009-2015) (Democrats 66, The Netherlands)
-Hon. Kiat Sitteeamorn, Secretary-General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
After the discussion we went to the Panorama Mesdag museum in The Hague where the LI Prize for Freedom was awarded. The prize was given to Ilham Tohti who is now imprisoned. Mr. Tohti has fought for democracy and Rule of law in China and the human rights of Ughurs. He campaigned for promoting conciliation between Ughurs and Han Chinese.
Ilham Tohti’s daughter, Jewher Ilham, spoke to us by video. She said that the award offers encouragement for human rights defenders in China amid increasing pressure on activists.
The Liberal Prize of freedom is Liberal International’s oldest award, it is presented annually to courageous human rights champions since 1985. Professor Ilham is the first-ever recipient of the LI Prize from mainland China.
Speeches were given by:
-Mr Hans van Baalen, Honary President of LI
-Mr. Markus Loening, LI HRC Chair and ALDE Party Vice-President
-Ms. Marie Holzman, Co-Founder of the Ilham Tohti Initiative Advancing and promoting international justice through LI Human Rights Committee
-Steven Mokgalapa, President of the Africa Liberal Network and Member of LI Human Rights Committee (Democratic Alliance, South Africa)
In the afternoon a visit was paid to the International Criminal Court where Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, President of the International Criminal Court (Argentina)
received us and gave us her views on “Strengthening Global Justice and the Rule of Law: The International Criminal Court and Beyond”.
In the past INLW called upon the International Society to bring ex-President Laurent Gbagbo to Justice in The Hague at the then just founded ICC. This was after soldiers obeying the ex President’s call to keep him in power, had opened fire on a peaceful women’s march killing several women who were walking up front. INLW’s Vice President Kaba Fofana from Ivory Coast sent us a message about this. She said: “Tomorrow I will join in the march to lead my friends”. “Please tell the people if I don’t return, I did everything for the cause of Freedom, Democracy and Liberalism”. Thank goodness all went well the second day! It was interesting to see that the case against Mr Gbagbo is indeed still being continued. The many witnesses are still being heard at the ICC.
Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk Lysbeth van Valkenburg-Lely
President of INLW Treasurer INLW and president of INLW Nederland
On the 25th of March the Dutch Liberal Women’s Network organised a speed-dating event to inspire women to apply for the municipal elections in March 2018. Over 35 women and one gentleman, some members of VVD and some just interested persons made the acquaintance of several VVD politicians. The municipal elections next year in March may seem a long way off but in the second half of this year the candidate lists will be made. Dutch Liberal Women’s Network states that the number of women in city councils are still insufficient compared to the number of men, according to Karima Bouchtaoui, member of the Liberal Women’s Network.
In 2014 only 28,3 % of the members were women and only 20% of the alderman were female. The number of mayors is slowly increasing but especially in small villages the number of women is still low. Time for action!
The event started with a lunch in order to network with one another. During the speed date the ladies had talks with Chantal Nijkerken, Hayke Veltman, Eric Ziengs, Paulien Geerdink and Sabine Koebrugge all politicians in parliament or local councils.
Questions such as: How can you become active in the local politics? What are the do’s and don’ts if you want to become a member of the city council? How is the procedure to get on the candidate list? were discussed. The experiences and personal stories that the VVD politicians gave, were helpful and motivating. The entire event was an enormous success. Cards were exchanged and conversations profound. But the most important result was that after the event several ladies decided to get themselves candidate for the procedure to be elected as a member of the city council. That was the purpose of this speed dating, according to Liberal Women’s Network chair Marijke Vos-Maan in her final words.
On to March 21st, 2018 with a good many talented women on the list!
H.E. (Lysbeth) van Valkenburg-Lely
President Dutch Chapter INLW
As you know, INLW’s President was asked by the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) to participate at a Conference in September in Seoul, South Korea. As President of INLW Margaret de Vos represented INLW at different events.
The aim of this enormous Conference was to advocate the Declaration on Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which was proclaimed on the 14th of March 2016 in Seoul, which in the end should result in an international legal binding document to be adopted by the United Nations and then signed, ratified and implemented by all UN Member States. This to help bring peace everywhere.
The IWPG have begun by advocating this DPCW within the world women’s organizations, and this was the reason for inviting INLW.
At this moment two of the members who are advocating this DPCW, Amy Park and Kate Kim, are in the Netherlands and making contact with different organizations.