Special advisor international affairs Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland

City Ambassador of The Hague

A familiar face in Diplomatic circles and well known by the Ambassadors and the International community in The Hague, we ask Mr Alexander Beelaerts van Blokland to introduce himself in a more personal way. “For more than ten years I am in the Diplomatic and other International circles in and around The Hague, but I am not a diplomat. Diplomat Affairs – In touch with the Dutch Magazine requested me to share more information about myself, my work and my activities with this newly launched magazine, connected to Diplomat Club Wassenaar.

I am 66 years old (born in 1948), studied law at Leiden University and was during almost thirty years attorney-at-law (barrister) and partner at one of the bigger law firms in The Hague. From 1995 to 1998 I was President of the Bar Association as well. In 2006 I was asked to participate as a Justice (an appeal Judge) in the Court of Appeal in The Hague en that is my work ever since. Since 2011 I am also co-President of the Disciplinary Court, appointed by the minister of Justice. Former Mayor of The Hague Wim Deetman appointed in 2004 six people as ‘City Consul of The Hague’ – an honorary (unpaid) function – and I was one of them. In those days a lot of representatives of international organizations and Embassies were not very happy about living in The Netherlands and/or The Hague and the Municipality wanted us to be ‘the eyes and ears’ of the Municipality in diplomat and other expat circles, to find out what the reason was of this dissatisfaction.

In the years afterwards a lot of improvements have been made in the relation between expats and The Hague. The current Mayor Jozias van Aartsen re-appointed only me and gave a new title to the job: ‘Special Advisor International Affairs’. The national newspaper NRC Handelsblad named me in a large article about The Hague City of Diplomacy in November 2013 simply: the city ambassador of The Hague. And – with a big smile – the longest acting ‘Ambassador’ as well…

You can find me several times a week at International activities in The Hague, such as readings, concerts, congresses, exhibitions, lunches, receptions and dinners. There I explain to diplomats, international Judges and other expats living in or around The Hague, how the Netherlands is organised and about The Hague. I answer their questions, make contacts for them if required and sometimes solve problems. So, that is what I am doing in the last ten years apart from my daily job. I enjoy this very much, because I like to help people and I like to serve my country and my lovely city, that strives to be a good host for the 30,000 to 40,000 expats here, who work for Embassies and for the many international tribunals and institutions in the International City of Peace and Justice”.

Diplomat Affairs Magazine is looking forward to publish the special reports of activities of Alexander Beelaerts van Blokland in 2015.

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