Diplomatic World_nummer 61
















of Georgia




President of the

Republic of





Minister of

the North Sea






of Peru





Middle East

North Africa





20th Anniversary





Actor, Director,

Producer, Writer,

Recording Artist

‘Captain James

T. Kirk’



Child Rights









AUTUMN 2019 www.diplomatic-world.com Quarterly edition

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announced at the P50 Summer Peace Summit at Living

Tomorrow, June 28. Here is the short statement given at

the summit by Barbara Dietrich, Publisher DIPLOMATIC

WORLD MAGAZINE and Dieter Brockmeyer, Co-Founder

of the Institute:

It was a great honor to have the opportunity to present

the Diplomatic World Institute, DWI, at the P50 Summer

Peace Summit. The foundation of the Institute is a big

step forward for the Diplomatic World Magazine that was

turned into a true global opinion leader by Barbara Dietrich

within the last three years only. The new body will extend

the magazine’s reach using its amazing base of highestranking

diplomatic network. From now on Diplomatic

World is not only a platform to discuss visions and opinions

on a global scale. Via DWI we will be able to initiate and

moderate our own projects following the simple slogan

“from thinking to doing”.

DWI operates as an interface between diplomacy, economy

and culture, following the objective to foster world peace

and well-being. This can be charities as well as awards or

economic and cultural initiatives. Anything that improves the

situation of people globally is also a step closer to maintain

peace, especially in times of global change with a growing

feeling of uncertainty across borders and social groups.

Investing in Tomorrows Leaders




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of Georgia 16










Dr. Philippe

De Backer



Singer and...

Child Rights










President of the


of Uzbekistan 26





President of


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in Paris Living Tomorrow








Rodin Museum

in Paris







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Jeanne Boden


OF BINGEN Sanny Winters





Youth Climate








in Ulrike’s Bolenz

















Living Tomorrow





Dr. Talia Golan







What May the

Future Hold?






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The Evolution

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Prof Dr Dr HC

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Marten van Haren OF HUMANITY











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In 2005 the Queen travelled as a UN emissary for the

International Year of Microcredit. In that same year, she

was appointed UNICEF/UNAIDS special representative

for their world campaign for orphans and other vulnerable

children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.

In 2009 she became Honorary President of UNICEF

Belgium. In that context, Her Majesty the Queen regularly

supports UNICEF activities in Belgium by her presence:

in schools, at governments and at international conferences.

On these occasions she stresses the importance of giving

a voice to the most excluded children and seizes every

opportunity for an inspired plea in favor of children’s

rights. On numerous occasions, the Queen referred to

the importance of valuing the role of young people as a

prerequisite for success.

As an international advocate for UNICEF's global

youth agenda (launched in 2018) and the Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs) approved by the United

Nations in 2015, Queen Mathilde is the ideal person to

translate UNICEF’s priorities to the general public

Queen Mathilde also takes up her role as UNICEF

Belgium's Honorary President abroad and travels regularly

to “the field”. Over the past 10 years she witnessed

UNICEF activities in Niger, Tanzania, Senegal, Liberia,

Haiti, Ethiopia and Laos.

This year, in June 2019, the Queen of the Belgians travelled

to Kenya. During the three-day visit, the delegation went

to the Kakuma refugee camp (one of the largest camps

in the region), visited various educational projects in

Nairobi County and the Masai community and witnessed

the awareness campaigns carried out by UNICEF and its

partners on sensitive topics such as education for girls and

the fight against genital mutilation and child marriages.

During the mission — at the specific request of the

Queen — priority was given to interaction with the local

communities and the children.

Highlight of this mission was the presence of HRH Princess

Elisabeth. The participation of the Crown Princess was a

particularly pleasant surprise for all participants and gave

the mission a unique character. The principle of youth

participation and attention to the voice of young people

proposed by UNICEF could not be better illustrated.

During the mission, Queen Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth

were introduced to the various activities and projects that

UNICEF sets up together with the local authorities and

many partners to ensure access to good quality education

for young adolescents. The delegation also got a better

view on initiatives aimed at protecting vulnerable children

in the country. The interactions with the local communities

were very cordial and illustrative of the achievements

and challenges of protecting and promoting the rights

of children in the country.

As Queen Mathilde rightly stated at the end of the mission:

“Education remains the most important means to give

young people, and especially girls, the opportunity to

build their lives and make their own choices”.

Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

Visit to Kakuma refugee Camp. Kakuma is the second largest refugee camp in Kenya. The camp is located

in the north-west of the country near the border of South Sudan and Uganda. Of the 180,000 people who

live in the camp, around 60% are under the age of 18. The Queen and Princess Elisabeth did not hesitate

to lend a hand when unloading the cargo from the United Nations plane that brought them to the refugee

camp. The cargo mainly contained emergency facilities, such as school material, for the temporary learning

centers in the camp.

Kakuma, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

Fuhara relaxation center. In the Fuhara center, which means “joy”, the Queen

and Princess met the children of Kakuma. In this center the children can

creatively relax by dancing, singing, drawing, etc. This makes it easier for

them to process certain traumatic experiences.


Kakuma, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh


Kakuma, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde

Kalobeyei school. Thanks to, among other things, the work

of UNICEF, 80,000 children in Kakuma have access to

education in a healthy and safe environment. UNICEF

also offers psychosocial support to children who need

it. This school supported by UNICEF supervises 3,700

children in primary and 1,000 children in secondary

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

education. There are 18 temporary and 14 permanent


Furthermore, all necessary facilities are provided in the

building, such as rooms for administration, water and

sanitation (such as separate toilets for boys and girls),

a kitchen, a storage area for school material, etc.

Kakuma Skills training, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

Skills training and income generating projects for young

mothers. This program, supported by UNICEF and the

Lutheran World Federation (LWF), gives young mothers

the opportunity to complete their studies and to develop

competences for their daily lives.

“When I am here, I experience no stress and I no longer

think about the negative things that I have had to endure.

I like the social and community side of it. We are all young

mothers. We share our experiences and we support each

other”, explains Elizabeth, a tailor in training.

The school costs of these young mothers are paid by

UNICEF and LWF, so that they can continue their studies

or opt for training as a hairdresser, in confection or as a

baker. The young mothers also enjoy a daycare service for

their children during their education. Even if the mums

come from different regions, they still have the same

strength and determination

Their training lasts from 1 to 3 months and the mothers

receive a certificate after taking written and practical tests.

Only after having passed these exams the mothers receive a

complete tool set with which they can establish themselves

and develop income-generating activities. The holistic

program covers all the needs of these young mothers:

education, skills development, empowerment, care for young

children, strengthening their position in the community and

psychosocial support


Dagoretti Center, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

Nairobi county. Queen Mathilde and her daughter

Princess Elisabeth visited the Dagoretti center for

protection and development of children. The center,

located a few kilometers west of the capital Nairobi,

is supported by UNICEF. The aim is to give the most

vulnerable children a second chance. Children are often

exposed to dangerous situations or must cope without a

family. The center focuses on social reintegration through


Dagoretti offers a safe home to the children and

adolescents. They receive meals, lessons to catch up

with school and professional courses in function of the

knowledge and talents that they each have separately.

In addition, they can also play music or theater and

practice sports. Because of their difficulties in life, they

often have a lot to deal with. The staff of the center

encourages them to talk about this with each other and

with specialists, so that they can go on in life and leave

the difficult moment behind.

In the Dagoretti center, the Queen and Princess also

met young mums with their babies. UNICEF supports

this project so that these young mothers can also follow

professional training while their children are cared for



Masai Community, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

Close encounters with the Masai Community.

On the last day of the mission, Queen Mathilde and

Princess Elisabeth traveled to the Kajiado region.

Many schools from in the Masai communities work

closely with the government, UNICEF, and other

partners such as World Vision to protect children from

harmful practices such as early marriage and female

genital mutilation (FGM). The partners also help

children to re-integrate into their home and / or school.

The exchange highlighted the dual role of schools: they

not only provide access to education, information about

hygiene and sex, psychological support and sanitary

services, but also an environment that protects against

violence, exploitation and abuse.

When meeting with a Masai family, the Queen and her

daughter identified the challenges faced by the Masai

and the resources they have to face them. UNICEF

sensitizes Masai families around harmful practices such

as premature marriage and female genital mutilation.

Queen Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth learned several

interesting things from the conversations with the

children, the teacher-savers and the social workers during

the visits.

These practices are still strongly present in the

community. The efforts are bearing fruit: the family with

whom the Queen talked, supports their daughter and

gives priority to her education, rights and future.


Masai, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh

At the end of this third day, Queen Mathilde and

Princess Elisabeth took part in a discussion with about

twenty members of the Masai community, animated by

Community Change officials.

In this way, the Queen and Princess received an overview

of the harmful practices in the village and surrounding

communities of the Kajiado region, and of the current

efforts of UNICEF and World Vision to combat them.

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh


Masai School, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde and HRH Princess Elisabeth

© UNICEF Frank Dejongh


This was my first trip to East Africa. Many impressions

came my way. I was very moved to meet the children

in the refugee camp in Kakuma, because they are so

young and so fragile and have already experienced so

many traumas in their lives. I was also very touched by

the encounters with the girls of my age in the last days

because they show so much courage and perseverance in

such difficult situations.

Through my journey here I have seen the work of

organizations like UNICEF and the impact they have on

the community. More girls are already attending school

and the mentality is gradually changing, around the

mutilation of women and premature marriages.

Crown Princess Elisabeth will soon turn 18 in October.

It was her first official visit.


© UNICEF Frank Dejongh


Kenya is currently in 179th place (a total of 228 countries) in the Human Development Index (HDI).

This UN welfare index mainly measures poverty, illiteracy, education and life expectancy in a certain country or area.

• Population: 26 million inhabitants

• Mortality rate for children under 5 years of age: 46 per 1000 born alive

• Annual number of children who die: 68,882

• Percentage of children under 5 years of age legally registered: 67%

• Percentage of children between 5 and 17 years who work: 26%

• Percentage of children in primary education: 85%

• Percentage of children in secondary education: 36%

• Malnutrition rate (moderate and severe): 26%






Philippe Henon, spokesperson UNICEF Belgium

All pictures: UNICEF/Frank Dejongh



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Last September, during the occasion of my trip for the

inaugural season of the Tsinandali Festival of classical

music, I was fortunate to meet the President of Georgia

in Tbilisi, the capital and largest city. After a short

conversation and laughter over how a Franco-Laotian

Cultural Diplomacy fan had landed in Georgia to interview

a former French ambassador, now become President of

Georgia, she answered my questions with both clarity and


a very active president on the outside scene and that has

been my task since I was elected, for the last 8 months. I’ve

been extremely active both in the direction of our European

partners, the European Union and all our other partners

because the priorities of Georgia are perspectives of

European and Atlantic integration and in fact, this activity

has led to have Georgia back much more on the European

map. I think today everybody is very interested in Georgia.

Could you clarify for our readers the role of

the President of Georgia as defined by your

constitution, specifically regarding diplomatic


The new Constitution of Georgia has redefined the powers

of the President because we moved to a parliamentary

regime which is a classical one, where the President has

representative powers and the Prime Minister is the one that

has the governing power. But at the same time, the powers

of the President are a bit different in Georgia because the

President, unlike in other parliamentary regimes, has this

time, and it will change in the future, been elected by the

people for a mandate of 6 years, so it gives the President

some legitimacy and claim to be quite influential in society

matters and in diplomatic matters.

In diplomacy, the president, as it is the case for other

parliamentary regimes, is the main representative outside


the country and for a small country like Georgia, diplomacy

is very important as for all small countries. We need to have

Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia during the interview

for Diplomatic World Magazine

© Georgia

Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia at her inauguration, December 16, 2018

© Georgia

We have also our occupied territories which is a very

important problem and that means that we have to be very

active with our partners to try to find an appeasement for

the plight of the people living in the occupied lands and find

solutions for this conflict. We are very coordinated with the

government, with the Prime Minister and with the Minister

of Foreign Affairs but the President is still the most active.

That is a very important part of my tasks but there are

also very important internal aspects of the president’s role

and one of them is culture, especially lately, because the

government has become smaller with one minister in charge

of education, sport, culture and science, which means there

were not enough people with status to talk about Georgian

culture both inside and outside. So my role, that was part

of my electoral program, is really to give Georgian culture

importance in the internal political development because

Georgian culture is what made Georgia and what is really its

main strength inside and also in projecting Georgia outside.

Georgia can only be projected through its culture.

The first priority now is to have Georgia recognized in

Europe as a European culture and civilization and also

to have much more presence of European countries here,

because that’s a way the Georgian population will feel the

proximity with Europe. So culture is very fundamental. I’m

also working closely with UNESCO for our cultural heritage

and we will continue in that direction.

If you look at Georgia, you will see that the cultural

heritage of Georgia is really enormous, we have more

ancient churches than there are cheeses in France and that

constitutes our touristic attractions but also the richness

on which Georgia is grounded, which gives us the strength

to resist everything that has been happening to Georgia

over the centuries, with invasions, occupations, not that we

accept or like it but being able to survive and recompose

itself. It gives historical perspective and hope for the


You are the first woman in this office. What does

this say about the evolution of the position of

women in Georgian society?

I think it’s very important for the international standing of

Georgia to have a woman president, to be one of the only

woman presidents in the world and show how progressive

Georgia is. But for Georgia itself, it’s not new. One of


the most prosperous times of Georgia was with a queen.

Georgia became Christian through a woman saint and we

had numerous women in power in the kingdoms of Georgia

when they were divided. So the fact that there is a woman

with a high state function is something that does not

surprise anyone here and it is very well accepted. There is

part of our mythology that says that having a woman as the

head of state means that Georgia is going to go back to one

of its prosperous periods in history, so that creates a lot of

strength and responsibility at the same time — but I want

to point out that nowhere during my electoral campaign

nor since, have I received opposition or criticism due to

the fact of being a woman. Everywhere else we are very

polarized so there are a lot of attacks, but generally the

Georgian population has a high respect for women and high

expectations. That being said, I think it’s important being

a woman in Georgia today and also a European woman

because I was born and raised abroad in Europe. That is

very important because one of the things that society has to

do now in the coming years and where I feel I have a special

responsibility, is to achieve the end of the transformation of

Georgian society. We have been moving out of the 70 years

of totalitarian regime gradually — it has now been 27 years

— and we still need a number of years to achieve what I

call the liberation of the mentality from the old totalitarian

remanence in society with habits, lack of initiatives, lack

sometimes of freedom. I think as a woman, and the fact that

I come from Europe and I look at things with a different

educational background, that is very important to help with

this transformation.

You had dual nationality and culture, French and

Georgian in your heart. How does this influence

your approach in your function and particularly in

international relations?

No, as I said, of course I’m completely Georgian because

I was raised in a Georgian family. Keeping Georgian

identity was most important, more when you are outside

than in the country, but at the same time I received a

French education and was for a long time a French career

diplomat and so I’m also completely part of this European

mind-set and education. I think that is important so that I

can look at Georgia from the inside and see what we need

to do to transform our society and bring Georgia into the

21st century and be part of the international community


Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council in Brussels, during the President’s first international visit,

January 2019

© Georgia

Emmanuel Macron, President of France welcomes Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia at the Elysée, February 2019

© Georgia

with all our strength and potential. But at the same time

I can look at Georgia from the outside with the eyes of a

foreigner and see where some of the weaknesses that we

have to overcome, are. I’m not renouncing any part of it

and in today’s world we are now about a million and a

half Georgians outside our borders and 3,7 million living

in Georgia, so I think we are going to see more and more

people that will have both a strong Georgian identity and

I hope will return to Georgia with experiences of other

cultures — both professional ones and personal ones — and

that will in my view enrich Georgia and not weaken it.

How is Georgia leveraging Art and Culture in its

diplomatic policy?

That’s where we are both different and similar to the

Europeans; it’s where we can bring what are the old

traditions of Georgia that have sometimes been forgotten

in Europe. We have a very long tradition of tolerance

through the centuries. The way Georgians apprehend the

outside world, neither religion nor ethnicity was a factor

for discrimination and that’s something that was gradually

forgotten in Europe.

It was one of the founding values of Europe but it has been

forgotten, so I think Georgian culture is not only something

to discover that is exotic but it’s also going back to the roots

of what European and Christian values are, and for that we

are a very good reservoir.

I think, as I have mentioned, since I’m part of the

diplomatic policy, that culture is our main instrument for

foreign policy. We don’t have a strong army and the military

part is to defend ourselves and we are a small country, so

the economic policy for us is indispensable but it is not an

instrument by which we can really leverage other countries

or use our influence, so our main instrument in diplomatic

policy is culture.

There are also old traditions of wine and we have also many

archaeological artifacts, which make Georgia a reservoir and

a center of ancient history.

So we have a lot to offer.

Dr Pick Keobandith

Founder and International Director, Inspiring Culture


Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia in Afghanistan, where Georgian troops participate in Operation Resolute Support, February 2019

© Georgia


© Georgia



Born on 18 March 1952 in Paris, France.

Speaks fluently Georgian, French, and English and converses in basic Italian.


Institute of Political Studies (1969-1972 – Paris, France).

Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (1972-1973 – New York, U.S.A.)

Diplomatic and Political Career

1974 - 2004 She worked in the diplomatic service for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France in several embassies

(Italy, United States, and Chad) and with French representations to international organizations

(UN, NATO, Western European Union, OSCE).

2003 She was appointed as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of France to Georgia.

2004 - 2005 She served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

After leaving the post, she founded on 11 March 2006 the political party “The Way of Georgia”.

2006 - 2015 She was an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris,


2010 - 2015 Until December 2015, she led the United Nations Security Council monitoring group on sanctions

against Iran.

2016 She won her election as an independent Deputy in the Parliament of Georgia.

2018 She won her election as the fifth President of Georgia


Que sais-je? La Géorgie, Edition PUF, Paris, 1986.

Une femme pour deux pays, Edition Grasset, Paris, 2006.

Les cicatrices des nations, Edition Francois Bourin, Paris, 2008.

La tragédie géorgienne, Edition Grasset, Paris, 2009.

L’exigence démocratique, Edition Francois Bourin, Paris, 2010.

Cahiers CERI Sciences Po N°4: La démocratisation en Géorgie à l’épreuve des élections, Paris, 2007

Penser l’Europe: What borders for Europe?, Paris, 2007.

Cahier de Chaillot, Institute for security studies of the European Union (N° 102), Paris, 2007.








Your Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

political action. I always tell my colleagues: you have the

right to your own opinion, not your own facts. And when

the facts are clear, the path of action also becomes clear.

It is our honour to host the first meeting of this most

distinguished group of Heads of State and Governments,

as well as Ministers, Ambassadors, friends of the Ocean

from around the world to talk about actions and solutions

needed to address the findings of the IPCC Special

Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing

Climate released this morning in Monaco. Greenhouse

gas driven global heating is the leading cause of pervasive,

long-lasting, dangerous changes in the ocean, including

accelerated sea-level rise; melting polar sea ice, mass coral

bleaching; extinction and redistribution of species; and

huge and growing dead zones around the world.

My country, Belgium, has always been and will continue

to be a pioneer in ocean policy and research — although

we only control a little part of the global sea. By being an

advocate for international cooperation — like we were by

The ocean has absorbed 28% of all our CO2 emissions

since 1750; today it absorbs over 1 billion kg of CO2

from the atmosphere every hour, changing the chemistry

of seawater and threatening multiple marine species.

Tackling this emergency means we all have to go beyond

words and declarations. Tackling this emergency means

all States must commit to more ambitious Nationally

Determined Contributions in 2020 to ensure the faster,

deeper emission cuts needed to keep to 1,5°C.


When Martin Luther King was fighting for fundamental

and equal rights — here in the US — he did not say: “I had

a nightmare.” He said: “I have a dream.” It is our shared

responsibility to make this common dream of a cleaner,

safer and prosperous world a reality. I’m a scientist and

a politician and it has always struck me how little room

scientist get to state the facts. It is high time to put

evidence-based policy making at the heart of current

Dr. Philippe De Backer, Minister of the North Sea Belgium

© Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

© Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

leading a High Ambition Coalition in the International

Maritime organisation, setting clear targets for cutting

emissions of the shipping industry. Or by investing in

science-based marine spatial planning, protection 35%

of our part of the North Sea, doubling our capacity for

offshore wind energy and investing in coastal protection.

And by getting the private sector on board in setting

strong ambitions. The Belgian shipowners association —

representing the 10 th biggest global fleet — has established

the Shipping Decarbonisation Council, building up

research and implementing solutions towards zeroemission

shipping in the near future. Carbon capture and

storage investments are underway in the Port of Antwerp;

the second largest European port and industrial cluster in

Europe. It can be done. It will be done.

We need ambitious solutions to help the ocean deal with

effects of the warmth, acidification and loss of oxygen.

Just as a healthy person is better able to face physical

challenges than a sick one, a healthy ocean is better able

to cope with the effects of climate change, than a sick


Therefore in Belgium’s view, it is critically important to

both urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take

bold action to enhance ocean resilience. In our view, this

Greta Thunberg

© Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation


© Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

must be achieved by fully protecting at least 30% of the

global ocean by 2030, including through a robust new

international agreement for the conservation of the high


I am looking forward to hearing the Blue Leaders gathered

here today to give their take on this and other solutions.

And to make their actions speak louder than words.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, I am wearing this 30by30 pin. This pin means we

are taking the IPCC report seriously. It means we want

to give our ocean a fair fighting change to sustain itself,

and us. I invite, no, I encourage all colleagues to pick up

their pin, wear it proudly and walk out of this room today

knowing that they are stewards and ambassadors of the

ocean, that they truly are Blue Leaders.

Dr. Philippe De Backer, Minister of the North Sea Belgium and

Charlotte Rabin

© Diplomatic World

It is with pleasure that I introduce the moderator for this

event, Ms. Sophie Mirgaux, Belgium’s special envoy for

the Ocean.


© Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

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Assalomu Alaykum, esteemed compatriots!

Dear guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On this joyous occasion, allow me to congratulate from

the bottom of my heart, you, my dears, our multiethnic

nation, on Independence Day. Twenty eight years ago, our

First President esteemed Islam Abdughanievich Karimov

announced the state independence of the Republic of

Uzbekistan before our nation and the world community.

For over the past short period, our beloved Uzbekistan

traversed a difficult, yet glorious path of independence.

Today, we have all grounds to say one truth with big pride

and honor: our courageous and persevering people, despite

facing harsh ordeals, have been demonstrating their firm

will and constant commitment to the chosen path of


That is delivering on the hopes of our hard-working,

laborious and noble people, our fellow-countrymen who

are courageously overcoming all trials of this life, improve

their life and realize their expectations. However, all of

us understand well that these great objectives cannot be

achieved by itself, by chit-chat and tumid words. Such

achievements can only be accomplished by continuous,

hard and selfless work. To this end in recent years, we have

carried out extensive work in terms of improvement of

public administration as well as legal and judicial systems,

strengthening the defense capability of the country,

transiting to real market economy.

We are creating wide opportunities and favorable conditions

for private property and entrepreneurship. Macroeconomic

stability is being ensured. Radical reforms are underway in

agriculture. Despite severe drought and climatic factors,

At present, Uzbekistan is confidently entering a new stage

of its development. A new, democratic face of Uzbekistan is

being shaped on the basis of modernization, ensuring human

rights and freedoms and the rule of law. In this regard, a

priority idea “From national reconstruction — to national

progress” enshrined in the Action Strategy is serving a

guideline for us. Under the notion of national progress we

understand the development of our country, comprehensive

improvement of living standards of our people.


Drawing on the potential and might of our people,

reasonably using our natural resources, we are consistently

moving toward such goals that we set before ourselves.

Distinguished participants of the forum!

Irrespective of any reforms, transformations and new

projects that we implement, all of them are aimed at a single

great purpose.

© Embassy of Uzbekistan in Brussels

Train (Railway) Station in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

© Shutterstock

our seasoned farmers and peasants worked hard and

harvested abundant crop in numerous sectors. Taking

this opportunity, I consider it as my duty to sincerely

congratulate all farmers, peasants and agricultural people

on their profound successes along the path of ensuring

prosperity of our nation.

A unique system is being shaped in our country in terms

of social development. In this regard, such programs as

“Obod qishloq” (‘Comfortable village’), “Obod mahalla”

(‘Comfortable neighborhood community’), “Yoshlar

— kelajagimiz” (‘Youth are our future’), “Besh ijobiy

tashabbus” (‘Five positive initiatives’) are playing an

essential role in promoting new thinking and working

among our population. As a result, the architectural

appearance of hundreds of our districts, cities and villages

is being drastically renewed. You are well aware of profound

changes taking place in science, education, healthcare,

culture and sport. We have restored the 11-year education

system in general education schools.

Development of school education is turning into a great

national objective and national movement. Higher education

is also rapidly developing our country now. For over the

last three years alone, 35 new institutes of higher learning

have been established in the country with their total number

reaching 112. And the fact that 13 out of this number are

the branches of high-ranking foreign universities is worth

special underscoring. Improving facilities and resources,

as well as human resource capacities of public healthcare

constantly remain in the focus of our attention. Numerous

new hospitals, medical centers, family and private clinics

are being launched across the country. Social protection of

low-income families, physically challenged persons, youth,

girls and elderly people has turned into a priority direction

of state policy in recent years.

In this regard, we should mention the creation of the

Agency for medical and social services and the Fund for

supporting physically handicapped persons. Creation of

jobs for the population, especially for the youth and women,

remains the most urgent task for us. This particularly

important matter stands as core objective and task of all

of our economic and social programs, large investment

projects, and measures aimed at developing services sector.

It won’t be wrong to say that a new era has started in our

country in terms of providing the population with housing

which was an acute problem in our country for a long time.

Enormous changes are happening in cultural life our

country, as well. For the first time, the International Maqom

Art Festival and the International Bakshi Art Festival were

successfully held in Shakhrisabz and Termez, respectively.

“Sharq Taronalari” International Music Festival, which was



recently held in Samarkand at the high level and spirit, has

once again demonstrated our unique classical art to the


In September the town of Kokand will host for the first time

the International Craft Festival. We consider the work of

enlightenment and spirituality as the work of patriotism,

the work of conscience. A man of conscience and

enlightenment certainly loves Motherland. Conscience and

enlightenment means sincerely serving one’s Homeland.

The fact that such an approach is enjoying broad and

enthusiastic support of our people, especially the youth,

demonstrates the urgency of upbringing on the basis of


Uzbekistan is continuing to firmly pursue its independent

policy in ensuring human rights and freedoms, and

this policy is being acknowledged by the international

community. An institute of granting pardon to prisoners

was established in our country. Pardon was granted for

seven times for over the last three years. As a result, nearly

four thousand prisoners, who sincerely repented of their

conduct and returned to the path of correction, were

released. The other day, I signed another decree on pardon.

According to this document, 65 citizens, who were serving

their time, have been granted pardon.

When you watch and see on TV the joy of parents and

children of these persons, who are returning to their home

and their loved ones, you once again realize that it is

indeed a noble and kind work to accomplish. The closure

of Jaslyk penal colony in the Republic of Karakalpakstan

on the eve of Independence Day has become yet another

demonstration of humanistic policy. This historic step

shows that protection of human rights and freedoms in

our country is not a temporary campaign but a continuous

process on the level of state policy. Today Uzbekistan

is asserting itself as a country capable of protecting the

rights and interests of its citizens irrespective of their


Ties with our compatriots working and studying abroad

are strengthening, their rights and interests are protected

and ensured. Necessary conditions are being created for

our citizens who are keen to return to Uzbekistan and

continue their education or career here. This year 156 of

our compatriots — mainly women and children — were

evacuated from war-torn Syria and their civil rights have

been fully restored. Certainly, being merciful and kind

pleases the people and God. Such noble qualities yet glorify

our magnanimous nation.

At present, Uzbekistan is conducting an active and efficient

foreign policy. Our ties with far and near states, and

international organizations are yet widening and developing.

In the first place, we are establishing good-neighborly

relations and mutually beneficial ties with Central Asian

states. Conditions were created for thousands of people to

cross borders freely, freely move across the region and be

able to mutually visit their relatives.

Uzbekistan is actively participating in the activities on

ensuring regional security, as well in dialogues aimed

at establishing peace in Afghanistan. All of this has

significant importance in terms of adding to the prestige

of our country on the international arena and increasing

the number of the country’s friends and partners. Taking

this opportunity, allow me to express sincere respect and

gratitude to distinguished ambassadors of foreign countries,

representatives of international organizations, our foreign

partners and all friends of Uzbekistan, who are joining us

at this festivity, render support and welcome the democratic

reforms in our country.

Peace and tranquility, interethnic and interreligious

friendship and accord are strengthening our lives. We

consider it as a guarantee of our reforms and their crucial

result. Thanks to the reforms that we are implementing

today and elevation of the dialogue with people to the level

of state policy, the climate of openness and freedom is ever

strengthening in our society. People are learning how to

work with authorities by being pro-active and addressing

not only their personal problem but the challenges which

represent the ordeals of the many.

You know that I travel across the country a lot.

On site, in remote districts, villages and townships I try to

launch new economic and social projects, closely learn the

lives of people, the actual conditions that they live in, their

mood, and help with addressing the problems that they are

facing. Today, we are jointly resolving numerous complex

and urgent matters with our people through such open and

sincere conversations. And this makes our people confident

in the future and inspires them towards new and great

achievements. There is no doubt that this is our biggest

achievement. On this great occasion, I bow low before

our brave and magnanimous people, who are preserving

the independence of our Motherland and ensuring its

© Embassy of Uzbekistan in Brussels

sustainable development despite all harsh trials and ordeals,

for their honest and selfless work, commitment to the ideas

of independence.

Certainly, as long as there is life, there were and will be

its harsh challenges and problems. However, finding a

reasonable solution to any problem requires unity and

accord in the first place. All of us, especially leaders and

managers need deep knowledge, intellect and patience.

In this regard, there is a profound meaning in the idea of

“Enlightenment against ignorance”. This idea has crucial

importance not only in terms of religious upbringing, but in

all spheres of our life.

If we address any issue on the basis of enlightenment, give

it a good deal of thought, show respect to people, take

their opinion into account, relying on the criterion of the

law and justice alone, our people will be pleased with us.

Time has changed today. From now on, all of us need to

learn how to work in the conditions of freedom, openness

and transparency. All developed countries and the world

community is living in such conditions. In order not to

fall behind the pressing demands of life, all of us need

to continuously learn, refine ourselves and improve our

knowledge and intellectual level.

We have the blood of our great ancestors in our veins. I

believe all of you will join me if I say that being worthy

followers and successors of great forefathers is our sacred

duty. Diligently working for the prosperity of one’s nation

is: being brave and courageous, loving and being devoted to

a Motherland, having good upbringing and being a model to

others. This time around, in the capital city and the regions

we are decorating our compatriots, who are commendably

contributing to the development of our country and make

a model to everybody, with high state titles, orders and


On my own behalf and on behalf of our nation, allow

me to sincerely congratulate and express kind wishes to

those of our compatriots who gained profound esteem and

recognition among our people for their devoted service to

our country.

Today, I believe it is important to firmly underscore the

following idea: democratic processes in Uzbekistan became


© Diplomatic World

irreversible and inevitable. For the sake of our forefathers,

who struggled and sacrificed themselves for such bright

days, for the sake of our 33 million people strong nation,

for the sake of our children and grandchildren, who are

looking at us with hope and belief in their eyes, we will

never ever back down from the path of independence and


We will definitely achieve our goals and together we will

build Uzbekistan with a great future!

All of us are well aware that a profound political event

is awaiting us. In December this year, elections to the

parliament and local councils are to be held in our country.

The elections will become yet another important practical

step in consolidating our national independence and

elevating Uzbekistan to the rank of developed democratic

states of the world.

foreign universities in their prime are entering our life.

They are our hope and tomorrow. Therefore providing

broad opportunities to the youth, promoting their needs

and interests, realizing their capabilities and talents,

assisting them with finding their place in life, entrusting

responsible posts to them will always remain at the focus of

our attention.

I am confident that our beloved children will be worthy of

such high attention of our country and glorify Uzbekistan

across the world with their potential and commitment to

our national idea. Dear compatriots! Once again, I sincerely

congratulate all of you on the twenty-eighth anniversary

of state independence of Uzbekistan. May a sound health

and new successes accompany you, let your family live

in harmony and accord, may everyone see and enjoy

happiness bliss of their children and grandchildren!


I am confident that these elections will express the dreams

and aspirations of our nation, especially the youth and

open up new opportunities for them. At present, numerous

young people with excellent education, command of foreign

languages and managerial skills, graduates of prestigious

May our country be peaceful, our sky be clear and our

beloved Uzbekistan be safe!

May our Independence be eternal!




Belgium responds in a way we can only be proud of. But.

There are a lot of ‘but’s. Who in their right mind can

deny a baby a life saving medication?

Why are therapies and medications so expensive?

If the government does not pay, how will we solve the


When did we decide researching diseases, developing

therapy, producing effective medication is not profitable

because only a few people are affected?

What is the value of a human life?

These and many other questions we will answer in

the next edition of Diplomatic World. Experts in all

disciplines will be able to speak out and answer these and

other questions. We welcome your comments, especially

from other countries since this is a worldwide issue.

Looking forward to hearing from you! redaction@


“Our country experienced a warm wave of solidarity last

week. But. The fact that a pharma company dares to ask

1.9 million EURO for 1 therapy is scandalous, which

makes me conclude: Pharma in itself is sick”, thus

Ms Karin Jiroflée addressed the parliament knowing that

the development of gene therapy has been developed with

money from the French government and that they now

have the guts to ask for private people to sponsor the

amount together, I find that unthinkable.

“The school’s culture is warm

and inclusive, with a focus on

learning and growing.

Children settle in quickly and

are very happy.”

Claire who chose BSB Primary

School for her daughter




To find out why, visit







Transcript of an interview; views expressed here

are personal and do not necessarily represent the

opinions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


What are the new dimensions of diplomacy which

are broadening its scope, by blending culture,

economy and politics?

Ambassador Delcorde: In the 21 st century, diplomats

indeed have to embrace a new kind of diplomacy.

Traditionally, diplomacy was mainly a political relation

between two States. As I have written in my book ‘The

Belgian Diplomats’, Belgian Diplomacy from its very

beginning has been focusing on trade. Foreign trade was

and still is vital for the Belgian economy, as you certainly

know. In order to export you have to discover new

markets. In that sense, our embassies give crucial support

to the business community.

This sounds almost as a cliché today but 180 years ago

it was an innovative approach. From this perspective,

we can say that from the start Belgian diplomacy was

an economic diplomacy. However, today’s diplomacy is

not just about economic or political relations. It’s also

about what the Americans would call ‘soft power’: we are

striving to make our country attractive going beyond the

clichés that people have about Belgium. We are challenged

to broaden people’s view on our country, showing that

Belgium is not only about diamonds, chocolate, beer

and Belgian (instead of French!) fries, but also a country

rich in high-level pharmaceutical research, economically

interesting harbours and very talented cartoonists.

Last but not least, nowadays the embassy becomes an

actor on social media, a new world for people of my

generation. 5 years ago I couldn’t even have imagined that

I would become an active twitter user! This kind of public

diplomacy is of utmost importance in our days.

Many countries like the Emirates, Qatar and Saudi

Arabia are interested in Belgian art for their new

museums, inviting even some famous Belgian artists

like Wim Delvoye and Luc Tuymans. These new

museums in the Arab World are sending out a strong

message of global togetherness. How do you see

this evolution on a cultural level? Do you have any

concrete plans to expand your cultural relations?

First of all, it’s up to the individual artist to decide

where he/she wants to be known. You mentioned Wim

Delvoye. As a matter of fact, this very prolific artist is

inspired by Iranian Art and spends a couple of months

per year in Iran. In international affairs Iran is a country

on the forefront, but on the artistic level we don’t make

an immediate connection between Belgium and Iran as

Wim Delvoye does. Delvoye recently settled in the city of

Kashan, 200 km South of Tehran, where he is renovating

a set of old houses. Last spring the Royal Museums of

Fine Arts in Brussels had an exhibition on his work which

was really worth visiting.

In the world of Belgian cartoons and comic books we can

find some excellent non-traditional ambassadors. The best

example is comic strip hero Tintin, created by Hergé, one

of the most impressive creators of the 20th Century. In

a certain way, Tintin embodies typically Belgian values:

modesty, interest in others, sense of adventure, curiosity

about other cultures. Unfortunately, many foreigners

assume Tintin is French. By promoting Tintin in various

occasions, we try to correct these widespread but false

assumptions. For instance, both in Sweden and

Poland I organized an exhibition with the Hergé


Besides visual arts, the Belgian art scene has a lot to offer

in other forms of art too. The famous fashion academy in

Antwerp is one of our best ambassadors abroad in terms

of fashion design. In performing arts, the Royal Ballet of

Flanders is worth mentioning.

This dance company is currently being directed by the

internationally acclaimed choreographer Sidi Larbi

Cherkaoui. He came to Ottawa when I was ambassador to

Canada, promoting his avant-garde dance creations. The

Queen Elizabeth Music Competition is another magnet

for foreigners. Many laureates are from Asian origin,

coming from South-Korea, China, Japan. By bringing

their families along, these people get acquainted with a

country they probably never heard of before.

Since cultural matters fall under the competence of the

regions, in our embassies we collaborate closely with

our colleagues from Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels to

support them as much as we can. Usually exhibitions

or concerts abroad are a joint effort between the

embassy and the Flemish, Walloon or Brussels Regional


So yes, personally I am a strong supporter of cultural

diplomacy and its huge potential. These days diplomacy

is no longer about drinking a cup of tea or a glass of

champagne, to use a cliché. Nowadays, diplomats venture

out of their offices and residences to meet, interact and

create bonds with people of all kinds, not just the elite.

As a high level diplomat, have you been involved

in a specific cultural project that could be of

particular interest to us and our readers?

© Diplomatic World

this trip, they were accompanied by a professional guide

in their visits to different sites of historic or cultural

importance, such as Bruges, Brussels and Ypres. They

learned a lot about the history of Belgium and of the

Canadians who fought in our country. Afterwards, a film

was made about their experience.

Ambassador Delcorde: In Canada I developed a cultural

project with young people. Interacting with famous artists

is important, but creating bonds with youngsters who will

build the world of tomorrow is crucial too. The project

dealt with the commemoration of World War I, the first

war in which the Canadians fought outside their territory.

In Flanders you can find several cemeteries with many

young Canadians who fought and died in and for Belgium.

I organized a competition amongst all the high schools

in Canada, asking to produce either a painting, video or

poem related to Flanders Fields and World War I. Out of

more than 200 pieces of art coming from all over Canada,

the winner was awarded with a trip to Belgium. During

When they came back, I saw a group of young

enthusiastic teenagers, moved and happy about what they

learned about their country abroad. These youngsters are

the engineers, managers, teachers of tomorrow, and their

views on Belgium will be different, just because of this

very special trip they made when they were 17. Hence

I conclude: a diplomat has to connect with renowned

artists, but first and foremost we have to connect with

people of all generations from all walks of life.

Barbara Dietrich and Maarten Vermeir


Curriculum Vitae


Ambassador of Belgium with rank

of minister plenipotentiary (1st class)

Date of birth: March 29, 1955


Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations)

M.A. in International Relations and Public


M.A. in Philosophy

B.A. in History (University of Louvain-la-Neuve,

Belgium, and University of Paris-IV Sorbonne, France).


September 2018: Director Middle-East/North Africa,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

August 2014 – August 2018: Ambassador of Belgium

to Canada

May 2010 – August 2014: Ambassador of Belgium to


September 2007 – current : Guest professor at the

Institut d’Etudes Européennes, Université Catholique

de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve.

September 2007 – April 2010: Ministry of Foreign

Affairs, Deputy Director General for Multilateral


September 2003 – August 2007: Ambassador of

Belgium to Sweden;

September 2000 – July 2003: Ministry of Foreign

Affairs, Deputy Director, Directorate General Europe;

August 1996 – July 2000: Minister-Counsellor at the

Embassy of Belgium in Washington, D.C.

1995-1996: Assistant to the Secretary General of the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels during the

Belgian presidency of the group of States parties to the

Schengen Agreement (free circulation of people in the

European Union).

1992-1994: First Secretary at the Belgian Mission

to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in

Europe (OSCE), Vienna.

1990-1992: First Secretary at the Belgian Mission to

the U.N., New York.

1986-1989: First Secretary and Deputy Head of

Mission at the Belgian Embassy in Islamabad.

1984: Admitted to the Belgian diplomatic service at the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels.

1983-1984: Assistant Professor at the University of

Louvain-la-Neuve, Department of Political Science.


Member of the Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer

(Paris) and of the Académie Royale de Belgique

(Classe des Lettres et des Sciences morales et


Non-Resident Senior Fellow, The Glendon School

of Public & International Affairs, York University,



Le métier de diplomate, Bruxelles, Académie royale de

Belgique, collection l’Académie en poche, 2018.

Les diplomates belges, Bruxelles-Wavre, Mardaga, 2010

(with a foreword of the Minister of Foreign Affairs),

also published in Dutch and in English.

La carrière diplomatique en Belgique, Louvain-la-

Neuve, Presses Universitaires de Louvain, 2011.

Les mots de la diplomatie, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2015.

Le jeu des grandes puissances dans l'Océan Indien,

Paris, L'Harmattan, 1993.

La sécurité et la stratégie dans le golfe arabo-persique,

Paris, Le Sycomore, 1983.

30 articles in various publications.


Great Officer of the Order of Léopold II, Commander

of the Order of the Crown, Commander of the Order of

Léopold I (Belgium),

Various high foreign decorations.







In “Le métier de diplomate” Ambassador Raoul Delcorde

provides us with a clear and detailed depiction of what the

profession of a diplomat specifically entails, from the first

manifestation of professional diplomacy in the heydays

of the Renaissance Republic of Venice till nowadays. On

one hand, Ambassador Delcorde depicts a comprehensive

overview of European and International History to outline

the way in which the profession of a diplomat has changed

and evolved in relation to the larger context of European

and International Politics. On the other hand, Ambassador

Delcorde provides us with a thorough and comprehensive

analysis of the bilateral and multilateral practicalities of

diplomacy as well as an overview of the required skills

leveraged by a contemporary professional diplomat. This

assessment draws upon a deeply rooted and practiced

interdisciplinary approach that does not come as a surprise

knowing the academic background and expertise of

Dr. Delcorde.

growing ground of such an impressive line of diplomats who

serve with drive the Kingdom of Belgium and the European

and International Community. The Venetian Renaissance

connected for trade directly to Bruges, 1815 or the year of

both the Congress of Vienna and the Battle of Waterloo

before the gates of Brussels, WWI that cut so deeply into

Belgium, and the foundation of both the European Union

and the United Nations with Belgian politicians like Paul-

Henri Spaak amongst many others, are key milestones in the

development of the diplomatic profession. These events all

have a direct connection to Belgian history while the Belgian

sense of pragmatism and flexibility could not be suited

better for the high demands of global politics and diplomacy

in today’s rapidly changing world. As such, “Le métier de

diplomate” is a clear compass to understand diplomacy.

Review by Maarten Vermeir

Ambassador Delcorde is not only the ideal writer to depict

the accurate image of a professional diplomat in all her or

his facets, colors and layers, but equally he is a competent

and efficient diplomat — overseeing and facilitating the

endeavors of the Belgian Diplomacy specifically in some of

the challenging diplomatic regions in the world such as North

Africa and the Middle East, from Brussels. As convincingly

demonstrated in “Le métier de diplomate”, it becomes

crystal clear that an interdisciplinary toolkit of skills is

nowadays needed more than ever, specifically for diplomats

who operate in challenging international environments with

historical sensitivities. In this regard, Ambassador Delcorde

fits perfectly in the Grand Gallery of Belgian Diplomats,

which has inspired him to publish the pioneering book “Les

Diplomates Belges” (Mardaga, Brussels, 2010, also translated

into English under the title The Belgian diplomats).

It is truly fascinating to realize that a medium sized country

like Belgium is and will continue to be the birthplace and





What is your experience so far as an Ambassador

to Belgium and Luxembourg?

of this organization towards the development of these

Andean countries and their 110 million inhabitants.

My experience as Ambassador to Belgium and

Luxembourg has begun when I had the honor of presenting

Credentials to His Majesty Philippe, King of the Belgians,

on March 7, 2017; as well as to His Highness the Duke

Henri of Luxembourg, on September 21, 2017. Since the

Peruvian Embassy is also Mission of Peru to the European

Union, the work is even more interesting and represents a

real challenge every day, as much for the variety of issues

as for their importance in bilateral relations, covering

different areas: politics and diplomacy, economy, culture,

cooperation and exchange of high level visits, just to

mention a few.

On the other hand, I consider that Brussels, being the

European capital and the venue of important institutions,

is providing, thanks to its cosmopolitanism, a special

scenario, full of opportunities for the development of an

enriching diplomatic management.

Peru is a member of the Andean community;

how is Peru’s relationship with other Andean

member states?

Agriculture is one the major contributors to Peru’s

economy. How has Peru used technology to improve

their Agricultural production?

Agriculture is present in Peru from ancient times, with the

Incas and pre-Incas cultures. In modern times, this activity

has become much more important, for supplies to the

internal market, but also as a successful export activity to

many destinations. Peruvian agriculture exports have grown

from US$645 million in 2000 to US$6,600 million in 2018,

due to new developments and diversification of production

and destination markets, good agricultural practices and

up-dated agrarian technologies, applied particularly in the

area of fresh fruits and vegetables. Thus, Peru has become

the first world exporter of asparagus and artichokes, second

supplier of avocados and blueberries and fifth in fresh

grapes suppliers, not to mention also the first rank for

organic coffee and second for organic bananas, and growing

participation also for mandarins and mangoes.

Are there any Trade agreements between Peru

and the EU?

Peru is very active within the Andean Community and

it is working closely with its partners Bolivia, Colombia

and Ecuador, looking for a comprehensive, balanced

and autonomous development policies, in the context

of a process of integration with these countries. As you

know, the headquarters of this sub-regional organization

are based in Lima, Peru and the new Secretary General,

elected last January, is a distinguished national from

Colombia, Mr. Jorge Hernando Pedraza Gutiérrez.

Together with Colombia and Ecuador, we have a free trade

agreement with the European Union which governs our

bilateral trade and investments, providing long term rules


This association recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary,

in which occasion the four presidents got together in Lima

and renewed their integration commitment and signed

a Presidential Declaration recognizing the contribution

Natalya Berdkyan, H.E. Gonzalo Gutiérrez Ambassador of Peru and wife,

Barbara Dietrich

© Diplomatic World

Panoramic view of the main square of Lima, Peru

© Shutterstock

that insures private operators of their dealings with their

corresponding counterparts. The agreement, which was

signed first by Peru 6 years ago, has proven to be a good

instrument to support free trade helping also to adapt to the

new changing world trade environment.

Tourism today is an important economic sector. It is

contributing effectively to the gross national product

(GDP) of many countries in the world, because of its

role in national resources development and generating

employment, in addition to its social and cultural

importance. How do you see the role of Tourism in

the growth of cultural experience in Peru?

Tourism is a fast-growing sector in Peru, both for the appeal

of the history and ancient cultures of Peru, but also for its

outstanding nature in the three main geographical regions of

Peru, the coast, the Andes and the tropical forest.

Cultural experience due to the legacy of our ancient

civilizations, is a strong attraction for international tourists,

as it is also the beauty of the high mountain landscapes and

valleys, and the exuberance of the deep Amazonian forest.

So traditional tourism is enhanced with specialty tourism

modalities such as living cultures, sporting activities,

gastronomy, bird watching and others. From less than one

million visitors in 2000, tourism reached more than

four million in 2018.

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and Europe.

Are there any activities already in place to promote

Peruvian Arts and Culture?

We are planning the realization of a photographic exhibition

on Caral, the oldest city in America, with archaeological

remains of a civilization, little known in Europe, which

is 5.000 years old, and has developed in the north-central

region of Peru. In the Sacred City of Caral, we can find

temples, pyramids and amphitheaters located in a natural

area between the sea and the mountains, and which will

surprise the visitors and of course the public who will see

the exhibition.


Machu Picchu, Peru

© Shutterstock

Furthermore, in 2021, Peru will celebrate the bicentenary of

its independence, a special occasion in which the Embassy

will carry out a wide range of commemorative activities

in the city of Brussels, including roundtables about the

Independence history, some special philatelic emissions

as well as a project for the monumental lighting of some

emblematic façades of the city with the colors of the

Peruvian flag.

million to more than US$5,700 million in the last year.

Current plans are to update such an agreement, given

the important changes that have taken place in all our

countries, in such a period of time. In March this year we

have already concluded the first negotiation round with

Argentina. And in 2016 a deepening economic and trade

agreement was reached with Brazil, looking to accelerate

the trade liberalization process of ACE 51.


Recently we had the “Inca Dress Code” in the Royal

Museum of Art and History of Brussels. It was a great

success this exhibition of traditional textiles from pre-

Columbian Peruvian cultures.

Peru is an Associate member of the MERCOSUR

Countries. how has Peru benefited from it?

In December 2005, the government of Peru signed the

Economic Complementary Agreement with the Mercosur

members (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay)

which entered into force early the following year and was

technically known as ACE 51. Since then, bilateral trade

with MERCOSUR countries has grown from US$2,400

A highly successful agreement to underline is the PACIFIC

ALLIANCE between Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico,

that was signed in June 2016 with the aim of creating an

area of integration and progressively achieving the goal of

free movement of goods, services, capital and people, as

well as promoting a faster development, social inclusion

and a political and economic articulation and growth, with

emphasis in the Asia-Pacific area.

The PACIFIC ALLIANCE represents an integration and

open area of near 225 million inhabitants, that have more

than US$18,150 average per capita income, and more than

US$1,200 billion foreign trade per year. It receives 45% of

foreign total investments in Latin America and more than

Lima, Peru

© Shutterstock

55 million tourists per year. The rotating presidency which

this last year was held by Peru, will be transferred to Chile

next July.

During the Peruvian presidency, the Embassy of Peru

coordinated the organization of several Seminars on

business opportunities of the Pacific Alliance in Namur,

Ghent and Luxemburg, as well as an Ambassadorial visit

to Antwerp port. We organized a Seminar in Callao - Peru

with Customs officials of the four member countries which

will take place in the following weeks. Also, the PACIFIC

ALLIANCE will sign a cooperation agreement with the

European Union, probably in the next summit in Peru.




Interview with Anna Bryanchaninova, Youth

Climate Ambassador for Germany and Russia at the

Center for United Nations Constitutional Research,

CUNCR, on the organization’s climate initiative:

CUNCR, what does this organization stand for

and how is it organized?

The Center for United Nations Constitutional Research

(CUNCR) is an independent think-tank based in Brussels

(Belgium) focused on the United Nations Charter and

on promoting the constitutionaliziation of the UN and

of international law, with the aim of making global

governance democratic. That means for people to be

represented in global decision-making through a world (a

UN) parliament, which does not exist right now!

human rights law, cyber law and environmental law.

Currently, one of the primary areas in which we see a

need for global governance improvement is in the fight

against climate change. We agree that we are currently

facing one of the most critical climate crises of our

history and responses should be daring. We believe that

climate crisis is a governance crisis! That justice should

be pursued in the context of climate change and work

towards real responses such as global legislation and court

system to address it. As such, this has been the third year

CUNCR’s president and executive director is Dr. Sharei.

He started CUNCR together with 9 other founding

members, who are experienced (some life-long) activists,

theorists and practitioners for peace, democracy, business

ethics, federalism, civil rights: Daniel Schaubacher,

Roger Kotila, Bob Hanson, Marjolin Snippe. Dr. John

Sutter, Prof. Schwartzberg, Francisco Plancarte and

Andreas Bummel. The members and founders represent

all continents and major countries of the world. In

addition to its staff, CUNCR has a resident fellowship and

internship program that helps in its operation as well as

policy research and recently has welcome Youth Climate

Ambassadors as collaborators and decision makers in its

climate governance recommendations and programs.

CUNCR is mostly supported through membership

contributions and pledges from co-founders. However, it

receives grants from certain organizations especially from

the Global Challenges Foundation based in Sweden.

What fields do you cover and how does climate

fits into it?


Our think-tank focuses on creating better global

governance in different fields such as in criminal law,

that CUNCR have hosted a climate justice seminar, where

academics and practitioners come together to discuss the

challenges and potential solutions of addressing climate

change through international law.

You are “Climate Ambassador” but also the

organizations representative is Germany and

Russia. How does this go together?

Indeed, the combination makes perfect sense to me. I was

born in Russia. I love the country and keep my Russian

passport as a great treasure. Germany is my home of

choice, well organized and one of most involved countries

in environmental topics. I have also worked in crossborder

advisory for 5 years helping German companies

to enter the Russian market and vice versa. As I learned

about the start of environmental reforms in Russia with

a focus on waste management in 2018 one idea popped

up in my mind immediately: German technologies and

experience in process management is the vital know-how

that should be exported to Russia for waste separation,

transportation and recycling.

So, I am trying to use my knowledge, contacts and openmindedness

to make it happen. I started with figuring out

the main challenges that the industry is facing in Russia

and talked to the leading NGOs there. Their feedback

was amazingly positive, so I have my to-do list and have

already started looking for solutions. But Russia is also

a country of thinkers, so I am hoping to discover some

sustainable solutions that can be exported to Germany as

well. Speaking about me being Climate Ambassador, well

I guess my destiny just got me. I started my own challenge

of going Zero Waste at home last year and documenting

my experience to then share it with everyone via social

media. I hope to inspire people to follow my example.

By taking on the role and responsibilities of Climate

Ambassador I defined the point of no return to myself: so,

there is no going back anymore.

What are your “climate-goals” and how do

you follow up?

Recent evidence suggests that the Earth, now passing

390 parts per million by volume CO2 in the atmosphere,

has already transgressed the planetary boundary and is

approaching several Earth system thresholds. Besides

the loss of biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and

extinctions), we humans are the ones in danger. Climate

change is a result of an extreme way we impose an


economic development model to the logic of nature

and of human prosperity. However, climate change also

represents an opportunity to rethink our civilization

paradigm under the norms of sustainability. We will be

forced to start changing our consumption habits. It’s an

opportunity to set the pathway for a fairer society. The

current climate crisis will not distinguish whether you

are a developed or underdeveloped nation, its effects

are being felt by all earthlings. We see that the current

climate negotiations aren’t enough to set a safe limit

below a global warming of 1.5°C. As always, the business

scenarios reflect a lack of coherence and effort to reach

the global climate goals. This is indeed a crisis of climate

governance. But when people urge change, governments

will have to react. If us citizens, have the powers to take

decisions, to promote personal and global initiatives

to foster effective climate action, in the next decade we

will have a chance to reshape the catastrophic climate

scenarios into great transition scenarios. We should use

this crisis as an opportunity to build a transition towards


There are many things that any of us can and should

do in everyday life for the sake of our own future, those

here are my routines: CO2 reduction by using public

transport, bike, and train instead of airplane when I can.

I gave up my driving license course to commit to my

decision. Other measures: reducing the use of electricity

at home: minimum light, no dryer etc.; saving water in

the bathroom and in the kitchen by switching off the taps:

reducing the use of plastic and waste in general. There is a

lot more that easily can be done by anybody!

In today’s world there seems to be lots of

resistance to accept the necessity to alter behavior

in order to protect the planet. Is there a chance

to rescue the planet?

I do have hope to save our future. And yes, I want to

stress it: the planet will survive anyways, it has survived

active super-volcanoes, dinosaur extinction, meteorites

and many other bad things. It is not about the planet — it

is about avoiding the extinction of humankind. With the

fast, unsustainable technological development we have

suppressed nature and destroyed the natural balance.

We must stop here. I see 3 main challenges on the way:

1. resistance of the governments following interests of

small groups; 2. over-consumption caused by corporations

trying to maximize profits; 3. it's a race against time.

CUNCR with its program is trying to tackle the first two

challenges. The solution to the first problem we see in the


democratization of climate governance. Over-consumption

is the disease of today, here education and reaching

transparency can help. Of course, the satisfaction of basic

human needs (food, water, safety) is the precondition

for any change. Time is our main enemy: I am positive,

that strong and emotional media coverage is the key for

changing the minds of the broad audience. Nothing shown

on TV today or shared on Facebook will matter in 20

years if we have no clean air to breathe or water to drink,

healthy food to eat and place to live. After the dramatic

fires this year we probably have only another 10 years to

turn the tide. Just add this number to your age and let it

sink in.

In your professional live you are a controller in

the insurance industry. What gives you this major

volunteer involvement in CUNCR?

I love my job: it's interesting, challenging, and rewarding.

But I am also lucky to come from a very good background.

My parents (both scientists) provided me with all the

means they could for success and taught me the right

values. Plus, life quality in Germany is very high. I

consider all that an enormous privilege that few people

have on this planet. I feel the necessity, even my duty,

to give something back to the world, to the society.

Volunteering for CUNCR is an interesting challenge: it

combines fighting for what I love — nature — and political

involvement — out of my comfort zone. I have somehow

historically always managed change processes in all my

jobs, so I am ready for the next big one.

Plus, as realistic and rational as I am, I am a desperate

dreamer: I believe that if every person every day does

something good, we can start a big wave of love and

kindness and make the world a better place to live

for everyone: nature, animals and humans existing in


Interview by Dieter Brockmeyer

The photos were taken during the Climate Democracy and

Justice Summit in Greece (Korfu / Epirus) this summer.

Photos © Johannes Dellian for CUNCR.





An often overlooked region in world affairs, Central

Asia is gradually become more important for the

EU. While the EU has engaged with the Central

Asian region since the years of independence, it has

only in recent times gradually increased its presence

in the region, widening areas of dialogue and



A first EU strategy for the region was adopted in 2007,

which after 12 years was updated this year, and will guide

development cooperation programming in the region under

the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

The new EU strategy takes better into account the new

regional dynamic and reflects the new realities on the

ground, as well as the evolving needs for the Central Asian

countries. It is more focused and results-oriented than

its predecessor, responding to the needs of all sectors of

society. In short, the EU positions itself as a reliable partner

in the transformation of the region, having a strong interest

in seeing Central Asia develop as a stable, rules-based and

connected area rather than one of competition and rivalry.

The new strategy hence aims to forge a “stronger, modern

and non-exclusive partnership with Central Asia”.


• Partering for Resilience: the EU will partner Central

Asia in addressing their socio-economic challenges and

enhancing their ability to reform and modernise.

• Partnering for Prosperity: the EU will assist countries

in unlocking their growth potential, and an enabling

environment for the flourishing of the private sector;

unlocking barriers and constraints to intra-regional trade

and investment and promote sustainable connectivity.

• Working Better Together: The EU will work together

with the countries of Central Asia to strengthen the

architecture of the partnership, intensifying political

dialogue and opening up space for civil society


All these pillars constitute solid building blocks towards

achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

It is hoped that the new EU Strategy will likewise be

accompanied by a proportional increase in funding.

For the period 2014-2020, development assistance to

the region was worth EUR 1.1 billion, 62% up from

the previous programming period. Funding is likely to

grow again in 2021-2027, if the European Commission's

proposal to raise total funding for its external action across

the globe by 30% is approved.

At the same time, Central Asian countries are equally

committed to upgrading relations with the EU. Currently,

there is an ongoing process of upgrading existing

Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) to

next-generation Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation

Agreements (EPCAs) — finalised with Kazakhstan and

under negotiation with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In

addition, in July this year the EU announced the opening

of a fully-fledged delegation in Turkmenistan, the only

country in Central Asia which did not have one thus far.

Furthermore, the EU is supporting Central Asian efforts

to be integrated into the global economy through accession

to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). EU expertise

helped Tajikistan and Kazakhstan to become WTO

members in 2013 and 2015 respectively, and this year a

project was launched by the European Commission, in

cooperation with the International Trade Centre, to help

the Uzbek accession process. Accession to WTO enables

structural economic transformation transition to free

market structures and a liberal trade regime compliant

with international standards.

The strategy builds on the positive economic and political

developments of the region in the recent past. Central

Asian economies are slowly integrating into the global

economy, trade and investment flows and global value and

supply chains through the modernisation, diversification

and liberalisation of their economies.

Uzbekistan, in particular, has surprised many pundits by

the speed and scope of the large-scale domestic economic

reforms and opening-up that it has carried out under

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who came to power in

December 2016 after the passing of Islam Karimov. More

conciliatory foreign policy approaches have eased regional

tensions and opened the door to cooperation between

formerly hostile neighbours. At the same time, Central

Asian countries are becoming more interested in engaging

with Afghanistan.

The Strategy will also help tackle the region’s challenges in

the years to come.

sector in order to contribute to the creation of new jobs

per year for the young growing population and returning


The region is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate

change and the depletion of freshwater resources.

Increases in average annual temperature of about 2 degrees

Celsius across the region by 2050 are likely. Climate

change may reduce production of food reduction of

agricultural productivity. Furthermore, temperature rises

are shrinking at a fast speed the glaciers in the mountains

of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that feed Central Asia’s

main rivers (Amu Darya and Syr Darya). According to

a World Bank forecast, total crop yields in Central Asia

are expected to decrease by 30 percent by 2050 due to

changing climate patterns.

Hence, the EU will pay particular attention to support the

transition of countries towards green and climate-resilient

economies, less reliant upon hydrocarbons and more on

renewable sources of energy with which the region is richly

endowed (hydropower, solar and wind). More efficient

energy use is essential for mitigating climate change.

Central Asia’s population will increase over the next

decade — this puts pressure on countries to widen

employment opportunities and the need to provide the

growing population with quality social services, notably

health and education. Central Asia has a predominantly

young population of around 70 million (half of which are

under 30) which is expected to grow to 95 million by 2050.

In addition to its landlocked geographical position, the

regional economy and trade structure present a series of

structural shortcomings: over-dependent on commodities

(energy, minerals) and labour remittances. There is a

strong need for the countries of the region to focus on

economic diversification strategies and to introduce more

sustainable economic development models, including

through reducing dependence on commodity revenues and

privatisation of major state owned enterprises.

Strengthening the private sector is critical in the context of

the structural transformation process that countries in the

region are undergoing. It is also important for promoting

economic diversification and moving from traditional

sectors (such as natural resources) into more sophisticated

production activities (high value-added manufacturing and

services). Furthermore it is critical to have a robust private

The countries of Central Asia are developing national

strategies to transition to low-emission and climateresilient

economies (Kazakhstan, for example, aims to

produce half of the total electricity through renewable

sources by 2050 — up from just under 1 percent in

2013). Furthermore, the EU has made water and the

improvement of water efficiency one of the main priorities

of its development aid for the region. Because water has

always been a contentious issue in Central Asia — due

to the transboundary nature of such challenges — more

unity in the region is needed to be able to respond to them


Lastly, let us not forget the role of cultural diplomacy and

the increased participation of Central Asian countries in

EU education programmes like Erasmus+ which can also

play an important role in furthering EU objectives in the


In conclusion, the region of Central Asia lies at a critical

juncture. Expectations are high, and the momentum of

reforms and opening-up needs to be kept. For the EU, now

is the time to move from vision to implementation.

Alberto Turkstra






Diplomatic World is interested in informing its

readers about upcoming talents in diplomatic

circles. Having circulated an initial request for

suggestions, several readers have suggested to

write something about Brussels based lawyer

Philippe Billiet.

In recent years Philippe Billiet has been named in

diplomatic circles for his excellence and his innovative

approach to the provision of legal services to diplomats and

diplomatic missions. His interventions behind the screens

have helped retain good relations within and with missions

and his interventions in courts have helped to improve and

shape mission-related practices.

His ability to identify and construct a best approach to any

given issue then gradually coincided with an increasing

use of mediation, dispute review board, partnering, expert

determination, confidential listening, settlement counsel,

arbitration, conciliation, neutral case evaluation and other

less known but efficient ADR techniques in the realm of

matters that have or may have a diplomatic dimension.

Diplomatic World investigated why this particular lawyer

has become so popular in diplomatic circles and we would

like to share here with you our findings.




The approach of Philippe Billiet proves efficient and would

allow to keep in mind the essential interests of clients, as

well as to retain or restore a non-conflictuous tone and

amicable relationships.


Philippe Billiet dedicates much of his time in improving the

art of making a proper conflict diagnosis. This means that,

as opposed to the still existing trend of nearly automatic

litigation, he has developed and systematically applies a

model to ensure that each issue is first properly diagnosed

in such way that the best strategy to reach a maximised

outcome can be identified.

Philippe has been teaching these skills at the Brussels

VUB University and within the department of the Brussels

Diplomatic Academy, where his approach was first noticed

by Brussels diplomats in 2015. Soon thereafter Philippe

was asked to share his views in tailor-made communication,

negotiation and mediation trainings for diplomats on

communication, negotiation and mediation techniques.

The correlating client satisfaction rates have been detected

by several reputed lawyer-evaluating bodies and eventually

resulted in the issuance of several legal awards for

excellence, particularly as of 2017 onwards.

In 2019 Global Law Experts granted to Philippe Billiet

the award for “Sovereign Dispute Resolution Mediator of

the Year in Belgium”; Leading Advisers and Acquisition

International have both granted him the award for “Leading

Conflict Resolution Specialist of the Year” and Global

Venture, Corporate America Today, M&A Today and ACQ5

have bestowed upon him the award of “Arbitration Lawyer

of the Year in Belgium”.

Phillipe Billiet

© Phillipe Billiet


As the former COO of an international organisation

that deals with the promotion of alternative conflict

resolution, Philippe has over the last decade developed an

international network of lawyers that covers nearly all fields

of specialisations.

This means that, for nearly all matters, regardless of the

nature and scope thereof, he would be able to recommend

or team up with a relevant specialist lawyer.

Such desk mainly focuses on services for sovereign States,

international organizations, state-owned entities, investors,

government officials, diplomatic missions, diplomats,

international civil servants, lobby groups, companies and

non-governmental organizations, relating to;

• Local law compliance formalities for diplomatic

missions 1 ;

• WTO and general trade related matters 2 ;

• Investor-State or State-to-State issues 3 ; and

• Other matters relating to economic diplomacy. 4

We believe that this approach offers a perfect match

between flexibility, reduction of overhead costs, strong client

relationships, international reach and specialisation. Where

clients may initially have thought to find these elements only

in big law firms, they now tend to turn to Mr Billiet as their


If you would also like to recommend a person that

represents an upcoming talent in diplomatic circles, we

would be interested to know and inform our readers

thereof. To this end you can send an email to



Recent evolutions have brought with them that Philippe

Billiet, besides being a commercial lawyer, now also heads

a diplomatic desk (= team for public international law and

diplomatic relations) of a law firm.

1 E.g. Social security, Labour law, Contracts, etc.

2 E.g. Antidumping investigations, Anti-subsidy investigations,

Safeguard investigations, etc.

3 E.g. Investment arbitration, FDI screening, Sovereign mediation,

Investment treaties, Law of treaties and treaty interpretation, State

responsibility, Sovereign and diplomatic privilege and immunity, etc.

4 E.g. EU Regulatory, Competition law, State-Aid, Merger Review, etc.






Emotions That Heal the Soul

On the UNITY social movement

Today, the leading oncology centres of the world

actively develop an integrative approach. It was taken

as a basic element of the UNITY project created by

Alena Kuzmenko in Russia. It presupposes focusing

on psychological and emotional aspects of treatment

of oncological patients by means of different practices.

People from different professions and countries take

part in the project’s fulfilment. Cosmonauts are the

ambassadors of the UNITY movement.

patients. Within that work, much attention is paid to art

therapy, yoga, and meditation. The project’s volunteers

including artists, musicians, and representatives of other

artistic professions regularly host workshops in hospitals

and medical centres.

Creative activities positively affect people’s psychological

and emotional state. This is one of the effective means to

draw severely ill patients from depression.



Ms. Kuzmenko and her team see their mission in

improvement of the quality of life alongside with

psychological and emotional support of oncological

UNITY regularly organises on-site photo sessions and

exhibitions at medical institutions presenting both works

of professional artists and those of patients. A separate

programme of the project is dedicated to grooming when

having oncological diseases. Specialists share advice on

how to look good even at the most difficult moments


when human organism experiences serious changes and

is affected by medicines. All that makes it possible to

improve the patients’ mood and change their attitude to


International cooperation occupies an important place

in the UNITY’s activities. Once Alena Kuzmenko got

acquainted with an American astronaut Nicole Stott and

the artist Ian Cion carrying out humanitarian art projects.

By joining their efforts Ian, Nicole, Alena together with

the US artist Loli Lanas launched the Space for Art

Foundation led by the astronaut, artist and earthling (how

she calls herself) Nicole Stott. The mission of Space for

Art Foundation is to unite heroic children around the

world to help them overcome the challenges they're facing

through the wonder and awe of space exploration, an

appreciation of their role as crewmembers on Spaceship

Earth, and the healing power of art.


Within one of the projects, oncological patients from

different countries paint their dreams on the pieces of

fabric joined together into a Space Suit which is sent to

the International Space Station.

The UNITY social movement received its name to

commemorate the painted space suit that was manually

decorated by patients of oncological centres in five

countries within the Space Suit Art Project.

Cosmonauts became constant partners, ambassadors, and

real friends of UNITY. They regularly host meetings with

patients and communicate with them. Both children and

adults always look forward to seeing them.

Jeff Monson, American sportsman and Russian politician,

Didier Marouani, French composer and musician,

Barbara Dietrich, Editor-in-Chief of the Diplomatic

World Magazine in Belgium, and Ksenia Bezuglova, Miss

World 2013 among wheelchair women, Head of “Nothing

is impossible” charitable foundation, and champion in

parachuting took part in the event. Children from the

school #18 from the town of Krasnogorsk volunteered at

the event. Kids involvement in the charity projects is a

very important part of UNITY mission.

“The name UNITY itself presupposes unification. This is

not only a word for us. We unite in order to help the needy

at difficult moments of their lives”, says Ms. Kuzmenko.

Jointly Space for Art and UNITY launched a largescale

project called Sky/Space. On January 12, on

Cosmonautics Day, the Russian biggest park VDNKh

hosted the meeting of the project’s participants. They

could not only immerse into creativity and their dreams

but also communicate with interesting personalities and

listen to their inspiring stories about the meaning of space

for them.

“We are all different but have the single sky. This time, we

proposed our participants to use their imagination and

depict the space, the place where dreams come true”, says

Alena Kuzmenko.

The movement cooperates with not only art figures

and cosmonauts but also schools, social and charitable

organisations, museums and associations of people with

disabilities. Moreover, the project promotes international

exchange of best practices on working with oncological


“We cooperate with more than 30 countries through

the work of UNITY and Space for Art Foundation. It is

important for us to join efforts. When people with the

same values in life could act together, they will transform

the reality”, believes Alena Kuzmenko.


The idea to create a movement to support oncological

patients by means of unification of the international

experience came to Alena Kuzmenko several years ago.

Her mother was diagnosed with a terrible disease.

Ms. Kuzmenko brought to her to the USA where she

realised that countries could significantly develop in

combating oncology by exchanging the best practices.

As all women do, Alena Kuzmenko believes that it is

easier to overcome any life challenge in the atmosphere

of love. That is why the main task of UNITY is to provide

oncological patients with warmth and sincere care.

Ms. Kuzmenko emphasizes that many women including

those at leadership positions represent the charitable field.

They are the initiators of a number of humanitarian and

peace projects.

Ms. Kuzmenko shared her own mission as a woman with

Diplomatic World: “To sow the seeds of Love around the

world and make people reach the stars”.

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s


Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov








It is unnecessary to introduce long-time multi-million selling

artist Helmut Lotti. For almost 3 decades the Belgian

singer/songwriter has moved people in different parts of the

world with his music.

This year Helmut celebrates his 50th anniversary. What

people do not always know however, is that since almost

half of his lifetime, Helmut is an ardent advocate for the

protection of children’s rights.

UNICEF was the very first humanitarian organization

to appeal to celebrities to make its actions known to the

general public.

Danny Kaye can be considered as the pioneer of “goodwill”

Ambassadors. Between 1954 and 1987 he visited UNICEF

projects worldwide and, in this way, got the public to know

the work of the Children's Fund. He passed the torch to

Audrey Hepburn.

The popular singer became a Goodwill Ambassador for

UNICEF Belgium in 1997. Since then he made several visits

to UNICEF projects in the field, He witnessed UNICEF

emergency actions in Mozambique and Haiti, visited

nutrition projects for malnourished babies in Burundi and

was invited to participate in AIDS prevention and support

projects for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Namibia and


They paved the way for countless celebrities who have since

taken on the role of UNICEF Ambassador. The list of

international, national and regional celebrities consists of

people from all horizons. The many UNICEF Ambassadors

contribute in very different ways. What they all have in

common is their desire to improve the lives of children


What qualifies a singer to represent UNICEF?

And what good can celebrities really do?

Fame has some clear benefits in certain roles with UNICEF.

Celebrities attract attention, so they can focus the world’s

eyes on the needs of children, both in their own countries

and by visiting field projects and emergency programs


They can make direct representations to those with the

power to effect change. They can use their talents and

fame to fundraise and advocate for children and support

UNICEF’s mission to ensure every child’s right to health,

education, equality and protection.


© UNICEF Belgium

Helmut Lotti — Haiti

© UNICEF Katrijn Van Giel

I can say that I have always stood up for justice. I was only

eleven years old when I first did something for UNICEF.

A sponsored competition run was organized at school for

the benefit of the children in Haiti. My mother wanted to

give me one hundred Belgian francs for five rounds.

I ended up walking fifty and my mother lost a thousand

francs. We had seen a report on Haiti, and it had really

taken hold of me. I do not know exactly where I got that

sense of solidarity, although the fact that we had to share

everything at home, and it was not always easy would have

something to do with it.

It soon became clear that Helmut wanted to do more than

just be the face of a campaign. In consultation with the

UNICEF Belgium team, Helmut was increasingly called

in to generate attention for UNICEF actions in the field.

He traveled to Mozambique when that country was troubled

by heavy flooding and launched an emotional appeal from

one of the overcrowded refugee camps he visited.

This “desire to change the world” is most certainly present

with Helmut. His career with UNICEF started in 1997

when he became the “face” of UNICEF Belgium’s Greeting

Card campaign. For many years the UNICEF Greeting

Cards were an important source of income for the national

committees for UNICEF such as UNICEF Belgium.

The support of Helmut Lotti in the promotion of the

campaign resulted in a significant increase in the sale of

UNICEF greeting cards in Belgium and translated into

financial support for UNICEF projects in the field and

thus in improving the well-being of many children.


In 2005 Helmut patroned the UNICEF Belgium campaign

on the impact of HIV/AIDS on children. He traveled to

Namibia where he met young people who were infected with

the disease but also witnessed the impact of HIV/AIDS

on the so called “aids orphans”, children that lost their

mother or both of their parents through aids. At the time of

Helmut’s visit, the number of children orphaned by HIV/

AIDS in the developing world had reached crisis


In 2010, 10 months after an earthquake hit Haiti, Helmut

Travelled to Port-au-Prince to “see what the money collected

in Belgium had achieved so far” as Helmut put it. Amongst

all the misery and devastation, in a child-friendly zone

created by the Haitian Olympic Committee and UNICEF,

children played basketball. “Children remain children,”

Helmut said. “If they get the chance, they play, and this is

the true essence of UNICEF’s work: giving every child a fair

chance to a happy childhood.”

Some years later, in Burundi he witnessed the impact of

acute malnutrition on young children. UNICEF and its

partners set up a large-scale campaign distributing “Plumpy

Nut”, a therapeutic food supplement used to treat severe,

acute malnutrition in young children. With no more than

three bags of Plumpy’Nut per day for six to eight weeks,

you can save the life of a child, in times of famine, drought

or flooding. The use of Plumpy’Nut is a good example

of UNICEF’s innovative approach. Plumpy’Nut is a real

lifesaver and has drastically changed the treatment of severe,

acute malnutrition — one of the leading causes of death

worldwide for children under five.

Over the years, Helmut also regularly put his musical

talents at the service of UNICEF and the children. In 2008

he sang at the “Stars for Europe” concert at the foot of

the Brussels Atomium and in 2010 he participated in the

“Haiti Lavi 12-12” concert, organized for the victims of the

Haiti earthquake.

Helmut Lotti was present at many events supporting

UNICEF: press conferences, broadcasts, the launch

of a dedicated MontBlanc fountain pen, workshops for

legacy donors… Helmut also shows his sporting side, and

participated for UNICEF in the 24 Hours Cycling in Zolder,


Helmut Lotti — Haiti

© UNICEF Katrijn Van Giel

Helmut Lotti in Burundi

the 20 km from Brussels, the Starwood Bike Ride, the Stair

Climbing Race of the Sheraton hotel (466 stairs !) and the

post-tour cycling criterium in Sint-Niklaas.

In short UNICEF Belgium looks forward to working with

Helmut for many more years to come. As UNICEF Belgium

Spokesperson Philippe Henon puts it: “Helmut Lotti is a

true Renaissance man, a true ambassador that — together

© UNICEF Nicole Andrea

with the UNICEF teams — made a difference for many

children in the world. We are convinced that Helmut’s

continued drive, enthusiasm and professionalism is an

important support and added value for our daily efforts to

protect the rights of the world's children and to support

UNICEF programs in the field.”

Philippe Henon, spokesperson UNICEF Belgium


Guided by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) UNICEF works in some of the world’s

toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them

fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, UNICEF works for every child, everywhere, every day, to build

a better world for everyone.

“In Mozambique, Namibia, Russia, Burundi and Haiti, I have seen with my own eyes how effective UNICEF works. Those

visits convinced me even more that I made the right choice. I am a Goodwill Ambassador of the organization, because

that way I can structurally help and make a difference for children. I would love it if you could support UNICEF too.

Because the children need your help!” — Helmut Lotti, Goodwill Ambassador UNICEF Belgium

Want to learn more about the situation of the children in the world or on how you can support UNICEF? www.unicef.be


Helmut Lotti and Barbara Dietrich in Living Tomorrow

© Diplomatic World





Concerts in December:

20.12.2019 The Capitole in Ghent

26.12.2019 Royal Circus in Brussels

27.12.2019 Ethias Theater in Hasselt

28.12.2019 Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp

29.12.2019 Casino Kursaal in Ostend

Tickets via Gracialive.be


Helmut Lotti and Barbara Dietrich in Living Tomorrow

This year on 22 October Helmut Lotti celebrates his 50 th birthday. His first record was released 30 years ago. On this occasion

a jubilee box with 21 CD's and 13 DVD's will be released on his birthday.







In our quartet of close friends during the first few years

at the Ecole du Louvre, Laurent Le Bon was not only the

brightest but also the one who, simultaneously, was studying

political science at Sciences Po Paris. He also came first in

the Cultural Heritage Curator final ranking competition at

the Ecole du Patrimoine.

After being curator at the Centre Pompidou he was

appointed director of Centre Pompidou-Metz, and now he

is back in Paris where he has been President of the Musée

national Picasso-Paris since 2014. He is very unique in the

artistic sphere. Despite his busy schedule he will always

find some time to greet our friends from all over the world


© Diplomatic World

Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil, Fondation Beyeler

© Sucession Picasso

even though I usually announce the visit the night before.

Last July we were privileged to cross paths with him at the

Picasso Museum and the Rodin Museum in the same day.

At our invitation he has answered some of our questions for

Diplomatic World Magazine.

With Guernica, Picasso showed how an artist can

send out very powerful political messages. Today,

Cultural Diplomacy has become an important

component of international relations. What is your

view on this evolution and how does this impact your

work as President of the Picasso Museum in Paris?

Guernica has certainly become an icon of Picasso’s work

and, more broadly, of the artist’s commitment. I do not

think Picasso has a particular political lesson to give us, but

I think there is a lesson nonetheless: do what you say and

put your convictions into action. Rather than making great

declarations, when Picasso wanted to support the Republic

during the Spanish War, he put his words into actions.

Sometimes he is depicted as a not very generous person, but

we have found evidence of his financial support to different

movements. Likewise, he refused to let Guernica return to

Spain before democracy was restored. He had to wait for

Franco’s death before Guernica could come back to Spain

as this symbol of freedom. That was a real political gesture.

Today, Cultural Diplomacy is still an important component

of international relations. We are conscious of that and

we try to make our contribution through the projects we

organize in other countries and a generous loan policy.


In times of increasing talk about digital exhibitions, it

means something to offer people a real encounter with

Picasso’s work.

How important are relations and cooperation

with other museums around the world in your

management of the Picasso Museum?

professional adventure allowed for the showing of works

by Picasso in countries where it had never been done. For

example in September two exhibitions will open in Beirut in

Lebanon and in Izmir in Turkey.

What can you say about the next exhibitions taking

place in your Museum?

Since the reopening of the museum in 2014, relations and

cooperation with other museums around the world have been

at the heart of the Musée Picasso’s policy. It was essential

that the museum fully consolidated a leading place in the

research on Picasso and among the modern art museums

community. First of all, we tightened links with the other

monographic museums dedicated to the artist: the Museu

Picasso in Barcelona and the Museo Picasso in Malaga.

We co-organized several exhibitions with them. We also set

up several networks with this objective: a network bringing

together the museums preserving important collections of

Picasso’s works, an international network of the single artist

museums, and the network “Picasso-Méditerranée”. This

last one has been a very ambitious project over two years,

gathering 70 institutions in Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, the

south of France... It started in 2017 and it will be coming

to an end in December, after about 50 exhibitions. What

was amazing was that none of the 50 exhibitions organized

during the project were the same. Every institution was

free to choose its subject and the Musée Picasso supported

the project with loans and sometimes with scientific

advice. Some were thematic, others on a period, on a

specific media, but no two were alike. This extraordinary

The forthcoming months will be rich in beautiful

exhibitions. In late September, we will open a show devoted

to a period of some four years (summer 1926 — spring

1930) in Picasso’s art called “Tableaux Magiques” [Magic

Paintings] by the critic Christian Zervos. About 50 works

from this corpus will be presented to the public. It will be

an exceptional event since these works are today all around

the world; some will come on loan from Japan, the United

States, Sweden… I hope the public will be touched by these

paintings probing a deep emotional dimension. In 2020,

we will cover a completely different topic with exhibitions

devoted to Picasso and comics and the poetry and writings

of Picasso in spring, and then, in the fall, a dialogue

between Picasso and another master: Auguste Rodin.

This exhibition will be in partnership with the Musée

Rodin, in two parts, presented at the same time in the two

museums. In this show the visitor will discover that the two

artists have much more in common than we imagine: it is

quite fascinating to see that the comparison extends well

beyond sculpture.

Dr Pick Keobandith

Founder and International Director, Inspiring Culture








How we first met Catherine Chevillot,

the woman to be found quite literally at

the top of the Rodin Museum.

It is an amusing fact that both myself and Isabelle Janssen

(director of the Gabriele Munter Foundation, Munich)

my best friend and classmate when we were at the Ecole

du Louvre, have a connection with Catherine Chevillot,

Director of the Rodin Museum in Paris. Catherine Chevillot

was the young, dynamic and very serious professor for our

course specialization “19th Century Sculpture”.

Catherine Chevillot had also studied under Serge Lemoine,

the professor who supervised Isabelle’s doctorate. In Paris

he was the only one who organized unique conferences

for his MA and PhD students at Paris IV University

with the various architects on the sites of their recently

completed and costly buildings. Isabelle and I recall how

we particularly remember two of them — Jean Nouvel and

Frank Gehry. Talking about his building for the Fondation

Cartier, the former explained the importance of the

arena in helping us admire his architecture. Where as the

latter spoke about the inspiration of Picasso’s paintings

from different periods for his geometrically challenging

American Center.

Today we are glad of this opportunity to meet Catherine

Chevillot with our friends from Germany, Georgia and the US.

I express here my gratitude to her for accepting to be

interviewed for Diplomatic World magazine.

How can you explain the ubiquity of Rodin’s

monumental Thinker, visible in so many places

around the word?

This question is a permanent one for me! Since I have

been director of the Rodin museum, I have been amazed

to see how, from Mexico to Beijing or Helsinki to Rome,

people are fascinated by Rodin. I think at first, that Rodin

uses a unique language: the human body; and any one is

immediately concerned by this, the body is certainly what

we have as most precious, because our body is us. And

this language allows him to show all human passions.

What is more convenient to address to any culture, any

ages, any context? His expression leaves no one without a



© Diplomatic World

© Diplomatic World

As Director of the Rodin Museum, how do you

balance financial objectives and cultural ambitions?

In a way, it is Rodin himself who left indications to guide

us in our choices: he established that his museum should

go on with spreading his works. We have two ways to do

that: organizing exhibitions all around the world, and

carrying on bronze original editions. Those editions are

also an important income for the museum. So we have on

the one side all the missions of a national public museum

(conservation, public, education, etc.) and one very specific

mission given by Rodin himself. And on the other side, all

the incomes of a classical museum, and thanks to Rodin,

a very special one coming from selling bronze original

editions. So the Rodin museum makes its best efforts to

be a reference place for research on Rodin, as we have

all the archives on him, and has a scientific program of

publications (collections catalogue, archives, etc.). For

bronze original editions, I established a scientific advisory

board so that what we are doing could be checked and

controlled by external sculpture specialists.

Very few women are leading cultural institutions in

France. Do you consider yourself as an exception?

Do you see an evolution in favor of more gender

equality at the head of public museums?

Naturally I think it is good that women can achieve

leadership of institutions, in a cultural field or not. But

firstly, in France, it has been the case for quite a long time:


since the end of the Second World War, many institutions

have had a women at the top, and before me two women

have led the Rodin museum. Secondly, I fear an effect: we

need women so we take women. If the choice is between

a not so good woman and an excellent man, I prefer the

excellent man!

What can you say about the first monographic

exhibition of the woman sculptor Barbara

Hepworth in your museum?

I am really delighted to have the opportunity to do this

exhibition, because I discovered this artist during my

studies at the University of Dijon, when my professor

Serge Lemoine taught us sculpture of 19th to 20th century.

With Arp, she is certainly the artist that made the deepest

impression on me.

© Diplomatic World

Barbara Hepworth really invented a unique aesthetic world,

a complete harmony between the human, the landscape and

the light, with a marvelous sense of shape.

As afterwards I became a specialist of the Nineteenth

Century, I could not imagine that I could do this show.

Dr Pick Keobandith

Founder and International Director, Inspiring Culture


© Diplomatic World

© Diplomatic World

© Diplomatic World

© Diplomatic World




“In the forty-third year of my life, a heavenly voice spoke

unto me: “Infirm human, ashes to ashes, mould from mould,

say and write what you see and hear!” The heavens opened

and a brightly glowing, fiery light came down, pouring over

my entire mind and heart; and like a flame which does not

burn, but merely warms, it ignited my breast. And suddenly I

grasped the sense of the interpretation of the books, namely

the Psalter, the Gospel and the other Catholic writings, as

well as the Old and New Testaments.”


Hildegard of Bingen fascinates people: the story of her life

has been told for over 800 years, always in new versions and

always a little differently. This is due to the unbelievably

diverse facets of her personality and her work. “New”

aspects of Hildegard could — and still can — be discovered

in all epochs. In the late twelfth century, Hildegard’s first

biographers were mainly intent on listing the miracles of the

Saint. Her visions were then disseminated for centuries as

interpretations of the future — and prophecies of this and

that were attributed to her.

Later, details of her life were imaginatively painted in: a

meeting with the great Bernhard of Clairvaux, for example,

or with the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. In modern

times, many people can no longer accept Hildegard’s visions

as God-given: Did she suffer from migraines, for example?

And only a few decades ago did she become popular as the

inventor of holistic naturopathy.

But who was Hildegard of Bingen really? It was in the

middle of a major time of turbulence in European history

that Hildegard of Bingen was born, probably in 1098, as the

child of aristocratic parents. These prestigious origins were

to form an important prerequisite for Hildegard’s successful

endeavours for the whole of her life. Hildegard’s home

is the old cultivated landscape between the Rhine, Nahe

and Hunsrück with its Roman heritage and its openness

to traffic. Hildegard’s special talent made an appearance

in her earliest childhood years. She reports of perceptions

which remained invisible to those around her — and that

she preferred to keep such experiences to herself for fear

of rejection. From her early childhood, Hildegard often

suffered from illnesses and physical infirmity.

Hildegard was destined early on for a life dedicated to God:

she was only eight years old when she was handed over,

together with Jutta of Sponheim, only a few years her senior,

for the purpose of a spiritual education. Her relationship

with the charismatic Jutta was forged from this time

onwards, and represented a formative experience for the

young Hildegard. This relationship deepened when Jutta,

Hildegard and another girl moved into the “Frauenklause”

(women’s hermitage) at the new Disibodenberg monastery

when she was only 14.

With Hildegard’s entry into the monastery begins a 30-year

phase in which she is hardly featured in the sources. It is

extremely hard to form an image of Hildegard’s daily life

and development during this phase of her life. We are not

even sure of the exact location and character of the women’s

hermitage: did the women live there in a completely

walled-in environment or rather as in a “normal” convent?

Whatever the case, the community was highly characterised

by Jutta’s personality, whose deep piety expressed itself in

ascetic self-denial. Hildegard also reports that Jutta was

her only teacher: from her she learned to sing the Psalms

and play the harp. Hildegard states no other sources for her

education. Yet she must have received multiple stimuli from

other sources, for example from educated monks.

The year 1141 represents the major turning point in

Hildegard’s life. We have to imagine long, regular working

© Museum am Strom

sessions in which the first visionary work slowly and over

a period of years took on literary shape. Here the learned

monk Volmar provided assistance for Hildegard. He

transferred the spontaneous notes of the visionary into

correct Latin — this is referred to in the image of the author

in “Liber Scivias”, which depicts Hildegard with a wax

tablet and her “secretary” with a book in his hand.

Hildegard’s effect as a writing prophetess must soon have

had an impact outside of Disibodenberg. Apparently, it

was the Abbot himself who informed the Archbishop

of Mainz on the unheard-of proceedings taking place in

his monastery. Archbishop Heinrich, on the other hand,

decided to defer judgement on the writings to the Pope

— in particular as the Pope was staying in nearby Trier

over the winter of 1147/48 for some time. Surprised by

the information on Hildegard, Pope Eugen III is said to

have read in public from the SCIVIAS in Trier. Bernhard

of Clairvaux is also said to have been there and to have

honoured Hildegard’s prophetic talents. In this way,

subsequent to receiving her heavenly call, Hildegard also

received the order to proclaim her visions from the highest

authorities of the worldly church. There had never been

such a prophetess authorised by a Pope in the entire history

of the church! With the assumption of her prophetical

assignment begins a long series of letters which Hildegard

addresses to people all over Germany and outside the

country. For Hildegard, these letters were a medium of

equal importance to the visionary works when transporting

her divine messages into the world.

Numerous bishops and archbishops, above all the

three Rhine Archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier,

corresponded with Hildegard and held her advice in high

esteem. The same applied for abbots, abbesses, provosts,

priors, canons, canonesses, monks and nuns from Albon to

Zwiefalten. She was also involved in exchanges with worldly

figures — above all the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. But

also the English royal couple, the Byzantine Empress Bertha

and Dukes and Counts were amongst her correspondence


At approximately the same time as the events in Trier,

Hildegard began to make preparations for the foundation

of her own convent. On the Disibodenberg, the facilities for

the growing women’s community had become limited — and

anyway, a life in the hermitage appeared no longer suitable

for the public figure Hildegard had now become.


For this reason, Hildegard’s most important supporter,

the Count Palatine Hermann of Stahleck, probably also

considered her presence in the city to be a fortunate

circumstance. He provided the basic material requirements,

and even offered to act as the worldly patron for the new

monastery: in this way he, too, would be able to profit

from entirely new possibilities for influence in the city of

Bingen, which had up to now been subject to his greatest

rival, the Archbishop of Mainz. In around 1150, when

today’s metropolises such as Munich or Berlin still had

yet to be founded, Bingen was considered one of the main

locations on the Rhine which already possessed a city

character: a market had been located there for centuries,

and the merchants of Bingen are recorded as having reached

Koblenz and Trier as long-distance traders.

The initial years at Rupertsberg were not easy: there

Hildegard was faced with a life of privation during the

construction of a new monastery. Over a period of years, the

visionary was forced to deal with resistance and a lack of

discipline within her convent. Some nuns refused to bow to

the difficult conditions and left the community completely.

The conditions in her convent had finally been settled.

Now the prophetess, who meanwhile had reached the end

of her sixtieth year, was able to set off as an admonisher,

advocating the contemplation of a life agreeable to God

even here on earth. Around 1160, Hildegard holds what

are probably her first public sermons. She thereby breaks a

taboo, as the annunciation had hitherto been reserved for

priests. Travelling, too, was in fact prohibited for nuns who

had obligated themselves to a secluded life in the convent.

Yet Hildegard calls upon a state of emergency law which

decrees that, if priests and bishops are entangled in worldly

matters, she, the prophetess, must proclaim God’s word.

some of her nuns in the previous years caused Hildegard

to write this work, as her descriptions of the vices are

sometimes so vivid that they can almost be identified as

the vicious talk of rebellious sisters. The book, whose

educational character is clear to see, was however also

conceived as an aid for the preaching activities of priests.

Hildegard was primarily concerned with the annunciation.

At her late age, Hildegard becomes braver than ever in

taking up the fight against the societal ills of her time.

Hildegard now chooses drastic words: in furious sermons,

she reads the priests in Cologne and Trier the riot act in

around 1165. She also makes herself very clear at the age of

over seventy at a public appearance in Kirchheim-Bolanden,

where she warns the clergy: “Princes and the imprudent

population will descend upon you, oh priests.” She severely

admonishes mankind to return to a way of life agreeable to

God. And even the great visionary work of her later years,

the Liber Divinorum Operum (“Book of Godly Works”

1163-1173/74) with its comprehensive description of the

entire Creation culminates in the description of a tribunal

of depraved clergy: as avengers, the righteous aristocrats

appear, who are to ensure the restoration of the order

ordained by God.

Not all prelates were happy with this. In 1178, shortly

before Hildegard's death, an interdict was placed upon the

Rupertsberg convent: from then on until its abolition, it

was prohibited to administer sacraments and perform acts

of worship. The interdict was also often used as a means of

coercion. For Hilegard, who was not only prophet, scientist

and writer but also a composer, that was a very hard

decision: the prophetess composed 77 songs and a spiritual

ballad opera.

In particular in the years 1151-1158, but probably over

the entire duration of her writings, Hildegard compiled

natural history texts. In this form, the work provides a

view of all animate and inanimate nature unique for the

time. Even if Hildegard’s authorship of a natural history

work is undisputed and the basic layout recognisable, the

original detailed text by Hildegard remains unknown today:

whereas original manuscripts are available of all other

works by the prophetess, the natural history texts have only

been handed down in transcripts from the thirteenth to

fifteenth centuries. Between 1158 and 1163, Hildegard’s

second visionary work, the “Liber Vitae Meritorum”, a large

work on the fight between virtues and vices, is written. It


is probable that her experiences with the unbiddability of

© Diplomatic World

© Museum am Strom

In a letter to the Mainz prelates who imposed the interdict

on Rupertsberg in 1178 which forbade choir singing in the

convent, Hildegard formulated a kind of “music theology”.

Prior to the Fall, it was possible for people to take part

in the praise to God by the angels. Firstly, the prophets

received back some of the previously lost knowledge.

Through songs and the sound of instruments, people should

be taught and encouraged to lead a life agreeable to God.

Henceforth, the devil has done everything to prevent sung

praises to God. Therefore the devils' work abets whoever

thoughtlessly prevents choir singing.

Dr. Matthias Schmandt

Director Museum am Strom, Bingen

Museum am Strom

Museumstraße 3

55411 Bingen am Rhein



Dr. Matthias Schmandt and Barbara Dietrich

© Diplomatic World






Visiting Ulrike Bolenz’s atelier in Vilvoorde is a

privilege. The reward for doing this as a passionate

art lover and professional is rewarding. Discovering

existing works and having a sneak peek into the

process of new work, while being able to feel and

touch the materiality and layers of the work, is a

pleasure and brings a person close of imagining

oneself as being an artist.

Not from a romantic point of view; the art world today

has evolved in a tough world for the artist who has to

create, develop a consistent but innovative discours and

contextualise his or her work on a permanent basis before

presenting it. True to oneself but also taking care of the

market, the galleries and collectors and of course the

institutions and curators; stakeholders that always push the

artist on the edge of a very tin line. For many artists, there

is a golden rule that says ‘you are as good as your latest

work’. The complexity of being an artist today is hopefully

compensated by several ways of expressing oneself, in

freedom, and sharing creativity and happiness for the artist

and the environment.

driven by a feminine touch, and always influenced by layers

of political awareness and engagement. Apart from the

portraiture paintings that are often commissioned and more

colourful and more gentle towards the subject, the works

that are realised from her free spirit are often organically

built up towards a catharsis, for both the artist and her


In her 30-year career Ulrike Bolenz has developed a highly

individual body of work that lies somewhere between

tradition and experiment, often starting from a classical

stroke moving to a surprising way of applying new and

diverse techniques. Her works are extremely fascinating

to look at because they show and conceal themselves

simultaneously. Ulrike Bolenz offers us fragments of

stories, but she often speaks in half words, erasing traces

as if she wanted to keep an unspoken secret concealed.

The paradox in looking at her work goes from fierceful and

powerful, towards whispering and soft. Her body of work,

transgressing different media like paintings, sculpture and

installations, graphic art, video, photography — even reusing

old techniques as the Daguerreotype — and collage, is

audience; this purification results in new forms of emotional

beauty, happiness and freedom. The feminine touch does in

no way means the artworks address particularly to women,

on the contrary, for Bolenz it is about the human being, who

is per definition gender neutral. The art works are almost

inviting the audience to touch them, the skin of the material

comes close to the human skin with its scars and bruises, its

softness and pores.

center of the installation/painting is occupied by a death

man, a casualty of our human behaviour. In terror and

destruction, hope is not far away. Ulrike Bolenz is confident

human beings are optimistic, strong and innovative. We are

able to stand up towards catastrophes, environmental issues,

financial crisis, war and migration.

Two thematics of work are leaving traces finding its roots

on (wo-)man’s life. A consistent thematic for the artist is

the mythical figure of Icarus, a metaphor for our lives as

humang beings, rising and falling, cyclical, emotional with

the daily burden of the consequences of our actions and

choices. When people are represented by the artist in the

artworks, life-size figures inhabit the artworks; the human

size of the protagonists works very well; the confrontation

is more direct, dimensions on a human scale bring us closer

to identify ourselves with the artist’s model. Secondly a

yearly series of artworks relate to the yearly overviews in

December / January of news channels etc. The horizontal




In parallel, Ms Dietrich is travelling the world with

another iconic art work of Ulrike Bolenz, The Columns

of Peace. The beautiful images of joyful and laughing

women embody the love of women and mothers for their

children, while teaching them kindness, moral values and

courage. Moreover, they allow every child to experience

the joys of life and give them happiness.

It is the same with wise politics, which is a supporting

element of building the human communication. Ulrike

Bolenz imagines the Columns of Peace as towering

and noticeable pillars, which should remind the whole

world that only the happiness of human existence could

strengthen the tolerance, unity, and deep understanding

of diversity of people’s thoughts and religions.

Women always strive for creating harmony and

preserving peace and cooperation between nations.

That is why they took their places on the Columns of

Peace. The column symbolises historically positive

terms such as stability, strength, and pivotal power

while laughter of humans characterise positive content

such as security, will to live, and a free spirit. Pillars

are supporting structural elements in the architecture.

The artist herself mentions that the artwork symbolises

the main goal of the European Union, which is to unite

and reconcile all European nations. Ulrile Bolenz has

been teaming up with Barbara Dietrich for a long time,

since moving to Belgium. Since Ms Dietrich took over

Diplomatic World Magazine, Ulrike got involved in

creating a Peace Dove as a signature print for delivering

Ms Dietrich’s message of peace to leaders worldwide.


Born in 1958 in Germany, Ulrike Bolenz lives and works

today in the multicultural environment of Vilvoorde,

Belgium, 15 minutes from the center of Brussels.

She graduated in 1979 from the Art Academy in Kassel,

and she was taught by Prof. Manfred Bluth and Tom J.

Gramse. Ulrike Bolenz has featured in solo and group

exhibitions throughout the World and has an impressive

list of public assignments and entries in renowned

collections and museums in Belgium and abroad.

Recently her artworks were displayed in Russia

(Saint Petersburg, Moscow), Hong Kong, Germany

(Berlin), Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Hasselt, Brussels,

Ghent, Steenokkerzeel-Kasteel van Ham), France and

Italy (Rome, Venice).







I remember how Paul Van Hoeydonck told me that

he grew up in Antwerp as a child, and that when

he looked up through the attic room at night, he

saw the Cathedral of Our Lady in all its impressive

Gothic Art, but also how he spent hours staring at

the moon — already back then.

It was the start of a fascination that Paul never lost ever

since. He breathes ‘Antwerp’.

As Antwerp's Alderman of Culture, I have followed the

artistic work of Paul Van Hoeydonck for many years. His

importance as an artist cannot be underestimated. First as

Antwerp helmsman of the G58 movement, when he made

geometric, abstract works. And remarkably, from the very

beginning, Paul Van Hoeydonck looked beyond our national

borders. He gradually found his own voice. He made

sculptures and experimented with materials, materials that

he often gave a second life.

We became true friends in 2014, in the run-up to the

ISWA World Congress, a groundbreaking international

congress on the global approach to the waste issue that

was organized in Antwerp that year. I absolutely wanted

Paul Van Hoeydonck on stage then. He was there with the

American astronaut Al Worden — together again for the

first time since 1971. Together they spoke about the major

challenges of today: the future of our planet, the impact of

climate change, the beauty and the mystery of the universe.

Van Hoeydonck and Worden together in the early 1970s.

One made a historical space journey with the Apollo 15, the

other made an art object that is still floating in space today.

‘Fallen Astronaut’ is the only work of art on the moon to

date. The artist who created it is Paul. The astronaut who

took the figurine into space is Al. That was in 1971, indeed.

Van Hoeydonck's artwork is a tribute to all astronauts and

cosmonauts — Americans and Russians — who died during

a space travel. The exceptional of that artistic mission to

the moon is also evident from the following story. When

American President Nixon had to give the green light to the

statue for boarding Apollo 15, he only asked one question:

‘Is Van Hoeydonck a republican or a democrat?’ When

he got the answer that Van Hoeydonck is a Belgian he

answered: ‘Oh, but that won't hurt.’


Since the 1960s, the United States has been engaged in

a fierce Race on Space with the then Soviet Union. The

race for the ‘first man on the moon’ was a real prestige and

propaganda battle. It was not without reason that President

John F. Kennedy had said in the 1960s: ‘In a very real

sense, it will not be one man going to the moon it will be to

an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there’.

The shared passion for space brought the gentlemen

Viscount Dirk Frimout Astronaut, Marleen Meyers and Paul Van Hoeydonck

© Diplomatic World

Jacques Vandermeiren CEO Port of Antwerp, Viscount Dirk Frimout Astronaut, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Annick De Ridder Alderman for

Port Antwerp and Philip Heylen, Honorary Alderman of the City of Antwerp

© Diplomatic World

We know about Richard Nixon how he ended up in

the history books without honor. But today, Paul Van

Hoeydonck's art is praised and shown more than ever

before, at home and abroad.

What I admire most in Paul Van Hoeydonck is his vitality

and the curiosity with which he stands in life. His eye and

ear for young artists, his attention for the current social

debate, his watchful eye on the challenges that the world

faces today. Paul is a man of that world and of his time. He

continues to inspire as an artist and as a committed person.

The statue of Van Hoeydonck on the moon is called ‘Fallen

Astronaut’. But today Paul prefers to refer to ‘Man on the

Moon’. He wants it to be a universal symbol of hope, rather

than tragedy.

together. Wherever she is at that moment. When I talk to

the moon, it feels like I'm talking to her. Don't you think

that is romantic?’

For that reason alone, Paul Van Hoeydonck is a very

beautiful person, but for me he remains one of our most

important artists of the past 7 decades.

And so we end up on a positive note. And a quote from Paul


And I quote: ‘I have a small appointment with the moon.

Every time at full moon I ask my wife to stare at heaven

Barbara Dietrich, Jan Engels, Viscount Dirk Frimout Astronaut,

Paul Van Hoeydonck and Kristina Engels

© Diplomatic World





An exuberant tropical forest in countless shades of

green, at once detailed and misty, birds in flight,

the touch of a butterfly... always.

These are the details that catch the eye in the art of Lelli

de Orleans e Bragança; her paintings are windows to

the natural beauty of the tropics, observed through the

unique perspective of the artist.

Her works reveal the perfectionism in her art. A timeless

style, more Impressionist than Realist. The views are

mostly of pristine natural settings, where exotic birds and

butterflies are the main animal subjects, humans rarely

disturb the peace.

A daily need for peace and beauty is the driving force

behind her aesthetic quest. “When I’m painting, my aim

is to create a haven of peace and tranquillity. While that

is my main goal, my landscapes don’t reveal everything at

first glance, one has to let the eye wander and explore in

order to find the hidden details.” Some expanses of her

canvases verge on the abstract, hues of colour in multiple

layers, but she is a figurative painter at heart.

Brush strokes of paint bring lush and often mysterious

scenery to life on canvas; one can almost feel the breeze

rustling in the palm trees, the soft mist enveloping the

forest. They’re magical openings onto the infinite worlds

of nature; wide angles that can lead the eye to distant

horizons, or bring it into tiny leafy microcosms, inhabited

by colourful tropical insects. Her birds are outstanding,

flying through the forest or perched on branches; they

practically burst out of the canvas in their rich, luxuriant


her entourage when she came to live in Rio de Janeiro.

The family passion for horse riding also runs in her blood

and has taken Lelli on trails far and wide, from Machu

Picchu in the highlands of Peru, to the hills of Tuscany.

She has also covered long stretches of her country’s

interior, an endless source of inspiration for her work.

Scuba diving is another sport that has taken her across

the globe, from Bora Bora to the Caribbean, though she

particularly loves to explore the aquamarine waters of

Angra dos Reis and visit the whale sanctuary of Atol das

Rocas in her native land.

Princess Maria Gabriel de Orleans e Bragança prefers

to be called Lelli, a childhood nickname that she has

adopted in her personal and artistic life. On her father’s

side of the family she descends from the kings of France

while her mother was a Bavarian princess. She has eleven

brothers and sisters, the four eldest were born in France,

Lelli is the youngest of the seven born in Brazil and spent

her early childhood at the family estate in Jundiaí do Sul,

in the state of Paraná.


Needless to say, Lelli is a firm believer in protecting the

environment and wildlife. A nature lover by birth, her

ancestor, the Empress Leopoldina, a Hapsburg princess

married to Pedro I of Brazil, was fascinated by natural

history and brought biology and botany professors with

Lelli and Maria Gabriella de Orleans e Bragança, Jan and Kristina Engels

© Diplomatic World

It was in the bucolic climate of these southern farmlands

that her parents, prince Pedro Henrique de Orleans e

Bragança and princess Maria da Baviera de Orleans

e Bragança, first introduced her, and twin sister Rezi,

to paints and brushes, and where they developed their

artistic skills under the watchful eye of their father, a

gifted water-colourist. Their mother preferred to paint

on porcelain; her minute detailed renderings of XIXth

century scenes of Botafogo bay in sepia are exquisite, and

a cherished influence in her daughters’ work.

Other influences are Albert Eckhout, Franz Post, and the

traveling artists who came to Brazil with the Portuguese

court in 1808: Debret, Rugendas and Faccineti.

After graduating in design in Brazil, Lelli went on to

finish her studies at the renowned Van der Kelen art

school in Belgium. There she perfected her style and

learned the “trompe l’oeil” technique, acquiring detailed

knowledge of perspective and the depiction of marble,

stone and wood on canvas. She continued to paint in

Europe for many years before returning to Rio de Janeiro

and dedicating herself to painting the exotic Brazilian

landscape. Her work was very well received and it’s

success took her abroad for exhibitions in Portugal,

France, Belgium and Germany. She is an artist whose

talent is devoted to showing the exotic tropical scenery of

Brazil all over the world.

Rezi, her twin sister, also attended the Van der Kelen

Institute and is a gifted artist. She worked with Lelli

for many years before getting married and moving to

Belgium, where she became well known for her works

on porcelain. Now that her children are grown, Rezi has

again joined Lelli in painting canvases. Recently the

sisters went trekking in the forests of the Mata Atlântica,

on the coast of the state of São Paulo, on a research trip

for their exhibition “The Brazilian Rainforest”, which

will open in Belgium. Two talented artists reunited in

their quest to depict the fauna and flora of the exuberant

Brazilian tropical forests.

Photos Lelli de Orleans e Bragança








It all started when Thierry Poncelet, who grew up as

a child in an artistic environment, was commissioned

to restore an artistocratic portrait of an 18th century

painting. Feeling bored and fed up with the looks and

expression of the portraited lady — while being crisscrossed

by his own cocker spaniel — the artist decided to ‘restore’

the painting with his ‘dog’s’ face… on a temporary basis

because eventually Thierry had to give the restored

painting back to his commissioner. But the idea turned

into a concept, and the “Aristochien” painter was born.

Thierry Poncelet became a loyal visitor of auctions,

antique shops and public sales looking for the right

18th–19th century paintings for his new practice.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him

prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the

principal difference between a dog and a man.

—Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

The exhibition at WM Gallery in Antwerp, run by Patrick

Declerck, is called Private Collection and will probably be

the last public exhibition of Thierry Poncelet, after showing

these works in the Summer of 2019 in the beautiful French

castle of Château de Gramont. A true occasion to discover

the master’s ‘dog-kennel’ this November, December for the

last time.

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would

stay out and your dog would go in.

—Mark Twain, a Biography

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven,

not man's.

—Mark Twain, Letter to William D. Howells,

2 April 1899

Aristochien became Poncelet’s signature, but one can’t

argue that these paintings go beyong a simple master’s

trick. The artist creates with a careful chosen dog’s

head, in combination with the selected original painting,

a new original art work, splendid in its technique and

especially in the reinterpretation and the psychology of

the old and new model. The contemporary viewer is only

able to experience the dog’s face and is obliged to use

his imagination for projecting the original model. The

technical expertise and the thorough research of painted

materials and used canvases or wooden panels make his

reputation solid and almost unique in his domain.

Along his career Thierry Poncelet has been influenced by

19th Century French caricaturist J.J. Grandville but also

by the great portrait painters like Bronzino, van Dyck,

Winterhalter, Boldini or even Modigliani.






Wolstraat 45 | 2000 Antwerpen | www.wmgallery.be

Open from Thursday until Sunday from 1 pm until 6 pm






Last September at the invitation of our friend

George Ramishvili, chairman of Silk Road Group,

I was privileged to attend the inauguration of the

fabulous first Tsinandali Festival of classical music.

I admired to see how he has continued to believe that

modern business forms an integral part of the world’s social

and cultural community since our cooperation for “Dialogue

with Emperor Qin: China EU Contemporary Sculpture

Exhibition” in 2010.

Today, with his very bright and efficient team, Martin

Engstroem and Avi Shoshani — who are the artistic directors

and also founders of Tsinandali Festival — they have created

this top quality, international festival of classical music,

which is absolutely innovative and without precedent in

Georgia. They have brought together old and young worldclass

musicians and conductors, with the experienced

Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and the Pan-Caucasian

Youth Orchestra. The latter was George’s wish, to bring the

hope of living in peace to the young generation in Georgia


Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra

© Tsinandali Festival

Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra

© Tsinandali Festival

and the neighboring countries. He believes that the most

powerful weapon in this region is music. Classical music

is anchored in the heart of the people. The Pan-Caucasian

Youth Orchestra is composed of 80 talented young members

(aged 18-28), showcased for the very first time at the

Tsinandali Festival. The following countries also support

them: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey,


What are your ambitions for the

Tsinandali Festival ?

To contribute to the upholding and continuation of the

Tsinandali Estate’s historical, cultural and educational

traditions has been an ambitious undertaking to start with.

The Tsinandali Festival forms a perfect embodiment of

this continuation: it has made my dream of making the

Tsinandali Estate a cultural and educational center of

international importance come true.

The Festival is a partnership with your company

Silk Road and the State of Georgia. What benefits

can you expect for your organization?

First of all I want to express our gratitude to the government

of Georgia for its support given to the festival, which I think

is unprecedented even in comparison with many wealthier

states. We hope that this first festival has done its job and

that future festivals will do even better. We expect benefits

for both Georgia and Tsinandali, claiming a place on the

map as one of the best classical music events. Apart from

its cultural and educational impacts, it will have an indirect

economic impact with the growth of tourism, with more

people appreciating the beauty of our country, bringing

progress and a better life to its inhabitants. There is a real

example of this in Verbier from where we took inspiration

and we hope to repeat this in Kakheti. If you mean any taxrelated

benefits or anything of that sort, there are none.

Why the choice of classical music?

There is a rich tradition of classical music in Georgia.

Many Georgians are internationally renowned musicians,

be they opera singers, violinists or pianists. Classical music

is a universal language of culture and we are happy to have

Georgian and international musicians and audience speaking

this language in Tsinandali, the language of peace and harmony.


oute, the ancient geopolitical axis connecting Asia with

Europe, where currents from the East link to those from the

West, diverse ideas are exchanged and differences bridged

by common values.

In a push to rediscover Georgian heritage through the revival

of the country’s wine making traditions, SRG invested in

a project to restore and promote the famous Tsinandali

estate and gardens in the Kakheti region, the 19th Century

Chavchavadze family manor house, its landscaped garden,

a historic winery, wine cellar, hotel, museum and café,

operating as a cultural and educational center. Tsinandali

hosts numerous events and exhibitions, including an

international classical music festival of growing importance.

Martin Engstroem and Avi Shoshani

© Pick Keobandith



The performing artists come from all around the

world, is it your intention to make this festival an

international event?

Yes, this is our intention, our dream and hope.


George Ramishvili is the Founder and Chairman of Silk

Road Group. An entrepreneur with over twenty years’

experience, George founded SRG in 1996.

Silk Road Group (SRG), a privately held investment

company, owned and run by Georgian and European

partners, is active in Energy, Transportation, Hospitality,

Entertainment, Real Estate and Telecommunications. Every

SRG business has been established with the vision that

Georgia is an integral part of the historic Silk Road trading

Today I live in Yerevan, Armenia, where I study at the

music conservatory. I first began violin lessons aged 8, in

my city Gyumri. I learnt about the festival from posters put

up in the conservatory. When I researched it, I then found

more information on the official pages. I was shocked to

discover that it was the biggest festival I’d ever heard of.

We were to play in a Pan-Caucasian orchestra, in concerts

with the most amazing talented soloists in the world,

such as Mischa Maisky, Yuja Wang, Lahav Shani, and

Denis Kozhukhin. The concerts are conducted by major

conductors (Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Andras Schiff, Gabor

Takacs-Nagy, Pinchas Zukerman, Claudio Vandelli …) from

all over the world. I came to this orchestra having had very

little experience of playing in orchestras but I now feel that

I’ve gained huge experience after only 40 days.

Dr Pick Keobandith,

Founder and Director Inspiring Culture


Maka Tskitishvili, Natia and George Ramishvili, Sir András Schiff,

Pick Keobandith

© Pick Keobandith

Pick Keobandith and George Ramishvili at the opening of “Dialogue with

Emperor Qin”, Tsinandali 2013

© Pick Keobandith






The “Columns of Peace” by the German-Belgian artist,

Ulrike Bolenz, symbolises the most fundamental of the

core aims of the European Union – uniting and reconciling

nations and peoples within Europe. Reminding us that

our continent has been torn apart many times over the

centuries by very destructive wars, particularly during two

World Wars in the twentieth century, these Columns call for

the preservation of peace, individual freedoms and shared

values, and respect for cultural diversity, alongside efforts to

promote economic growth, employment and a better quality

of life for all Europeans. The Council of the European

Union, bringing together the members’ heads of state and

government, plays a key role in assuring these goals.

Thus, these Columns of Peace will be loaned to each

country in turn as it assumes the six-monthly rotating

Presidency of the Council, starting with the Presidency of

Bulgaria in January 2018 — now in Embassy of Finland in


The artist placed beautiful images of joyful, laughing women

at the core of his Columns, because mothers embody love

for their children, while teaching them kindness, moral

values and courage. In essence, Ulrika Bolenz is telling us

that women — as mothers — are to be treasured for bringing

each child to appreciate the joys of life and the precious

values of harmony, peace and cooperation among nations,

peoples, cultures and religions.

Gerard Huiting, Barbara Dietrich, H.E. Riitta Resch Ambassador of Finland and Baron Ernest de Laminne de Bex

© Diplomatic World







Encouraged by Dr. Pick Keobandith, our long-time friend

and collaborator in international cultural projects past,

painter/photographer Jacques Chuilon and I ventured

around the corner to see “Helena Rubinstein: l’aventure

de la beauté,” a marvelous homage currently on view in

one of the most beautiful mansions in the Marais in Paris,

the Museum of Jewish History and Art (the former Hôtel

Saint-Aignan). By the same token, Pick announced to us

that she was preparing the curation of a show centered on

the drawings of sculptor Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), to be

held simultaneously at the Polish Library in Paris, situated

on the elegant Quai d’Orléans, and considered “home” to

all Polish immigrants to this country since around 1850.

Apparently there was a connection of which I was not yet


Krakow. She knew, with her keen eye, that this artist was

indeed a creator of great and rare importance. She not only

encouraged Nadelman, her personal collection prominently

contained many marble pieces by this wonderful sculptor,

and in the show we can see how she even had herself

photographed among several of the masterpieces she had

acquired while she was building her global empire.

So in a most connected event that took place later on

July 3rd, we were again privileged to attend the opening

night of the Elie Nadelman exhibit consecrating several

rare drawings of projects for large sculptures, sketches

entitled “études,” the French word he chose himself, which


The unexpected effect of viewing the Rubinstein show,

wonderfully curated by Michèle Fitoussi and profoundly

explored in her book “Helena Rubinstein, La femme qui

inventa la beauté”, was overwhelming. The theme: the quest

for Beauty, in its purest essence — and also its evanescent

fragility — was speaking directly to me and registered 100%.

Far from the cliché of a powerful merchandising magnate,

exploiting female consumers around the world, I discovered

her life-long struggle in the backstory of the woman and the

artists, behind the enterprise. She was a collector of fine art

on a scale such as we can barely imagine today: paintings

and sculpture from all periods, maintaining sumptuously

decorated personal residences from Park Avenue in New

York to apartments on the embankments of Paris, all

displayed and furnished with artwork commissioned by

the finest and most renowned creators of her time, and

documented by the finest photographers, from Dora Maar

to Cecil Beaton. And this, I discovered, is the connection

to Elie Nadelman, also of Polish birth and a naturalized

American citizen, in that way similar to the legendary queen

of beauty, who had immigrated from her humble roots in

describes so well the struggle of creation and the different

steps towards ultimate perfection in marble. This was in

the same manner of Chopin, beloved and defended with

passion by the Polish Library (they hold several of the

composer’s artifacts, manuscripts, even a period Pleyel

piano) who wrote several “études.” At the clever suggestion

of Jacques Chuilon, that night we heard, very appropriately,

a charming interlude of Chopin’s ‘Trois nouvelles études’

(posthumous) played by the young and promising Narumi

Iwase during the presentation, which was delightfully

followed by a traditional Polish fruit cake and a divine

white wine called Natella 2017, offered by the Georgian

winemakers Tsinandali Estate / Silk Road Group. This was

also the occasion to meet and greet such ambassadors as

Miguel Verzbolovskis (Panama) and Maksymilian Liszewski


The Helena Rubinstein specialist Michèle Fitoussi was also

present, and charming to talk to as she shared with me her

insights, as well as the masterfully articulate Prof. Xavier

Deryng who gave us a private tour of the Chopin collection.

Especially delightful to me was meeting and speaking to

Cynthia Nadelman, the grand-daughter of the great sculptor,

who resides in New York City, herself very knowledgeable

concerning these rare works, and who shared her broad

culture and love of beauty in general. We compared notes

about the famous pair of sculptures that now decorate

the entrance hall of the New York State Theater, Lincoln

Center, where I happen to have performed several times

with the New York City Opera. It turns out she and her

friend Dr. Catherine Tinker, also present, had seen one of

my performances there, in ‘Agrippina’ by Handel!

A thank you to the intrepid Barbara Dietrich (Diplomatic

World) for her helpful participation, and thank you to

our friend, Pick, the spirited and devoted art historian

and gallerist whom we met so many years ago in Canton,

China, for this extraordinary artistic journey, and “bonne

continuation” with your many future projects with your

innovative program: Inspiring Culture!

Gregory Reinhart, formerly of the Paris Opera

All Photos © Jacques Chuilon






Gallery Owner Guy Pieters received the versatile American

artist Christo in his Gallery in August. Guy Pieters is widely

known in the art world of Belgium and far beyond. He is a

jovial and energetic person who is fascinated by the world

of art. He has a strong intuition for discovering talents in

modern art and he and his amiable wife Linda have all the

ingredients for success and happiness in life. They always

face the unexpected together and that makes their life so

exciting and meaningful.

Guy and Linda Pieters have leading art galleries in Sint-

Martens-Latem, Knokke and in Saint-Tropez, where they

welcome visitors with their expert team of employees.

death in 2009 that he will be back in Paris, where they lived

together until the mid-sixties and then settled in New York.

From 1961 they worked together as an artist duo under the

name ‘Christo & Jeanne-Claude’.

Christo was born in Bulgaria, his father was a scientist

and his mother secretary of the Academy of Fine Arts in

Sophia. He studied at the Academy in Vienna and went to

Paris. There he met Jeanne-Claude, who was then studying

philosophy and Latin. Jeanne-Claude, daughter of a general,

is described as a dynamic, extroverted woman — full of ideas

— who stood out for her lush red hair. She herself always

said she had become an artist out of her love for Christo:

‘If he had been a dentist, I would have become a dentist.’



Guy and Linda Pieters gave Christo a warm welcome in

their Gallery in Knokke. The American artist, together with

his deceased partner Jeanne-Claude, has a great reputation

in the world of art and has packaging art as specialty.

It was a fascinating exhibition in Knokke, visited by

numerous people from home and abroad. Many works of

art by Christo were on display, particularly Parisian projects

such as the wrapping of Pont Neuf. The center of attention

was the sketch of the Arc de Triomphe, wrapped by Christo.


The sketch of his new Parisian project shows the detailed

way in which Christo works. He is already carefully

preparing himself for the work that awaits him in France.

Christo has in fact received permission from the authorities

to pack the Arc de Triomphe in 2020 from September 19

till October 4. To achieve that, he needs a lot of material:

25,000 square meters of silver-blue, recyclable plastic

and a lot of red rope. In 2020, an exhibition by him and

his Jeanne-Claude will also be on display in the Centre

Pompidou Museum in Paris. It is the first time since her



The artistic strategy of the duo is to ‘dress up’ large, striking

buildings or landscapes with fabric. Packing them leads

to abstracting those objects. When you see those packed

buildings and landscapes, they suddenly look different.

The object has not only been given a different shape, but

also a different appearance. As a result, people start looking

at those objects ‘with different eyes’. And that of course

is always the goal of art: to reveal, to make visible what

is hidden. In that respect are Christo and Jeanne-Claude

with their wrapping art real innovators in the world of

art. They enable us to look around with new eyes in the

environment in which we live. That means being active in

the psychological field: observing and discovering. That

means being active in an aesthetic sense: discovering the

beauty of something.

All in all, Christo is an artist who knows how to touch us

with his specific view of the world. His art takes us out of

everyday life and brings us back to our essence. In this way

many people can enjoy the art of packaging, the art of living

by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.


Guy Pieters has become a household name in the art

world. He is an autodidactic art dealer, who has gradually

immersed himself in art. His roots lie in the picturesque

village of Sint-Martens-Latem, where the cove of the sea

used to be. For him it is a magical village, with which he has

made a true artistic friendship.

Guy Pieters' Gallery received a great name recognition, with

exhibitions from, amongst others, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel

Appel, Arman, Félix Labisse and Paul Delvaux. This way

Guy Pieters’ Gallery reached the top of the European and

international art world. The Gallery exhibits and represents

major international artists such as Christo & Jeanne-Claude,

Andy Warhol, Roger Raveel, Yves Klein, Wim Delvoye,

Jan Fabre and Gilbert & George, Arman.

His statement is typical: ‘If I had not been born in that

village, I would not have become an art dealer.’ For him,

being an art dealer is not so much a profession, but a

passion that he shares with Linda, his muse. He dares to

follow and fulfill his dreams. He is a natural talent in the

field of life and art, who manages to achieve a great deal

with self-discipline and perseverance. He always managed to

expand his gallery at home and abroad.

It was a real pleasure to visit the exhibition together with

the editor-in-chief of Diplomatic World, Barbara Dietrich,

and to speak with artist Christo and with Guy and Linda


Prof. Anton van der Geld, president of the BeNeLux-

University Foundation.

Prof. Anton van der Geld, Christo and Guy Pieters (Knokke)

© Diplomatic World










It will be on view for 16 days from Saturday, September 19 to Sunday, October 4,

2020. The Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable

polypropylene fabric in silvery blue, and 7,000 meters of red rope.

The Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown

Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, will continue to burn

throughout the preparation and display of the artwork.

As always, veterans associations and volunteers will ensure

the continuity of the daily ceremony of rekindling the flame

that pays homage to the Unknown Soldier and those who

lost their lives fighting for France.

In 1961, three years after they met in Paris, Christo and

Jeanne-Claude began creating works of art in public spaces.

One of their projects was to wrap a public building. At the

time, Christo, who was renting a small room near the Arc de

Triomphe, made several studies of a project there, including,

in 1962, a photomontage of the Arc de Triomphe wrapped,

seen from the Avenue Foch, as well as a few additional

studies created in the 1970s and 1980s.

As a prelude to L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, a major

exhibition, presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou

from March 18 to June 15, 2020, will retrace Christo and

Jeanne-Claude's years in Paris from 1958 to 1964, as well

as the story of The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Project for Paris,


Almost 60 years later, the project will finally be realized.

As for all Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s previous projects,

L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, will be entirely funded

by Christo through the sale of his preparatory studies,

drawings and collages of the project as well as works of art

on other subjects.


© Diplomatic World

Guy Pieters, Kristina Engels, Christo and Jan Engels

© Diplomatic World

© Diplomatic World © Diplomatic World

© Diplomatic World






Nicole has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our

oceans. In awe of what she experienced from these very special vantage

points, she has dedicated her life to sharing the beauty of space — and

Earth — with others. She believes that sharing these orbital and inner

space perspectives has the power to increase everyone’s appreciation of

and obligation to care for our home planet and each other. Nicole Marie

Passonno Stott is an American engineer and a retired NASA astronaut

Artists: Sarah Fabergé, Gary James McQueen, Koen

Vanmechelen, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Frederik De Wilde,

Nicole Stott, Gary James McQueen, Fred Eerdekens, Peter

De Cupere, Panamarenko, Nick Ervinck, Sergey Dozhd,

Ulrike Bolenz, Liudmila Norsoyanand, Louisa Burnett-

Hall, Kaixuan Feng, Felix Roulin, Hergé, Gianni Candido,

Michael Lewis-Anderson and Concetta Spitaleri.

Curator Barbara Dietrich

The exhibition is devoted to the future of Art and Humanity

and one of the main ideas is the humanitarian aspects of the

Art uniting different countries from around the world.



If there is anything certain about our future, it’s that

technological progress will rapidly be creating change of

a dimension mankind never before experienced. This will

provide tremendous opportunities for global prosperity and

world peace — but also huge risks!

— without questioning the ethics of what they are doing.

They conclude that man will always be on the driver’s seat.

Unfortunately, this does not reduce related fears in our

societies. All innovations can be used either for good or bad.

That’s nothing new to learn — other than that, in the past,

the outcome often was random.

These innovation cycles can’t be stopped or reverted!

However, if we want our future to be good, we need to

tackle the fear. This can only happen through information

that is available to be accessed by and debated within the

wider public. Understanding takes away fears and leads

towards action — in a positive sense! That’s where the Living

Tomorrow's Art platform comes in by creating sustainable

partnerships to inform and to discuss innovation across

borders and stakeholders and launch initiative.


Some experts speculate that, in less than 20 years, we

will have a “singularity”, meaning that computers and the

human brain may have the same capacity. This fosters many

fears, exceeding today’s fears, about Artificial Intelligence

(AI) that most jobs will soon be gone. However, others

are saying that AI is only based on algorithms without a

conscious mind. Machines follow mere logic, not knowing

what — or why — they are doing something and — of course



Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Nicola Hamilton, originally from the West Midlands

in the United Kingdom. I’ve worked for most of my career in

marketing for visitor attractions and museums and am now

the General Manager of Sea Life in Blankenberge. I’ve lived

in Belgium with my family for 8 years and whilst we live in

Bruges we often spend our weekends in Knokke-Heist. Living

in Belgium has been a challenge at times and I never thought

that I would learn Flemish at the age of 38, but you see

what love does! Not only that but my application for Belgian

nationality was confirmed in July so I feel truly integrated.

What do you like to do in your free time?

We work long hours at Sea Life because we’re doing a lot

of upgrades at the moment, so when I’m off I really like to

switch off. Long walks, shopping & eating out are top of

the list of my favourite activities and Knokke-Heist is just

perfect for that. It’s especially handy because the shops are

also open on Sundays.There is also an excellent array of

evening classes available here to expand your knowledge

and I love crafts especially silversmithing and dressmaking.

Knokke-Heist with its expanse of high fashion shops is a

great place for inspiration for both of these hobbies.

Of all places in Belgium, why Knokke-Heist?

Ever since I first met my husband back in 2003 I’ve been

coming to Knokke-Heist and feel really at home here. I’m

not sure whether that’s because of the English style houses

or the laid back and open culture, but it’s a very different

atmosphere here. It’s often the events that keep drawing us

back, especially the Zoute Grand Prix each year in October

and the new Mise en Plage food event which this year. A

great way to brighten up a dark winter evening is at the Light

Festival which runs throughout December into the Christmas

holidays. I must add that warm clothes are essential!

You say you like long walks & eating out,

tell me about that

My favourite time of year at the coast is the winter and

not just because you can still buy homemade ice cream

or a hot waffle! There is little better than a long walk

along the promenade on a crisp Sunday morning. We

mostly start at the top end of Knokke, in Zoute, and walk

all the way to the Socorristas de Biarritz, stopping for a

coffee along the way. The statue is by Aurora Canero and

is my absolute favourite of all the pieces of public art in

Knokke-Heist. It reminds me of Biarritz which is my ideal

holiday destination abroad, sharing so many of the same

characteristics as here namely style, great food, wonderful

views and of course the surf.

What else?

I love a good 5K run and there are so many different routes

to take, through the woods, along the beach or of course

through town for a good bit of window shopping. The

perfect way to unwind. We take part in the annual 5K beach

runs in Knokke and Heist and follow the many triathlons in

a supporting capacity!

What’s next for you?

Well, apart from the fact that we’re heading into my

favourite season, I have a growing personal interest in the

UN SDGs (sustainable development goals). I believe in

everything in moderation and that there is so much we can

all do to protect the future. Of course I also have a very

unique perspective on Brexit and am hopeful I will be able

to use my skills and cultural understanding to benefit not

only Sea Life but other people and companies too.

All photos © Olivier Depaep


What’s the best thing about living in Belgium?

The food without a doubt. The ‘traiteur’ ready-made meals

were something new to me when I moved over. Delicious

restaurant quality meals to heat up back home for when

we’re simply too tired to eat out. There are so many

‘traiteurs’ to choose from in Knokke–Heist and a huge range

of dishes, there is something for every taste.

We enjoy eating out too, whether it be a big hearty meal or

in a Michelin Starred restaurant for a special occasion, you

can find it all.







Are all these concepts not vague, and any definition of them contestable?

As human beings we identify with some groups, and take distance from

others. Our thoughts are shaped by our identities. Our actions and symbols

are extensions of our thoughts.

Mirror juxtaposes the dualistic world view of Plato's Cave, with the holistic

frame of reference of Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream, where even life and death

are relative. Europe and Asia are sources of inspiration for both surprise

and familiarity. Some people become expert in debate and argument; others

acquire skill in careful listening and observation.

Some people analyze, prepare, plan; others prefer to grab opportunities as

they occur. These are just some examples of the endless variety we observe.

The paradox of culture is that no human being can be described as the sum

of patterns, yet we are all formatted in patterns. To be able to understand

and even see ourselves, we need to see difference. Only by recognizing

difference can we see ourselves.

Why should I think of myself as unique? I can certainly learn a lot from you.

This book invites you to reflect.

Who are you?

How do you look at me?

How do you look at the world?



不 同 意


同 意

32 33


i love you



i love you



plato’s cave

柏 拉 圖 的 洞 穴



zhuangzi’s dream

莊 子 的 夢 想




個 體



individual in context

關 係



You look into the mirror

and see me.

Only by looking at me

can you see yourself.

I look into the mirror

and see you.

Only by seeing you

can I recognize myself.

110 111


Mirror is a philosophical poetical artistic contemplation of who

we are as human beings and how we deal with each other and

the world around us.

Jeanne Boden, professional observer of cultural patterns,

brought a lifetime of research and reflection to this book.

Sanny Winters' high sensitivity to the essence of things

transforms it into art.

In partnership with Bruno Devos of Stockmans Art Books, they

have created this timeless and unique collector's item to make

the world a more graceful place.











Since the creation of the Musica Mundi international

summer course and festival back in 1999, its two founders,

Hagit Hassid Kerbel and her husband Leonid Kerbel, have

never stopped dreaming of establishing a school that would

provide young talents from all over the world a structure in

which they could get professional music training and a highquality

general education.

The teaching would be entirely integrated to allow the

personality of the young musicians to develop in a balanced

and harmonious way. It would be provided irrespective of

socio-cultural origins and financial background, with the

goal of giving young people from 10 to 18 years of age

the chance to pursue their specific musical training, while

leaving the door wide open to other career options.

As the success of Musica Mundi has grown over the past

20 years, and with the strengthening of links within a

community which has become a family, this dream has

become a reality thanks to the awareness of a real need

in this area. Indeed, with the exception of the United

Kingdom, schools offering musical training combined

with a high-level general education as envisaged by Musica

Mundi simply didn’t exist in Western Europe at the time.

So it wasn’t about creating a project that would only

serve personal needs, but about providing something that

was missing in the international context of music and its

professional study.


This slightly crazy dream of two musician-teachers with an

extraordinary educational project, a clearly stated ambition

and a very long wish list, has finally come to pass.


© Musica Mundi © Musica Mundi

Since September 2018, the Musica Mundi School dream

has finally become reality in the exceptional location of

the former Dominican Monastery of Fichermont, built at

the initiative of King Albert I in 1928 on the listed and

protected site of the battlefield of Waterloo, opposite the

Lion, and dedicated to peace and the victims of conflict.

As a reminder, the occupation of the premises is in the

form of a 99-year emphyteutic lease, with an annual rent of

1 symbolic euro. Naturally, the founders of the Musica

Mundi School agreed to preserve the site and to respect its

spiritual dimension.


The very first student intake was in September 2018.

This first contingent consists of 25 pupils between the

ages of 10 and 18, divided into 5 classes. This initial

success surprised and delighted the founders of the

school, who were more than aware of the enormous

upheaval such a commitment represents for these

young people and their families. Additional proof of the

international aura of the summer course — festival, this

first intake of pupils at the Musica Mundi School are

from countries where such schools already exist, such as

Russia, Belarus, Slovenia, Poland and Albania. Western

Europe is also represented with pupils from Germany,

Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and also

Belgium, which has eight. This first intake also welcomed

pupils from Australia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Like the summer school festival, these young pupils have

been accepted on the basis of an audition, which only

took their talent into account. It is important to point

out that the fees at the Musica Mundi School are based

on parents’ tax returns. On this basis, and in proportion

to their available means to cover their child’s fees, the

school decides the level of the grant to be allocated.

Almost all pupils at the Musica Mundi School receive

scholarships to varying degrees.

By thus combining grants offered by the Musica Mundi

School, contributions from parents in accordance with

their financial means and help from other bodies, all the

pupils selected have been able to gather the necessary

funds to pay the annual school fees of 25,000 euros,

which includes absolutely everything. It is a significant

amount, but nonetheless much lower than fees requested

from similar schools, in particular in the United


© Musica Mundi

The second contingent of pupils for the 2019-2020

academic year has now been selected.

Eleven new pupils have been accepted, which means there

will be a total of 36 pupils in September 2019.


At the Musica Mundi School, as in life, everyone needs

to follow their own path, just as everyone needs to be

stimulated during childhood (and not just then), in order

to grow and develop. These two clearly identified needs

are reflected in a totally dedicated framework in order

to provide the best possible support to pupils on their

respective paths.

On the one hand, there is the core programme. On the

other, a personal programme to develop and manage.

The link between them is flexibility. In parallel with each

pupil’s instrumental practice for concerts at the school

and the private or official events inside or outside the

school (European Parliament, ceremonies within various

institutions and foundations, etc.), each pupil prepares his

or her own competitions and participates in masterclasses

or recitals.

These joint and personal programmes involve a profusion

of activities which naturally need to be well managed and

at an appropriate pace, thus enabling everyone to cope with

all the activities, in a spirit of permanent stimulation to get

the very best out of each and every pupil. Lessons at the


Musica Mundi School are structured in such a way that all

pupils can fully devote themselves to their art and evolve

in the best possible circumstances. The days of making

concessions are over!


In order to create the necessary conditions of excellence on

every level, the founders have introduced a large number of

far-reaching skills and commitments.

For fundraising and good governance, the Board of

Directors, composed of the traditional Musica Mundi

sponsors and patrons, has done everything required to

amass the necessary funds and bring this project to fruition.

For the general studies programme, the school has opted

for the Cambridge International Examinations programme,

for which the Musica Mundi School had previously

been awarded a distinction in terms of applications for

registration. The school was given official accreditation

following a visit from the inspector in June 2018. This

meant the official Cambridge classes could go ahead as

planned, respecting the commitments the school had made

to Cambridge, as confirmed by the inspector when he was

sent over on an unannounced visit. The results of the end-ofyear

exams, which are placed in a safe deposit box and then

sent to Cambridge in a sealed envelope, will be available in


Of course, all of this would not have been possible without

the unfailing commitment of the senior management, made

up of head teacher Herman De Vleeschhouwer, deputy head

Stéphanie Petch, the consultant Harriet Gibson, and the two

founders Hagit Hassid Kerbel and her husband Leonid Kerbel.

The music classes have been provided by all the artists who

are already part of the Musica Mundi family, starting with

Maxim Vengerov, goodwill ambassador to the school, who

will give a grand masterclass on 25 June, open to pupils

and members of the general public. Working alongside

him, Ivry Gitlis, Vladimir Perlin, Jérôme Pernoo, Ronald

Van Spaendonck, Catherine Michel and others make

up the teaching body, not forgetting the music theory

teachers. None of this would have been possible without

the devoted teaching staff responsible for the general

teaching programme, most of whom had sent spontaneous

applications to teach at the Musica Mundi School. Finally,

we have to mention here the father and mother of the house,

who see to the general wellbeing of each and every pupil

and the respect of school rules, from the moment they rise

in the morning until lights out at night.

The instruments are also in keeping with the Musica

Mundi School’s high levels of excellence. The school

has a leasing contract with Steinway, the Rolls-Royce of

pianos, making it the only Steinway school in this region

of Europe. In total, Musica Mundi has 17 pianos (5 grand

pianos and 12 upright pianos). Pupils got to see how they

are manufactured on one of their numerous outings, on this

occasion a visit to the Steinway factory in Hamburg.




Managing the start of this first school year was quite a

challenge involving a staggering amount of personal and

collective energies, some of which were also required for the

organisation of the 21 st edition of the international summer

course — festival, which is fundamental in the eyes of the

founders in order to meet new artists and new potential

recruits for the school. A summer school festival, each time

envisaged as a new — and necessary — open door onto the

world, an event that is absolutely complementary to the

Musica Mundi School.

For this new edition, which took place between 14 and 28


© Musica Mundi

July, we have received a total of around 300 applications — a

success probably not unrelated to the feedback and good

vibes around the Musica Mundi School, just like last year.

Sixty-nine young and talented musicians from 30 countries

have been selected this year. The youngest is 10, the oldest

20. There were 40 girls and 29 boys, including pianists,

violinists, viola players, cellists, clarinettists and harpists.

This year, at their request, 17 pupils from the Musica Mundi

School also took part in the summer school. This was a

great opportunity for them to meet incredible artists and to

benefit from their teaching.


On 20 May, the 69 selected students were given the scores

of chamber music that they were working on, and which

divided them up into 100 ensembles, in the form of trios,

duos, quartets, quintets and sextets, as well as an orchestral

ensemble for the closing concert of 28 July at the Château

du Lac in Genval.

As was the case during the anniversary edition in 2018, the

newcomers had the honour of staying in the building of the

Musica Mundi School for the entire duration of the summer

course festival. Concerts by the pupils, as well as masterclasses,

were also held there during the summer school.

This year, there were not 6 but 7 concerts programmed.

The Château du Lac in Genval, which remains the real

centre of the summer course festival, hosted 6 of them.

The 7th took place in the school concert hall.

The sixth concert was a very special one: it took place in

the school concert hall and gave the opportunity to discover

the Glass Duo, an incredible pair of musicians whose only

instruments consist of crystal glasses (Harp Glass).

Finally, the gala concert brought together the summer

school and the festival. The artists in residence

accompanied ensembles and orchestras made up of young

talents. For their part, the members of the “Musica Mundi

Young Faculty”, artists who are just starting out, were also

enchanting the audience.


Amongst the artists-in-residence of last summer, we were

delighted and honoured to welcome, for the very first time,

pianist Natalia Trull, clarinettist Marc Simpson and the

Leipzig String Quartet. Alongside them, our beloved Ivry

Gitlis, Maxim Vengerov, Menahem Pressler, Vladimir Perlin,

Alexandra Soumm, Catherine Michel and Jérôme Pernoo

shared all their talent to the delight of the students, the

whole Musica Mundi family and the general public.

Hagit Hassid-Kerbel and Leonid Kerbel,

Founders and organisers

Email: info@musicamundi.org


Musica Mundi School: www.musicamundischool.org

The opening concert of 15 July presented a performance by

the pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, a “regular” at the summer

school festival.

For the very first time, Nikolai Lugansky, one of the most

influential pianists of the moment, was performing at the

concert of 18 July.

The concert of 20 July was also a showcase for all the

artists-in-residence as part of this new edition (see below).

During the concert of 22 July there was an opportunity to

focus on 3 alumni of the summer coursel-festival, young

talents who have since become accomplished artists and are

going from strength to strength: the pianist Julien Libeer, the

violinist Daniel Losakovitch and the cellist Ivan Karizna.

The concert of 23 July presented the school’s goodwill

ambassador, Maxime Vengerov, who took the stage.

© Diplomatic World






50 years of EUROPALIA

In 1969, the first EUROPALIA festival, dedicated to Italy,

opened its doors. The festival aimed to generate a greater

understanding of other countries through art and culture.

The need for this had grown in the context of the European

Economic Community, where countries started working

together and their citizens living together. An introduction

to each other’s culture could stimulate genuine interest and

thereby strengthen dialogue and cohesion.

No fewer than 26 festivals have taken place over the years,

with top editions such as Europalia Spain (1985) and

Europalia Austria (1987). In 1989, Europalia Japan marked

the moment when the festival started to look beyond

Europe. Several non-European countries have subsequently

been invited, including Russia (2005) and India (2013).

But a lot has changed since then.

Today, it would be unthinkable for the festival to present

like it did 50 or even 20 years ago. Our world vision has

changed, along with the role and (our own) image of

Europe. We now think differently about cultural identity.

After 50 years, the EUROPALIA mission remains

pertinent. Artistic projects that initiate dialogue between

societies and communities are more necessary than ever.

But the approach and interpretation are different. They

are active, contemporary and sustainable. Active because

EUROPALIA is actively committed to new creations,

residencies and exchanges, and to presenting cultural

heritage in a way that creates connections and resonates

with today’s big questions. Contemporary because art

is about the here and now, and tackles themes such as

gender and migration. Sustainable because the festival

does not stop after three months; artists and institutions

continue working together and perpetuating artistic



Bozar Brancusi, Installation view

© Luna Klaps

BOZAR Brancusi, Self-portrait, atelier, “les Colonnes sans fin I à IV”,

“Le Poisson”

Bozar Brancusi, Installation view

© Luna Klaps

The EUROPALIA ROMANIA programme reflects this

approach and interpretation. We wholeheartedly thank the

Romanian Cultural Institute team and all our partners for

sharing our conviction.


Romania, an update

In Belgium and by extension Western Europe, there is

limited knowledge of Romanian culture or its artistic

scene. The image of this country held by the general public

is an amalgam of Dracula, Ceausescu, folklore and in

recent years, the flourishing nature and strong presence of

Romanian cinema. This image is limited and was formed

by, among others, prejudice and the (un)availability or (in)

accessibility of Romanian artistic projects.

EUROPALIA ROMANIA harbours ambitions of changing

this and providing an up-to-date image of Romanian art. Of

course, it would be impossible and presumptuous to attempt

to give a complete overview of Romanian culture. But the

festival does enable artists and curators to have a voice and

present a multitude of current, surprising perspectives on

Romania, its heritage and contemporary art scene.

The festival’s introductory exhibition, ‘Perspectives’

(BOZAR), sets the scene. It starts with the birth of the

Romanian identity in the middle of the 19th century and

goes all the way up to the fall of Ceausescu in 1989, with

a focus on the historical avant-garde. How did art develop

against the background of this turbulent history? How

do today’s artists view these past events? The exhibition

introduces numerous Romanian artists who will receive

further attention throughout the festival.

Brancusi comes to Brussels

Without doubt, the highlight of EUROPALIA ROMANIA

is the exhibition dedicated to Constantin Brancusi (1876-

1957) at BOZAR. Despite being one of the greatest

artists of the 20th century, Brancusi has never before

been the subject of a retrospective exhibition in Belgium.

EUROPALIA ROMANIA is changing this.

For the first time, masterpieces from across the world are

travelling to Brussels reveal the evolution and power of

Brancusi’s work as a sculptor and photographer. Sculptures

by Auguste Rodin and Medardo Rosso complete the

first, chronological section. The exhibition also focuses


Bozar Brancusi, Installation view

© Luna Klaps


on Brancusi’s studio, where work by his contemporaries,

friends and pupils such as Amedeo Modigliani, Man Ray,

Fernand Léger, Marcel Duchamp and Isamu Noguchi is

presented. But the stars of the show are sculptures by the

master himself. They testify to his relentless search for the

essence, for sublimation.

Dance and movement also play a significant role in

Brancusi’s oeuvre. EUROPALIA ROMANIA has therefore

commissioned several performers and choreographers to

create new works for the exhibition. These creations will be

shown throughout and during the exhibition, on Thursdays,

Fridays and Saturdays. To give children and families a warm

welcome, ARTS BASICS for CHILDREN will be hosting

creative workshops.

Romania, between East and West

Romania is unique due to continuous encounters between

East and West throughout its history. These began with

Dacia (500 BC - 271 AD), the empire that is at the heart

of the Romanian republic, and its contacts with Greek

cities along the Black Sea coast. They continued with the

Romans, who conquered Dacia during the 2nd century.

Afterwards, there were contacts with the Byzantine Empire,

the Orthodox world and their Bulgarian and Serbian

successors. Encounters between East and West followed

one another, and their influence is still felt today. This

cross-pollination between East and West is one of the

guiding themes of the EUROPALIA ROMANIA artistic


The second headlining exhibition, ‘Dacia — The Glorious

Past of Romania’ at the Gallo-Roman Museum in

Tongeren, looks at the cultural cross-fertilization that

occurred around two thousand years ago. For the first

time in Belgium, pieces form Romanian museums, in

particular from the National Museum of Romanian

History, will illustrate the different cultures that lived

in the majority of the present-day territory of Romania.

The museum in Tongeren will present an extraordinary

scenography and a fascinating journey through history.

Bozar Brancusi, Installation view

© Luna Klaps

The Grand Curtius in Liège goes back even further

in time and highlights the Bronze and Neolithic Age

with beautiful geometric pottery and unbelievable

anthropomorphic figurines.

Big name solo exhibitions alongside thematic group shows

The rest of the exhibition programme focuses primarily on

the contemporary art scene, with several solo exhibitions

by, among others, Ciprian Muresan (°1977) — one of the

biggest names in Romania right now — in S.M.A.K. and Ion

Grigorescu (°1945) in KIOSK. One of the first conceptual

artists in Romania, Grigorescu has an unimaginably rich

and intriguing oeuvre. For the first time, and in close

collaboration with the artist, a retrospective of his work will

take place. In addition, group shows will address current

themes and provide a broader picture of the contemporary

art scene. CC Strombeek delves into the subject of

migration in ‘Displacement & Togetherness’ while the MiLL

in La Louvière explores the Romanian art scene of the last


Residencies and new creations

This upcoming festival, the EUROPALIA CURATOR’S

AWARD will celebrate its third edition. This time, the

unique prize for emerging curators goes to Els Vermang in

collaboration with artist Claudia Radulescu. Together, they

leave for a residency in Romania to develop their project

titled ‘HIT’. The idea behind the project is to discover how

a musical hit comes about by composing and releasing a

track, then analysing the resulting music in an exhibition at

KANALCentre Pompidou.

The festival contains a series of additional residencies

(followed by exhibitions), among others at AAIR (Antwerp)

and WIELS (Brussels).

Performing arts

Two themes stand out in the festival’s dance and

performance programme, which primarily features

new creations. The first one is folklore. How does the


BOZAR Brancusi, “Léda”, 1926 © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais - Adam Rzepka, Sabam Belgium, 2019

contemporary art scene relate to folklore? Does it

prefer to stay away from this old instrument of

propaganda, or has it come to terms with its rich

traditions? Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus

explores and works with Romanian traditions, including

bear rituals, in, among others Concertgebouw Bruges,

deSingel, and KVS.

The second theme tackles the position of women and

feminism. In ‘Mothers of Steel’ (Kaaitheater), two female

characters, played by Agata Siniarska and Madalina

Dan, literally weep iconic moments in the history of

their respective countries, Poland and Romania. With

‘Manifestation’ (Kaaitheater), Eszter Salamon creates a

choral performance in which she explores the history of

Romanian feminism.


In the field of classical music, the work of George Enescu

(1881-1955), from traditional performances to jazz

interpretations, runs like a thread through the festival.

There are also stunning musical collaborations, between,

for example, the National Belgian Orchestra and conductor

Cristian Macelaru and cellist Andrei Ionita. The unrivalled

soprano talent Angela Gheorghiu will also make her voice

heard, but mainly lesser-known talents fill the programme.

Here too, there is an emphasis on new creations and

interdisciplinary exchanges between artists from Romania

and Belgium. Alongside the fantastic project of the Taraf

de Impex Roma musicians, three projects stand out in



Eugène Ionesco (1909-1994) stands central in the theatre

programme, and his ‘Rhinoceros’, directed by Robert

Wilson, will be one of the season’s highlights at Théâtre de

Liège and Le Phenix in Valenciennes.

Filmmaker Anthony Nti travelled to Romania to record

a video clip for the duo Karpov not Kasparov. Antwerpbased

musician Milan W. also went to Romania where he

discovered the tulnic (a type of Alpine horn) and recorded

BOZAR Brancusi, “Prométhée”, 1911 © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais - Adam Rzepka, Sabam Belgium, 2019

a new album. And finally, there is a project around the

experimental art group Kinema Ikon. The collective

worked with pieces of discarded film tape, secreted away

from the authorities during the communist era, to create

short experimental films. These unseen materials are

haunted by copyright issues, due to their “glued on” music.

EUROPALIA ROMANIA has commissioned 5 Belgian

and 5 Romanian musicians to create a new score for these


The music programme gets off to a festive start at a party on

4 October at Les Brigittines (Brussels).

30 years after the fall of Ceausescu

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the

communist regime. References to communist Romania

appear in all disciplines, but around the time of the

anniversary, in December, several writers and filmmakers

will be invited to discuss this historic event. The literature

section of the festival focuses on three periods: the

historical avant-garde, the communist era and modernday

Romania. For each period, there are a plethora of

residencies, debates and encounters between leading figures

such as Mircea Cartarescu (1956) but also with the younger


Videograms of a Nation

The film section explores the reality of modern-day

Romania through a camera lens. Both lesser known films

and major titles will offer different perspectives on the

historical and cultural transitions within the country and

its engagement with cinema as an art form. Different

periods are highlighted thematically. For example, the

series ‘Propaganda and subversion in the 1950s’ will be

screened at Cinematek (Brussels). It will be the most

extensive retrospective film programme of the last 25 years,

accompanied by a new publication.

Dirk Vermaelen, artistic director EUROPALIA






Before my departure I was asked by almost everybody why I would go to Siberia

while it is in flames! Indeed, wildfires are a huge environmental problem.

However, this has nothing to do with what’s going on in Irkutsk. Indeed. the city

is hot, a hot spot but far different from what we expect in other parts of the world

when we hear the name Irkutsk.

To set it right at the beginning: I’m very happy that I went.

I’m overwhelmed by the Siberian beauty, its hospitality

and its spirituality! Irkutsk is a highly dynamic city, very

well connected to Asian metropolitan areas. From the local

airport there are three flights every day to Seoul and three

weekly flights each to Beijing and Tokyo.

What are we missing out on here in Europe?

Of course, it all has to do with Blockchain Technology and

Crypto Currencies. In Siberia lots of energy is available and

cheap. The low temperatures during most of the year make

it easy to cool down equipment. That makes it an ideal place

for crypto mining! Therefore, it is only consistent to launch


the Baikal Crypto Summit, the first international ever in the

city and it was sure worth the trip. It provided a new scale

and new approaches for and in blockchain technology, with

great insight and interesting stories, including a new level of

honesty and opportunity.

“Money is a medium of exchange, which is purely a market

phenomenon. It is impossible to “assign” something to

money in a market sense. It will be coercion, which is

noticeable in the case of fiat. Sound money is always

competitive and private, like any other goods and services.

The restriction of competition, up to its prohibition, always

leads to a drop in the quality of the goods”, this statement

of one of the participants for me summarizes best what it is

all about.

autonomy in the digital age. True enough, that creates lots

of problems right now. But it can be solved! Right now,

there is a lot of misunderstanding and many don’t yet

understand the multiple opportunities provided by cryptos.

It’s a long way still… In short, Irkutsk was a great experience

in the very heart of this huge land mass of the Eurasian

continent. As a matter of fact, lake Baikal is in the very

center of this continent, the distance to the west is exactly

the same as to the east! At Lake Baikal I could feel the

energy of this land mass.

It is all about the possibilities of crypto currencies, of

course. But it is more than that: It is also about twisting

our awareness towards the value of personal data, to the

values of our activities, to digitalization that creates millions

of winners. It’s about our digital profiles and personal



Enjoy a unique eating experience


02 263 01 31

Indringingsweg 1, 1800 Vilvoorde

Open from Monday to Friday.

Saturday by reservation for groups of 20 people or more.

Sunday closed.










There were no major international forums and conferences

in this place before, the nearest events were held one

thousand kilometers to the west and four thousand

kilometers to the east in Vladivostok. The initiator of the


Ralph Simon, Chief Executive Mobilium.com and Alexander Shulgin, Visionary, Investor and Composer © rASiA Baikal 2019

project, a recognized visionary, international investor and

composer Alexander Shulgin understood that he was taking

a risk: “I considered this idea as a startup. The first season

went by and we created a working model for multifunctional

collaboration between local entrepreneurs and innovators,

but also cooperation between colleagues from all five

continents and from BRICS countries.”

A successful investor who has invested in more than a

hundred companies, including world-famous brands, was

right this time. The events were a great success. More than a

thousand participants, more than a hundred foreign experts

and leaders from 44 countries, more than 50 speakers from

23 countries came to Irkutsk to start a new era in Siberia.

At the opening ceremony of the events on the first day,

Mr. Sergey Sokol, Chairman of the Irkutsk Region's

Legislative Assembly, delivered a welcoming speech. “I am

sure that the knowledge gained at the forum about the latest

trends in innovation, tourism, volunteering and other areas

will help us to set new goals and objectives, coordinate and

improve the work aimed at the prosperity of the Irkutsk

region and its residents,” said Sergei Sokol.

“We are always ready to develop and will look forward to

the results of the sessions in order to put the knowledge

gained into practice and take another step forward.

Irkutsk Region with its rich natural resources, scientific and

human resources potential can claim to become a platform

for the creation of the most advanced technologies and

technologies of the future.”

Mr. Anton Logashev, Vice Governor, and Alexander

Abramkin, Head of the Baikal Bank of Sberbank, also

addressed the audience.

Mayenezeke Baza preparing to explain the vision of the future of Africa

© rASiA Baikal 2019

On the first day, the Plenary Investment Session was held

with the Irkutsk Investment Development Agency of the

Irkutsk Region as a partner. Discussion panels on the

topics of fintec, tourism, future cities, volunteering and of

course international cooperation was also successfully held.

The main partner of the first day was the company AAA

Entertainment from South Africa

Day two was a visionary day. SHULGIN is a global

think tank of the world's best experts and leaders, held

regularly in various countries since 2017. Previous meetings

were held in Moscow, Hong Kong, Philippines, France,

Guatemala and now in Irkutsk

Twenty-five lectures were given by key speakers on how the

industrial sectors and services will develop technology, future

of professions and training. And of course there were topics

on the Future of Global Geopolitics and Industrialization,

the Future of Lifestyles, the Future of Europe and Africa in

2035 and Decentralization of Africa 2.0.

Mr. Sergey Sokol, Chairman of the Irkutsk Region's Legislative Assembly

© rASiA Baikal 2019

Plenary session lead by AIRIO © rASiA Baikal 2019


Peter Ng, founder and CEO JD Mining with his keynote “Let’s make mining

sexy” © rASiA Baikal 2019

Jimmy Nguen, President of Bitcoin Association explains the benefits from

Bitcoin SV in a plenary session. © rASiA Baikal 2019

On the third day however, decentralization played a major

role, as Blockchain technology was the main technology.

The day was called Baikal Blockchain & Crypto Summit.

The most important companies of this rapidly developing

sector — Bitcoin.com, Bitfury Group, Bitmain, Sigmapool,

Minery.io, and many others — participated at the Irkutsk


Irkutsk is called the capital of cryptomining, where the

cheapest electricity, cold, good fiber optic communication is

good for skilled technicians from 15 technical academies in

the city. More than a thousand large and small miners are

located in the region, which is about 40% of the global total.

The Summit also discussed pressing topics as blockchain

as a service, blockchain for enterprises and decentralized

economies. The main partner of the day were Bitcoin

Association and Bitcoin SV.

The events ended with a two-day trip to Baikal to learn

about the region and culture, including local customs and

meetings with shamans. They also predicted the successful

future of rASiA Baikal events. The next rASiA Baikal 2020

and Baikal Blockchain & Crypto Summit is being planned

for June 2020.


Alexander Shulgin with closing remarks after the three day marathon © rASiA Baikal 2019





• First, I realized that it was the right decision to hold

an event in this region. Until now, there have only been

small local events and very few of them with foreign

participants (no more than a dozen participants from

neighboring countries). Thus, rASiA Baikal has been the

first big international event in Irkutsk.

• Secondly, we are convinced that local business and youth

are both ready for new achievements and success. Both

in business and socially the level of young people’s social

responsibility in contributing to solve environmental

problems is one of the highest I ever met in the world.

Knowledge and skills in technology, engineering, and IT

are among their strongest assets.

• Thirdly, the willingness to cooperate with entrepreneurs

from neighboring countries in the region is extremely

high. During the forum, several agreements and

transactions have been concluded between Siberian and

Asian entrepreneurs, which will be very useful for the


• Fourth, the level of readiness to adopt innovations

and the direct involvement in creating innovations was

admired by the participants.

• And fifth, Irkutsk, as the center of the Eurasian

continent, is a great place to get to know not only for

tourism but also as the center attracting new ideas and as

the heart of friendship.

the brightest innovations that changed the world. Then it

was optical discs, internet, mobile digital environment, now

Blockchain, which, by the way, I call a block'n'roll. Young

startups and coders here are exactly the same kind of guys

as 40 years ago in rock 'n' roll and punk rock. They too want

to change the world and achieve freedom. So, innovation

for me is to improve the world, to improve life, to make

us happier with every innovation. We are all striving for

happiness, only in an innovative way it will be faster.

Let me give you an outlook on how the world is going to

look in 2035: Industries will be fully automated, work

will be a privilege, volunteering and self-employment will

grow dramatically and will require a creative approach

and a high moral standard. Civil society will be in a

great confusion and despair, because of the changes in

the industry, and most importantly, also the changes in

The conference does not directly relate to my business.

For me, holding a forum is more a matter of philanthropy.

I do not want to do business from the organization of the

forum itself, but I very much hope that the forum facilitated

as many entrepreneurial business contacts, ideas, projects

among the forum participants as possible. The growth

that we will have in the business ecosystem around the

forum will surely also have impact on the business of my

companies, at least in some niches. If we bake a big pie,

everyone will get a piece. For me, a small crumb will be


I am always at the top of innovation. As a teenager, I joined


the first wave of rock'n'roll, which at that time was one of

Alexander Shulgin

© Diplomatic World

Alexander Shulgin

© Diplomatic World

geopolitics will be dramatic. Not only the professions and

sectors of the economy will die, but also the borders of

the countries in their current form, as well as the model

of public administration and their institutions will be

weakened. Ecology (environment) will change, based on

natural phenomena and greater involvement of young

generations in solving environmental problems.

The biggest opponents to innovation have always been

those who were to be replaced by such innovative solutions.

Therefore, now the biggest opponents are the existing

system of state management, institutions of power, banking,

education, representatives of old infrastructures, and, of

course, as always, conservatively ignorant people.

In such institutions and branches of government, there

are an incredibly large number of people who cannot only

find no job, they also cannot find themselves in a changing

world. Intuitively understanding this and not wanting to

part with their cozy offices, visible positions and attractive

wages — they are the main blockage of innovation. They

are so selfish that they do not understand that they are a

barrier for the wellbeing of their own children; so many

of them want to live only for themselves without children.

But progress cannot be stopped, so the best people have

always been and will continue to be on the cutting edge

of innovation, even if they are burned on fire and publicly

hanged as they once were. Moving forward to a happy future

is the human mission. In such a movement you can show

your talent and save your soul.

When we come to the time when there will be 9 billion

people on earth — if we allow this — mankind will have

learned by using new technologies how to refer more

carefully to the diet and the amount of food eaten

and cooked. As a result, the amount of food to feed

people will not be higher than now, it will just be more

reasonable and used more efficient. Do not dispose of large

quantities of unwisely cooked food in a waste container.

Also, innovations in the agrarian library will provide

the opportunity to use natural resources for sowing and

harvesting more efficiently.

Well, of course, the food itself will change, not only by

providing smaller portions and healthy food, but also new

types of food will appear. Foodtech will not only provide

3D printed food, or a substitute for meat, but also other

innovative solutions based on the synergy of foodtech,

biotech, and agrotech. The most important thing is

that the consumption of animals, which started in large

volumes about a hundred years ago to avoid getting into the

Malthusian trap, will finally decrease.











Earlier in August 2019, a large cross-section of the

Blockchain and Bitcoin industries gathered at the first

Blockchain “rASiA Baikal” conference in Irkutsk, Siberia.

During the conference, among other key issues examined

by the delegates during various forums, was the issue of

whether Blockchain in general, and Bitcoin in particular,

should be regulated 1 .

There are a number of diverse opinions on this subject, but

it seems to me that — if we want Blockchain technology

and digital cryptocurrencies in particular to achieve the

massive steps forward in technological solutions that the

technology’s potential offers, then regulation is a necessary

“next step” along the development path.

Without internationally recognised regulation, governments

will shun cryptocurrencies as being liable to enable the

evasion of tax — which is after all their lifeblood — and

without government support, big business will not invest

on a global scale. But the key question is — what regulation?

And by whom?

An International Convention?

Clearly, it would be preferable if the world’s governments

(or at least the majority of them) implemented legislation

which met with the approval of the majority of the

industry’s experts. To that end I would like to propose

that the industry forms a regulation body, made up of

representatives from different elements of the blockchain

industry, from a diverse range of participant countries,

who would consider and formulate proposals, which after

they have been voted on and distilled down to a workable

convention — would then be submitted to nation states for

“suggested” implementation.

Of course, there are precedents for this in the federal model

(for example as implemented by the Articles of Congress

in the USA in 1777) 2 , and in the Berne Convention on

Copyright — adopted in 1886 3 . The Berne Convention is an

international agreement which governs copyright. The treaty

states that if copyright exists in one of these countries,

then this copyright is valid in all member countries who are

signatories of the Berne Convention. At present there are

177 signatory countries out of 195 countries in the world


One more recent example is the international agreement

on 5G technical standards, as outlined by the International

Telecommunication Union (“ITU”) 4 , and 3GPP 5 . The

3GPP organisation fundamentally consists of all the world’s

telecommunications standards bodies who have agreed

to share the definition of 3G wireless and govern the

innovation and conditions of the next-generation networks

such as 5G wireless technologies.

The 3GPP is a pivotal example of how an industry can

agree to share a definition of a function, in this case, 3G

Wireless. Similarly, the 5G wireless aims to be a global

standard, which can be proven to be a difficult task as each

participating country (e.g., China, Russia, South Korea)

or amalgamated body of countries (e.g., the EU, the UN)

will maintain its own definition of 5G networks, its own

concepts of 5G speed, and its own regulations for where 5G

transmissions may take place.

Another good example is ICANN 6 , which is a nonprofit

organization responsible for coordinating the

maintenance and procedures of several databases related

to the namespaces and numerical spaces of the Internet,

ensuring the network's stable and secure operation. I was

on the advisory board of ICANN in the 1990’s, and saw

first-hand how the regulation of the technical aspects of the

Internet could be made possible without the involvement

of national governments, by interested parties within

international industries with a professional vested interest in

the success of the project in question.

Why do we need a Convention?

Without a convention, proscribed by the blockchain

industry itself, the field will end up being regulated by

individual governments with little or no understanding

of the technical issues, passing a myriad of conflicting

legislation on a national basis. This can only serve to slow

down implementation, and cause huge interoperability

problems, which an international convention will help

to avoid. Already, some governments are seeking to treat

cryptocurrencies as “assets”, whereas others see them as

“currencies”, which can be traded without capital gains tax

being applied to each trade. Which is the correct path?



In addition, use of the Darknet is rapidly giving blockchain

in general and Bitcoin in particular a bad name. The failures

found in Liberty Reserve, Silk Road and Mt. Gox are good

examples of why regulation is necessary, in order to “clean

up” blockchain’s reputation. Commentators have argued

that the primary reason blockchains are associated with

cybercrime is the absence of strategic governance enabling

agreed rules and ensuring compliance. The moment such

governance with policies, procedures and mechanisms

and enforcement are in place, the real societal benefits of

blockchains could be achieved.


for centralised authorities, as well as the need to trust

them. It is this very “decentralisation”, coupled with the

cryptographic qualities of the solution, which terrifies

governments — whose very existence is made financially

possible by the ability to tax their citizens, without funds

being hidden either cryptographically or geographically.

For example, while blockchain enables Bitcoin users to

hold, send and receive money online, these distributed

ledgers do more, including clearing and settlement of digital

asset trading and distributed computing without having

the need for central intermediaries. This could potentially

render the existing banking systems obsolete.

Some blockchain standards appear to be consistent despite

having a decentralized system as there is a consensus

amongst the individuals in each blockchain network as to

how to deal with transactions. For example, an essential

aspect of blockchain is that once something is on the

blockchain, it cannot be altered or counterfeited. Once an

asset is listed on the blockchain, ownership is immutable

unless the owner verifies a change. Furthermore, blockchain

has the ability to prove ownership of an asset through its

immutable distributed ledgers as information on previous

and current ownership is both accessible and visible to

those in the network.

Currently, blockchain technology is used in two modes:

public and private ledgers. Various financial institutions are

implementing private (permissioned) ledgers. This is a more

circumscribed controlled application of the technology,

where user identity is known and confirmed. This has the

result that private blockchains can be compared to telco

providers. In contrast, public ledgers are permissionless

censorship-resistant pseudonymous ledgers where username

or wallet address is not fully traceable to the real individual

executing the transaction. A nightmare for governments, if

unregulated, for the reasons set out above.


A number of large banks are now partnering with R3 CEV,

a blockchain start-up dedicated to the development of

common standards for the industry, while the US NASDAQ

is adapting the technology to record trading in securities of

private companies.

The use of decentralised ledger blockchain technology

by virtual currencies like Bitcoin removes the need

Blockchain is also particularly important in markets which

endure high levels of forgeries such as those found in


precious commodities and high-value properties. In such

instances, it is crucial to maintain accurate information in

order to deter unauthorized and fraudulent changes. For

instance, Everledger shows how the use of a distributed

ledger in the diamond trade can assure the identity of

diamonds from being mined and cut to being sold and

insured. This usage has the potential to deter fraud and

prevent illegitimate diamonds from entering the market.

Blockchain applications in businesses indeed go beyond

this, as well as its core current employment in banking.

The issue is that blockchain technology has expanded

from the transfers of digitally stored values, as found in

a multitude of different cybercurrencies, to applications

needing transaction verifications or a trusted repository

of information. In addition, increasing numbers of

organizations are beginning to use blockchain to develop

infrastructure to support decentralized applications,

as exemplified in the Ethereum Foundation, where

decentralized peer-to-peer applications and smart contracts

could be built on top of its blockchain infrastructure.

These applications bring into focus both legal implications

and law enforcement concerns.

What concepts should the Convention address?

The two strands of the convention should try to settle

technical standards and legal standards, which are

intertwined, but require different practical and philosophical


Directive, neither of which imply the creation of a new


Conversely, the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing

and Urban Affairs is now requesting information about

the regulation and oversight of virtual currencies and

blockchain tech from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit

Insurance Corporation, Consumer Financial Protection

Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the

National Credit Union Administration.

Several states in the USA are currently in the process of

adopting the Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency

Businesses Act (URVCBA) 8 which provides a statutory

framework for the regulation of companies engaging in

“virtual-currency business activity,” such as exchanging,

transferring, or storing virtual currency; holding electronic

precious metals or certificates of electronic precious metals;

or exchanging digital representations of value within online

games for virtual currency or legal tender.

Which is the correct approach — and why? Surely the

blockchain industry itself knows the answers best?

How do we reach agreement?

The concept of using blockchain technology to determine

the future of blockchain is irresistible. For example, once

provisional suggestions have been received by interested

parties within the industry, they can be refined and voted

upon by way of a distributed ledger voting system.


In the UK, there are no specific cryptocurrency laws as

yet, cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender in

the UK, and exchanges have registration requirements.

The UK HMRC has issued a brief on the tax treatment

of cyrptocurrencies 7 , named the “Revenue and Customs

Brief 9 (2014): Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies”, which

states that their “unique identity” means they can’t be

compared to conventional investments or payments, and

their “taxability” depends on the activities and parties

involved. Gains or losses on cryptocurrencies will, however,

be subject to capital gains tax.

In the EU, the European Parliament voted to adopt a smart

regulatory hands-off approach to regulating blockchain

technology. The EU Parliament’s initiative combines two

different initiatives: the creation of a Virtual Currency

Task Force and the inclusion of virtual currency exchanges

within the ambit of the European Anti-Money Laundering

The voting system would allow as many interested parties

in each country to vote as may be required, in a confidential

manner, with the votes for each country being counted

in such a way that the majority vote then represents one

“country vote”. The majority of the country votes are then

counted — until a decision on each recommendation to be

put forward to the convention is made.

In this way, a worldwide convention can be systematically

discussed and finalised which will set out how regulation

of blockchain and crypto currencies should be progressed,

on a “most favoured solution” basis, which in turn can be

submitted to governments worldwide, for them to adopt if

they concur.

Of course, there is nothing to say that governments will

adopt the convention, but then again, there was nothing

to suggest that the Berne copyright convention would be

adopted either. But it was. As it became obvious that the

creative industries would prosper under an internationally

recognised and supported scheme for regulation.

When can we do this?, and What should the

Convention be called?

diplomats as to the substance of the text can take place,

with a view to the final convention being ratified at the next

rAsiaBaikal conference in Irkutsk in [June] 2020.

Thus the blockchain and cryptocurrency convention would

be known as the Irkutsk Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Convention 2020.

It is my suggestion that the first draft of the Convention

should be submitted to the next rAsia meeting in Brussels

being organised by Diplomatic World in [April] 2020.

From there, consultation with leading politicians and

From this writer’s perspective, this would be a step worth


Ian Penman — Partner

New Media Law LLP - August 2019


1 Thursday 8 th August 2019. rASiA Baikal conference

in Irkutsk, Siberia. “Is Government Regulation of

Cryptocurrencies Necessary?” www.rasiabiakal.com

2 The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual

Union was an agreement among the 13 original

states of the United States of America that served

as its first constitution. It was approved, after much

debate (between July 1776 and November 1777), by

the Second Continental Congress on November 15,

1777, and sent to the states for ratification.

3 The Berne Convention for the Protection of

Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as

the Berne Convention, is an international agreement

governing copyright, which was first accepted

in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

The Berne Convention formally mandated several

aspects of modern copyright law; it introduced the

concept that a copyright exists the moment a work

is “fixed”, rather than requiring registration. It also

enforces a requirement that countries recognize

copyrights held by the citizens of all other parties to

the convention.

4 The ITU is the successor to the International

Telegraph Union, which was formed way back in 1865.


The ITU coordinates the shared global use of

the radio spectrum, promotes international

cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to

improve telecommunication infrastructure in the

developing world, and assists in the development

and coordination of worldwide technical standards.


5 3GPP https://www.3gpp.org/ The 3rd Generation

Partnership Project (3GPP) unites seven

telecommunications standard development

organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI,

TSDSI, TTA, TTC), known as “Organizational

Partners” and provides their members with a stable

environment to produce the Reports and Specifications

that define 3GPP technologies.

6 https://www.icann.org/ ICANN is a global multistakeholder,

private sector organization that manages

Internet resources for the public benefit. It is best

known for its role as technical coordinator of the

Internet’s Domain Name System.

7 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/




8 The Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency

Businesses Act (URV-CBA) provides a statutory

framework for the regulation of companies engaging

in “virtual-currency business activity,” such as

exchanging, transferring, or storing virtual currency;

holding electronic precious metals or certificates

of electronic precious metals; or exchanging digital

representations of value within online games for

virtual currency or legal tender. The URVCBA’s

unique, three-tiered structure clarifies whether an

individual or company engaging in virtual currency

business activity is (1) exempt from the act; (2) must

register; or (3) must obtain a license. The URVCBA

also contains numerous consumer protections. https://







Ian is a founding Partner of New Media Law, which

is a West End Media & Entertainment law practice in

London. Ian specializes in Media & Entertainment

law, as well as Intellectual Property and e-commerce.

Areas of advice include: Copyright, Internet Law,

Company/Commercial, Licensing, Distribution,

Shareholder Agreements, Director’s Service Contracts,

ISP Agreements, Web Design Agreements, Media

Content Agreements, Production Agreements, Financing

Agreements, Domain Names and Trade Marks

(acquisition, recovery and protection), Mergers and

Acquisitions, Libel and Slander, Litigation and general

company commercial advice.

Ian’s clients range from governments (such as the Isle

of Man) to household media names (such as Sony

Playstation and News Group Newspapers) and state

of the art technology companies (such as Synchtank,

see www.synchtank.com) and span the media content

industries — including television and film producers,

broadcasters and distributors, computer game and

console manufacturers, internet retailers, record

companies, animation houses, music publishers, artist

management companies, actors, directors, artists and

musicians, magazine and book publishers, software

developers, domain name registrars, ISP’s and Website

programmers together with a number of other media/

entertainment and general commercial companies.

rAsia conference in Moscow in June 2014 (see: www.

rAsia.com) and well as on digital distribution at the

DCIA conference in Berlin, and chaired the Euroforum

seminar on the “the Digital Distribution of Music” for

3 years after its inception. He also chaired C5’s “Digital

Entertainment Distribution” conference in London,

which featured Microsoft, Sony, Warner Bros and

Disney, and further moderated a forum at “The Digital

Revolution of Film and TV” conference. Ian was a

member of the ICANN Working Group which advised

the ICANN board on its strategy for the introduction

of new global domain names.

He holds a 2:1 LLB (Honours) from The University

of London, as well as a Masters in Law (specializing in

internet and Multimedia Rights) from the University

of Westminster, where he is a visiting Principal

Lecturer — and has written their Entertainment

& Media and e-commerce course for the LPC.

He is a Principal Lecturer and Examiner on the

University of Westminster LPC E-commerce

course in London, and also the founder of the

Media Law & Business Affairs course in London

(see www.mediabusinessaffairs.co.uk).

Before setting up New Media Law in January 2002, Ian

was previously an Associate at DLA Piper, a top 10 city

firm, where he spent over 7 years advising primarily in the

Media and Entertainment law sectors — often focusing

on the New Media sector involving the Internet and

e-commerce. Prior to entering the law profession, Ian

worked initially for a family stockbroking and investment

firm in Chicago and then in the music industry for 9 years

— initially as a professional musician and record producer,

and latterly in artist management and music publishing.

Ian regularly speaks at conferences focusing on Media

and Entertainment — and has recently spoken at the

Ian Penman




Digitalization makes things easier! Well, we all know by now that this early

assumption was playing the positive card too much. More democracy? Look

what China is doing these days and see how some big data companies are

treating consumer rights. Moreover, fear is justified that many of the jobs as we

know them today will be lost. Nobody can tell yet what will replace them. It

can’t be repeated often enough: any invention can be used for both — for good

and for bad. It takes a lot of effort — and responsibility — to secure open and free

societies. It’s the same when we look towards sustainability and the protection of

our planet.

Artificial Intelligence can provide lots of great solutions to

help us avoid waste or carbon and to deal with the waste

that can’t be avoided or to plant new trees in big numbers,

only to name a few. But it also consumes lots of energy

and releases huge amounts of heat from electronic devices

and the growing server farms.

Now, it seems we are so much attracted by the things that

can be moved in a sustainable way that we don’t see the

risk. Again, there is another side to the coin — as always:

Blockchain Technology and Cloud Computing increase

the demand for energy substantially and defuse huge

amounts of waste heat into the environment.

To give an example: one company runs server farms on

various locations across Europe. At one location about 10

years ago it had about 10,000 m2 with an energy demand

of a small city with about 70,000 inhabitants. About half

of this demand was needed to cool down the facilities.

Today, the space they provide in this location alone has

almost tripled and constructions are under way to almost

double today’s capacity within the next three years. It’s

easy to forecast the energy demand and the waste heat

released into the environment.

Well, in Siberia, the global hotspot for the crypto mining

industry, energy consumption will not be an issue for a

long time, there is enough. However, waste heat may be

underrated, also in “remote” parts of the world. We should

pay much more attention to this issue. There are solutions

for many problems. We only need to address them! India

launched a program to improve home air conditioning by

halving at least 50% of the power consumption.

In a few years India expects over a billion private air

conditioning systems in the cities. Today’s devices are

cheap but consume lots of energy and are giving lots

of waste heat into already hot urban streets. Is this the

beginning to tackle this problem before it becomes a truly

burning issue?

Dieter Brockmeyer

Even the renaissance of traditional nuclear power may

not be as “clean” as environmental activists claim. Yes, it

is carbon neutral — however, these powerplants are very

advanced steam engines that are also defusing more

heat into the surroundings than traditional coal power


Dieter Brockmeyer is co-founder and Chief Project Officer of the newly formed

Diplomatic World Institute (DWI), here with Barbara Dietrich, publisher

of Diplomatic World Magazine and co-founder/CEO of the DWI when first

announcing it during P’50 Peace Summit this June.

© Eurasian Women Community Press Agency.







• Virtual reality is ideal for low-impact virtual tourism —

especially when set up for groups (Wild Immersion with

Andy Woodford).

• Full-blown revolution often destroys value unnecessarily

says Andrea Chamma — better to first try to evolve the

ecosystems if possible.

• Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are thriving in

Russia and Asia, and the community for ready for better

interaction with regulatory authorities.

• Without Satoshi, Bitcoin has splintered along religious

lines a bit like a fundamentalist church schism.

• Building startup ecosystems in a specific region takes a

lot of work, and thereʼs no guidebook or playbook anyone

can point to for this (itʼs not even clear how it happened

in Silicon Valley, though lots of theories abound), yet it

remains vital for long-term economic health in a region.

• Much work remains for the blockchain and bitcoin

communities to make these technologies feel accessible

to everyday (especially enterprise) consumers.

• One of the biggest challenges with decentralized communities

is the reality that nobody can officially represent

and advocate for the core community overall, so itʼs

harder to build a center of gravity to pull in new adopters.

orchestration our startup will deliver will enable smaller

organizations to act with the same kinds of scale that was

previously only possible with huge amounts of staff and


Iʼve worked in highly innovative companies like Google and

for many other multinationals and I have to say we talked

about innovation a lot less at Google than we did at the

others because we were swimming in it (in other words:

how does a fish know itʼs wet?) so for me this is a question

of culture first and foremost. Innovation culture requires

humble leadership who can establish the psychological

safety needed to let a fully diverse set of viewpoints

contribute to that pathfinding. Every one of us has a bias

that craves familiar cultural territory so thereʼs nothing

more important than bringing a team together with a large

diversity of networks so that you donʼt start with a crippling



In my case, Iʼm building a new kind of startup and what I

saw in Irkutsk has been consistent with what got us inspired

in the first place. The singularity weʼre always talking about

in technology isnʼt the only one weʼve had in human society

— we saw the same kinds of event horizons (and renaissance

periods) during the dawn of the agrarian and industrial

age, respectively. Humans naturally form value networks in

their socioeconomic activities, and the fractal orchestration

pattern that results can be immensely useful for those that

need to make investment decisions. And anyone can grow

and cultivate their value networks. The time will come

when having smaller, more nimble organizations will be

an advantage, and the value network

© Andy Zmolek

© Diplomatic World

My outlook on the world in 2035: most of the value

produced in the world will be nonfinancial in nature

(meaning that the exchange of currency will not be required,

whether electronic or physical). This is a hard topic to get

our heads around because today we live in a world where

capital is still the scarce resource that most dominates, but

weʼre quickly moving to a world where human attention is

far more scarce and the only way to access it is to better

orchestrate the exchange of value around it.

However there is lots of resistance that needs to be

overcome: while itʼs tempting to point to government

regulation and taxes (and there is some resistance there to

be sure), the real answer is rooted in human psychology —

our own programming makes innovation hard because weʼre

naturally tribal and we fear loss much more strongly than

we prize gain. Most of us routinely delude ourselves into

thinking we are open minded and make logical decisions.

This is not the case, and one must first accept this reality

and create the opportunities for diversity to appear even

when itʼs not comfortable. Set your life up for moments of

serendipity by putting yourself at the edge of your comfort

zone, and youʼll find the barriers to innovation are lowered.

One of the biggest challenges in the future will be how

we can feed soon nine billion or more people and keep

our planet a pleasant place to live on. Often when I see a

question like this itʼs as if one presumes that a small number

of people are able to solve something for everyone in a

general way and itʼs never going to work that way. Societies

need a certain amount of freedom to evolve and develop on

their own even when doing so means they pose risk their

own most important fundamental needs. A better question

to me is: how do the most developed societies have the

greatest positive impact on the least-developed and most

at-risk societies without impeding their ability to evolve

and grow? Helping those societies at risk must be done

in a way that preserves their right to self-governance and

doesnʼt create problematic dependencies and unsustainable

distortions, so itʼs very important that we approach such

questions from an ecosystems-minded perspective.



My takeaway from the rASiA conference was a far

better understanding of the depth and significance

of Data Mining and Bitcoin activity in Siberia, as

well as seeing that the cost of mining is probably

lowest in the world. Also, I never realised how big

Irkutsk is as a city, and that whilst it does get very

cold in the autumn and winter, I was impressed by

the people, the bit mining professionals and the

attendees to rASiA.

Attending rAsia was important for our Mobilium Global

business, as it gave us the chance to meet with some

outstanding entrepreneurs from Brazil, Southern Africa,

Russia and spend time with the terrific British lawyer Ian

Penman — and of course too, Diplomatic World publisher

Barbara Dietrich.

We approach innovation in two specific areas — education

and mobile device innovation. Our education innovation

is being led by Mrs. Esther Wojcicki, one of the most

iconic educators in the world, who is based in Palo Alto,

Silicon Valley. Together we are building what we call our

“Global Moonshot for Education” — a new education

discipline to train students, under graduates, job seekers

and businesspeople what they need to learn and practice

for the industries of the future. We also do a lot of work in

India where our company Hungama Digital, are the world’s

leading providers of mobile content for the Bollywood

movie industry in India.

one can find brilliant ideas and companies in countries one

would not have thought of previously. For example, personal

health developments of great value are being found in India,

in Brazil and in the Baltic countries too.

To feed 9bn people will require a revolution and growth

of “Vertical Farming” — that is, farming in urban areas in

tall buildings, where hydroponic horticulture will have to

The world of 2035 will see amazing developments in

Artificial Intelligence and great breakthroughs in medicine

and what is now called Exponential Health and Personalised

Medicine — an area we work in with Singularity University.

I believe that by 2035, the world will have had to adopt a

whole new tabula rasa about dealing with Climate Crisis

and especially so in the wake of the uncontrollable fires in

the Amazon — a huge wake-up call for all of us.


The biggest resistance to innovation is often the difficulty

that entrepreneurs have in raising or finding capital to

finance their innovation. Fortunately, disruption and

innovation are now so prominent in the G20 countries that

© Diplomatic World

be used for vegetables and fruit to be grown in the middle

of massive urban areas. To keep the world a pleasant

place to live in will be a major challenge for leaders and

governments, and especially so, in an age when demagogues

are gaining more and more power and democracy as we

knew it at the time of the formation of the European Union,

is under major stress. Never before has there been such a

need for principled political leadership or inter-government

cooperation on a scale not imagined in the current political


© Diplomatic World





For 25 years Living Tomorrow is a unique innovation and

demonstration platform in Brussels where we showcase

innovations in real life settings, and where

we work together with many leading companies.

We host hundreds of thousands of visitors every year,

professionals and consumers. We connect them with

innovation and get in touch with them how our world will

look like in the next decades. TomorrowLab is a strategic

innovation advisory and services provider that started

fifteen years ago; it was created on demand of several

companies that asked us how to innovate and how to create

a continuous process of innovation.

What is your approach on innovation

and what does it mean to you?

Innovation is per definition special and typically human. It

is something that helps us to survive and evolve. For me the

definition of innovation is simple: to see what everyone sees

but doing what no one does. We observe things happening

but only few of us are curious enough to detect the potential

for something new, that will also accepted by the market.

Innovation means also bringing something successfully to

market. There are many ideas for ‘inventions’ that were

never successfully commercialized. At the end this means

no innovation.


© Living Tomorrow

We did a global survey amongst 90 CEOs with one question:

“If you're not completely satisfied with the return on

your investment in innovation, what are the obstacles?”

The top five problems we noticed: 1) It takes too long

to bring innovation to market. 2) We are not successful

in collaborating with other companies. 3) There is a

lack of coordination in the process. 4) The organisation

has an unsupportive culture towards innovation. Many

companies focus on continuous lean and mean exercises

and operational excellence but there is no creativity left. All

activity that does not fit within these procedures needs to be

killed. 5) Limited customer and market insights, what will

the future bring to us and our customers? In what direction

will the added value for our company turn?

Let’s take a closer look at these five main obstacles for

innovation and how to tackle them.

First of all, ‘too long time to market’: innovation has to

become a professional procedure, an ‘engine’, embedded

and integrated deep into the organization. TomorrowLab

helps our customers, companies, governments or cities in

developing this attitude. It takes a managerial approach;

innovation cannot stay a Friday afternoon activity. We guide

to create and install a personalized process, an innovation

engine, that takes new ideas step by step to a successful

market introduction.

who have an overview on what the whole company is doing,

putting everything in perspective and steering its direction

towards the defined strategic goals.

We bring scarce innovation profiles to companies. We help

to connect different experts and business units to build

future proof companies that excel in innovation. The fourth

element is stimulating a supportive culture and climate

towards innovation and develop an entrepreneurial spirit.

In our programs we try to take employees and leadership

of our customers away from their desks, create a distance

from the daily operational stuff, solving the problems of

yesterday. Managers are trained to make extrapolations

of the past into the future, and there it goes wrong. We

use scenario methodologies: what plausible futures can

we develop for the company? In which ecosystem will

we live and act tomorrow and what are the opportunities

and threats for the future? These exercises create future

awareness, the start of an innovation supportive culture.

The fifth element is lack of future customer and market

insights. We are used to analyse market research of things

we observe in the market today, but how to question the

future if customers cannot imagine what that this would

The second concern was inadequate external collaboration

or joint ventures. The solution is to open up this process

of innovation, and that is a difficult one. Companies and

their employees are trained to work inside a box, in a closed

environment. And now they should tear down the (fire-)

walls around the company and share potential innovation?

One of the main reasons is to protect ‘intellectual property’.

We measure our innovation by the amount of IP generated

in our firms. But that is not the only truth anymore:

new revolutionary design will have to be developed in

group structures, in open platforms, in teams in close

collaboration with other external partners, combining the

best of different worlds. Question yourself who will be

your partner in the future, who will be my competitor in

the future. Markets are changing based on new demands,

new needs or rather unserved needs of customers. Many

companies forget this simple rule. They try to invent

everything themselves. The third topic is a lack of

coordination. What we experience at TomorrowLab is that

many companies have experts, doing deep dives into specific

topics and themes but they lack T-shaped profiles. People

© Living Tomorrow


© Living Tomorrow


mean to them? That is the reason why we have started

Living Tomorrow, envisioning a tangible future, letting

people come in, experience the kitchen or carehome of the

future, think and capture their reflections and sensations.

We capture crucial information in our projects; future

customer feedback that we share with our customers.

What is the world going to look like in 2035?

Nobody can predict the future by looking into the crystal

ball. But I think there are a few certainties for tomorrow.

Sustainability, caring for our planet in the first place. We

will have to save our world; we will have to do more with

less. We will have to use fewer natural resources. We cannot

continue the oil era, consuming and burning fossil fuels

like we are doing today. There are alternatives and we really

need to take them seriously. Solar energy, electrical vehicles,

the race is on. Not only for cars, but also for ships, airplanes

and trucks, challenging the transport and commuting scene.

Short haul will be revolutionized by electric engines

and hyperloops with zero emission in high speed.

Containerships are still using polluting bucker oil and these

ships will be shifting soon to batteries and hydrogen or

nuclear power. We still need a lot of research and innovation

in this area, but we are making progress like we never did

before. The clock is ticking. Even better is not making

the things we don’t need: waste prevention. Landfilling is

still a major issue in many parts of the world. How will

manufacturing look like in 2035? Revolutionized ! Robots

will be everywhere, doing the jobs we did anno 2019. 3D

and 4D printing will boost on demand production, locally.

It could mean the end of cheap mass production in

countries like China.

And Mooreʼs Law will not miss its effect: every 2 years

processing power doubles in performance and uses half the

space. Things become invisble and incredibly smart in an

hyperconnected world: cars, wearables, homes, building,

cities,… everything becomes smart. Today we carry around

100 microprocessors in our watches, smartphones, cars, but

in 2035 that will grow to tens of thousands. They will be

anywhere even inside our body measuring vital parameters

and travelling throughout our bloodstream and brains. Data

will be the new gold and it will push our society further in

enabling new smart services, smart robots, smart devices

doing things like we imagined them but never asked for.

Data in 2035 is like oil before: the engine of new economies.

In the sixties we concentrated large production plants into

specific industrial areas outside our cities. But in 2035,

with clean production, collaboration with robots, 3D and

4D printing, micro manufacturing of personalized things

will again take place in the city centers. What will the

civil society look like? It will be a next generation internet

society; the world is my home.

Remember, the internet is still a very young technology. The

first public webpage was online on August 6th, 1991. And

think about how intrusive online services came into our

daily lives. Changing the way, we shop, work, sport, watch

tv and listen to music, the way we drive our cars and bikes,

take planes, even how we meet or connect with each other.

Our privacy is under attack, although we live in a continent,

Europe, that has the best protection worldwide thanks to

GDPR and EU privacy legislation. But still, private data will

be more open in 2035.

It will be very hard to do things secretly for good and for

bad. Sometimes it is necessary to give up some of our

privacy. Today we think that our computers are stupid and

non-personal, but when robots and humanoids will surround

us in 2035 you will talk to them, tell them your secrets.

They will get to know you better and, in this way, serve you

better, become an intellectual and sometimes even “human”,

as a friend. Most traditional jobs will have been replaced

by robots powered by artificial intelligence but at least as

many new jobs will have been created. Even lawyers or

medical doctors are not ‘safe’ for disruption, meaning that

also highly intellectual jobs will have a problem in surviving


Some predict that in 2040 we will reach the singularity

point. Singularity means that the processing power of

computers will be equal to that of a human brain. And

taking Moore’s Law into account that means that, 34 years

later, by 2074 one computer chip will be more performant

than all human brains — 10 billion — together. Challenging.

Some people look at this as a nightmare, Elon Musk

started a company – Neuralink – to connect our brain to

a machine to make sure we can catch up with machines.

Nicholas Negroponte stated in his book the Age of Spiritual

Machines that we will be immortal by scanning our brain

into a machine and virtually live forever. I personally believe

that it will move towards a more positive scenario, but

super-powers and super-intellect will be there and yes, there

will be a threat for a divided society between the haves and

the haves not.

Already for this reason I believe in human mankind making

the right choices, crafting the right legislation for the

future of privacy, life (DNA cloning), co-living with super

intelligence. Yes, we are in need of strong politicians,

elected to guide us through new decades of change.

Politicians are dealing with minor issues as Brexit or the

reorganization of our state today. But our real challenge is

to build a future for everyone embracing new technology

and change.

What is the biggest resistance on innovation

and how can it be overcome?

At TomorrowLab we see that the biggest threat to

innovation is the resistance to change part of ourselves,

our companies, organizations and governments. It is

not anymore the strongest that survives but the one that

adapts the most easily to change. Always remember the

famous Kodak case. A typical example of not adapting

to change. The price they paid for not changing, not

innovating, was high: one of the world leaders went

bankrupt in a few years’ time. Kodak was a great

company; they had the best engineers that invented the

digital camera. These people presented that innovation to

their board. The reaction was: ‘Why should we invest in

this kind of inferior technology?’ Bad quality, high prices,

complex and costly production and no “consumables

market” of films and photo prints?

Their outstanding chemical film was performing so well,

making a lot of money in selling films and making photo

prints afterwards. Kodak’s board decided to put the

program on hold, not ready to go to market. And they never

had another chance to even start it, but a few years later it

was simply too late. New competitors were faster and more

agile, the adoption of digital photography went so fast, at

an overwhelming pace. Goodbye Kodak. Same with Nokia

and even today we see “Kodak effects” happening everyday:

in electric mobility, in banking, in retail, in education, in

telecom, in energy, in pharma. Incumbents think there is

plenty of time, being powerful enough to catch up: rather

be a fast follower than a pioneer. Simply a wrong vision and

not sustainable.

How to overcome this change anxiety? First, imagine

the future! Think different and color outside the lines.

Organizations and governments act incremental and inside

out. They believe they can influence the future towards

their preferred scenario. And that is an illusion, we are not


living in an era of change but in a change of era. One major

fact succeeds another one, none of them can be influenced

by yourself: think 9/11, think economic crisis 2008, think

oil crisis, think energy crisis, think refugee crisis, think

climate impact… These events affect our lives, our work, the

ecosystem we have to live and work in. It is vital to take the

contextual environment of the future into account: think

the unthinkable, not the desirable but the plausible. Open

up your world, connect with external parties outside your

non-comfort zone, listen to different voices and reflect on

what it will mean to you, your family, your business, your

society. Define what will be missed if your company is

about to disappear tomorrow, and will this gap be filled-in

immediately by a competitor? Too many companies are

doing the same thing only slightly different.

In that respect the service or product lacks a soul, there

is no bold vision, no moonshot. That is the difference

everyone feels today between, Tesla or SpaceX and any

other car manufacturer. Tesla tries to save the planet and if

that is not working out, they are preparing to colonize Mars,

leaving our ‘wasted’ earth behind. What a difference in

mindset with ‘competitors’ trying hard to catch up because

they spoiled time with incremental stuff… ‘by making the

chemical film just a little better and a little more profitable’.

So, captains of industry and politicians, start imaging the

future. Not as a one-time exercise but take it seriously,

use external help to facilitate the outside-in and build

that culture of future awareness and innovation. Make

it your DNA and start thinking about what you want to

leave behind for the next generation. Start overcoming the

resistance to change by creating a culture of piloting and

testing. Allow people to see failure as success in progress.

It also helps in embracing uncertainty and unknown

technologies. Start experimenting today, even small

scale: test, learn, reflect and try over. Stay curious in new

technologies, new services that surround you. Try out in a

radically and different way? That is what the Facebooks,

Spotifys and Airbnbs did. And it's not ending with these

companies, it's just the beginning. Innovation is a river, it

constantly flows.

How can we soon feed nine billion people on the

planet and keep it a pleasant and sustainable place

to live on?


© Living Tomorrow

Our world population is almost going to double in the next

fifty years. And I think the main challenge for keeping it

a pleasant place to live, is sustainability. There are five

scarce resources that define sustainability on our planet:

food, natural resources, health, water and energy. We

should use and activate our imagination, our brains to

innovate on these five elements. Take food. When there is

not enough food, you have tensions leading to war between

people. We should really look at how to feed our planet in

the next decades. We have to change the way we produce

and consume food, not because we like to, but because we

have to. It is simply impossible that China and India will

consume as much meat as we do today.

New innovations like protein alternatives and lab grown

meat are here to stay. It should become possible that with

the cells of fifty cows we can feed the world. Unthinkable?

We globally slaughter over 150 million animals per day for

food consumption today. We have to take it seriously. Keep

in mind there are many other challenges in food production

and agriculture, because we only have one planet. And

when we double the population, we should also look at our

environmental space and impact on that space The way we

live, the way we build our houses, the way we move, and build

cities — soon mega-mega cities. Big questions, all in transition.

Climate change is urging us to innovate, new diseases are

popping up. Some areas become unlivable, other areas offer

new opportunities. Medical innovation is moving forward

rapidly, and we will get assistance from AI and robots: in

surgery and the exploration of new pharma molecules, the

race towards a new generation of antibiotics is on and also

urgent. Being with so many people on this blue planet will

put a lot of stress on the next coming generations. Water

is another underestimated scarce resource. When we are

at home, we just open the tap and the fresh water flows. It

looks so obvious but it's not. Today Belgium’s position is

third highest in water scarcity in Europe after Cyprus and

San Marino.

At home almost 99% of the water that comes out of the

tap is drinkable water. It has been cleaned to the highest

standard. And we only use one percent of that water to

drink. Time to rethink the whole water ecosystem. Why not

having 99% of the water as grey water, good enough to use

in the garden, dishwashers, washing machines, carwash,

flush toilets or even think about closed loops of water in our

homes. Only the 1% needed for human consumption could

come into our homes meeting the highest standards.

© Living Tomorrow

And we should pay real value for this process; today it is

just too cheap. Another major challenge of sustainability is

energy. The world is in transition today evolving from coal

to oil to green energy. The research for green alternatives

is ongoing with wind energy, water energy, solar energy.

We have the potential to make a leap forward changing

geopolitical influences. If you know that only 25.000 sq

miles of solar panels are needed to meet the world’s energy

consumption today. That is the surface of the rain forest

disappearing every year. And the first step could help solve

the latter.

Today we are really innovating towards a new world and I

am very happy to live in this era because there is so much

possible and so much change going on. I do believe in a

positive future. That is why, when you enter our Living

Tomorrow building in Brussels, you see large signs saying,

“do not fear the future”.

I believe that the future will always have more opportunities

than threats, and that makes us human. We always try to

innovate our way forward. The future looks bright and I

am happy for our children that every day we can work on

innovation to make the world a better place for every one

of us.







This article attempts to determine the possible future

opportunities for arbitration when it comes to blockchain

technology and smart contracts. It will be divided into three

parts and a conclusion. In the first part the definitions of

blockchain technology, smart contracts, and AI arbitration

will be addressed and it will be explained how these

three notions can be linked together in theory. The second

part will present pilot projects on AI that serve the purpose

of justice as well as their pitfalls. Finally, the third part will

address the opportunities that arise in the context of AI

arbitration and blockchain technology.




A) Blockchain Technology

A blockchain is a chain of blocks that contains information.

It can be pictured as a huge accounting book where the

records (the blocks) are interlinked and encrypted to protect

the security and privacy of what is in the blocks. It is, in

other words, a distributed and secured database, open to

anyone (in the case of a public blockchain), and that can

contain all types of transaction, not only economical ones.

To make it simple, each block contains three elements: the

data, which depends on the type of block (for a transfer

of bitcoins for instance it will be the sender, the receiver,

and the number of bitcoins), the hash, which is a unique

fingerprint-like entity that identifies the block and its

content, and the hash of the previous block in order to

create the chain.

The interest of a blockchain is twofold. First, the content

of each block is validated by the users of the blockchain.

To sabotage a blockchain, one would need to have control

over 51% of the users of that blockchain, which is not

possible. Second, once the content of a block (a transaction

for instance) has been validated by the community of

users, it can no longer be changed and will be forever part

of the blockchain as long as the chain exists. This makes a

blockchain not only an indestructible ledger of information

of all kind but also a very useful tool of traceability as

anyone can access all the blocks in the chain.

B) Smart Contracts and AI Arbitration

A smart contract is a self-executing set of electronic

instructions written into lines of code. This permits a

computer to read the contract and to execute it if the

conditions for the execution are met. It is based on an “if

— then” logic. For instance, a smart contract concerning

the lease of an apartment could be divided into two phases.

First, the lessee would have to pay the first month of rent

through the smart contract. That would be the “if”. Then,

once the payment has been made, the smart contract would

give to the lessee the code of the locker situated next to the

door of the rented apartment that contains the keys. That

would be the “then”.


Source: techpiration.com

Smart contracts have already been used for decades [2], but

the concept reached a whole new level with the blockchain

technology. As explained before, a blockchain constitutes

a secured and accurate platform of exchange of data,

indestructible and always traceable. Such context is optimal

to exploit smart contracts in their full potential. Indeed,

Thus, Kira is not a tool that can give a decision over a

dispute. However, it fulfills the first step of rendering a

decision: reading and understanding the contract.

This is an illustration of how a smart contract may function within a

blockchain (Source: blockchainglobal.be).

when for instance two persons sign a smart contract,

they can then insert it inside a block of a blockchain. The

smart contract will then be validated by the users of the

blockchains and once validated, it won’t be possible to

modify it anymore. This process presents advantages of

transparency, efficiency and rapidity, amongst others. It

also prevents attempts from one of the parties to rewrite the

contract afterwards.

The interest of the present article is to discuss the

utilization of an AI as an arbitrator, in order to settle a

dispute that would arise out of a smart contract inserted in

a blockchain. AI stands for artificial intelligence and in the

case of arbitration, it could constitute an algorithm within

the smart contract that would resolve disputes by founding

its reasoning on similar situations that happened before in

other blockchains, for instance, since all information in a

public blockchain is available for the users. The object of

the second part of this article is to analyze pilot projects of

AI intervening in the course of rendering justice in order

to see how such AIs could be used for arbitration in smart

contracts contained within a blockchain [3].



In this part, the author will focus on AIs that already exist

and that could be used in the course of arbitration. The

first AI worth-mentioning is called Kira. As described by its

creators, “Kira is a powerful machine learning software that

identifies, extracts, and analyzes text in your contracts and

other documents” [4]. In other words, Kira is an AI that can

read a contract and underline the important terms, therefore

enhancing one’s visibility into his/her contract. Kira can

operate the due diligence process in minutes and aims in the

end to reduce the time lawyers spend on reading a contract [5].

The second AI this article will address is the ROSS

Intelligence [6]. As described by its creators, “ROSS has

been built from the ground up to deliver the most complete

collections of relevant law in response to your natural

language research queries”. ROSS is in other words a

research platform for laws and jurisprudences like Westlaw

or LexisNexis but its creators revendicate that ROSS is far

easier to use and far more intuitive. Where Kira is a tool

that allows a quicker reading of contracts, ROSS allows

a quicker finding of relevant laws, cases, and responses

for a given issue. ROSS is indeed able to answer legal

questions within a day and it provides with its answer a

few explanatory paragraphs [7]. Again, as Kira, ROSS is

not a tool that can settle a dispute. However, it presents

the advantage of explaining its reasoning when giving an


To a similar extent as ROSS, AI has been created to

predict future decisions of the Supreme Court of the

United States in given cases [8]. Founding its reasoning

on the analysis of previous cases, the creators of this AI

argue in their conclusion that their model “achieves 70,2%

accuracy at the case outcome level and 71,9% at the justice

vote level”. Although there is no doctrine of precedent

in arbitration as there is in the Common Law Tradition,

such AI could be used for the purpose of arbitration. For

instance, after hearing the parties and before starting to

draft the awards, arbitrators could use this AI to analyze

previous arbitral and judicial decisions and see how

the AI predicts the outcome of the current arbitration.

Arbitrators would then have an idea as to the direction

their award should take, as long as they trust the AI and the

jurisprudences/previous awards relied on.

All these AIs present a major disadvantage: they cannot

recreate the human perspective that exists in every case.

For instance, even though Kira can read the clauses of a

contract, it cannot determine the subjective intent of the

parties behind the clauses. To a similar extent, ROSS cannot

take into account the human factor when drafting the

answer to a legal issue. Concerning the third AI mentioned,

as it cannot consider the sensibility of each judge of the

Supreme Court; it cannot determine an outcome with




AI arbitration actually exists in the form of the Arbitration

Engine, or “[the] first online collective decision-making

application based on the Influents Algorithm [which] is

a proof-of-concept pilot, designed for a two-party conflict

with an arbitrator/mediator” [9]. However, this tool is

several years old and is therefore not really relevant for the

purpose of the present article. Yet, it can give us insight

as to how AI arbitration could be in the future. In the

Arbitration Engine, visitors have two possibilities, the

first one being to experiment with a pre-made scenario

that is a simulation of a compulsory management-union

mediation, as contemplated by section 55 of the British

Columbia Labor Relations Code. The second possibility

is to set up a whole new conflict scenario. In both cases,

the visitor will explore the algorithm by taking on the

role of the three parties (the union, the employer, and the

mediator/arbitrator). A more modern AI arbitration could

have a similar structure where each party would enter their

data into the system and then the AI would analyze these

data little by little by asking questions to the parties to

determine an outcome in the end.

However, as of today and to the knowledge of the author,

there is no AI system fully used as an arbitrator and that can

render a binding decision to settle a dispute. It is therefore

relevant, after the future possibilities previously mentioned,

to discuss what are the current opportunities of AIs in

arbitration and how it could be compatible with a smart

contract within a blockchain.

First of all, AIs could make for good experts. According to

the WIPO, “[e]xpert determination is a procedure in which

a dispute or a difference between the parties is submitted,

by agreement of the parties, to one or more experts who

decide on the matter referred to them. The determination

is binding, unless the parties agreed otherwise”. In

that scenario, AIs could be used as experts to answer

technical questions that, although they do not need human

subjectivity to be answered, might require the analysis of

numerous data (for instance determining the market value

of the shares of a company at a given time). Using AIs

as experts in arbitration could improve the speed of the

proceedings, the preciseness of the results and prevent any

discussion post expert determination as to the partiality of

the expert, since it will be a robot.


As to the 3 AIs previously mentioned, one

possibility would be to merge them into one with the first,

Kira, to analyze the contract and the potential issues

raised by the parties when a dispute starts. Then ROSS

could rely on previous jurisprudences/arbitral awards,

but also on future decisions that would be predicted by

the last AI, to draw a developed answer as to the legal

issues detected by Kira. This answer could take the form

of an award binding the parties as long as they agree to

it. This whole process of AI arbitration could be included

into a smart contract contained in a blockchain. All the

users, but particularly the parties to the smart contract

would have access to the conduct of the arbitration

and could intervene by bringing details or by answering

questions spontaneously asked by the AI. Such solution

would facilitate access to an arbitral justice as there will

be, for instance, no more need to constitute an arbitral

tribunal. Amongst other things, this would save time

and costs. An alternative solution, in order to limit the

absolute objectivity of AIs, would be to subject the “award”

rendered by the AI to a final check done by a human

arbitrator. This could still be dematerialized as the smart

contract inserted in the blockchain could already contain

the name of the human arbitrator that would have to do

the final check of the “award” given by the AI.

Secondly, just like Kira which is an AI that analyses

contracts, AIs could also be used to assess evidence, which

consists in arbitration of determining the relevance and

materiality of documents. AIs could present a summary

of the pieces of evidence produced by the parties and in

the context of e-discovery or the analysis of an important

quantity of documents, AIs could be more efficient than

humans and less prone to mistakes. This would allow

arbitrators and lawyers to spend their time on other issues,

rather than looking for something in a pile of documents,

thus saving time and costs in the overall arbitration

process. However, where AIs could assess the relevance

and materiality of evidence, determining the admissibility

of evidence should be left to the arbitrators. Indeed, the

issue of the admissibility of evidence involves subjective

consideration, especially in the context of illegally obtained

evidence. In that case, human arbitrators should be the ones

that decide whether or not a document is admissible with

regard to the particular circumstances of the case.

As explained in another article about AI and arbitration

[10], AIs could ensure the equality of the parties in the

arbitral proceedings by keeping a precise count of how

much each party speaks, how many pages parties use in

their submission and so on. In that context, AIs would be

used to help arbitrators make sure the proceedings are equal

between the parties and the role of the arbitrator would be

to bring some subjectivity and flexibility into the procedure,

as flexibility is also a feature of arbitration that is important

for the parties.

blockchain technology as it would dematerialize and ease

the settlement of disputes. Such a solution should be viable

in the future but right now, AIs are not efficient enough to

act as arbitrators and there are not enough rules to legally

deal with them.

In other words, AIs currently present the main opportunity

to reduce costs and improve speed by assisting arbitrators

and lawyers. On the other hand, their main asset also

constitutes their main flaw: their lack of subjectivity that

implies necessarily a better objectivity. All these possible

utilizations of AI in arbitration could be inserted within

a smart contract contained in a blockchain in order to

always reduce human intervention in something already



AIs today present opportunities not to settle disputes on

their own already but to restore somehow the reasons

parties used to choose arbitration: speed and minor costs if

compared to litigation. AIs could thus be used as assistant

help for arbitrators and lawyers for the tedious tasks that

tend to make proceedings last longer, such as the ones

aforementioned. Smart contracts and blockchain technology

make already an efficient and promising association aiming

to dematerialize legal relationships and ease their creation.

Adding an AI arbitration mechanism to a smart contract

would follow the philosophy of smart contracts and

A solution could be to propose an international convention

like the New York Convention but for AI arbitration. In

such an AI arbitration convention, there would be rules

and frameworks as to which situations can be arbitrable

by a machine. Arbitral institutions could propose adapted

rules for AI arbitration, from how to put it into place to the

enforcement of an AI award. The author of this article is of

the view that the use of AI is inevitable in the future and it

will change how lawyers and arbitrators think, work, and

apprehend a case. The international arbitration community

should embrace such considerations in order to participate

efficiently in the creation of improved AIs that will help

arbitrators and lawyers and maybe one day completely settle


ICT pioneers who wish to develop or use AI arbitration

should make sure that their technical evolution

meet all existing legal requirements related to valid

arbitration processes and outcomes. With a view on

ensuring legal compliance with AI arbitration, feel free to

contact the Billiet & Co legal team of experts for assistance

at www.billiet-co.be.


[1] To write this part, the author of this article relied

on different sources without specifically quoting

them such as http://blockchain-technology.cf, https://

blockchainfrance.net, https://www.blockchainexpert.uk,

or the YouTube Channel “Simply Explained – Savjee”.

[2] See Smart Contracts Were Around Long Before

Cryptocurrency, Allan I. Mendelowitz and Willi

Brammertz, americanbanker.com, 17 November 2016.

[3] AI arbitration has to be distinguished from ODR

(online dispute resolution) as AI could happen online

but not every arbitration that happens online is AI

arbitration. For an insight on ODR projects, see The

Governance of Blockchain Dispute Resolution, Darcy

W. E. Allen, Aaron M. Lane and Marta Poblet, pp. 8-13.

[4] https://kirasystems.com

[5] To a similar extent, see https://ebrevia.

com/#overview, which is an AI specialized for due

diligence in M&A.

[6] https://rossintelligence.com

[7] A New Beginning – Artificial Intelligence and

Arbitration, Philippe Billiet and Filip Nordlund, Korean

Arbitration Review.

[8] A General Approach for Predicting the Behavior of

the Supreme Court of the United States, Daniel Martin

Katz, Michael J. Bommarito, and Josh Blackman.

[9] http://www.arbitrationengine.com/index.html

[10] Will Artificial Intelligence Take Over Arbitration?,

Christine Sim, Asian Journal of International

Arbitration, p. 8, 2018.





What are you doing with the blockchain? It may

sound like one of those preposterous questions

asked by today’s youth, but it’s a very important

question to be thinking about these days.


The use of the blockchain is poised to permeate our lives

whether we are ready or not. Its uses as a distributed

ledger of information has boundless applications beyond

Bitcoin and other crypto currencies. World industry is

gearing up for global adoption of distributed ledgers

becoming the normal way of them doing business in the


Smart contracts — think of them as little bits of

executable code that work on the blockchain as

applications do on your laptops and smart devices — are

the future ways industry will utilize those blockchains.

Futurists at Mattereum, a leader in smart contract

property registrations, foresee a time in the near

future when not only purchases can be made via the

blockchain, but also ownership transfers of everything

from automobiles to houses. Imagine not having to wait

days, weeks, or months to pass papers on a new home

but having to wait minutes if not seconds? This is where,

theoretically, things are heading. It does, however, beg the

question: how do you know what you are buying is real?

Certainly, a car is a tangible item, as is a piece of fine art

or a designer handbag. For the last two, what assurance

do you have that they are genuine? For luxury items,

if you purchase something on the secondary market,

how do you actually know it is real? With the internet

becoming the most common secondary marketplace, it

is becoming impossible for the average consumer to tell

since, aside from a seller’s guarantee and perhaps a paper

certificate (which can be easily duplicated), second-hand

goods usually come with no assurance of authenticity.

With the rise of counterfeiters and their use of

technology to create accurate fake merchandise, sales

receipts, and even product registration cards, there is

a strong need to have something that gives buyers a

safeguard when purchasing items. This is where the

immutable aspects of the blockchain can assist in a very

big way.


Imagine spending thousands of dollars on the

secondary market and finding out that you accidentally

purchased a counterfeit luxury handbag. The Global

Brand Counterfeiting Report estimates that over thirty

billion dollars annually is lost solely to online global

counterfeiting. That is a worldwide impact on industry.

The OECD reported that the total value of imported fake

goods worldwide was USD $461 billion in 2013 with

nearly 5% of all goods imported into the EU being fake 1 .

And it’s only gotten worse. Harvard Business Review in

May of this year ran a story on how Luxury Brands could

beat counterfeiters and their numbers were shocking: the

total trade in counterfeit goods was put at $4.5 Trillion

and that fake luxury merchandise may account up to 70%

of that number! That’s a nearly 10 fold increase in just

6 years!

Counterfeit items are sold daily on many after-market and

secondary market websites. Sometimes the buyer knows

they are purchasing counterfeit items, but sometimes they

do not. It would certainly help if manufacturers could

implement a device in any item that gave off a faint radio

signal which could be picked up by a smart device and

verify the item as genuine. It could be as easy as using a

transit card or a contactless payment card. This works

only until the counterfeiters eventually figured out how to

copy the signals and antenna tags. That is the depressing

dilemma in today’s world, because no matter how smart

or clever the manufacturer’s solution is to counter the

forgery market, the counterfeiters eventually figure out

a way to make exact copies, taking you back to square


All that time and energy spent, and within months (or

even weeks) a counterfeit of a desirable item is being

offered up for sale on websites at a healthy discount

compared to its street price. Industry losses are mounting

daily, and manufacturers have little recourse. Most

countries where counterfeiting takes place have few laws

or little interest in prosecuting. You can try and shut

down the larger counterfeiters but, like an arcade game,

as soon as one goes down, three more pop up to take

its place. If you have a desirable brand or product that

the public wants, you can be assured that somewhere,

somehow, that item will probably be counterfeited.

The one thing that has not been copied to date is a

crypto token or coin. The way in which crypto assets

are created is based on a timestamp and verification of

its creation by a number of machines that exist on the

blockchain. When a crypto coin or token is “minted”, its

address and identification on the blockchain is based in

part on the timecode of its creation. That information is

verified and recorded, making it immutable and

thus unalterable. Attempts to duplicate it would

immediately be rejected by the other verifying machines


So there actually is an item (whether it be a crypto coin

or token) that cannot be counterfeited. How can we relate

this to a physical, real-world object?


A Digital Twin is what the name implies: a digital

representation of a physical, real-world object. The

definition goes on to include the actual physical object

and the relationship between the two. The term has

been in use for several years, having been popularized by

NASA in the early 2010’s as a concept for 3D modeling

where designs and ideas could be constructed in a digital

world for testing before being constructed in the real


William Shatner

© William Shatner

These twins also exist in the world of Crypto. The Digital

Twin becomes a “Crypto Twin” aka a Crypto object (a

token or coin) that relates to a physical object in the real

world. It’s a bit of the reverse of a Digital Twin where

the real-world object stays the same and a crypto token

or coin is created to represent it, with their relationship

being connected by the blockchain. This relationship can

also be used as a record of authentication.

Our goal at Third Millennia Incorporated is to take

real-world objects that have some intrinsic value and

tag them in a uniquely identifiable way that can be read

via a smart device. Whether it’s a one of a kind article,

an autographed item, an original piece of art, or a

valuable luxury item, we use the Crypto Twin token as a

representation of a real-world object and, using the actual

record of the blockchain, tie the two items together. This

forms an immutable record of authenticity that cannot be






A design house produces a high-end brand of signature

designer merchandise. Since their brand is highly sought

after by the public, they are victims of counterfeit goods

manufactured elsewhere. The counterfeiters and their

agents sell these knock offs via websites, street corners,

flash store set ups, and secondary market auction sites.

The public may or may not be aware that these items are

counterfeit, but inability to stem the flow of counterfeit

merchandise is worrisome for the brand as it impacts

sales and its reputation.

Art has always been a very lucrative investment. If

you choose the right artist, your investment in art can

appreciate in value considerably while it decorates your

walls. As a result, there is a secondary counterfeit market

that produces fairly good copies of art by many sought

after ‘collectible’ artists such as Banksy, Invader, and

Warhol. Even counterfeit pieces can sell at thousands to

tens of thousands of dollars. How can one be assured that

they are buying a genuine piece of art and not a worthless

fake on the secondary market?

The world of collecting has been around for millennia.

Romans collected manuscripts and proudly showed off

their treasures in such places as the fabled Library of

Alexandria. Even celebrity autograph collecting has been

going strong for centuries, with many autographs going up

in value once the signer passes away. As an investment,

they may not be a cornerstone to a portfolio, but they

certainly have a value that can appreciate greatly.

In 2008, Hastings Communication and Law Journal

quotes that each year as many as half of the art

sold in the UK may be “spurious” 2 . The value of art

forgeries trading was estimated to be between $250

and $500 million, and counterfeit goods of all kinds

had seen a “five fold” rise between 1989 and 2003.

Art authentication, by its own nature, is an educated

opinion arrived at by a number of people whom the

general public accepts as experts. Attributions to artists

change over time. It’s not a science. Tens of thousands

to millions of dollars are up for stakes in authenticating

some art pieces. A lost master could bring millions while

if an expert isn’t quite convinced of the authenticity of a

piece; it could become a costly mistake for whomever the

owner is. Interpol in its first International Conference

on Counterfeit Art came up with a series of guidelines

to raise awareness of the trend of counterfeit art, to

enforce and encourage local laws to be passed regarding

counterfeit art and to create a centralized database of

information that member countries could turn to when

they have an issue with counterfeit art.

The dilemma: how do you know that the William

Shatner autograph you are bidding on is genuine? A

quick look on secondary market sites like eBay list his

autographed memorabilia with prices ranging from just

a few dollars to several hundred. Since the signatures

all look very similar, how does one know what they are

bidding on?

In all of the above instances, and in many more realworld

situations where authentication is needed, the

question of how we know what is real and what is not

continues to pose a great challenge.

Third Millennia Incorporated is attempting to solve

this issue with a Crypto Twin Authentication service.

Although the concept is simple, the mechanisms are

technically complex enough to make them virtually

counterfeit proof. Using a tag or marker that can

be physically attached to a product, the frequency

identification technology of the tag, along with other

descriptive e information related to the item—appraisal

reports, manufacturing information, photos, video, etc.—

are put into the blockchain record.

The on-chain record keeping database is based on the

Semantic Web format. Originally developed years ago for

the web, its structured format allows the database of items

that have been verified to be easily searched using basic

web tools and Boolean expressions. This format is also the

preferred format for many museum collection databases.

Once an item is scanned by a user on our smart

device app, the technology built into the app will

perform several functions. The initial scan will look

up the blockchain record based upon the frequency

identification, and the app will determine if that item

has been recorded. If there is no record, an error will

be returned. If the scan indicates that the item has been

entered into the blockchain, an authenticity smart token

for the item will be sought out. If the token has not yet

been distributed, an account can then be set up using

by providing a few basic details. The system will then

create a simple crypto wallet on the app and put the

authentication smart token into that wallet. The smart

token effectively becomes a “Crypto Twin” to the realworld

item and certifies its authenticity.

If the item gets sold by the owner on the secondary

market, the token can be moved into a new wallet

registered on the app for a small fee. Counterfeiters may

be able to copy the tag, and even the signal, but unless

the token has not been registered by the original owner,

there is only one token per item. So an asset without a

token is like a vehicle without a title, or a work of art

without provenance. It basically delineates the secondary

market for real and counterfeit items, allowing buyers and

resellers to know what they are purchasing before the sale

takes place.

The future for manufacturers, artists, and celebrities

is very bright with the help of this technology. Future

enhancements to the token could allow an owner to

mark the token as stolen if the item is stolen. Then,

any secondary market sellers that are offered the stolen

merchandise can scan the item and see that it has been

flagged. This would make it very difficult to sell, plus

the item could be returned to the owner if the secondary

market seller contacted the authorities. Furthermore, the

service could be white listed by a manufacturer, artist, or

celebrity to become a part of their own smart device app;

insuring even more brand loyalty by their customer base.

The World Health Organization reported in 2017 that

one out of every ten drugs in developing and poor

countries are counterfeit. In a worldwide industry of over

$300 Billion dollars in sales this puts the figure at over

$30 million in counterfeit sales. Many companies are

turning to crypto companies for solutions. Everledger has

been working on a blockchain solution to track diamonds

to prevent the distribution of blood diamonds into the

economy. They are now expanding that system into the

fine wine industry. It is hoped that using systems based

on blockchain ledgers will help curb counterfeits from

entering the commerce system.

The global implications of adopting this kind of

technology would certainly benefit the bottom line of

manufacturers, artists, and celebrities. The purchasing

public can not only trust in the quality and authenticity

of an asset, but can pass along that trust into secondary

market. It enforces brand loyalty and helps buoy up

Paul Camuso

very healthy secondary market price levels to ensure the

desirability and sophistication of the brand continues in

those markets. This approach to using crypto technology

not only enables adoptability by the masses, but also

allows for a variety of future applications in everyday life.

“I am very excited to be a part of Third Millennia and

it’s forward thinking strategies of employing crypto

technology to allow adoptability by the masses. I see not

only the uses discussed in this article but so many other

practical uses of this technology in everyday life. I am

going to be adopting the authentication technology in

my own store where those who purchased an item signed

by me will get one already registered on the blockchain

with this service. It will ensure that my signature is

authenticated through and beyond the third millennia!”

William Shatner

© Paul Camuso

1 OECD/EUIPO (2016), Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated

Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact, Illicit Trade, OECD

Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264252653-en.

2 Giondonca, Joseph C. 2008. “Can Intellectual Property Laws Stem

the Rising Tide of Art Forgeries?” Hastings Communications and

Entertainment Law Journal 31, no. 1: 47–78.



Paul has worked in the software technology field from

the late 1980’s through 1990’s before moving to Europe.

A former Customer Relations Director for Lotus/

IBM EMEA, Paul has many years’ experience with

multinational corporate satisfaction issues. He has spent

the past 20 years working in with actor William Shatner,

introducing Mr. Shatner to bring technology uses to

the Entertainment Industry and showing how to exploit

technology as a marketing and promotional tool. His

partnership with Mr. Shatner in Third Millennia should

be tour de force in using the technology of the crypto

world in new and exciting ways to allow quick adoption

of crypto by the masses. A former resident of both

Boston, Massachusetts and London, England he now

resides in Los Angeles, California.


William Shatner has cultivated a career spanning over

50 years as an award-winning actor, director, producer,

writer, recording artist, and horseman.

Shatner originated the role of ‘Captain James T. Kirk’

in the television series Star Trek, reprising the role in

seven of the Star Trek movies, one of which he directed.

He played the title role in the hit television series T.J.

Hooker, as well as eccentric lawyer ‘Denny Crane’ on

both The Practice and Boston Legal, for which he was

awarded two Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award.

He has also hosted several television series including

Rescue 911 and Shatner’s Raw Nerve. In April 2011,

Shatner launched his hugely popular one-man show,

Shatner’s World on Broadway, later touring in Australia,

New Zealand, Canada, and over 50 U.S. cities.

His love of music has inspired him to record such

albums as Has Been, country album What About Me,

and holiday album Shatner Clause (which was number

2 on the Billboard chart). He has also collaborated on a

number of musical projects such as Ponder The Mystery

in 2013 (for which he wrote the lyrics), and Seeking

Major Tom (2011) featuring songs by U2, Frank Sinatra,

Queen and Pink Floyd.

Off the screen and broadcast waves, Shatner has authored

nearly 30 best-sellers in both the fiction and non-fiction

genres. His autobiography, Up Till Now, was a New

York Times best-seller and was followed by Shatner

Rules which was released in October 2011. William

Shatner’s book, Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship

with a Remarkable Man, was released in February 2016

appearing on the NY Times Bestseller list. William

Shatner’s newest book, Live Long And…What I Might

Have Learned Along the Way, was released in September


Shatner has been successful in another area: as a

longtime dedicated breeder of American Quarter horses.

As both a breeder and rider of American Saddlebreds,

he has won numerous world championships in several

equine events. His passions for horses and philanthropy

were united when he started the Hollywood Charity

Horse Show, which benefits Los Angeles-based children’s


Shatner continues to act, write, produce and direct while

still making time to work with charities and further his

passion in equestrian sports. He and his wife, Elizabeth

and three married children live in Los Angeles.





When we look at trade statistics we tend to think of

trade as being between countries.

While this is accurate in certain senses, the organizations who

actually trade, and the organizations who shift goods between

countries without trading, are mostly not countries. They are,

in fact, corporations. Most of these corporations are private,

though some are government owned.

This fact, and the influence of private actors on governments,

sometimes obscures the fact that the most important actors in

the trade and logistics field are governments. It is governments

who determine the terrain of trade; what can be traded or

shipped, with who, and how. Governments make the rules, and

other actors must respond to those rules. Private actors act

within a rule system set, and enforced, by governments.

Currently, the three governments most capable of exerting

influence on global trade are the United States, the European

Union, and China, with other states such as India, Japan, and

Russia possessing these capabilities to a slightly lesser extent.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) exists substantially

because the US and Europe made it happen. The IMF, World

Bank, and the SWIFT system which enables payments are

either creatures of government or subject to government


The rules around trade, made after the collapse of the great

European Empires (each of which was its own free trade

zone), were made by the US, with European consultation,

after World War II. As time went by other countries gained

influence in the system, but it is still substantially a system

created by the North Atlantic powers.

This is something the Chinese are very aware of. When

Westerners and others who benefit from the current system

proclaim it to be an international system of law and suggest

that China should support it, the Chinese note that it is a

system that was made almost entirely without their input. It

isn't their system. It isn't the system that would have been

created if, when it was created, China had been a greater

global influence, instead of recovering from occupation and

civil war.

If negotiations were started today, from scratch, China would

have almost co-equal say with the United States. China has coequal

GDP in purchasing parity power, and slightly more trade

than the US.

Bearing in mind that, for most of the last two thousand years,

China and India were the largest economies in the world, and

that China is returning to that place, to ask China to agree to

trade rules and arrangements made when it was at the absolute

nadir of its strength and international influence, seems, to

China, obviously and blatantly unfair.

None of this is to say that private actors don't matter; they

decide what is done within the rules set up by nation states.

But as with a coach on a football team, they make their

decision within rules they did not create. And, increasingly,

the rules are being made by China. This is most clear in the

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Meanwhile, in America, there is a push to change the rules

as well. This is obvious with President Trump’s tariffs, his

renegotiation of NAFTA, and his refusal to sign the Trans

Pacific Partnership (TPP). But it didn’t entirely start with

Trump. The TPP was an agreement which left out China, the

greatest Pacific trade power, because it was designed to create

a trade area competitive with China.

So both America and China are seeking to change the world

trade order, and the old order is cracking.

The core ideological commitment of the current trade order is

a belief that trade always creates a larger pie. This is based on

the law of comparative advantage: if countries do what they’re

relatively better at, more goods and services are produced than

if they don’t specialize. Since this is the case, we should always

strive to create more trade.


This trade order moved a lot of productive capacity away

from the United States and Britain, among others. This

was planned, and expected. Furthermore, this might not

have been much of an issue. America was still wealthy,

Americans bought their imports with dollars, and so on.


However a combination of domestic policies, such as

reduced progressive taxation and de-industrialization, hit

some regions and classes of Americans harder than others.

This led to significant inequality in America, and areas of

significant poverty. Entire demographic groups found that

their futures were less likely to be prosperous than their

parents were. Faced with a future that looked worse than

the past, many Americans no longer believed (or believe)

that the economy is working for them. And since they could

see that industries which had provided good jobs had moved

overseas, even if they believed it was inevitable, they blamed

this on free trade. In Britain, this same demographic was

largely responsible for voting to end British membership in

the EU. They voted, in effect, to leave a large trade bloc.

So we now have a situation where there are a large number

of people, large enough to elect governments and win

referenda in core economies, who no longer believe in the

current world trade order. They don’t think free trade is

good for them. Even if Trump is not re-elected in 2020, or if

Britain stays in the EU, those people will not go away.

Ironically, the theorists of the modern trade order

understood the problem. They knew that some people would

lose from free trade, even if the pie was made bigger, and

said they should be compensated. But that never happened.

And unless something sort of large-scale social assistance

programme like a basic income is passed, it seems unlikely

to occur. The effects we’re seeing of a diminishing popular

belief in the old trade order could be interpreted as a

consequence of this. In effect, those who feel they have

lost from the current trade order now hold a veto over it.

Business cannot make supply chain plans which can be

disrupted every few years by an election or referendum.

The current US administration seems to be in agreement

with China on one particular aspect of trade policy. Trump

prefers unilateral or near unilateral deals. He doesn’t want

to make trade deals with large numbers of other countries.

Why? China probably understands. Yang Jiechi, then

Foreign minister for China, said in 2010, ‘China is a big

country and other countries are small countries, and that's

just a fact.’

Ian Welsh

© Ian Welsh

America is a big country, and that’s just a fact. When

America negotiates with smaller countries, one on one, or

one on two as with the NAFTA renegotiations, it gets what

it wants because it is capable of exerting greater influence.

What Trump wanted, as it turns out, was a clause which said

that Mexico and Canada couldn’t make trade deals with nonfree

economies without the approval of the other members.

‘Non-free’ in this context was widely understood to be

referring to China. So, Trump wants trade deals which clearly

benefit the United States, does not believe that all trade deals

are good, and wants to make deals where he is dealing with

one or a very few countries over which he believes the US

can exert greater influence. He is backed by a part of the

American population deeply suspicious of free trade.

China, meanwhile, has been working on the Belt and Road

Initiative. BRI is not just concerned with ports, roads, and

railways, although it is actively pursuing deals which allow

goods to flow into and through countries. For example,

the northern belt portion promises ‘one declaration, one

inspection, one cargo release’ for cargo shipping all the way

from China, though multiple countries, to the European


This is a trade area in all but name. The initial negotiations

have been multilateral, but the sheer number of nations

involved in the Belt & Road Initiative suggests that it has

the possibility of becoming a rival to the WTO; a true

multilateral trade area. When the EU, all the nations

between China and the EU, the nations near China, and

many African and even South American countries are added

in, this will be a formidable trade area.

Such a trade area doesn't exist yet, but when you consider

the aspirations of BRI, it is clear that it could exist. Should

it happen—and there are good reasons to believe it will—the

trade area created by the Belt & Road Initiative will likely

lack the full depth of what the WTO offers. However, it will

still be a vast trade area, and all the appurtenances can be

added in time. Given the failure of the Doha round of the

WTO, it would seem a sensible course of action for China

to create its own system. In multilateral negotiations with all

WTO members, there is little chance of China molding the

WTO to its preferred image.

Since the current world trade system is seen by many

domestic voters in the US (and Europe) as having hurt

them, the world finds itself in a position where the current

influential trading powers are no longer entirely committed

to the trade system they created, while the rising powers,

such as China, do not see why they should support a system

which was not set up to serve their interests but, rather, was

set up by powers which they feel have not given them due

regard within living memory.

America has started forcing other nations to choose. Mexico

and Canada were easier to convince to align with American

positions, largely because of proximity and because they

are so dependent on American trade. There was little doubt

in the outcome. China has tried to position itself to avoid

forced choices of this variety. However, if the US continues

down this route, treating China as an adversary, China

will have little choice but to respond in kind. The world

will split into two trade systems. Likely there will be two

major payments systems as well. In some respects, this will

resemble the old Cold War world, except that China is a

mixed market system.

There will be a choice between two systems, with a slight

chance of there being a third system functioning as a neutral

bloc. If such a neutral bloc is established, it will most likely

be led by Europe (although Japan may also seek neutrality).

Both are firmly in the American bloc currently. But with

many European states concerned over such American shifts

in policy as the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, and with

Japan’s vast business interests linked to China, it is not

impossible that they could view deepening trade ties with

China, the rising power, as preferable.

There is certainly no guarantee that events will play out in

this way. But consider this: if you were a company making

long-term plans, would you trust that a trade war could

not happen? Would you be comfortable with a supply

chain substantially based in China (if your company was

American) or based in America (if Chinese)?

That, I would suggest, is what decision makers should

consider. What is the risk of such an arrangement, and how

much damage could it do to your company if it came to

be? Alternatively, is there a way to take advantage of this?

Change always provides opportunity.

It seems like there will be technical interoperability between

payment systems and in that sense the risk is not great, but

in a two-system world supply chains look very different than

they do today. Those with production located in the other

bloc may find themselves in financial, and even personal,

danger if either bloc decides to use legal sanctions.

Certainly, it is not impossible that a new trade order with

two principal zones will not come to pass, and that the old

order could reestablish itself over time. But how much risk

is entailed in assuming that it will, and not taking steps now

to prepare for navigating it gracefully?


Ian Welsh is a writer, editor, and social media consultant.

He has written for Huffington Post and a number of

online blogs and journals. An anthology of Ian’s essays,

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, was released this year.

His work has covered such issues as the economy, the

housing bubble, and financial crisis of the 2000s. In

particular, he focuses on the ways in which ideologies

and ideas interact with economic reality. He is based in

Toronto, Canada.







Three hundred thousand years ago, humanity

attained the capacity to know itself. In 1712,

Thomas Newcomen built a steam engine to prevent

coal mines from flooding, the industrial evolution

shaped the modern world. Thomas Edison and

Guglielmo Marconi enabled sound and radio signals

to travel the world, heralding a new era of science

and technology.

Hundred twenty years ago we became aware of part of

the physical reality of the cosmos. Now, we hand over

‘knowing our selves’ to a new form of intelligent beings,

not only to machines! We gave that intelligence the

autonomy to improve, to replicate itself and to choose its

own targets by rewriting its own code and by hybridization.

But our deep human (conflictual) nature and psychology

will always have be integrated in these cyborgs, since we

are their founding fathers, if we want to survive.

bottle. But AI will always be nevertheless a product of the

Darwinian evolution, an intentional selection overarching

the natural and epigenetic ones. Human natural evolution

A couple of decades ago, less than 10% of European

households had internet, smartphones did not exist. Since

then, AI assisted by data-mining became a cyber form of

human intuition, acquiring many superhuman abilities.

In 2015, the Alpha-Zero computer program developed

by Deep Mind owned by Google learned to play go,

shogi and chess games at a super-human level in less

than 24 hours. Since the nineties and the internet age,

hyperintelligence, coined ‘cyborg’ (a human creature with

artificially enhanced intelligence and bodily capacities)

in the sixties, evolves since at a hallucinating speed,

unencumbered by human rules.


Their speed of evolvement will outstrip anything we

can imagine. Defining their own goals, they will not

necessarily take ours into account. The genie is out of the

© Prof Dr Dr HC Jan DE MAERE

is not a revolution, it loses less time and creates less

upheaval then hyperspeed AI. The latter shows no signs

of developing ‘general intelligence, even if it’s unbeatable

at games. Silently it creeps up our spine and modifies

parameters, unknown to us, uncontrollable by humans.

The new cyborgs will not look like us, not think like us.

Will they one day achieve ‘singularity’ (self-awareness)?

We have to keep some of our long acquired advantages

such as the speed of application of information. Humans

function not only on the speed of data but on the speedy

implementation of novelty. In a crisis, action is required

immediately, aided not by reflection but by immediate

response based on deep rooted intuition. Who will

control them and how?

© Diplomatic World

All enlightened successful capitalists, such as Bill Gates

and Steve Jobs, benefited from brilliant early strategic

advantages, often innovations by others which they

exploited cleverly. This moneymaking gave Bill and

Melinda Gates time and money to pursue philanthropist

purposes. But technical superiority rarely lasts without

ongoing innovation, as Nokia and Ericsson experienced

lately. Continuous research and innovation are the drivers

of shareholder-capitalism in a democracy.

If ever economy is a science, it serves mostly to explain

the catastrophes and triumphs of the past. In the real

world, profitability always comes first. Therefore,

entrepreneurs must have a better sense of urgency

than their competitors. Trade only lives in the present,

projecting the future. Yesterday is irrelevant. That’s

probably why the science of economy learns so little

about the past, when it proposes theoretical reforms. The

fact that capitalists should be more responsible ethically,

socially and environmentally might be attractive, but

dividends are the main drivers of management and

investment decisions.

In Asia and Africa, there are hardly democracies, but

recently, investment soared twice or three times more

than in old Europe. In our expensive social security

system, workers and staff want more pay, customers want

cheaper prices and investors seek the highest returns.

They invest mostly outside old Europe. Moral perfection

and local economic growth are hard to achieve in these

conditions. So in a global liberal economy animated

by new technology many are left behind. Slowly,

environmental and social awareness becomes a marketing

tool in the affluent Western world.

But how much will the consumer want to pay more for

the same, environmentally labelled ‘fair-trade’ product?

Emission-reducing measures are in need of a careful

analysis of cost and efficiency, otherwise the greening of

the Western economies will be unsustainable and overexpensive.

Rapid technological change ought to have a positive effect

on productivity, but this transformation will make many

redundant before new jobs are created. This new economy

will need highly skilled workers. In 2040 we will look at

the way we live now as quaintly old-fashioned. Innovation,

technical convergence, free-trade and economic openness

could be the ingredients of a rising prosperity; but will


The populist claims for deglobalization and protectionism

are rife and contagious. Sanctions, taxes and closedborders

are excellent remedies to balance unfair trade

relationships, but only in the short run. And only for

the powerful military nations, able to take the stand.

“Europe, how many divisions?” Stalin would have asked.

Today, a New York property tycoon represents a majority

of Americans, tired of being ruled by East-coastal elites,

ignoring their simple daily concerns. Jobs, jobs, jobs and

to dream again of a great future is the new utopia. To

everybody’s surprise, the American president does what

he promised during his campaign. Everybody is shocked,

this was never done before.

President Trump questions rightfully twenty years of

Occidental-Chinese uneven trade relationship, the

mandatory transfer of Western technology to Chinese

state firms and the non-respect of intellectual property



and human rights in China. It still clamps down hard

on all internal dissent, while bullying Hong Kong and

Taiwan. But he knows that import taxes cannot be

successful in the long term. In the end we all have to

collaborate in a global world, it’s the only pathway to

long-term prosperity. A lot of arm-wrestling is needed

to reach a new power balance with the Chinese and

the American president takes it up. Since we are all

convinced that he likes a good fight, he is believable

in his stand-off against the other macho powerbrokers.

But even a longstanding ally such as Europe is taken on

without mercy. Trumps complaints about Europe are ‘the

pot who calls the kettle black’. Trump aims angrily at the

European Central Bank director, Mr Draghi’s comments:

‘pushing the Euro down against the Dollar, making it

unfairly easier to compete against the USA’, but leans

himself heavily on the Federal Reserve.

Sneering on Twitter is easy, successful policymaking is

complicated. President Trump’s international politics are

based on ‘linkage’. The first aim is to force China to open

its markets. The second part is even more important:

technology and to fight Huawei. Europe is not inclined to

take part in this dispute, unless it is forced to. The third is

to rebalance Middle-East relations while reducing Iran’s

influence by isolating it. Europe is bound by its nuclear

agreement with Iran. Qatar, Israel, Syria and Iran have the

greatest natural gas reserves in the world, polluting much

less than oil. Israel became part of the Arab coalition

against Iran, unfortunately for the Palestinians and


This all should benefit to the American economy in the

long term. Europe can only hope to win also something

out of it, but not much. Trump’s ambition for re-election

in 2020 induces a timing for an agreement with China

in that year, not before. On the G20 summit president

Trump agreed to restart trade talks. American firms can

sell equipment to Huawei, its products still seen as a

national security issue. For the same reason oil prices

can’t rise before the election. Therefore war in the Street

of Ormuz is unlikely, unless by accident.

And what about America’s already swollen deficit?

Nevertheless, the American economy is booming,

employment is at an absolute high. An oil crisis could

ruin this. Economic sanctions are war by other means.

Tensions mount in many places, in the Chinese Sea,

Iran, the Middle East etc. The Romans said: “To keep

the peace, be prepared for war!”. A military dispute

will create serious long term damage, but uneven trade

relations do the same. Cowardice against Hitler during

the three years before 1940 only delayed the war, at the

price of many more lives later on.

Chinese Communist State Capitalism is still not able to

impose its views and its disrespect of human rights on the

world, but it aims at it. Hong Kong experiences it now.

The Little Rocket Man of North Korea is only a Chinese

manufactured toy. Manipulated at the right moment,

it obliges the West to give in on some of the Chinese

demands. The Chinese empire is fascinating by its culture,

impressive by the way it created progress for the hundreds

of millions of right minded communists since 1980 and

lethal for Human Rights since always.

Ask the Chinese Tibetans, Christians and Uighurs

how life is there, they love it! Through its success

against Communism, democracy created its own

decline. When people take their freedom for granted,

seduced by populists proposing miraculous solutions,

they forget what happened 80 years ago. They vote

for simple illusionary solutions proposed by macho

politicians. They forget that two thirds of the world lives

in difficult conditions, most of them in dictatorships,

where a personality cult veils the true nature of a dirty

kleptocratic ‘nomenklatura’.

Optimism is due, never was life better for so many, even

if much is still to achieve. Extreme poverty is reducing

almost everywhere in the world. Life expectation is

going up. New technology creates new opportunities.

High connectivity and reshoring will make services

more tradeable: look at Uber, B&B, Booking.com, etc.

Customizable products will be manufactured closer to the

place where they will be consumed through 3-D printing.

These flows of digital information will reduce pollution

and transport cost.

The aim of zero greenhouse gas emissions, no plastic, no

petrol cars, clean electricity production from carbon-free

sources and existing buildings retrofitted to save energy is

urgent to keep the earth as a self-controlling entity, even if

it is not certain that storms, floods and other plagues are

caused by human activity. Global warming is a fact, not a

product of the fertile imagination of leftists. It will need a

coordinated strategy on a global level. Europe does a lot,

but the rest of the world follows reluctantly.

European nation-states all have a rich history. They

learned a lot from the many wars they fought with their

neighbors. They know now that peaceful cooperation is

the only solution. After 1945, exhausted fading European

empires created a framework in which they can prosper,

believing in progress and in a common collective identity.

Decision making with 28 nations is not simple. The

project is far from finished. We lack a common defense

and foreign affairs policy, otherwise Russians, Chinese and

Americans will ‘Divide et Impera’, tackle us one by one.

The European Union is one of the greatest achievements

in history, even if the United Kingdom leaves. The adverse

consequences of blundering into a ‘no-deal Brexit’ will not

only bring temporarily empty shelves, queues at Dover and

a bad time for British farmers.

It means a heavy setback for UK trade, lasting for

decades. The overdimensioned ego of a character such

as Boris Johnson going for a World Trade Organization

(WTO)-Brexit could favor the slip into such a serious

long-term damage by accident, believing that GATT

(General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) article 24

would spare the UK from EU tariffs. Notwithstanding the

clear hardline strategy of the European Commission, an

amended withdrawal deal is due end of October solving

the problem of the Irish backstop.

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk

offered already a ‘Canada +++’free-trade deal, the UK

declined it. It will be hard to obtain a better offer. The

Irish border could be monitored in the same way as border

controls between EU and non-EU members of EEA,

except that there would be no fixed controls on the Irish

border. The European single market includes countries

inside and outside the EU, having signed the European

Economic Area (EEA) agreement, such as Norway,

Sweden, Iceland and Switzerland. The UK while leaving,

could participate as a non-EU member ‘provisionally’ in

it, as Croatia does since May 2014. The UK would regain

control of its agriculture policy and fishing rights.

But to think that the UK can leave without a deal and

then sit down to talk about trade is an illusion. First has

to be dealt with the amount the UK owes to the EU when

they were still a member. After that, EU and UK citizen’s

rights and the Irish backstop will come upon the table.

47 countries belong to the Council of Europe (CoE) in

Strasbourg, founded in 1949, a Pan-European defense

© Diplomatic World

organization promoting democracy, justice and human

rights. The CoE has 324 members representing the

different countries, plus 47 judges, a secretary general and

a commissaire for human rights. All countries signed the

1950 Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court for Human Rights (CEDH),

constituted in 1959, is there to sanction the non-respect

of human rights and justice. In 2014, after the annexation

of Crimea and the Russian military intervention in the

East of Ukraine the CoE had suspended the voting

rights of the 18 Russian representatives and proclaimed

sanctions. Since then, Russia captured in November 2018,

24 Ukrainian marines and Gazprom did not respect the

judgment of the CEDH in which it had to pay 3 billion

dollars to the Ukrainian Naftogaz.

Russia was condemned by the Maritime Court of Justice

of the UNO, but did not release the marines. Russia does

not respect international law and treaties. The ‘Russian

affair’ illustrates the difficult relationship between

democratic values and ‘Realpolitik’. Business has to go

on! France and Germany want to normalize relations

with the Russian Federation and to abolish the sanctions,

even if Russia did not make any concession. Obviously,

military intimidation is the new rule; treaties only engage

those who believe in them. Europe needs to talk to Russia

again and live alongside them, with a mingling of fear and


Even if most of us reject a moral and political equivalence

with them, since they are low upon personal freedom.

But, all dominant nations share moral failures today.

Russians remain embittered by their 1990’s humiliation

and accuse the West of hypocrisy for its denunciation


of Russian foreign policy. The CIA’s manipulation of

foreign elections is not much different of these of Russian

intelligence agencies. Otherwise, Russia will go on pressing

mercilessly to recover parts of its lost Russky Mir empire,

requiring hegemony over its own sphere of influence.

And this with the consent of the greatest part of the

Russian population; few rulers are locally as popular as

the Russian president still is, even if it declined lately.

The CoE opened talks with the Russian delegation

to normalize the situation and allowed 18 Russian

delegates voting rights without even having to apologize

for the mayhem their country created. The Ukrainian

and Georgian conflicts have indeed to be solved by

negotiations, but here Europe lowered its pants on

demand. The Russian Federation is culturally too close

to Europe not to be in a good economic and diplomatic

relationship with the EU. Otherwise Russia will turn

to China, in the ongoing power struggle with the USA.

The Georgians and the Ukrainians are upset and claim

rightfully that ‘Europe committed treason to its human

values, as it did in München in 1938, and again in 1945

while giving in to Stalin’. The coming months will be of

strategic importance.

The feeble measures taken in the aftermath of the 2008

financial crisis unleashed a populist anti-elite revolt

everywhere. The populist temptation can only be solved

when traditional political parties show enlightened

leadership by taking into account the people’s needs, as

Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the 30’s with his ‘New

Deal’. In an exclusive interview in the Financial Times

(28/6/2019), Vladimir Putin claims with disdain in the

face of international criticism that: ‘the rise of Populism

signals the end of Liberalism, having outlived its purpose,

as the public turns against immigration, open borders and


Vladimir Putin has long harbored suspicions of western

conspiracies to undermine his regime. About the ‘Skripal

Affaire’, he says: ‘We need to just leave it alone and let

security agencies deal with it. But, spies who betrayed

their county and traitors must be punished, zero

tolerance!’. He can’t deny that the weakness of his regime

lies in the slow growth of the economy, higher taxes,

increase in pension age and years of falling incomes,

which make him less popular. The EU and US sanctions

against Russia since 2014 cut it off increasingly from

Western capital markets and create problems for the Nord

Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting it to Germany.

Tensions built up everywhere in this global power

struggle. An excessive demographic expansion is the main

reason of environmental problems. Would cyborgs and

intelligent robots behave less aggressively than ordinary

humans? Would they decide that less human presence is

the solution to climate change? Nothing is less certain

since we created them. Natural evolution is based on the

elimination of the weakest, an unforgiven competition

between the most able to adapt, only moderated by the

respect for human rights and culture. Will robots respect

human rights? We can’t take democracy and human rights

for granted. We have to fight for it every day, not lowering

our pants. Economic liberalism and political freedom

are not obsolete, but essential tools for happiness if their

excesses are under control.


He noted the ‘breakdown of the international rules based

order, the rise of China, the end of the liberal ideology

and the prospect of improved relations with the UK’.

He singles out American unilateralism in the tensions

created by the tariff war, in the Gulf and in Venezuela.

Moscow has to protect at all cost its sphere of influence

by viscerally opposing NATO’s eastward extension. The

Russian aid to the ‘so-called’ popular revolutions in parts

of Georgia and Ukraine is explained as ‘necessary to

protect the 25 million ethnic Russians living outside the

Russian Federation’.

© Shutterstock





Chief Raoni Metuktire, Kiera Chaplin, Jazmin Grace

Grimaldi, Jerry Wonda and Jean-Michel Cousteau attend

The Monaco Better World Forum Mastermind and Gala,

to celebrate the United Nations Global Climate Summit

2019. The Monaco Better World Forum hosted on Sunday

September 22nd in New York City a full day of conference,

high level meetings, the screening of Jean-Michel

Cousteau's movie, “Wonders of the Seas 3D” — narrated by

Arnold Schwarzenegger, and its annual gala with proceeds

dedicated in support Ocean Futures Society and Green

Cross Foundations.

Chief Raoni Metuktire, Prince Albert of Monaco's

daughter Jazmin Grimaldi, Music producer Jerry Wonda,

actress Kiera Chaplin, Jean-Michel and Simon Stiell

(Minister for Climate Resilience, the Environment,

Forestry, Fisheries of Grenada) are among the guests

who attended the Gala dinner with Grenada selected as

“Country of Honor”, which was held at the Westin Hotel

Grand Central.

During the Gala dinner in Westin Grand Central, Monaco

Better World Forum awarded: Best Commitment, Minister

for Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry,

Fisheries of Grenada, His Excellency Simon Stiell;

Best Achievement, Andrew Forrest, Chairman Minderoo

Foundation; Best Commitment, Chief Raoni, Figure of the

Amazon Rainforest; Best Achievement (posthumously),

Tribute to Kofi Annan with the presence of Kojo Annan;

Best Renewable Energy, Joby Weeks, CEO Zero Waste Group


Created by Founder and President Manuel Collas de La

Roche in 2015, Monaco Better World Forum is a global

platform of thought leaders and influencers committed

to innovating the traditional thinking and standard

approaches to humanitarian action, business innovation

and environmental security.

Previous award winners and attendees include Nobel

Laureates, Academy, Globe and Grammy Awards winners

such as: Prince Albert II, Sharon Stone, Forest Whitaker,

Wim Wenders, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Mary J. Blige, Akon

and Yann Arthus-Bertrand. MWBF is especially grateful to

its sponsors OWC, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC

tech company (macsales.com), Relight and 3.14 Cannes.

The Monaco Better World Forum:


Larry O'Connor CEO OWC, Manuel Collas de La Roche, Simon Stiell,

Minister of Climate Grenada, Kiera Chaplin © Monaco Better World Forum

Manuel Collas de La Roche, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, Chief Raoni

© Monaco Better World Forum



The necessity to eliminate the negative effects

on nature following the use of fossil fuels is no

longer point of discussion. Grown-ups and now

even children are demanding to make changes to

safeguard a future for them.

Marten van Haren, owner of the Dutch wealth management

company EBC Plus, has decided to actively support

enterprises with innovations which can contribute to a

healthier environment, while being based on a model for

a sustainable economy. Marten has called his investment

philosophy “Investing in tomorrow’s leaders”.

Even in the most recent climate summits, politicians

still continue to talk about what should be done,

which measurements can be taken, instead of actually

implementing new types of power generation which are

effective, and available in the market.

Research has proven that windmills and solar panels

cause harm to animals and humans and just recently the

European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)

has declared that Biomass is a really bad source of energy.

Consequently in the Netherlands alone, for the adaptation

of power plants to biomass, subsidies to an amount of 11,4

billion euros, are being wasted and this proves alternative

investments will have to be made.

As it is known, power plants, specific industries and

transportation produce most of the CO2 exhaust. Therefore

it is not difficult to stop polluting nature, we only have

to decide to rearrange our financial structures and some

companies and people have to be willing to change their

core business and develop new earning models.

pollution. Even local regulations to minimize the exhaust

of CO2, like forbidding the use of fireplaces for example,

will not prevent the production of too much CO2 and these

regulations can be obsolete when the important producers

of CO2 are replaced.




The Geo2Energy power plant is a new generation

supercharged geothermal plant that unlocks the Earth’s

unlimited underground energy. The power that comes

from deep inside the earth, is used to produce electricity

with zero emissions. The closed circuits of the power plant

guarantee that the plant has no polluting effects on the air,

land or sea. It is power generation without the exhaust of

CO2 or other toxic vapours.

The new combination of proven techniques of geothermal

energy is a cost effective, reliable, sustainable and

environmentally friendly source of power. In combination

with its recent technological innovations Geo2Energy has

dramatically expanded viable resources, resulting in an evergrowing





During the New York City’s Climate Week 2019 EBC Plus

presented his Green Energy Plus fund which represents the

newly designed power plant of the company Geo2Energy.

Since power plants and specific industries are the largest

producers of CO2, by changing to geothermal power plants

the exhaust of CO2 can seriously be reduced. They can also

render energy generation from windmills and solar panels

obsolete, whose production and functioning still causes

Because the power plant is designed as a modular system,

Geo2Energy can also change existing power plants into

non-polluting power plants, just by changing their front end.

The modular system enables the capacity of a Geo2Energy

power plant to be adapted to the demand of each customer,

from an individual industrial company to all the households

and industries of an entire region or country. As the

temperatures within the power plant don’t exceed 40

degrees Celsius and it uses seawater for cooling, it comes

without a cooling tower or cooling ventilators. Because of

the relatively low temperatures and its closed systems, there

are no dangers of explosion or exhaust of toxic vapours. As

a consequence, the above ground part of the power plant fits

into a relatively small building, no higher than 7 to 9 meters,

and it can be build next to, or in the middle of residential


The building cost of a geothermal power plant may seem

relatively high, but one needs to take into account that the

plant needs little maintenance, and will generate power for

a very long period of time using the unlimited resources

geothermal heat, and seawater for cooling. Due to a specific

technology, the power plant produces 15% more pressure

and therefore 15% more capacity than other comparative

power plants.

The technology used by Geo2Energy counters the negative

arguments ventilated against geothermal energy. The

power plant does not disturb the earth, does not trigger

earthquakes, because cooler fluids are not pumped back

into the earth to mix with hot fluids. For the same reason,

no greenhouse gases, sulphur dioxide and silica emissions,

toxic heavy metals (mercury, arsenic and boron) will be

emitted into our atmosphere, also because the power plant

consists only of closed circuits. It is also believed that good

thermal reservoirs are hard to come by. This may be true for

those who don’t use the techniques Geo2Energy uses.

Marten van Haren, CEO EBC Plus and a great fan of coastal rowing.

© Alyssa Sideroff

herbs, all of them with a constant and toxic free quality

fit for human use and consumption), and cool buildings

(e.g. datacentres), and to produce oxygen (to be used in

hospitals) and hydrogen (to be used in transportation).

All of these products made from this energy, will be health

giving, and life enhancing.

• The geothermal powerplant of Geo2Energy enables an

energy transition while guaranteeing affordability and

energy comfort for the customers and citizens.

• The geothermal powerplant of Geo2Energy can

contribute to a secure, affordable and carbon free future

which has the least impact on nature.




In its ultimate form, the power plant of Geo2Energy is

more appropriately called a chemical factory, because its

power is also the means by which several by-products can

be produced. As the power plant uses seawater for cooling,

the electricity generated by this plant can also be used to

change seawater into pure drinking water, to produce salt, to

warm buildings (indoor plant growing facilities, producing

natural active substances for medicines, and vegetables and



EBC Plus has singled out the power generating innovations

of Geo2Energy to make an actual contribution to making

our planet a healthier place to live in. Marten van Haren

is determined to inform as many countries, companies

and people as possible about how to generate power at

absolutely no cost to the environment. With the help of

political leaders and ambassadors he would like to make as

many countries and regions as possible independent of the

grid and to make the environment healthy again.

If you are interested in helping your country by investing

in this new clean energy program, Marten van Haren can

be contacted at EBC Plus by phone +31 (0)20 2442857 or

email info@ebcplus.nl.

(EBC Plus is an AFM Registered Investment Company

under Dutch Regulatory Law)








Yitshak Kreiss, the director-general of awardwinning

Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer,

dedicates his days to managing the largest hospital

in Israel and the Middle East. Inbal Kreiss, deputygeneral

manager of the Space Division at Israel

Aerospace Industries (IAI), has enjoyed a year

of making lunar history. All that is, of course,

in addition to raising three children.


In May, Sheba Medical Center was named as the tenth

best hospital in the world by the American weekly

Newsweek. The hospital, which treats more than one

million patients annually, was described as “a leader in

medical science and biotechnical innovation, both in

the Middle East and worldwide.” Over one-quarter of

all Israeli medical clinical research takes place at the


Today, he is leading Sheba’s ambitious “City of Health”

project, combining state-of-the-art medical treatment with

innovation hubs for medical start-ups and an academic

research center for medical professionals and scientists.

His dedication to medicine has also served those in need

beyond Israel’s borders, with Yitshak leading and acting

as the executive authority in humanitarian missions for

Kosovan refugees in Macedonia, earthquake victims in

Haiti, victims of the Syrian civil war and those affected by

a typhoon in the Philippines.

“Being chosen this year to be amongst the top 10 best

hospitals in the world compels us to be a world leader in

helping to create the hospital of the future, using stateof-the-art

technologies from our new ARC innovation

concept, which will anchor our new flagship ‘City of

Health,’” Yitshak told The Jerusalem Post.

“These new technologies will impact the world by

changing the way we treat patients — not only curing what

ills them, but also providing them with a roadmap to

living longer, healthier lives.”

While Yitshak is developing the future of Israeli

healthcare, Inbal played a critical role in the

development and success of Israel’s Beresheet

spacecraft, designed by SpaceIL and IAI. Although

Beresheet failed to land successfully on the moon, crashlanding

in the Sea of Serenity on April 11, the mission

captured the imagination of children and adults alike


For 48 days, Beresheet’s ground crew watched, monitored

and executed every maneuver of the spacecraft from a

control center at IAI’s Yehud headquarters.

Vered Grinboim, chairwoman, Israel Friends of Sheba; Sheba director-general Yitshak Kreiss and his wife, Inbal; the chairwoman of Sheba’s Circle of Friends and her

husband, Galia and Yehoshua Maor.

© Avi Hofi and Rafi Delouya

Once in position to descend, the landing maneuver

commenced but failed after contact was lost with the

spacecraft’s main engine in the last minutes before

touchdown, leading to a loss of altitude and subsequent

crash landing.

Prior to her current role, Inbal headed IAI’s development

of Arrow-3, an anti-ballistic missile defense system

designed to intercept & destroy incoming threats. The

system was awarded the prestigious Israel Security Prize

in July 2017.

While sometimes reluctant to appear in the media,

Inbal’s achievements have both amazed onlookers and

contributed immeasurably to the security of the State of






The Jerusalem Post, one of the most widely read

publications in the world, has recognized Prof.

Yitshak Kreiss, Dir. Gen. of Sheba Medical Center,

as a global mover and shaker for its annual Top 50

World's Most Influential Jews” print and digital

magazine, which is published on the eve of Rosh

Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). The Jerusalem

Post's editors maintained that Prof. Kreiss and his

wife Inbal, represent Israel's most dynamic scientific

power couple and have “drawn the world's gaze during

the past 12 months”.







Dr. Talia Golan, the head of Sheba Medical

Center's Pancreatic Cancer Center, who has been

conducting on-going research and clinical trials

with Astrazeneca and MSD (Merck), two of the

world's largest biopharmaceutical companies, to

evaluate the safety and test the efficacy of a new

drug treatment regimen known as POLO in order

to treat a specific type of metastatic pancreatic

cancer in carriers of the BRCA 1 & 2 mutation)

within patients around the globe, has reported very

promising results in the prestigious New England

Journal of Medicine.

“The POLO trial using the medicine Lynparza offers

potential hope for those who suffer from metastatic

pancreatic cancer and have a BRCA mutation,” Dr. Golan

revealed. “This treatment also exemplifies the advent of

'precision medicine' based on a specific genetic biomarker,

BRCA 1 & 2.”

Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common cancer

worldwide, with 458,918 new cases in 2018 alone. It is

the 4th leading cause of cancer death, and less than 3%

of patients with metastatic disease survive more than

five years after diagnosis. Early diagnosis of pancreatic

cancer is difficult, as often there are no symptoms until it

is too late. Around 80% of patients are diagnosed at the

metastatic stage.

cells. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered,

such that its protein product either is not made or does

not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired

properly, and cells become unstable. As a result, cells are

more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that

can lead to cancer. A significant number of Ashkenazi Jews

(European origin) around the world are carriers of the

BRCA 1 & 2 genes.



BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce

proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA and play

an important role in maintaining the genetic stability of

© Sheba Academic Medical Center Hospital


Dr. Golan is a medical oncologist, specializing in

gastrointestinal malignancies, and is recognized as a

world-renowned specialist and researcher in the field

of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Golan is also the director of

Phase I clinical trials unit at Sheba's Pancreatic Cancer



Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer is the largest and

most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East.

Sheba is the only medical center in Israel that combines

an acute care hospital and a rehabilitation hospital

on one campus, and it is at the forefront of medical

treatments, patient care, research and education. In

2019, Newsweek magazine named Sheba one of the

“Top 10 Hospitals in the World”. To learn more, visit:



POLO is a Phase III randomized, double-blinded,

placebo-controlled, multi-center study of Lynparza

tablets (300mg twice daily) as maintenance

monotherapy vs. placebo.

The trial randomized 154 patients with gBRCAm

metastatic pancreatic cancer whose disease has not

progressed on 1st-line platinum-based chemotherapy.

Lynparza (olaparib) is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor

and the first targeted treatment to block DNA damage

response (DDR) in cells/tumours harbouring a

deficiency in homologous recombination repair (HRR),

such as mutations in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2.



For over 22 years, Françoise Meunier has held the

reins of the European Organisation for Research

and Treatment of Cancer as its Director General,

and under her direction this premier European

cancer research organization has successfully met

the challenges posed by a new regulatory framework

and requirements for international collaboration.

Dr. Meunier’s contribution consisted of the coordination and

administration of all EORTC activities in order to promote

the EORTC as a major European organization in the field

of cancer research and treatment and is responsible for the

implementation of scientific activities, public relations and

medium term strategies as defined by the EORTC Board as

well as for internal and external communication.

Early diagnosis, innovative drugs and integrated therapeutic

strategies combining chemotherapy, surgery and

radiotherapy have resulted in dramatic increases in cancer

survival rates. In fact, EORTC trials have led to long term

survival and cure for children with leukemia and patients

with Hodgkin’s lymphoma or testicular and breast cancers.

This success is good news, but it brings with a host of

unanticipated issues facing cancer survivors, who are

frequently excluded from insurance, mortgages and jobs.

Prof. Dr. Meunier explains. “Cancer is here to stay. One

man in three, one woman in four, will be faced with the

diagnosis. And, by 2020, 15 million citizens of this planet

will be confronted with the disease. Cancer is the result of

ageing populations. We are victims of the success of other

fields of medicine. We die less of cardiovascular diseases, of

diabetes, of measles, of tetanus, and we survive to develop

cancer. Cancer is the result of ageing of our cells, which

acquire genetic alterations, a misfunctioning.

They are not hereditary, only 5% of cancers are hereditary.

But I have good news for you. Cancer is no longer a death

sentence. We have made tremendous progress. I was

graduated as a medical doctor in 1974. I remember vividly

how heart breaking it was, or difficult, with great emotion,

to pose a diagnosis of cancer and to tell a patient that he


Prof. Dr. Françoise Meunier

© Prof. Dr. Françoise Meunier

had cancer, causing for that person, but also for his or her

entourage, tremendous distress, anxiety, apprehension, fear

of death.

That is the reason why, in 1974, I decided to dedicate

my professional life to the improvement of quality of life

and survival of patients with cancer. The good news is

that over 40 years of my medical career, I have witnessed

such tremendous progress. Look at the decrease of cancer

mortality in Europe over the last 40 years, for both men and


Why did we make so much progress? First, because we

better understand what causes cancer thanks to basic

research. We understand what is going on on a cellular level.

It is philosophically very interesting to realize that all our

cells are programmed to die. It's the phenomenon that we

call apoptosis. And if we develop cancer, it's because one

of our cells has found the secret of immortality and does

not die but multiplies in an anarchic way, disseminates, and

creates metastasis.

The second reason why we are making so much progress is

that we have much better and earlier diagnostic tools, it is

much easier to treat cancer today.

And the third factor is that it's thanks to thousands of

patients who trusted us, clinical investigators, and all who

accepted to participate in what we call clinical research or

human experimentation. Indeed, curing mice and rats in

laboratories does not help the patient at the bedside. We

need to do clinical research by bringing the research results

to the bedside.

Treating cancer is not an easy way for the patient. He has to

go through a very difficult path, himself and his entourage

as well. To get surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy,

immunotherapy and so on. It's an ordeal. It's painful. It's

requiring strength for the patient but also for the family and



The day the patient hears “you are cured, you don’t need to

come in for frequent follow-up tests anymore,” the patient

expects to enjoy a better life, a normal life. But they can’t.

They are confronted with a lot of social new problems,

totally unexpected. This is totally unacceptable.

It's outrageous. At the workplace, try to think how you

would react in front of somebody that you need to hire, and

you tell that he has cancer. To get a job, to get a promotion,

the stigma still remains. It still is very difficult to get back to

a normal life. Those former patients also face tremendous

difficulties to get loans and mortgages, they suffer an extra

financial burden.


Because of their illness it is hard to get a loan to buy a

house, some even get denied. Patients also face problems

getting all types of insurances, medical ones, that either are

denied or provided at astronomical cost.

In France, there is a law, “Droit à l’oubli”, “the Right to be

Forgotten”, which is a very good law. It means an adult does

not have to declare to an insurance company that he had

cancer ten years after the end of treatment. For a child it

is five years after the end of treatment. This law should be

expanded to all countries.

We are also facing a paradigm shift for the business world.

There are 32 million cancer survivors. “Survivor” meaning

no reoccurrence, no relapse, from five years after the end

of treatment. And many, many more will come every year

thanks to the progress that we are making, we medical

doctors and clinical investigators. So, society has to move,

speed up the paradigm shift, be the promoter of the

evolution. The patient should not be left alone, go through

a second ordeal. You should not have to pay extra to be a


Although there are other countries, regions and especially

legal cases where the right to be forgotten plays or played,

it has been predominantly a European matter. The right to

be forgotten really entered the EU privacy sphere with the

2014 judgement of the Court of Justice of the EU under the

predecessor of the GDPR

What the GDPR essentially does is detailing, broadening

and defining the scope of the right to be forgotten, making

it that fundamental data subject right and requiring data

controllers to enable EU citizens to exercise the right.

The right to erasure or right to be forgotten grants data

subjects a possibility to have their personal data deleted if

they don’t want them processed anymore and when there is

no legitimate reason for a data controller to keep it.

Enabling data subjects to exercise the right to be forgotten

is a duty of the data controller with an additional

responsibility of communication/information and erasure

by third parties, other recipients and other controllers

with specific exceptions and stipulations regarding, among

others, feasibility of the requested erasure in a proportionate


Prof. Dr. Françoise Meunier

© Prof. Dr. Françoise Meunier

HPV, in many different types, is a highly contagious

virus. Some of these types are transmitted through

sexual contact, while others are transmitted through

daily skin contact (e.g. hand shaking). A condom

cannot prevent the transfer, so it is so important that

people are vaccinated before their first sexual contact.

The vaccination cannot prevent the infection, but it will

prevent the infection from becoming chronic. As a result,

the likelihood of warts or cancers is greatly reduced.

However, there is still a small risk, because vaccination

cannot protect against all HPV types.

Routinely parents and children are informed at the

beginning of the school year and their consent is

requested for vaccination, which is not compulsory but

recommended by the Cancer Foundation.

Vaccination has been available for girls since 2011, more

so, until recently, vaccination was only recommended for

girls. That changed recently, whereby also boys can be

vaccinated. Since the start of the new school year 2019-

2020, boys from the first year of secondary education

(11-12 years old) can be vaccinated against the human

Papillomavirus (HPV).


Stichting tegen Kanker / Fondation contre le Cancer



Dr. Meunier received her Medical Degree summa cum

laude from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she also

earned Master’s Degrees in both Medical Oncology and

Internal Medicine and a PhD, (Agrégé de l’Enseignement


Following her studies and inspired by Prof. Henri Tagnon,

she pursued a Fulbright Fellowship for two years at the

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

She is certified as Pharmaceutical Medicine specialist by the

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the United Kingdom

as well as in Belgium, is a Fellow of the Royal College of

Physicians in the United Kingdom and has been a member

of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine since 2006.

Before joining the EORTC in 1991, Dr. Meunier was Head

of the Infectious Disease Department at the Institut Jules

Bordet in Brussels, Belgium.

She has been a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of

Medicine (Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique) since

2006 and was awarded the Belgian Laureate “Prix Femmes

d’Europe 2004-2005”.

In 2009, she was honored with the ‘Pezcoller-ECCO

Recognition for Contribution to Oncology’ for her

outstanding contribution as a scientific leader and mentor

and in 2011 she became a Fellow of the European Academy

of Cancer Sciences.

Since 2012 she has served as a member of the Innovative

Medicine Initiative (IMI) Scientific Committee of the

European Union.

Prof. Dr. Françoise Meunier, EORTC Director General,

received the ECCO Lifetime Achievement Award at the

2013 ECCO–ESMO–ESTRO European Cancer Congress in




After the new right to data portability in the General Data

Protection Regulation (GDPR), the ‘right to be forgotten’,

a.k.a. right to erasure, proves to be the hardest data subject

right to operationalize and even the second most difficult

GDPR obligation in practice overall as the IAPP-EY

Annual Privacy Governance Report 2017 showed.

The ruling recognized the right of EU data subjects

to request the removal of links by search engines, who

are data controllers. This right, now called ‘the right to

erasure’, is a fundamental data subject right in the GDPR,

in and beyond the context of publicly available personal


The notion of ‘the right to be forgotten’ isn’t new. And so

isn’t the principle. Just ask Google (among others). You

undoubtedly already conducted a search query somewhere

in Europe to read “Some results may have been removed

under data protection law in Europe” with a link to a page

explaining why this is the case.

Although there are other countries, regions and especially

legal cases where the right to be forgotten plays or played,

it has been predominantly a European matter. The right to

be forgotten really entered the EU privacy sphere with the

2014 judgement of the Court of Justice of the EU under

the predecessor of the GDPR (Directive 95/46/EC), in

case C131/12, indeed involving Google.

What the GDPR essentially does is detailing, broadening

and defining the scope of ‘the right to be forgotten’,

making it that fundamental data subject right and

requiring data controllers to enable EU citizens to

exercise the right.

During last week’s ECCO2019 Summit Prof. Dr. Meunier

argued a hard case pro ‘the right to be forgotten’ with

arguments and stories we all can relate to. Not being able

to get a loan, nor insurance nor a job because you had

cancer, even though you survived it, Prof. Dr. Meunier

labels this ‘having to pay twice’. She will not rest until this

injustice is set straight and asked us all to support her.






Celebrating BIG's 20th anniversary, Professor

Martine Piccart, President and Co-Founder of BIG,

gathered experts and supporters to present the

evolution of breast cancer treatment at a conference

followed by a reception.

More than 150 participants attended the conference held

at the ‘Palais des Académies’ in Brussels, a conference

enhanced by the presence of Her Majesty the Queen of

the Belgians, Honorary President of BIG.

Speakers included Professor David Cameron (UK),

Dr Alberto Costa (IT), Professor Martine Piccart (BE),

Princess Amaury de Merode as Chair of the BIG Ambassadors

Committee and Betty Baligant, breast cancer survivor.


The underlying message of the event was to show the

progress of breast cancer treatments. Women facing the

disease now have a better chance of survival and receive

more personalized, less toxic, more targeted and less

invasive treatments. Tomorrow's treatment options have

been addressed through the possibility of immunotherapy

that would activate the immune system to destroy breast

cancer cells.

Many of BIG's studies are purely academic and noncommercial,

which means that funding is often limited, but

the results of these studies are very promising for patients.

If you would like to learn more about BIG's research and

support opportunities.

Please visit https://www.bigagainstbreastcancer.org/fr/


© Diplomatic World






BIG AGAINST BREAST CANCER is the general-public

name of the Breast International Group used for outreach

and fundraising activities. BIG against breast cancer aims

to reach out beyond the scientific community to potential

donors and partners, explaining to them the importance of

BIG’s research and engaging them in our fight against breast

cancer. The “Breast International Group” name and logo

are used with scientific audiences, and the “BIG against

breast cancer” name and logo are used in communications

with donors, supporters and partners.



For 20 years BIG has been conducting international

clinical trials and research programmes to find better

treatments against breast cancer. Several of BIG’s trials and

programmes are considered to be landmark, introducing

particularly innovative designs, contributing to significant

breakthroughs, or paving the way towards more personalised

treatment of the disease.


More than 20 years ago, it was only an idea discussed

by two oncologists desiring better chances to find a

cure for breast cancer. Today, BIG is the largest global

research network dedicated solely to breast cancer. In

the early 1990s, breast cancer research in Europe was

highly fragmented, with academic groups running many

similar trials, but not yet interacting in a way to facilitate

collaboration. Together, Dr. Martine Piccart and Dr. Aron

Goldhirsch shared a different vision for the future: groups

debating the latest research findings, sharing ideas for new

clinical trials and working in harmony to conduct these

trials together.

Global collaboration is crucial for making significant

advances in breast cancer research. It reduces unnecessary

duplication of efforts and costs, accelerates our

understanding of breast cancer, contributes to the faster

development of better treatments and increases the

likelihood of finding a cure. Based on this vision, they

created the Breast International Group (BIG) in 1996.

The not-for-profit became a legal entity in 1999, with its

headquarters in Brussels (Belgium). In the past 20 years,

over 40 trials have been run under the BIG umbrella,

including several landmark trials that have had a real impact

on breast cancer treatments. So far, approximately 70.000

patients have taken part in BIG trials all over the world.





While initially expected to address a critical need in Europe,

the idea of BIG quickly attracted academic breast cancer

collaborative groups working in other parts of the world:

Breast Cancer Trials — Australia/New Zealand (formerly

ANZ BCTG) and Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG)

have been involved from BIG’s very first days; GECO Peru

from Latin America joined as early as 2002; the Japanese

Breast Cancer Research Group (JBCRG) became a member

in 2004; and in 2017 the network welcomed new research

groups from China, Thailand and Georgia. In recent years,

BIG has also attracted the attention of groups based in

India, Pakistan, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.






BIG against breast cancer is the philanthropic unit of

the Breast International Group (BIG), a not-for-profit

organisation and the world’s largest international network

of academic research groups dedicated to finding cures

for breast cancer. For 20 years BIG has been conducting

international clinical trials and research programs to find

better treatments against breast cancer.

Global collaboration is crucial to make significant

advances in breast cancer research, reduce unnecessary

duplication of efforts, share data and enable collaboration

between scientists across borders, contribute to the

faster development of better treatments, and increase the

likelihood of finding a cure for breast cancer patients.

Based on this vision, the Breast International Group BIG

was created in 1996. This not-for-profit became a legal

entity in 1999, with its headquarters in Brussels (Belgium).

In over 15 years, more than 55 trials have been run under

the BIG umbrella, including several landmark trials that

have had a real impact on breast cancer treatments. So far,

approximately 70.000 patients have taken part in BIG trials

all over the world.

Today, the BIG network unites 59 groups and reaches

across more than 50 countries and 6 continents, connecting

thousands of hospitals and world-class breast cancer experts

who collaborate on pioneering breast cancer research.

We design, conduct and facilitate international clinical

trials. The money we raise is directly invested into

innovative academic research that makes a BIG difference

for patients and their loved ones. Our goal is to improve

patient survival and quality of life, by finding the right

treatment for every patient.





We believe it is possible to cure breast cancer through global research and collaboration. Global collaboration is crucial

to making significant advances in breast cancer research: reducing unnecessary duplication of effort, sharing data,

enabling collaboration of scientists across borders, contributing to the faster development of better treatments, and

increasing the likelihood of cures for patients. This shared vision of BIG's and our members combined with their

expertise, make it possible to conduct high quality, credible research.


Our mission is to facilitate and accelerate breast cancer research at the international level. We are proud to be both

global and local, helping breast cancer patients from all over the world. We achieve this by stimulating cooperation

between our member groups and other academic networks, and collaborating with, but working independently from,

the pharmaceutical industry. Linked to over 3.000 hospitals, BIG is the largest international network dedicated solely

to breast cancer. Working together towards one goal: to cure breast cancer!


We operate according to a series of principles of research conduct focused on ensuring scientific integrity in trial

design and governance. These principles aim to eliminate bias from the research process, and maintain integrity

vis-à-vis patients, both when working with pharmaceutical partners or when working alone. Furthermore, all BIG studies

are governed by committees and policies to ensure that patients’ best interests stay in focus at every step of the way.



Dr Goldhirsch is currently director of the Breast Health

Program at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO),

Milan, Italy, and Consultant for senology at the Regional

Hospital of Lugano, Switzerland. He is Co-Chairman

of the Scientific Committee of the International Breast

Cancer Study Group (IBCSG, formerly Ludwig Group)

and Professor (by title) for Medical Oncology at the

University of Bern, Switzerland.

Dr Goldhirsch’s areas of research include new treatments

for breast cancer, definition of biological features that

predict responsiveness or resistance to anti-cancer

treatments, and quality-of-life-oriented approaches. He

has received several international prizes and recognitions

among which a PhD Honoris Causa (University of

Gothenburg), and, more recently, the Gianni Bonadonna

Breast Cancer Award (San Francisco). He is author of

nearly 700 peer-reviewed articles in reference books and

editor or co-editor of 10 books and is on the editorial

board of several oncology and breast cancer research




Martine J. Piccart is a professor of oncology at the

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and scientific

director at the Jules Bordet Institute (Brussels/Belgium).

Earning her medical degrees at ULB and oncology

qualifications in New York and London, she is also a

member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine.

Prof. Piccart is a past president of the European CanCer

Organisation (ECCO, 2014-2015). She has also held

presidencies of the European Organisation for the

Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the

European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), and

has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Board (ASCO).

A strong advocate for and leader of international

research collaborations, Prof. Martine Piccart, together

with Prof. Aron Goldhirsch, co-founded in 1996 the

Breast International Group (BIG) to foster collaboration

and accelerate the development of better breast cancer


She graduated as a medical doctor at the Université

Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 1978, where she also met

Michael Gebhart. She obtained her internal medicine

certification at the ULB in 1983. After she graduated she

worked as a fellow for two years with Professor Franco

Muggia at New York University Medical Center


Afterwards she returned to Brussels, where she worked for

Professor J. Klastersky, head of internal medicine at the

Jules Bordet Institute. She became certified in European

medical oncology in London in 1989, and earned her PhD

from the ULB in 1993.

She continued working at the institute and specialized in

breast cancer and ovarian cancer. In 1996, she founded

the Breast International Group (BIG) and since 2006

she is president of the EORTC until 2009. She is chair

of the VZW — BCWG (Vereniging zonder winstoogmerk,

Breast Cancer Working Group). She is chair of the World

Congress on Controversies in Breast Cancer (CoBRA).

Author or co-author of more than 470 peer-reviewed

publications, she has received numerous prestigious

awards, including the Jill Rose Award, the William

L. McGuire Award, the Umberto Veronesi Award for

the Future Fight against Cancer, and 2013 David A.

Karnofsky Memorial Award.

She is co-founder and Chair of the Breast International

Group (BIG), uniting 49 academic research groups

from around the world and running over 30 trials under

its umbrella. BIG’s research programmes include the

European Commission supported TRANSBIG consortium

of 28 institutions in 11 countries (running with the

EORTC the MINDACT trial) and NeoBIG, an innovative

biomarker and drug development programme focused on

neo-adjuvant trials.


Prof. Dr. Piccart and her team have been focusing on

understanding the origins of metastatic breast cancer

(MBC) and how it evolves, the molecular alterations

in metastatic breast cancer that correlate with disease

progression and/or therapeutic resistance.

Prof. Dr. Piccart is studying tumor tissue, metastatic

lesions and blood samples from women with metastatic

breast cancer, seeking to understand the biological

underpinnings of metastatic breast cancer. The goal is to

gain insight into gene changes that occur from the time

the tumor develops to when it spreads to distant organs.

This international effort will provide important clues to

the development of targeted prevention and treatment for

metastatic breast cancer. Having made exciting discoveries

about how tumors evolve and spread to other tissues, Prof.

Dr. Piccart and her colleagues will now analyze additional

tissue and blood samples to confirm their findings.

While primary breast cancer is very well understood at the

molecular level, far less is known about the genetic changes

that cause it to metastasize and spread to other tissues in

the body. Using advanced technologies, Prof. Dr. Piccart

is conducting laboratory studies of samples taken from

primary tumors and metastatic lesions that she hopes will

reveal the nature of these changes and how they might be

targeted to prevent or treat metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer is one of the leading causes

of cancer-related mortality among women in the Western

world. Prof. Dr. Piccart and her team of cancer experts

and bio-informaticians are analyzing tumor tissue and

blood samples collected from patients enrolled in the

AURORA study for metastatic breast cancer. She hopes to

identify changes in tumor DNA that affect how the tumor

responds to treatment.

genetic change, considered a dominant genetic change in

breast cancer and, therefore, this can represent important

targets for new cancer therapies.

The team will complete the extensive molecular

characterization of the remaining patients included

in AURORA and expand the bioinformatics analysis

performed so far. Analyzing data from all AURORA

patients will be essential to validate initial findings and to

allow the study of rarer subtypes of breast cancer. This will

enable a better understanding of the origin and evolution

of metastatic breast cancer.

In the last decade, the characterization of breast cancer

at the molecular level has allowed a better understanding

of the disease biology and allowed a personalization of

its management and treatment. While primary breast

cancer is very well understood at the molecular level, the

molecular underpinnings of metastasis are only beginning

to be explored. Prof. Dr. Piccart and her international

collaborators are studying gene changes that occur

between the tumor forms in the breast to when it becomes

a metastatic tumor in a distant organ to identify potential

new targets for prevention or treatment.

A patient's response to therapy depends on many interacting

factors, including the patient’s physical characteristics, the

genetic makeup, and the environment. Response to cancer

drugs is impacted by the uniqueness of every tumor and the

genetic diversity of cells within the tumor.

Dr. Piccart is leading the effort on BCRF Founder’s Fund

AURORA EU initiative. The objective of AURORA EU

is to conduct precise molecular analyses of primary and

metastatic breast cancer samples to better understand

the evolution of metastasis and the mechanisms of drug

resistance that allow tumors to grow and spread.

The team is conducting deep molecular analysis of

samples taken from the primary tumor and/or from the

metastatic lesions of patients included in the AURORA

molecular screening program. The initial analysis

has identified genetic changes correlated with tumor

progression and resistance to cancer treatment. They have

completed the molecular profiling of the first 381 patients

included in the AURORA program and have started to

characterize the samples from all other participating

patients. Their analysis has identified a particular kind of

In AURORA, targeted next-generation sequencing is used

to identify aberrations in cancer genes in patients’ primary

and metastatic tumors. Among other abnormalities, this

technology can identify large Copy Number Alterations

(CNAs), in which whole genes or chromosomal regions

are deleted or amplified. CNAs are important for

understanding the disease and implementing treatments.

Thus, this year, Dr. Piccart and team will expand the

analysis of CNAs in the primary and metastatic tumors of

the first 400 AURORA EU patients.




When BIG kindly invited me to their 20th Anniversary conference with the

presence of Her Majesty Queen Mathilde. I was truly honoured to attend.

Having myself recently lost a dear friend through breast

cancer meant it was all the more important to be there.

After the conference, a reception was held in the marble

room. Here a 3 tiered cake, topped with the logo 20BIG,

was presented to the 150 guests. Making this celebration

cake for BIG was also a celebration to my friendʼs life, a fine

person who supported my dreams. The cake was made from

her favourite flavours, of lemon and vanilla and was much

appreciated by the guests.

The sun shone brightly and enhanced the beauty of

the occasion and I knew my friend was there with us.





Signs of




weight loss




bowel habits:





bowel habits:


New onset of

diabetes not

associated with

weight gain

Deep Vein


If you persistently experience two or more of these symptoms which are

not normal for you, you should get checked by your GP because these

symptoms may indicate pancreatic cancer.


Pancreatic cancer is hard to find early. The pancreas lies

deep inside the body, so early tumors can’t be seen or felt by

health care providers during routine physical exams. People

usually have no symptoms until the cancer has become very

large or has already spread to other organs.

For certain types of cancer, screening tests or exams are

used to look for cancer in people who have no symptoms

and who have not had that cancer before, nor anyone in

the family. But for pancreatic cancer, no major professional

groups currently recommend routine screening in people

who are at average risk. This is because no screening test

has been shown to lower the risk of dying from this cancer.

Some people might be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer

because of a family history of the disease or a family history

of certain other cancers. Sometimes this increased risk is

due to a specific genetic syndrome.

Genetic testing looks for the gene changes that cause

these inherited conditions and increase pancreatic cancer

risk. The tests look for these inherited conditions, not for

pancreatic cancer itself. Your risk may be increased if you

have one of these inherited conditions, but this doesn’t

mean that you have, or definitely will get, pancreatic cancer.

Knowing if you are at increased risk can help you and your

doctor decide if you should have more tests to look for

pancreatic cancer and find it early, when it might be easier

Know the 10 Signs


Depression is not uncommon after diagnosis

with cancer.

In the case of pancreatic cancer however,

depression can also be a symptom of the

cancer prior to diagnosis.


of jaundice



The most common signs of jaundice are that

the skin and the whites of the eyes turn


Jaundice can also be associated with itching

and dark urines.

Jaundice can also be caused by other

non-cancerous conditions, such as


Nausea (feeling sick) and sickness can occur

for several different reasons.

It often starts with discomfort or pain in the

abdomen, which can spread to the back.


A tumour can block the bile duct or press on

the duodenum, which obstructs digestion.

It may also cause inflammation around it in

the pancreas, or jaundice.

Abdominal pain

Pain can be worse after eating or when lying


The pain may come and go at first, but may

become more constant over time.




The body burns more calories than usual.

You may notice a decreased appetite or

desire for certain foods.

This cancer induced weight loss is called

cancer cachexia and affects the way calories

and proteins are used by the body.


bowel habits:


Persistant diarrhoea can be a sign of

something more serious even if it is not

pancreatic cancer.

Six or more loose bowel movements a day

for more than two days can be described as


This can occur without any noticeable pain.

If diarrhoea starts to interfere with your daily

activities consult your doctor.


bowel habits:


This causes fatty, whitened or foul smelling


It can occur as a result of the bile duct

becoming obstructed and can be due to a

cancerous tumor in the pancreas.



About 7 out of 10 people with pancreatic

cancer first go to their doctors because they

have back pain.

This mainly occurs if the tumor is located in

the body or tail of the pancreas and puts

pressure on the nerves.

New onset

of diabetes

not associated

with weight


Pancreatic cancer destroys the cells of the

pancreas that produce insulin. This can lead

to the onset of diabetes mellitus.

Symptoms include blurred vision, extreme

fatigue, cuts/bruises that are unusually slow

to heal, feeling very thirsty or hungry even

though you are eating and drinking.

Deep Vein


Shortness of breath or pain can be caused by

blood clots in a deep vein such as legs,

pelvis or arms.

This in turn can be caused by problems related

to pancreatic cancer.

The European Multi Stakeholder Platform on Pancreatic Cancer is composed of European experts, academics, patients, journalists,

clinical practitioners and policy makers who are committed to raising awareness around pancreatic cancer with a view to improving

standards of care, diagnosis and data collection for patients suffering from pancreatic cancer across Europe. For more information,

please consult our website (www.pancreaticcancereurope.eu).

to treat. But determining whether you might be at increased

risk is not simple.

For people in families at high risk of pancreatic cancer,

newer tests for detecting pancreatic cancer early may

help. The two most common tests used are an endoscopic

ultrasound or MRI. These tests are not used to screen the

general public but might be used for someone with a strong

family history of pancreatic cancer or with a known genetic

syndrome that increases the risk. Doctors have been able to

find early, treatable pancreatic cancers in some members of

high-risk families with these tests.


The position of the pancreas makes it difficult to detect any abnormalities either by the patient as well as by the doctor.

Patients usually only recognize symptoms in an advanced stage, that is why we want to stress the signs and symptoms and

make sure the early warning signs are well known.











Ali Stunt is the founder of Pancreatic Action UK and we

are colleagues in Europacolon that has now grown into

Digestive Cancers Europe. She is a 12-year survivor this year

and an avid patient advocate. In 2006 she was diagnosed

with type 2 diabetes but noticed that the medication wasn’t


“What I didn't know was that this was actually an initial

symptom of pancreatic cancer. About six months later I

started becoming symptomatic of the cancer with back

pain, with pain on eating, a change in bowel habits and

continuing to lose weight without trying.” Indeed we now

know that sudden onset diabetes could be one of the signs

and symptoms.

“Eventually I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and now

we know that that diabetes wasn't type 2 diabetes but in fact

type 3c diabetes induced by the pancreatic cancer and not

through any other sort of lifestyle factors.”

“I wish I had known what type I was initially. It wasn't until

a couple of years after my pancreatic cancer diagnosis that

they said I had type 3c. My first reaction was ‘what's that’?”

People are aware of the two main types of diabetes, type 1

and type 2 and the complications that these involve.

However, not many are aware that there exists another type

of diabetes known as Pancreatogenic diabetes or type 3c.

This is a type of diabetes which is mainly associated with

the exocrine pancreas.”

It also has to do with the digestive functions of the organ.

The Pancreatogenic diabetes is actually considered to be

a secondary form of diabetes. When you have problems

associated with the exocrine pancreas, you more often than

not suffer from what is known as chronic pancreatitis.

Pancreatogenic diabetes, which is also known as type 3c

diabetes mainly results from destruction of the normal

functioning of the pancreas that is a result of inflammation

of the pancreas, surgery, as well as various types of tumors

caused in the pancreas.


© Ali Stunt

“My doctor is retired now but when I told him that I had

type 3c diabetes he told me I was not only making it up but

that I was attention-seeking which is quite appalling really.

Type 3c diabetes is quite a brittle form of diabetes and it is

it is quite tricky to control it. I take insulin and I religiously

count carbs. I also have a continuous glucose monitor,

linked to my phone and my Apple watch. It will give me

alerts when my glucose level is going too low or

too high.”

“It doesn't always work perfectly because I still have 20%

of my pancreas left following surgery for pancreatic cancer.

That little bit of pancreas decides to work sometimes and

pump out insulin.”

“When this happens and I've already counted the amount of

insulin I need for the food that I'm eating, it is possible that

I can rapidly go low into hyperglycemia. The hardest part is

maintaining that control and getting the balance. Diabetes

impacts everything because it's uppermost in your mind all

the time. You get up in the morning and the first thing on

your mind is what is my blood looking like. I'm about to

eat breakfast so how much insulin do I need. The beauty

of continuous glucose monitoring is the fact that you can

check it without it being too obvious, so you know where

you're at any time of the day”.

After undergoing a ‘distal pancreatectomy’ and

‘splenectomy’ where 80% of the pancreas and all of the

spleen is removed, Ali received 6 months of combination

chemotherapy and then 6 weeks of chemo-radiotherapy


She put this new available time to good use. Having been

astounded by the dismal survival rates of pancreatic cancer

patients and by the little or no improvement in these rates

over the last 40 years, Ali joined forces with others to set up

the UK’s very first Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Week in

November 2009.

Her passion to encourage early diagnosis for the illness

prompted Ali to found Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) in

August 2010.

Unlike 90% of the patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Ali was lucky: her illness was detected early enough to allow

a life-saving operation.

In fact, Ali was just one of the 10% of people who are ever

able to have life-saving surgery.

Follow Ali’s blog on her website www.alistunt.org

Marleen Wauters

Director Health and Prevention

Diplomatic World

© Ali Stunt









Monaco's Prince Albert II has installed an Israelimade

WaterGen machine, which turns air into water, in

his family's 700-year-old legendary palace.

The prince is known for his efforts to combat plastic

pollution and global warming, and was therefore presented

with the technology by WaterGen's chairman, Israeli-

Georgian businessman and philanthropist Mikhael

Mirilashvili. The two met at an event organized by Tel

Aviv University together with investor and philanthropist

Aaron Frenkel that marked the launching of the “Combat

Pollution Initiative,” which aims to use various Israeli

technologies to battle pollution in the Mediterranean


The event was held at the Hermitage Hotel in Monaco,

where several leaders in the fields of energy and the

environment signed the Principality's National Energy

Transition Pact to mark their support for the actions of

the Principality of Monaco in the field of energy efficiency

and the promotion of renewable energies.

environmental pollution as a result. Our technology

completely solves this problem.”

WaterGen was created in Rishon Lezion in 2009 and has

developed WaterGen that can turn atmospheric water

into safe water. GEN-350, the water generator created by

the company, can produce up to 900 liters of water per

day. It weighs a mere 800 kilograms, making the system

transportable and easily installable.

“Our main target is to save and improve people's lives all

around the world,” Mirilashvili told The Jerusalem Post

in March. “We also aim to remove plastic from earth, to

reduce the global carbon footprint, and of course make

our planet cleaner and safer.”

“We created a product that can really be the next source

of drinking water,” Pasik told the Post in 2017. “All these

countries that have the water shortages have a humid and

hot climate. We take all the humidity from the air and

extract the water.”


The Monaco princes have lived in the palace where

WaterGen was installed for over 700 years.

“One million plastic bottles are used every minute around

the world,” said WaterGen executive chairman Maxim

Pasik. “More than half a trillion bottles are used every

year. In thirty years we are going to have another two

billion people around the planet.”

He added that “we are moving towards astronomical

numbers of plastic waste and a significant amount of

The technology has since been brought to the places most

lacking in clean water throughout the world, including

South Africa, Vietnam, Sierra Leone and Uzbekistan.

WaterGen additionally partnered with the community of

Flint, Michigan, hoping to help out with the Flint water

crisis, where the city's water was polluted with lead.

The company developed a disaster response vehicle in

January for providing fresh water to disaster zones in a

partnership with the Red Cross.

How does the system work? First, WaterGen’s built-in

blower draws air from the atmosphere into the system’s

atmospheric water generator. There, an internal filter

cleanses the air by removing dust and dirt. Once clean,

the air is directed through the GENius heat exchange and

cooling process, and condensed into water.

The water is then filtered again to remove impurities and

add minerals, resulting in fresh drinking-quality water.

Once produced, the water is continuously circulated in a

built-in reservoir to preserve its freshness.

The company’s large-scale generator can produce up

to 5,000 liters of clean water every day, requiring no

infrastructure other than a standard electricity supply.

Its medium-scale generator can produce up to 900 liters

of clean water every day. The “Genny,” a plug-in home or

office generator, can produce up to 27 liters per day. “We

are already saving thousands of lives and we are aiming to

expand all over the world as soon as possible. Our greatest

problem is that we cannot supply the growing demand,”

said Mirilashvili.

Scaling up production is now one of the key objectives

of the company, in addition to its three existing

manufacturing facilities in Israel and the United States.

“Only this year, we are planning to build manufacturing

facilities in Vietnam, India, China, Brazil, Hungary and

Ukraine,” said Mirilashvili. “and another factory just to

manufacture the GENius — the patented heat exchanger —

which will be built in Israel.”

In January 2019, WaterGen announced that it had

partnered with the Red Cross to develop a new Emergency

Response Vehicle (ERV) for providing fresh water to even

the most challenging disaster zones. Equipped with a

water generator capable of producing 900 liters of water

per day, the ERV can be at the scene of an emergency in

little time.

“Our scientist developed the vehicle-integrated

atmospheric water generator. It can be integrated in cars,

buses, trains, yachts and ships. Now we are left just with

airplanes, but we’ll manage this too,” said Mirilashvili.

“Recently, we had a visit from the Brazilian Minister

of Science, former astronaut Marcos Pontes. He asked

whether we can produce something to send into space.

Monaco's Prince Albert II and Dr. Mikhael Mirilashvili

drinking water-from-air

I hadn't considered it, but we will try and think of


Prior to Mirilashvili’s arrival at the company, its Israeli

founders initially aimed to use the technology to reduce

home appliance power consumption.

“They didn’t see the potential in generating water,” he

said. “They already had collaborations with very large

companies like Bosch and Siemens to implement the

products inside their home appliances. There was money

on the table. Personally, I can understand them, because

tackling such a global issue without our strength and

vision is very hard.”

While the technology is now firmly focused on tackling

the global water shortage, the company has maintained

the energy-efficient edge of its early-day designers and

boasts the world’s most energy-efficient atmospheric water

production system.

Whereas other commercially available water generators

rely on conventional air conditioning and dehumidifying

technology to generate drinking water at rates ranging

from 650 to 850 watt hours per liter, WaterGen produces

safe drinking water at only 250Wh/L — or, in financial

terms, a mere two to four cents per liter.

“My first priority is not how to make money but to help

people, the planet and make kiddush hashem (sanctify

God’s name),” said Mirilashvili. “Regarding the revenues,

only God decides who makes money and how much.”

By Tamar Beer










Prof. Dr. Ir. Derrick Gosselin is the 10th Chairman

of SCK.CEN since its establishment in 1952.

He is full professor at Ghent University, and

associate fellow at the University of Oxford (Green

Templeton College). He was elected Fellow of the

Royal Academy of Belgium (KVAB) and appointed

Member of Merit of the Royal Academy of

Sciences of Jordan. He is Honorary Chief of Staff

of the Prime Minister of Flanders and Governor

of the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dinamycs,

where SCK.CEN started as STK in 1952.

• Origins of a world-class research centre SCK.CEN:

From Belgian Congo to Mol via the USA: 1952-1962.

In the 1930’s uranium was primarily used for making

radium in medical applications. The Belgian company

Union Minière (currently UMICORE) and its subsidiary

Union Minière du Haut Katanga (UMHK) were the

largest of their kind in the world. Nobody could have

expected that the uranium reserves in the Congolese

mine of Shinkolobwe, located in the Katanga and owned

by UMHK, would play such an important role in the

development of the nuclear sector in Belgium and the


the Shinkolobwe mine (Congo). In September 1940, the

Belgian CEO of UMHK, Edgar Sengier (1879-1963)

ordered that half of the uranium stock available in Belgian

Congo (about 1,050 tons) be secretly delivered to


In 1942, the USA started the development of a newfangled

weapon, for which uranium was highly suitable,

resulting in the production of the first atom bomb, which

actually was made of uranium delivered by UMHK from

© Prof. Dr. Ir. Derrick Gosselin

New York in order to prevent it from falling into enemy's


Thus, the UMHK's uranium stockpile remained in

a Staten Island warehouse waiting to be used. In 1942,

the USA learned to their surprise that the uranium they

needed to build the first atom bomb was already waiting

in Manhattan, the harbour of New York, thanks to

the foresight of Edgar Sengier. The choice of the code

name for the development of the weapon was obvious:

the Manhattan Project. For his actions, Sengier was to

become the first non-American civilian to be awarded

the Medal for Merit by the United States government after

the war.

Belgian Reactor BR3


In the following years, the Americans attempted to

persuade the Belgians to sell the Congolese uranium

reserves. Years before that, Einstein himself had been

brought in to negotiate with the Belgian royal family in

order to secure American control over these reserves.

This eventually led to the USA, the United Kingdom and

Belgium signing a “Memorandum of Understanding” on

September 26, 1944. Belgium would supply 1560 tonnes

of uranium ore to the allies, the USA and the United

Kingdom obtained the exclusive rights over the uranium

stocks for a period of 10 years, and in exchange, Belgium

was given access to nuclear expertise for commercial,

non-military applications. In 1946, when the Americans

approved the “Atomic Energy Act”, better known as the

“Mac Mahon Act”, Belgium was no longer privileged.

The Act prohibited the distribution of scientific knowledge

and technology on nuclear energy to other countries. This

clause was at odds with the agreement concluded with


In 1949, Belgium demanded a revision of the 1944

agreement. Pierre Ryckmans (1891-1959), a former

governor general of the Belgian Congo from 1936 until

1946, played a crucial role in the talks. The compromise

reached in 1951 finally settled on a tax of 12 million

dollars, which would be levied on the export of uranium.

This money would be paid to the Belgian Congolese

treasury. The Belgian Congo in turn would transfer the

money to Belgium to fund nuclear research.

Consequently around 8,5 M€ (BEF 350 million) went to the

new institution “Studiecentrum voor de Toepassingen van de

Kernenergie (STK) — Centre d’Etudes pour les Applications

de l’Energie nucléaire (CEN), established in 1952.

Count Pierre Ryckmans would become its first chairman.

In 1957 a new royal decree would establish the centre as

an organization of public benefit in its current legal form,

and give it its current name: SCK.CEN — Studiecentrum

voor Kernenergie SCK — Centre d’Etudes de l’Energie

nucléaire CEN.

The Atomium under construction © Dolf Kruger, 1957

In 1953 STK purchased 190 ha of land in the region of

Mol, Dessel and Retie from the Royal Family for about

€ 350 000 (BEF 14 million), while in 1958, another

382 ha were acquired by SCK.CEN. The centre would

maintain a close relationship with the royal family during

its long history.


In 1955, the STK (Dutch abbreviation as mentioned

above) had 245 employees; in 1963, their number had

risen to 1299. The workforce consisted of people from

different regions of Belgium and abroad. The Mol foreign

register counted 28 different nationalities at a certain

point in time.

© Prof. Dr. Ir. Derrick Gosselin

In view of the leading role in nuclear technology Belgium

has played through SCK.CEN in Europe and in the world,

the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal, magnified 165

billion times, was selected as the symbol of the 1958

World Exposition, as a tribute to scientific progress: the

Atomium remains to this day one of the landmarks of


By 1962 SCK.CEN had built three nuclear reactors

dubbed Belgian Reactor (BR): BR1 (1957), BR2 (1961),

BR3 (1962). BR1 is a reactor used to train future Master

of Science (MS) students in nuclear engineering. BR2

is still the second most powerful research reactor in the

world and produces about 25% of the world production of

medical radioisotopes. BR3 was the first energy reactor to

function as demonstration unit for the construction and

operation on industrial power plants, and acted as the

prototype for nuclear fuels. BR3 enabled the electricity

producers to train their operating personnel for the

application of nuclear energy in Belgium.

The reactors at Doel and Tihange would not have been

possible without BR3, and would not have given Belgium

its energy independence for over 40 years. BR3 and the

PWR type reactor were operational between 1962 and

1987. BR3’s dismantling was managed as a research

project with a view to learn from the experience, and

use the acquired expertise in the dismantling of nuclear


The workforce reached a maximum of 1402 employees

in 1982. After the demerger of the non-nuclear research

activities to the Flemish institute for technological

research VITO (Vlaams Instituut voor Technologisch

onderzoek) in 1991, as a result of the Belgian state reform

allocating non-nuclear research to the regions, the number

stabilized at around 650 in the years 2000. SCK.CEN

remains to this day a federal and national research centre,

indeed the biggest federal research centre of Belgium with

over 850 employees.

During that period, the centre also became active in

space research, working for NASA and ESA, and aided

in preparing missions to Mars. Successfully surviving in a

radioactive space environment for months and even years

requires a good understanding of radiobiology.

In 2004 new laboratories to further expand in the fields

of radiobiology, radioecology and astronautics were


As of 1974 and up until today SCK.CEN has been

engaged in a research program into the possibility

of storing radioactive waste in layers of clay deep

underground. Starting in 1999 the MYRRHA research

project was launched, leading in 2010 to the inauguration

of GUINEVERE, the scale model of MYRRHA. With the

European GUINEVERE project in 2011, SCK.CEN

realises the world's first demonstration model of an

accelerator driven system with a complete lead core. The

federal government is supporting the MYRRHA project,

while Europe views MYRRHA as a priority research

• The Following 50 years: Building a World Class

Research Centre (1962-2012)


Over the following 50 years, SCK.CEN would become

an international research centre of world renown, in the

process also surviving some major political challenges.

infrastructure for energy security and the fight against

climate change.

As of 2009, SCK.CEN became the coordinator of

all Belgian research on fusion, while 2012 saw the

establishment of the Academy for Nuclear Science and

Technology. The Academy combines all nuclear education

and training activities in Belgium, working with all Belgian

universities, to deliver an international Master of Science

in Nuclear Engineering.

• Preparing the Future: the MYRRHA Project

MYRRHA enjoys international recognition, and has been

listed in December 2010 by the European Commission as

one of 50 projects to make Europe the leader in high-tech

research in the next 20 years.

MYRRHA is a research reactor aiming to demonstrate

the feasibility of the accelerator driven system (ADS)

and the lead-cooled fast reactor concepts, with various

applications from spent-fuel burning to material

irradiation testing.

MYRRHA is slated to be fully operational in 2033, with

a first phase (100 MeV accelerator) scheduled to be ready

in 2026.

The three-phase implementation plan starts with the

construction of the particle accelerator and PTF station

(Proton Target Facility). This fully modular facility, called

MINERVA, will be operational by 2027. During this first

period (2018-2026), the research and development needed

to develop the 600 MeV particle accelerator (phase 2) and

to construct the reactor (phase 3) will also be carried out.

Phases 2 and 3 will be carried out simultaneously between

2027 and 2033.

H.M. King Philippe, Chairman Derrick Gosselin, Minister

of Energy Marie-Christine Marghem, Governor of Antwerp Cathy Berx,

and Vice Prime Minister Kris Peeters during the royal visit to

SCK.CEN in June 2019 © SCK.CEN.

The MYRRHA research facility will be operational by

2030. MYRRHA has a total budget of 1.6 billion euros.

The Belgian government has financially supported the

project since 2010 and has committed itself to financing

40% of the total infrastructure cost.

A budget of 100 million euros has already been allocated

for the R&D period, for the design of the facility and for

the implementation plan (2010-2017). In March 2018,

the Federal authorities confirmed the allocation of 19.5

million euros this year in the construction of MYRRHA,

as well as its commitment to the project from 2019

onwards. On 7 September 2018, the government decided

to invest another 558 million euros in the MYRRHA


The funding will be used to complete phase 1.

In addition to the Belgian state support, MYRRHA will

be financed through the creation of an international

consortium of investors, as well as by the European

Investment Bank (EIB). A large number of partners

have already expressed interest, including France, Japan,

Sweden, the USA and Germany.

By strategically investing in SCK.CEN and MYRRHA,

the Belgian government recognizes the world-class level of

the nuclear research performed at SCK.CEN, and upholds

its ambition to maintain Belgium, after more than 67 years

at the world top in nuclear technology and engineering, in

the front ranks. This vision was endorsed by the visit of

HM King Philippe to SCK.CEN on 26 June 2019.

© Prof. Dr. Ir. Derrick Gosselin

Christine Vertente





At school, you were taught how everything is made of

atoms. This idea goes back to the Greek philosophers, and

is often attributed to Democritus. In the late 20 th Century,

with powerful microscopes, it became possible to “see”

atoms. This is observation at the nanoscale. One nanometer

is 1 billionth part of a meter or 10 –9 meter. Look at the

millimeter size on a ruler, and imagine that being divided

into a million smaller parts: that’s a nanometer.

Figure 1 shows the scale of objects from the nanoscale

upwards. The nanoscale is hard to visualize because

everyday life interacts with objects millions of times larger.

Even a typical human hair has a diameter of 100,000


and tiny building blocks from proteins to viruses all the way

up to crystals like diamond that have near-perfect structures

down to the atomic level (figure 1). Everything is made

from nano-particles. The world at nanoscale is comparable

to Lego bricks from which cathedrals or trains or complex

articles can be built.

Nanoscale materials are the building blocks of nature.

Complex chemical processes occur throughout Nature

with astonishing levels of efficiency. Nature uses nano-scale

effects to achieve everything from the digestion of food

to allowing a gecko to hang upside-down from the ceiling.

By studying natural processes, we can engineer industrial

coatings for water-repellence or microbial resistance.


Once we could see atoms, we could begin to move them

around one at a time. Advanced imaging techniques,

coupled with understanding of the properties of materials

Introduction to nanotechnology

at the nanoscale, are what are enabling the nanotechnology

Big Impact from Tiny Things

revolution: the next generation of science-driven

applications that will revolutionise products across every

At school, you were taught how everything is made of atoms. This idea goes back to

the Greek sector philosophers, of industry and and is often domestic attributed application. to Democritus. The In the ability 20 th Century, to

with powerful microscopes, it became possible to “see” atoms. This is observation at

the nanoscale. observe One and nanometer image features is 1 billionth smaller part of than a meter 100 or nanometres,

10 –9 meter. Look at

the millimeter size on a rule, and imagine that being divided into a million smaller



that’s a



to the atomic level, using microscopes: electrons,

neutron and X-ray beams or atomic forces, has enabled the

Figure 1 shows the scale of objects from the nanoscale upwards. The nanoscale is

hard to development visualize because of modern everyday electronics life interacts with and objects understanding millions of times of larger.

Even a typical human hair has a diameter of 100,000 nanometres.

the structure of viruses and proteins that were unknown

Once we even could 10 see years atoms, ago. we could begin to move them around one at a time.

Advanced imaging techniques, coupled with understanding of the properties of

materials at the nanoscale, are what are enabling the nanotechnology revolution: the

next generation of science-driven applications that will revolutionise products across

every sector Our world of industry is made and domestic up from application. nanoparticles: The ability starting to observe with and image















to the atomic




using electron

microscopes, neutron and X-ray beams, and atomic force microscopes, has enabled

the development of modern electronics and understanding of the structure of viruses

and proteins that were unknown even 10 years ago.

Figure 1: Visualizing the nanoscale

Figure 1 Visualizing the nanoscale

© Marcel Van de Voorde

Our world is made up from nanoparticles: starting with atoms, that are then

assembled into molecules (like water), and tiny building blocks from proteins to

viruses all the way up to cr