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Endowed Chair of Marga Klompé
International Social Responsibility

The Netherlands slacking behind in development

scorecard2012twitterThe Netherlands scores poorly when it comes to development, suggests the 'European Foreign Policy Scorecard' of 2012. The European Foreign Policy Scorecard assesses the performance of the 27 European member states and EU institutions on 80 areas from 2010, around the following core themes: (relationship to) China, Russia, the United States, wider Europe [European countries not yet Member States, ed), Middle East and North Africa and multilateral issues.

Chair of International Social Responsibility, prof. Mirjam van Reisen said that this is not about the Netherlands doing badly but focuding on other priorities:

“The Netherlands can make a case for the perspective of the poorest countries in the European Union, so not only the strongest emerging countries need to be listened to. (Subsequently, we wouldn't have to compete ...) We do not have to compete directly with countries like Germany and England in development cooperation, but we (would) stand for something new that also has much to offer in terms of economic cooperation, access to raw materials and markets.”

Click here for the full article of ViceVersa (Dutch)

Click here for more details on the 'European Foreign Policy Scorecard' of 2012 (English)

Stop torture in Sinaï

Somalian and Eritrean refugees running away from violence in their own countries end up captured in the Sinaï. And if money runs out, torture follows. Stop this, says EEPA director and Chair of International Social Responsibility, Prof Mirjam van Reisen.

The article was published on 4 December in the Dutch NRC Handelsblad. Download here (Dutch).

Wanted Arab Spring 2.0 in Eritrea

Flag of Eritrea copyBRUSSELS (IDN) - The Arab Spring should not stop in Egypt, Yemen or Syria. An even more powerful movement, or an Arab Spring 2.0, is needed for one of the most brutally governed nations in Africa: Eritrea. The people there suffer from there regime more than the people in Libya, Tunisia or Egypt ever have.

Eritrea, with about 5 million inhabitants at the coast of the Red Sea, is in the hands of President Isaias Afewerki since April 1991. Leaving the country is almost impossible. The president has laid minefields at the borders. Guards shoot to kill the ones that dare to escape.

Eritrea is called the "North Korea of Africa". Daniel Bekele, director of Human Rights Watch Africa described it as an "open air prison" in 2011. Despite the huge risks some manage to get out: Eritrea is in the top-three of the world's countries most fled from per capita: about 3,000 Eritreans fleeing the country monthly, according to UNHCR.

Prof. Mirjam Van Reisen offers an insight of the situtation in this country, advocating a need for change  ASAP with a different approach regarding EU's intervention.

Full article available here

Click here to download the Dutch version of this article published Trouw

Updates from Prof Van Reisen from the International Conference on Women and Sustainable Development, Beijing

In his opening speech, Vice President Xiu Zing Ping has emphasised the importance of the role played by the UN in coordinating the implementation of Agenda 21 and has stressed the need for Rio +20 to address rural-urban disparity, gender disparity, poverty and South-South cooperation.

As examples, he mentioned the introduction of pension schemes in rural areas, compulsory education and the large number of women in China involved in science and education. He stressed the need for a balanced economy that puts people first, in which people's welfare and social justice are protected. He concluded that this is China's historic mission.

Read more: Updates from Prof Van Reisen from the International Conference on Women and Sustainable...

Help the Eritrean people not the autocrat, says Prof Mirjam van Reisen

Mirjam van ReisenShould the European Union help a merciless dictator or come to the aid of refugees? In this impassioned article, Prof. Mirjam van Reisen argues that the European Union should toughen its stance towards the Eritrean regime, one of the most repressive in the world.  In particular it should work to its proposed Agenda for Change and when spending aid budgets take seriously the state of human rights in the country.

Read the full article here