Archive for Denmark
Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela will head up South Africa’s embassy in Denmark after reportedly being appointed as ambassador, City Press reported. Mandela was one of several ANC members who were given ambassadorial roles after not being included in the party’s parliamentary list. Former Cabinet minister Sbu Ndebele was appointed as South Africa’s high commissioner to Australia, with former NCOP chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu reportedly replacing former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool as SA’s ambassador to the United States of America. Smuts Ngonyama was appointed as the ambassador to Spain while former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane has been sent to the Netherlands.
Denmark is reopening its embassy in the Philippines in August after more than a decade of absence in the country. Malaysia-based Danish envoy Nicolai Ruge, Copenhagen’s non-resident ambassador to the Philippines, relayed this information on Thursday to Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Zeneida Angara Collinson. Ruge said the Philippines is among the four diplomatic posts that Denmark will re-open this year “as part of the larger restructuring program of the Danish Foreign Service.” Denmark ceased its operations in Manila in 2002. In December, another European state, Hungary, announced the re-establishment of its embassy in the Philippines, signaling its interest to build stronger ties with Manila.
A 51-year-old Danish woman was gang raped by a group of men in New Delhi, India late last night. The attack was confirmed to DR Nyheder by a spokesperson at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. “The embassy in New Delhi has provided the best possible consular assistance to the woman,” said a duty officer at the ministry. The rape allegedly took place late Tuesday night after the woman was threatened with a knife by a group of more than six men, according to the ministry. The woman had become lost after a museum visit prior to the incident, according to an Indian police spokesperson. The Times of India reported that the woman left for Copenhagen this morning. Guidelines published by the ministry for those travelling to India warn that women should exercise “considerable caution” in light of the growing number of sexual assaults against women, including tourists.
A sacked Danish embassy contractor is demanding sh108.8m, claiming he was unfairly dismissed without being accorded a hearing to substantiate claims leveled against him. On December 6, Edward Ssenyange filed a civil suit at the High Court in Kampala, protesting his sacking at Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). The ex-programme officer was sacked this year on May 29.Through Sekabanja and Company Advocates. He is also demanding damages and costs of the suit, and a pronouncement that his dismissal was unlawful. Ssenyange who was appointed on February 15, 2012, had a running contract to expire on February 14, 2014. The defendants are listed as the Republic of Denmark, and Lars Christensen; the head of programmes at DGF. DGF is a multi-donor entity partly funded by the Danish tax payer to enhance democracy, human rights, and accountability. In the summons dated December 10, 2013, the defendants have been ordered to heed, lest judgment is passed without their input.
The federal government has punished unnamed diplomats who worked at the Canadian embassy in Copenhagen last year following a probe into whistleblower allegations of serious misconduct at the mission. With that, the Department of Foreign Affairs has slammed the door on the matter. It refuses to say what wrongdoings were uncovered, who was involved and what specific actions have been taken. Investigators from the department’s inspector-general’s office were ordered to the Danish capital last August after a group of then-current and former local embassy employees delivered a scathing written grievance to the office of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. In a document obtained by the Citizen, the group alleged a host of improprieties and raised questions about a 2011 embassy real estate deal, unauthorized personal use of the mission’s local staff, property and alcohol. They also alleged racial harassment of some locally engaged mission staff, the use of undocumented workers and prostitutes working in the embassy’s garage. Overall, the grievance portrayed a demoralized locally engaged staff operating in an “institutionalized climate” of intimidation and harassment for a number of years. Days before the accusations landed on Baird’s desk, Canada’s envoy to Denmark at the time, Ambassador Peter Lundy, vacated the post as part of a previously scheduled routine diplomatic rotation. Lundy is now listed in a government directory as director of DFAIT’s planning, advocacy and innovation division. He has repeatedly refused to comment. In 2001, it was revealed that former Canadian ambassador to Denmark Ernest Hebert had been quietly recalled in 1995 after a young housekeeper alleged he had sexually assaulted her at the Copenhagen embassy’s 1994 Christmas party. He was seconded to the University of Ottawa as an executive-in-residence.
Denmark and Finland plan to upgrade the status of their respective Palestinian representative offices in Copenhagen and Helsinki to that of an embassy, the Danish foreign ministry said Saturday. “It is with satisfaction that we announce our joint intention to work with the Palestinians to be able to upgrade the status of the Palestinian missions in Copenhagen and Helsinki,” the foreign ministers of Finland and Denmark, Villy Soevndal and Erkki Tuomioja, said in a joint statement. The changes are expected to be implemented sometime in 2013, it said. The move would “not entail a formal bilateral recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by Denmark and Finland,” the statement said. In November, Denmark and Finland backed a resolution recognizing the Palestinians as a non-member observer state at the U.N. The two ministers said they hoped their intentions would “encourage president Abbas to engage with determination in the necessary negotiations with the Israeli government on a two-state solution.” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki hailed the announcement. Neighboring Sweden’s parliament voted in March to upgrade the Palestinian mission in Stockholm to that of an embassy.
Rufus Gifford, former Democratic National Committee finance chair and more recently President Obama’s near-legendary 2012 campaign fundraising chief, is said to be the leading pick for ambassador to Denmark. Gifford, an indefatigable — some beleaguered donors have said maybe too indefatigable — fundraiser, was the key person behind the campaign’s $1 billion war chest. The longtime Democratic fundraiser and activist in the gay community would be the second openly gay ambassador named to a NATO ally. The first, James Hormel, served in the latter part of President Bill Clinton’s second term as ambassador to Luxembourg.