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Opinion: Exporting arms? Don't become complicit in the war in Yemen

 Photo: victim of Yemen attack, 20-04-2018 - Flickr This opinion piece originally appeared in the Trouw edition of 14 May We are about to sign a treaty whereby we can no longer stop arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, among others. Why does it remain so quiet on this, master's student in international law Maurits van Es asks [...].

Review of our political café on our role in European democracy & rule of law

Photo: (from left to right) Iris Vrolijks, Pieter de Wilde, Thijs Reuten, Elene Amiranashvili (FMS) On Wednesday 17 April, politically interested people gathered in Groningen for an enriching evening of debate and reflection on our role in European democracy and the rule of law. The political café provided a stage for lively discussions and deep insights, with [...]

FMS president Bert Koenders visits Prague to commemorate Van der Stoel

Exactly a week ago, the historic meeting between Max van der Stoel (1924-2011) and philosopher Jan Patočka was commemorated in Prague. During the Cold War, Van der Stoel, as Dutch foreign minister, stuck his neck out to support human rights defenders like Patočka. Our president and former foreign minister, Bert Koenders, was [...]

The ongoing struggle for women's rights in Afghanistan

Photo: Afghan women speak at the UN: "Give us a seat at the table." - Flickr Today, 8 March, we celebrate International Women's Day: a day when we honour the contributions and achievements of women, highlight their right to gender equality and reflect on the challenges they face. As the world reflects on the progress made and [...]

Marriage equality in Greece: what does it mean for the Balkans?

On 16 February, Greece made history by becoming the first Orthodox country to open marriage to same-sex couples. What is the impact of this groundbreaking move on the Balkans? We interviewed Christos Papagiannis - director of the Social Change Institute Eteron - and Dajana Bakić - president of Rainbow Rose and part [...]

Regional powers renew ties: Erdoğan's visit to Cairo

Photo: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - Flickr Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Cairo on 14 February. The visit marks a new era of cooperation between the two countries, which had been tense for years following the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, an ally [...]

War in Gaza: how does the region now view the West?

Photo: People with Palestinian flags protest on the streets in Rabat, Morocco - Pexels As the war in Gaza unfolds and human suffering increases, there is still no unequivocal call from the international community for a ceasefire. The Middle East is observing this development with increasing amazement. It is easy to get lost in the [...]

Israel-Lebanon: a second front?

Photo: Meeting during Hezbollah leader Nasrallah's speech in November - Wikimedia Commons Hamas' attack on Israel, on 7 October, has caused increasing tensions and risk of escalation in the region, including in the Israel-Lebanon border region. (Air) attacks back and forth are claiming lives of soldiers and innocent civilians. Hezbollah [...]

7.5 million people on the run: the bloody struggle for power and gold in Sudan

Photo: Khartoum before the conflict broke out - Wikimedia Commons On 15 April 2023, there is great panic in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Armed men storm the city and tens of thousands of people are forced to leave their homes. What follows is a protracted battle between, on the one hand, the Sudanese government army (SAF), led [...]