BELGIUM TODAY   DECEMBER 2012  
 
WHAT'S COMING
 
December 1-31
Barrington, IL
Bruno Vanoudenhove presents "I Visit Chicago," a series of photorealistic paintings in black and white acrylic of Chicago, at the Garlands of Barrington.
Website Website
 
December 6-January 26
Long Island City, NY
"Crash" and "Slash" photographs by Jean-Marie Guyaux will be shown at the Diego Salazar Art Gallery.  Opening Reception 12/13 from 6-9 p.m.
 
December 8 & 9
Falls, Church, VA
Photographer Huguette Roe hosts her 2012 Annual Home Show, 12/8 from 10 to 5,
12/9 from 11-5  Website
 
December 19
Santa Monica, CA
Grit and Whimsy, the monthly Belgian film series, presents a program of shorts, including Death of a Shadow, Skunk, Oh Willy... and Na Wewe, at the Aero Theatre.  Website
 
 
WHAT'S ON
 
Through December 30
Washington, DC
The exhibition Prêt-à-Papier: The Exquisite Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave brings together more than 25 of the artist's trompe l'oeil  paper historical costumes and haute couture dresses, at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.  Website
 
Through December 31
Salem, MA
The exhibition The Invention of Glory:Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries features a set of four monumental 15th century tapestries woven in Tournai and recently restored in Mechelen, at the Peabody Essex Museum. Website
 
Through  February 28
Washington, DC
The panel exhibition The Cradle of Art Nouveau: Victor Horta and Brussels, features five of Horta's residences, at the AIA/DC Sigal Gallery.  Website
 
 
 
 
   
 
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KIMBERLEY PROCESS MEETINGS
From November 27 through 30, the 10th Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting was held at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
 
The Kimberley Process is a voluntary initiative involving international governments, non-governmental organizations and the diamond industry, intended to ban conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds are rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies seeking to finance armed conflicts aimed at undermining legitimate governments. The Kimberley Process started when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, in May 2000, to discuss ways to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.
 
Negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organizations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The KPCS document sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. The KPCS entered into force in 2003, when participating countries started to implement its rules. In Belgium the KPCS is jointly monitored by the Federal Public Service Economy (Licensing Service), FPS Foreign Affairs, FPS Finance and customs authorities, working together with the diamond industry in Antwerp. 
 
The Kimberley Process is comprised of 54 participants representing 80 nations.  It meets twice a year to discuss the current situation, compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme system and the outlook for the future.
 
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has evolved into an effective mechanism for stemming the trade in conflict diamonds and is recognized as a unique conflict-prevention instrument to promote peace and security. The joint efforts of governments, industry leaders and civil society representatives have enabled the Kimberley Process to curb successfully the flow of conflict diamonds in a very short period of time. Diamond experts estimate that conflict diamonds now represent a fraction of one percent of the international trade in diamonds, compared to estimates of up to 15% in the 1990s. That has been the Kimberley Process’ most remarkable contribution to a peaceful world, which should be measured not in terms of carats, but by the effects on people's lives.
 
Being the world’s largest diamond trading and sorting centre, Belgium is regarded as a worthy key international player in the Kimberley Process. The diamond trade in Belgium represents 5% of total Belgian exports. Roughly, the global import/export value of the diamond trade in Belgium is estimated at €200 million per day. 80% of the world trade in rough diamonds comes through Antwerp. For cut diamonds, this share stands at 50%. The diamond sector in Belgium represents 34,000 jobs, 8,100 of which are directly related to the diamond trade. The number of diamond cutters in Antwerp is approximately 1,000. The success of the diamond trade in Belgium can be explained by the proximity of a very high number of buyers and sellers on the one hand side, and a politically stable environment on the other hand side. The diamond sector in Antwerp is world-famous for its efficient infrastructure and the presence of knowhow, technology and capital.  
 
In her opening speech, Ambassador Milovanovic, the outgoing Chair of the Kimberley Process, acknowledged the Antwerp World Diamond Council for its financial and logistical support in achieving a key goal of the United States‘ 2012 Kimberley Process Chairmanship to enhance communication, transparency and information flow, both within the Kimberley Process and towards its external stakeholders.
                                                            www.kimberleyprocess.com
 
DR. BOULPAEP HONORED IN NEW YORK
 
At its November 10th annual gala, the Belgian American Chamber of Commerce in New York presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Emile Boulpaep.  Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and  Director of Medical Studies at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Boulpaep was honored because of his work with the Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.)
 
The B.A.E.F. is a non-profit organization that fosters the higher education of deserving Belgians and Americans through a fellowship program. Since its founding in 1920 by President Herbert Hoover, the B.A.E.F. has provided 3,147 Belgians and 902 Americans with the opportunity for a period of advanced study or research in the partner country.
 
UCB FETED AT BELGIAN RESIDENCE
On November 8, Ambassador Jan Matthysen hosted a dinner at the Belgian Residence in celebration of the 75th anniversary of UCB, a Belgian pharmaceutical company with a strong presence in the United States.    UCB operates in 40 countries and its team now includes more than 8,500 employees. In the U.S., UCB’s activities employ approximately 1,900; the company has facilities for clinical development in Raleigh, for production and manufacturing in Rochester (NY) and for sales, with different hubs across the country and a main office in Atlanta.
 
The Ambassador reminded his  guests -- distinguished doctors and pharmaceutical, health-care foundation and university representatives -- of some of  UCB’s milestones in the U.S. It was in the 50's that UCB in the U.S. really took off when it awarded the U.S. distribution license for Atarax® to a then small pharma company called Pfizer. In 1996, it was again with Pfizer that UCB partnered to launch an innovative anti allergic drug: Zyrtec®, which was to become UCB’s first blockbuster. Shortly after, UCB launched a new anti-epileptic drug called Keppra® worldwide, the company’s second blockbuster. Last July UCB introduced Neupro® (for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease and Restless Leg Syndrome) in the United States.
 
Ambassador Matthysen surprised the gathering by presenting  to UCB's CEO, Dr. Roch Doliveux (pictured at left above) the  honorific decoration "Commander of the Order of the Crown" bestowed by King Albert II.  The Ambassador summarized Dr. Doliveux' achievements: "He has placed the aging of the population, health, the preservation of the planet – as UCB’s top priorities. He has articulated a mission statement and a policy centered on the most serious illnesses, understanding well that UCB is in the business for the long term. Roch Doliveux has also fostered UCB’s history of partnerships – which include partnerships with U.S. universities.  He appreciates the links between academics and the pharmaceutical sector, knowing, for example, that new discoveries in genetics can lead to the development of new medications."
 
 
LEUVEN UNIVERSITY AWARDS HONORARY
DOCTORATE TO CHRISTINE LAGARDE
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, was in Kortrijk, Belgium, on October 29 to receive a doctor honoris causa degree from the Catholic University of Leuven.  The University is recognizing Ms. Lagarde for her outstanding leadership,
her exceptional legal and macroeconomic vision, and her lucid analyses and straightforward proposals for understanding and addressing the current global financial crisis. 
 
HISTORIUM HAS OPENED IN BRUGES
Bruges has become an even more attractive tourist destination with the November 25th launch of HISTORIUM, an experience centre where visitors make a fascinating journey to the distant past, to the glorious world of Bruges in the year 1435.
 
When you visit the Historium, you step into a time machine that transports you to the streets of medieval Bruges where snowflakes are gently falling, to the bustle of a world sea port, to the studio of the painter Van Eyck. Film clips, beautiful decor, a compelling love story, special effects and atmospheric music all combine to create a unique total experience.  For more information, click here.
 
 
KING BAUDOUIN FOUNDATION US
At the end of the year, the King Baudouin Foundation United States reaches out to Belgians and friends of Belgium and invites them to support the Cultural Heritage Fund of the KBFUS.  The Cultural Heritage Fund acquires important Belgian works of art and historical documents in an effort to keep these works in Belgium, show them to a broader audience, and preserve them for future generations.
 
Thanks to the generosity of friends in the U.S., the KBFUS was able this year to acquire the 100 single copy issues of 'Vendredi' - a singular 'newsletter' published between 1949 and 1951 by leading members of the Belgian surrealist movement. An in-depth analysis of these unique documents will shed fresh light on artists such as Magritte, Marien, Broodthaers and Alechinsky.
 
You will find more information on 'Vendredi' and additional examples of recent acquisitions in the KBFUS presentation booklet. To join in its efforts to preserve Belgium's cultural heritage, please download and complete a gift form and return it with your check to KBFUS, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020. 100% of your tax-deductible donation to the KBFUS will go toward new acquisitions.
 
The King Baudouin Foundation United States is the premier resource for U.S. donors seeking to support non-profits in Belgium, Europe and Africa.  Over the years, the organization has enabled donors to reach out to organizations that protect children on-line, spotlight the next generation of great musicians, preserve historic sites and assist communities affected by HIV/AIDS, to give a few examples. 
 
ONLY ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
Visit our facebook page to read about a Guinness World Record set in Brussels by master chocolatier Andrew Farrugia.
 
 
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008
washington@diplobel.fed.be or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.

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