July 10, 2009

HARRISONBURG—Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, delivered the opening address at an international meeting on Somali piracy this week.

Dr. Pham was invited to give a keynote presentation on “The Failed State and Regional Dimensions of Combating Somali Piracy” at the beginning of the all-day, closed-door high-level meeting on “ Pioneering for Solutions against Piracy Focusing on Geopolitical Analysis, Counter-piracy Initiatives, and Policy Solutions” hosted by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Clingendael,” The Hague, Netherlands, on July 8, 2009.

Others addressing the conference included the His Excellency Maxime Verhagen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Vice Admiral Pim Bedet, deputy commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Component; Commodore P.J. Bindt, incoming commander of the European Union Naval Force “Operation Atalanta”; Véronique Roger-Lacan, deputy director of the Directorate for Strategic Affairs at the French Ministry of Defense; and international maritime law expert Dr. Douglas Guilfoyle of University College, London.

Located in a 17 th century country palace—the name “Clingendael” means “valley in the dunes”—originally built for the family of the treasurer-general of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations serves as an independent think tank as well as a diplomatic academy charged with identifying and analyzing emerging political and social developments for the benefit of government and the general public. Since 2007, the president of the Institute has been Dr. Bernard Rudolf “Ben” Bot, former foreign minister of the Netherlands.