Nuclear Safety Summit

PINO made an important contribution to the organisation of the NSS

Everyone in the Netherlands saw 58 world leaders and their entourages gather in The Hague for the nuclear summit for two days in March 2014. A complex event that has no equal. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on PINO’s expertise back in early 2012. From January 2014, Pieter Schure was part of the project team that had to manage the summit. ‘Since 2012, at the request of the ministry, we have helped think about the specifications of the organisation: locations, furnishings, catering, technology’, says Pieter. “But for the last three months I spent whole days in The Hague and became responsible for planning and scripts. To me a world experience!”

Command and Control
“You can imagine that creating scripts for such an event is a monstrous job,” Pieter continues. Relatable: ‘And yet, I tackled it exactly the same as I do with all of our events. Only the scale of it was different.’ A few days before the summit, Pieter naturally took on a directing role in the execution. ‘I was part of Command & Control, the nerve centre in the middle of the World Forum where all disciplines were managed. There we were really at the knobs of the organization and I noticed that my years of practical experience came in handy. The plans were fine, but they also had to be implemented properly.”

The so called parades on plasma screens
Some special experiences are still vivid in Pieter’s mind. The arrival of the delegations, for example. ‘There we were, in front of five large plasma screens. With walkie-talkies and telephones at hand and scripts on the table. We were in direct contact with the police, who told us when the next delegation was on its way. Bringing in a parade, as we called it, Pieter outlines’. ‘At that moment we immediately set the protocol process in motion. If it was the delegation from Finland, for example, we took care of the appropriate welcome protocol, up to and including Rutte’s handshake.’ A glowing look, ‘This is how we wrapped up the 58 world leaders in an hour and a half, watching them pass by on our screens among 300 police motorcycles, while simultaneously monitoring and directing the entire operation of the event.’

Personally addressed
As special as it was, Pieter made himself especially deserving by doing what PINO normally does during the two days. ‘It was mostly a matter of managing with your ears and eyes open,’ he believes. ‘Of course it feels very different when it comes to 58 world leaders, who suddenly find themselves 15 minutes early in plenary room. But the solutions are the same. Quick thinking, smart action and hospitality first.’ It remains a special event. Pieter: ‘Of course this was the event of all events. I won’t soon forget how we got this job done with a great group of people. It really was great to contribute to the success of the NSS.” Smiling, ‘When Obama thanked the organization and said he had experienced it as ‘truly enjoyable,’ we as Foreign Affairs team felt a little personally addressed.’

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