A number of delegations will also reside in Amsterdam during the NSS. To ensure that the NSS and the state visits pass in a safe and peaceful manner without incident, from Thursday, 20 March to Tuesday, 25 March 2014, a special decree will be in place. This means that in some areas of the city, increased security measures will be enforced. In order to minimise the inconvenience for local residents, businesses and nearby cultural institutions, the physical areas affected by the temporary regulations will be reduced as much as possible, and the duration for which these regulations are in place will also be made as short as possible. It is unavoidable that residents and businesses in the affected areas will face some inconvenience, but there will be concerted efforts to limit the impact.
Among other things, the special decree means that at certain times, some locations will only be accessible to people who are accredited and have undergone screening. It also means that at certain times, those in the direct vicinity of Dam Square and Museumplein are not permitted on overlooking balconies or roofs.
President Obama visits Amsterdam
On the morning of Monday, 24 March 2014, Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America, will visit the Rijksmuseum and Museumplein. It will be the first occasion in which the serving US president visits Amsterdam. Previously, Presidents George Bush Sr, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton attended functions in the Netherlands but not in Amsterdam. Presidents John Adams, Roosevelt and Clinton visited Amsterdam but not while serving their presidential terms.
Local residents and businesses will be duly informed about the temporary measures. The visit of President Obama is not a public event. Screened fencing will be positioned around Museumplein itself; thus, the president and his entourage will not be visible. Windows, balconies and roof terraces overlooking the Museumplein must remain closed during the visit. As such, it is not permitted for residents to stand on balconies, roofs or other raised platforms on the street. Throughout Monday morning, the Museumplein will not be accessible and the streets in the immediate vicinity will have restricted access. In some adjacent streets parking will not be permitted, while the Q-Park parking garage under Museumplein will be closed as of Sunday evening. A number of (hospitality) businesses on the Museumplein will also be closed during Monday morning.
President Xi Jinping visits Amsterdam
On Saturday, 22 March 2014, His Excellency Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, will visit Amsterdam. The President will be received in audience at the Royal Palace and his visit there will be closed with a state banquet. The Chinese president’s visit to Amsterdam is also not a public event; the audience is private. As such, the associated security regulations and their impact on the surrounding area will be limited. Local residents and businesses will be suitably informed. One part of Dam Square will be affected by temporary security measures – comparable to the measures typically in place during the Remembrance Day ceremony on 4 May. This means that during set periods, nearby windows, balconies and roof terraces must remain closed and that no access is allowed to balconies or roofs of neighbouring buildings.
The designated areas and times in which the decree applies are:
area around Novotel: 20 March 2014, 12:00 until 23 March 2014, 15:00
Hilton Hotel: 22 March 2014, 18:00 until 25 March 2014, 20:00
Okura Hotel: 22 March 2014, 07:00 until 25 March 2014, 20:00
Royal Palace / Dam Square: 22 March 2014, 13:00 until 23:00
Museumplein: 23 March 2014, 22:00 until 24 March 2014, 13:00
More information about the special decree and maps detailing the affected areas will be published at www.amsterdam.nl/NSS (in Dutch).
On Monday, 24 and Tuesday, 25 March 2014, the Netherlands will welcome more than 50 world leaders, 5,000 delegation members and 3,000 journalists. The goal of the NSS is to increase nuclear safety around the world and to prevent nuclear terrorism.