Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

A strong UN is in the Netherlands’ direct interest

The Netherlands will continue its efforts to support the work of the United Nations, foreign minister Frans Timmermans said this morning in his talk in The Hague with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. ‘We need to focus on the ways in which the UN is effective to ensure ongoing support for its mission,’ he added. ‘We need to help the younger generation understand why international cooperation is so vital for our future. A stronger international legal order and a stronger UN are in the Netherlands’ direct interest.’

Mr Timmermans and Mr Ban also expressed their resolve to continue supporting human rights, particularly the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. ‘We will work with the UN Human Rights Council to defend LGBT rights,’ said Mr Timmermans, ‘with a special emphasis on countries whose influence in their own region enables them to advocate these rights effectively.’

In addition, the foreign minister and the UN Secretary-General discussed the situation in Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan and the Maghreb. ‘We need to keep working hard to find political solutions in all these places,’ said Mr Timmermans. ‘In the Maghreb it’s important to strike the right balance between fighting terrorism, protecting human rights and strengthening democracy and the rule of law. Europe’s proximity to the region gives us a major stake in its future.’