‘Freedom of expression and media freedom are fundamental human rights, not only for journalists but also for society itself. They enable people to form their opinions in freedom and participate in the public debate. A democratic society cannot exist without freedom of the press.’ Foreign minister Frans Timmermans spoke these words today on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, established by the United Nations in 1993 to promote and raise awareness of press freedom around the world.
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen have condemned the murder of Jalal Dhiab, an Iraqi representative of the black community in Basra. Mr Dhiab was closely involved in a project organised by IKV Pax Christi, which the Dutch government supports through the Human Rights Fund. He was killed by a Basra militia last Friday as he left his office.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warmly congratulated Willem-Alexander on his inauguration as King of the Netherlands – ‘an indispensable partner of the United Nations’ – and paid tribute to the public service that his mother, Princess Beatrix, rendered over the past 33 years.
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The Netherlands is joining forces with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to stop nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands. ‘Together we’ll make the world a safer place,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans, following a meeting with IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano.
Ten countries met today in The Hague to discuss nuclear disarmament and practical steps to tackle the further spread of nuclear weapons. ‘We are working towards a nuclear-weapons-free world,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans, the host of the conference.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the Netherlands for its efforts to promote the rule of law and further international justice, and stressed the importance of strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the European country.
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.’
The Netherlands has given its full support to the UN's plan to investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. ‘The investigation must be thorough, independent and impartial,’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans said on Monday at the opening of the Third Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
‘Today we have taken a major step on the road to a safer world.’ This was foreign minister Frans Timmermans’ reaction to the UN General Assembly’s vote to approve by an overwhelming majority a treaty instituting global regulation of the arms trade.