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

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51 Koenders highest UN representative in Mali

The Stabilization Mission’s main task is to contribute to a peaceful and stable Mali. Mr Koenders will head a new type of mission, comprising over 11,000 military personnel and 1,440 police. Under his direction, the aim is to get peace negotiations off the ground, prepare for elections, protect the population and set up and implement a great many programmes relating to judicial reform, economic development and human rights.

52 The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)

The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) was observed around the world on Friday May 17. While most of the impressive initiatives this year came from civil society, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, as well as the High Commissioner for Human rights Ms. Navi Pillay gave a keynote speech about the importance of respecting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People. Also this year, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released an anti-homophobia video, called "The Riddle", which -- in just six days -- has been watched by over 200,000 people. This video message has been partly financed by the Netherlands.

53 Minister shocked by anti-gay demonstration in Georgia

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has expressed shock at the mayhem that ensued at a gay rights demonstration in Georgia today. A counter-demonstration by anti-gay activists turned violent, resulting in a number of injuries. ‘It is unacceptable, particularly on the International Day against Homophobia, that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) cannot exercise their fundamental rights, like the right to free expression and peaceful demonstration.’

54 Netherlands pledges €7.5 million to support High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Netherlands will next year contribute €7.5 million to support the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Foreign minister Frans Timmermans received the High Commissioner, Ms Navi Pillay, this morning in The Hague. During the meeting Mr Timmermans and Ms Pillay signed an agreement for the Dutch contribution.

55 Timmermans meets Arab ambassadors

On Tuesday 14 May foreign minister Frans Timmermans received 16 Arab ambassadors and official representatives, with whom he discussed Europe, developments in the Arab region and cooperation between the Netherlands and their countries.

56 The Netherlands calls for greater protections for freedom of expression

‘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.

57 Murder of Iraqi human rights defender condemned

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.

58 Secretary-General congratulates Netherlands’ new King, praises predecessor Beatrix

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.

59 Congratulate the Royal Couple!

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60 The Netherlands to work with IAEA to promote nuclear security

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.