Foreign Min. speaking at UN Human Rights Council, disarmament talks
Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders’ presence at the 28 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today marks the renewed entrance of the Netherlands in this council, according to a press release from the Ministry.
Koenders will participate in the opening of the council's main annual session, where he is scheduled to address the Netherlands’s efforts for human rights. “We are confronted with violations of human rights daily; globally the state of human right is dwindling to new depths every day,” the release quotes him. He warned that the fight against the violations should not become a ritual dance. “We should not stick to just nice words and good intentions.”
The Minister is also scheduled to address the Disarmament Conference, the most important multilateral forum for negotiations about disarmament and weapons management. “The Netherlands is for a world without nuclear weapons; steps have already been taken in that direction, but there is a lot more that can and should be done. Especially in difficult times it is important that we keep talking to each other to achieve advancement in making disarmament possible.”
Koenders was also set to meet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussain. “I look forward to that meeting; I admire his work. He takes an untiring and ambitious stance against violations of human rights,” the Minister said.
He will also meet with Peter Maurer, the director of the International Red Cross, William Lacy Swing, the director general of the International Organization for Migration and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as well as various fellow Foreign Affairs Ministers who will be present in Geneva.
The Minister is then scheduled to open this year’s World Press Photo exhibition, where he will speak with Director Lars Boering about the importance of photojournalism for human rights and press freedom.