UN Sec. Gen Ban Ki Moon knighted in Netherlands

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon knighted by Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders, 19 April 2016 (Photo: @MinBZ/Twitter). UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon knighted by Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders, 19 April 2016 (Photo: @MinBZ/Twitter)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was made a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Orange-Nassau - the highest civilian award in the Netherlands - on Tuesday. Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs gave the award during a ceremony in the Catshuis.

"You worked tirelessly for peace, safety, justice and development in the world. You are the voice of people affected by natural disasters, discrimination, conflict and inequality", Koenders said in his speech.

According to the Dutch government. Ban Ki-moon's sharp condemnation of humanitarian law violations and his repeated calls on governments to be accountable, preaches a strong moral message that can not be ignored in these turbulent times. He also took leadership and initiative n the renewal of peace missions, addressing sexual violence committed by soldiers, the need for new climate targets and sustainable development. The government finally praised him for his leading role in promoting equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders world wide.

Ban Kin-mooon is on a two-day visit in the Netherlands. He already met with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Ministers Lilianne Ploumen of Development Cooperation and Koenders. On Wednesday he will speak to representatives of the Eerste and Tweede Kamer - the Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament.

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