Dutch PM's UN speech in stark contrast to Trump's
Prime Minster Mark Rutte called for more international cooperation in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, local time. The Dutch Prime Minister's speech stood in stark contrast to what American president Donald Trump had to say the day before, ANP reports.
Trump criticized multilateral cooperation between countries and organizations. He renounced virtually everything that even resembles international cooperation.
Rutte, on the other hand, emphasized that the Netherlands has always been and will remain a champion of a "rules-based international order and multilateral cooperation". Especially when it comes to safety and other issues of "shared concern". Earlier in the day he said that international institutions play a major role in combating weapons of mass destruction.
"It's easy to be cynical and criticize the multilateral system. It's harder to make improvements and reforms that will take us forward, step by step", the Dutch Prime Minister said. "But constructive multilateralism is the only way to make progress. That's what we are working for."
In his speech Rutte also thanked the UN for the support in UN resolution 2166, in which all UN countries promised full cooperation in the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17. "MH17 remains an open wound for my country and for all countries that had citizens on board the aircraft", he said. He called on all states to cooperate fully in the investigation, so that it can be concluded.
"In May of this year the Joint Investigation Team presented conclusive evidence about the origin of the missile installation that was used to take down the aircraft", Rutte said. "That has strengthened our commitment to reveal the truth in the interests of the victims and their loved ones, that justice will prevail and responsibility be accepted."
Earlier this week Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs met with his colleagues from the other countries in the Joint Investigation Team - Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. He said that they are in contact with Russia through diplomatic channels to discuss the country's liability in the MH17 disaster.
Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.
The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 - a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. Australia and the Netherlands officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster - providing the missile that shot down the plane - in May of this year.
Last week Russia held a press conference in which the country said that the BUK missile was indeed made in Russia, but was in Ukrainian hands at the time of the disaster. Russia has been pointing the finger to Ukraine since the disaster happened.