The Netherlands is the 5th happiest country in the world, according to the United Nations' #read">World Happiness Report 2019. This is the highest position ever for the Netherlands on the list of the happiest countries.
Aid organization Red Cross and peace organization PAX are calling on the Dutch government to sign the United Nations nuclear weapons ban, a treaty adopted by the UN in July 2017. The Netherlands then abstained from voting on the ban - all the countries with nuclear weapons and almost all NATO countries boycotted the vote, NOS reports.
The number of new nuclear weapons being developed and distributed and the increased tensions between states that own nuclear weapons pose a major risk to international security, according to the Dutch government's advisory council on international affairs AIV. As the nuclear weapon countries are taking no action themselves to address the threatening situation the Netherlands should raise the issue with the United Nations, the AIV advised, NOS reports.
In his sixth Christmas Day address to the Netherlands, Dutch King Willem-Alexander spoke in support of equal opportunities and the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, even quoting former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Willem-Alexander used his annual platform to speak out against intimidation, extremism, and marginialization of people deemed "different".
An agreement was signed at the United Nations climate summit in Katowice, Poland on Saturday. The Dutch delegation and government are satisfied with the result, NU.nl reports.
GroenLinks wants ecstasy to be removed from criminal hands by having the government regulate the drug's production, parliamentarian Kathalijne Buitenweg said to the Volkskrant.
"The government does not have to make the pills itself, but the government must want to take control", she said to the newspaper. She recommends a permit system with controlled production, so that only pills that meet quality requirements are available. "I say it because of public health, but also because we have to do something about the frighteningly growing power of criminals."
A large majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament supports the government's intention to sign the United Nations' new migration pact next week, was revealed in a debate on the matter on Tuesday.
In addition to coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie, the pact is also supported by GroenLinks, PvdA and DENK, NU.nl reports PVV, 50Plus, SGP and FvD are against the pact. They fear that migrants may derive new rights form the pact. PvdD and SP are still considering.
On Sunday evening a number of buildings in various Dutch cities were colored orange to draw attention to violence against women and girls. The United Nations proclaimed November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Over the next 16 days, this campaign will get attention worldwide, NU.nl reports.
In the Netherlands, at least 32 buildings in 22 different places were illuminated in orange on Sunday. These included the Grote Kerk in Breda, The EYE film museum in Amsterdam, and the Erasmus bridge and Euromast in Rotterdam.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his British counterpart Theresa May released a joint statement in which they denounced cyber attacks by Russian secret service GRU as unacceptable. They called attacks on international organizations like the United Nations' Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reckless and destructive.
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.
Over the next five years the Dutch government will invest 20 million euros per year into improving education in developing countries, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation announced at the United Nations in New York. "Education is one of the priorities of my policy. It offers women and young people opportunities for better work and a decent income", she said, NOS reports.
Around a fifth of the Syrian asylum seekers who are proposed for asylum in the Netherlands through the so-called Turkey-deal, are rejected because of extremist sympathies or because their ideals are not in line with Dutch values, Paul van Musscher, national portfolio holder for foreign affairs and migration crime at the police, said to the Volkskrant.
Amsterdam and seven other popular cities are asking the United Nations for help in dealing with the problems of overcrowded city centers and overheating housing markets. The cities hope the UN will put pressure on national governments to intervene, NOS reports.
The United States decided to step out of the United Nations' Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs responded that he regrets the decision. Prime Minister Mark Rutte called it "unwise", the Telegraaf reports.
The Netherlands is again in 6th place on the United Nations' list of happiest countries in the world. Finland came in first place on the World Happiness Report.
Every year the UN investigates the happiness level of residents of over 150 countries. The researchers look at, among other things, wealth distribution, trust in society and the government, the quality of health care, and freedom.
Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will be leading a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York on Thursday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will lead a meeting on March 28th.
Thursday is also International Women's Day. In this context, the Netherlands called on the 14 members of the Security Council to include as many female colleagues as possible in their delegations today, the Telegraaf reports. The Netherlands is the president of the Security Council, the UN's most important body, for the entire month of March.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte thinks that a "step-by-step" approach should be used when it comes to counteracting American president Donald Trump's efforts to reshape international order. And that starts with impressing on him the necessity of international order, he said to Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Verene Shepherd, a professor at the University of the West Indies and a former UN expert on people of African descent, still gets hate mail from the Netherlands four years after she criticized blackface Sinterklaas character Zwarte Piet. At one point she received up to 80 emails per day, riddled with hateful and racist remarks, the Jamaican professor revealed while giving a speech at a human rights conference in Jamaica on Sunday, Afro Magazine reports.
The United Nations Global Center of Excellence on Climate Adaption (GCECA) that is opening in the Netherlands, will be based in Rotterdam and Groningen, State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment announced. The two cities' joint application had the most convincing plan, she said, according to NOS.
The Netherlands strives for a strong United Nations in a world that is safe and sustainable, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. As a temporary member of the UN Security Council, the Netherlands will dedicate itself to those goals next year, the Dutch Prime Minister said, according to RTL Nieuws.
Rutte considers a strong UN essential. He advocated for the reforms and adjustments UN leader Antonio Guterres is working on. The Netherlands wants better cooperation between UN agencies, he said.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
The Dutch government made money available to provide emergency relief to the Rohingya population fleeing from Myanmar, Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade announced at her meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Amsterdam on Thursday.
"The images on TV say enough. Anxious fathers and mothers fleeing with their children in overcrowded boats. With so much human suffering, we can not remain insensitive and ignore the call of aid organizations to do more", Ploumen said.
Queen Maxima was in Mexico when a massive earthquake hit the country at 11:49 p.m. on Thursday local time, 6:49 a.m. on Friday Dutch time. The Dutch queen is safe and unharmed and will be returning to the Netherlands on schedule later today, the Telegraaf reports.
Dutch refugee organization VluchtelingenWerk and ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's are working together to try and convince European politicians to take in more vulnerable asylum seekers from shelters across the world. Today they launched a campaign titled Home Safe Home, AD reports.
"This is one of the biggest problems of this moment. We are talking about it in the Netherlands for the first time. We have young supporters and we want to activate them for this", Laura van Geel, social mission manager of Ben & Jerry's said to the newspaper.