Koenders visits UN in New York

Foreign minister Bert Koenders will visit UN Headquarters in New York on Monday and Tuesday. During his visit, he will meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and various UN envoys. The minister will also deliver a speech on the Middle East to the UN Security Council.

Mr Koenders and Mr Ban will meet on Tuesday to discuss the approach to a number of urgent problems, including the migration crisis and terrorism. ‘Migration and international security are priorities of the Dutch EU Presidency,’ said Mr Koenders. ‘It is useful to work with other international forums to find ways to strengthen each other’s work on these pressing issues.’ Some of the topics Mr Koenders will discuss with UN envoys include Syria and the fight against ISIS.

While in New York, the minister will also take part in a counterterrorism meeting, where he will speak about the outcomes of the recent anti-terrorism conference held in The Hague. Mr Koenders will call on the meeting’s participants to put the agreements made in The Hague – on issues like information sharing, for instance – into practice as soon as possible.

The minister will also highlight the outcomes of the Planetary Security Conference. The conference, held late last year in The Hague, brought together security and climate change experts for the first time. ‘We can’t keep treating climate change and security as separate issues,’ remarked the minister. ‘And I’m going to stress this point in New York.’

Mr Koenders will also open an exhibition entitled ‘Blue: Islands in Cities’ at UN Headquarters. It charts the research by Dutch-Israeli architect Malkit Shoshan on how UN peace mission bases can be used by local communities both during and after a mission.

Mr Koenders will also speak about the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ bid for a seat on the UN Security Council for the 2017-2018 term. ‘We want to shoulder our share of international responsibility and make a meaningful contribution towards a safer, fairer and more prosperous world,’ commented Mr Koenders. The elections will be held in June.