Rosenthal opens European Model UN in The Hague

On 11 July 2011 this year’s European International Model United Nations (TEIMUN) opened in The Hague, with 200 students taking part from more than 50 countries. The participants emulate UN gatherings and reflecting on the future of the international organisation.

In his speech opening TEIMUN 2011, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal emphasised the importance of international cooperation for global security, freedom and prosperity. The UN is the main instrument we have for this purpose, he said. He called on the conference participants to reflect on ways that the UN could do its work better.

As an example of innovative thinking at the UN, Mr Rosenthal mentioned the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). States have the primary responsibility for protecting their people; but if they fail to do so, the international community has a responsibility to take action. Measures can range from mediation to – as a last resort – military intervention, as in Libya. The minister warned, however, that R2P is not a blanket mandate to infringe on countries’ sovereignty. ‘There is still a lot to do before R2P is a solid principle of international law,’ he said.

Mr Rosenthal also stressed the importance of NATO-EU cooperation. The UN, NATO and the EU are joining forces, for example, to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.