King's Day 2022

Speech by Robbert Jan Gabriëlse, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Thank you Paul but also thank you Agneta for hosting us here in this beautiful residence. We are lucky with the weather and let me also welcome all colleagues and friends, on behalf of the disarmament team,  in joining us today.

King's Day is a very special day in the Netherlands. Many celebrations are taking place all over the country, for young and old and everybody is wearing something in orange, since the Royal Family is of the House of Orange.

Happy to celebrate it with all of you, the guests and the colleagues of the mission.

But as Paul mentioned there is a shadow over our celebrations due to a war now raging in the heart of Europe. King Willem-Alexander who is visiting today Maastricht expresses his support and solidarity for Ukraine and its people.  Here in Geneva we daily experience how multilateralism is under attack. Zero sum thinking prevails instead of looking what is in the interest of us all.

Last Sunday was Mulilateralism day. We have more than 40 international organisations in Geneva, more than 400 NGO’s and 180 diplomatic missions. A tremendous force we should cherish and work hard to keep. So on that note again,

Let me thank you all for coming and now we will play our national anthem.