King's Day in Geneva

Speech by Ambassador H.E. Paul Bekkers, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Excellencies, L & G. A Soviet Union General once said: ‘10 years of negotiations is better than 1 day of war’. I wish the current Russian Generals would have that wisdom, instead of executing horrifying orders by its current Leadership.

10 years of negotiations is better than 1 day of war. How very true. And how appropriate for the UN and the city of Geneva. And how applicable to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

From the very beginning of multilateralism our country is involved and has been a strong advocate of talking to one another, mediating, negotiating, looking for solutions, strongly believing in win-win. Looking for what is good for you and at the same time what is good for me. I suppose that is one of the main reasons why our country, far from being impressive in geographical terms - small as we are - is such a strong trading power. And we always have been at the forefront of defending and advocating for the rule of law. Which has brought us The Hague as being seen as the Legal capital of the World, being home to the the Peace Palace, the ICC and several other important institutions and organisations.

The belief in multilateralism, our strong conviction in the power of and need for fair and honest negotiations and our belief in the rule of law is something we are proud of and like to celebrate. With you. We do so on the birthday of our King, Willem Alexander who symbolizes our unity. And we do so - as good tradition has it, by singing our national anthem and bringing a salute to the King. 

Speech Ambassadeur Paul Bekkers
Image: ©PV Geneva / Vera Duin