General Debate
    His Excellency
    Mark Rutte
    Prime Minister
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    Statement summary

    MARK RUTTE, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, focusing on three critical developments ‑ COVID-19, climate change and the situation in Afghanistan — appealed to States to not “give in to cynicism and fatalism”.  He called for global solidarity and the ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccine be shared fairly across the globe.  To that end, his country has contributed €147 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) ACT Accelerator and is planning to donate over 20 million vaccines via COVAX by the end of 2021.  Spotlighting the impact of the pandemic on young people, women and girls he noted that his country has become the second-largest donor, after Norway, to the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to bolster countries’ socioeconomic resilience.

    Pointing to the extreme weather and devastating natural disasters experienced by many countries, including the Netherlands, he reiterated the importance of climate action, particularly that of climate adaptation.  His country hosted the online Climate Adaptation Summit which saw the launch of the Adaptation Action Agenda, he noted, adding that the Netherlands also spent nearly 70 per cent of its public climate finance on adaptation.

    Turning to the situation in Afghanistan, he urged States not to abandon millions of Afghans in need of urgent humanitarian aid and whose rights were being trampled, especially women, girls and minorities.  His country worked hard in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.  In that time, 25 Dutch military personnel sacrificed their lives.  Progress had been made in the country: child mortality fell by 60 per cent, more girls and women gained access to education and life expectancy rose by 16 years. “We must be mindful of the Taliban’s track record,” he continued, adding that whatever happened, his country would continue working to push developments in Afghanistan in the right direction.

    More so, it was also crucial to continue to defend the international legal order and universal human rights around the world, he stressed.  To that end, he called on all countries to fully cooperate with the investigation on the downing of Flight MH17.  At this time, family members of the victims were getting the opportunity to share their stories in court, he said, noting that one said they would never be able to come to terms with their loss as long as those responsible refused to accept responsibility.  He appealed to all countries to cooperate fully with the investigation, in line with Security Council resolution 2166 (2014) so that justice is served and accountability ensured.



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    Portrait of His Excellency Mark Rutte (Prime Minister), Netherlands
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