MARK RUTTE, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, said that peace in Europe has been shattered by the Russian Federation’s aggression and asked for support in ending Moscow’s war. He said that the United Nations is structured as if it were still 1945 but the world has changed. “In this world, in this time, we all need each other, all 193 countries, because we all face a common task,” he said, underscoring that the Netherlands is not only one of the United Nations’ most loyal development donors but also supports the reform plans of institutions such as the World Bank. He also called for building a circular economy by 2050, making the financial sector more sustainable and combating deforestation and loss of biodiversity. “The Netherlands is increasing its annual contribution to international climate finance to €1.8 billion by 2025, and over half of that will go to climate adaptation,” he pledged. He added that his country will provide 100 million people in developing countries with access to renewable energy by 2030 and will help set up and scale up green hydrogen corridors, together with South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Namibia and others. “Currently, only 2 per cent of global investment goes to Africa, despite the huge potential there,” he noted. “The examples I’ve offered of Dutch action, working together with our Kingdom partners in the Caribbean, show that we are willing to fulfil our responsibility,” he said.
Speaking about peace, freedom and justice, he emphasized: “On 17 July 2014 those values — which the Netherlands holds so dear — were trampled underfoot. It was the day that flight MH17 was downed by Russia.” On that day, the Dutch people and people everywhere were reminded, in such a painful manner, that peace, freedom and justice are not givens, but require constant efforts, he said. “Every day, millions of people feel the effects of Russian aggression. Above all the Ukrainian people, who are the victims of terrible crimes,” he said, adding: “We can’t leave one country to fend for itself.” He also said that some countries are hesitating, asking themselves why they should get involved in someone else’s war. “To them I say: it’s your war too. Because even if there’s no shooting in your towns, and your cities aren’t being bombed, this war affects everyone,” he underscored.
The global food supply is being used as a weapon of war and food prices are soaring, he said, adding that millions of people are being pushed back into poverty and hunger while it is precisely the most vulnerable countries that are being hit the hardest. “You won’t find them on the official casualty list, but those countries, and the people who live there, are also victims of [Russian Federation President] Putin’s aggression,” he said, highlighting that Moscow’s conduct goes against everything the United Nations stands for. “The General Assembly of the United Nations is the ultimate time and place to hold each other to account, to remind each other of our responsibilities,” he said, calling on others to speak out against Mr. Putin and Moscow’s violation of the Charter of the United Nations and to tell the Russian Federation to give back the stolen children of Ukraine.
As some countries feel they are supporting peace in Ukraine simply by calling for an immediate ceasefire, he called the Russian Federation the perpetrator and the aggressor, stating: “Putin has occupied 20 per cent of Ukraine. An immediate ceasefire now would mean victory for Russia.” He also said: “Putin is counting on us being divided, he’s counting on us ending our support as the war drags on longer and costs more than we thought. He’s counting on us losing interest and returning to our own problems. This is Putin’s strategy.”
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