Activities of Secretary-General in Netherlands, 7-8 April

17 April 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in Netherlands, 7-8 April

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon‑taek, arrived in The Hague on Sunday afternoon, 7 April, after a flight from Madrid to Amsterdam, and completing the journey by car.

That same afternoon the Secretary-General met with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and later held talks with Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands.

In his meeting with the Queen, the Secretary-General expressed his gratitude for the involvement of the royal family in the work of the United Nations.  With the Minister, the Secretary-General discussed sustainable development and developments in Mali, Syria and the Great Lakes region.

Later, he met Åke Sellström, the head of the United Nations investigation mission into alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

On Sunday evening, the Secretary-General met the President and some of the judges of the International Court of Justice at the Peace Palace

On Monday, 8 April, the Secretary-General first met with the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Franciscus Cornelis Gerardus Maria Timmermans, and they then held a joint news conference.

Next, the Secretary-General held talks at the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, including with the Director-General, Ahmet Uzumcu.

He then transferred to a convention centre where he delivered a speech at the opening session of the Third Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention.  In his remarks, he called on the eight countries still remaining outside the Convention to join the rest of the international community without further delay.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14929.)

Back at the OPCW headquarters the Secretary-General and Director-General held a joint news conference.

He then held talks with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands at his office.  After the meeting, the Secretary-General made brief remarks to reporters on learning of the death of the former British Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

That same afternoon, the Secretary-General met the Presidents of the international courts and tribunals based in The Hague.

Later on 8 April, the Secretary-General left the Netherlands, flying from Amsterdam to Rome, where he arrived the same evening.

For information media. Not an official record.