King, Queen and Prime Minister Rutte to receive UN Secretary-General Guterres
On the evening of Thursday 21 December His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima will host a dinner at Noordeinde Palace for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Earlier in the day, on behalf of the government, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will host a lunch for Mr Guterres at the Ministry of General Affairs. Mr Guterres will be making a two-day working visit to the Netherlands from Thursday 21 to Friday 22 December in order to attend the closing ceremony of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag and Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen will represent the government during the dinner. The King will hold an audience with Mr Guterres at the Palace beforehand, and Queen Máxima will meet with Mr Guterres in her role as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
Mr Rutte and Mr Guterres will begin the afternoon with a meeting at the prime minister's office, the 'Torentje'. They will then proceed to a lunch meeting at the Ministry of General Affairs, where Mr Zijlstra, Ms Kaag and Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld will join them. The group will discuss the wide-ranging partnership between the Netherlands and the UN on matters including peace operations and the UN's reform agenda. They will also discuss the Kingdom of The Netherlands' upcoming Security Council membership and the Netherlands' role as a host country for a range of UN institutions. On 1 January 2018, Italy will hand over the seat on the Council to the Netherlands.
After lunch, Mr Guterres will deliver a speech at the ICTY closing ceremony, which King Willem-Alexander will also attend. On Friday 22 December Mr Guterres, Mr Zijlstra and Ms Kaag will speak at an official meeting at the Peace Palace marking the Kingdom's membership of the Security Council. During Mr Guterres' visit, he and Ms Kaag will open the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' (UN OCHA) data centre. Mr Guterres will also meet with the President of the International Court of Justice, Ronny Abraham.