Opening One Young World, 17 oktober 2018

Toespraak door burgemeester Pauline Krikke

Your Majesty,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

But especially: all participants of One Young World,

A very warm welcome to The Hague.

The city with an open view.

The city where the world is at home.

Especially today!

It’s great to see you all gathered here.

In front of the Peace Palace.

The building that symbolises what The Hague stands for:

peace and justice.

And also the building that symbolizes what One Young World stands for:

creating a better world.

That means having the courage to take a different course.

The imagination to think beyond present limitations.

And more than anything else:

the will to work together.

To work with people who you don’t even know.

People who perhaps have completely different backgrounds and views.

More than a century ago that happened here too.

The eighteen ninety-nine Peace Conference brought people together from all over the world for the first time to make far-reaching agreements about peace and justice.

Since then The Hague has been a home for people who want to build a peaceful and just world.

When I looked at the photos from that moment, there was one big difference compared with today:

only men who took part.

That is different now.

I am so delighted to see so many young women here.

Despite all the differences there’s also one great similarity with those early days of international cooperation.

They also worked in an age overshadowed by nationalism.

Today too, in many parts of the world we see a tendency to bring down the shutters and raise the bridges.

Regimes with nationalist voices are gaining in influence.

They have no regard for the rights of minorities.

They ignore international agreements, such as the Paris Climate Agreement or the European Convention on Human Rights.

They care less about important values such as freedom and tolerance.

In many parts of the world we see politicians trying to turn back the clock. Instead of looking at the future.

And thus ignoring the wishes and interests of the present and following generations.

I can quite honestly say that these developments concern me very much.

I do not believe in the idea of ‘everyone for himself’.

I believe in the power of openness and international cooperation.

That is also the strength of this city.

I believe in the power of new generations.

And that’s what I see when I look at you.

The power of a new generation.

So many young professionals who have come together in the international city of peace and justice.

So many people who want to change the world.

1800 passionate young women and men with a clear goal in mind:

to do whatever it takes to make this world a better place.

You want to throw open the shutters.

Build bridges.

Move forward.

Set our sights on the future once more.

Everyone.

Wherever you may live or have been born.

Whether you are a woman or a man.

Young or old.

Whether you practise a faith or not.

And whoever you love.

So let this One Young World inspire you.

Let this city inspire you.

Feel at home in The Hague.

And when you are back home again, in your own country, in your own town, inspire other people.

Dare to differ.

Dare to act.

Gepubliceerd: 18 oktober 2018Laatste wijziging: 31 oktober 2018