Minister Sigrid Kaag
Ladies and gentlemen.
I am honored to be addressing you from the beautiful Dutch coast.
My name is Sigrid Kaag. I am the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. ‘speaks Arabic’
Today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Dutch pavilion marks an important next step…
On the road to Expo 2020 Dubai.
For many centuries, the Gulf region and the Kingdom of The Netherlands…
have enjoyed a close relationship.
One in which trade and scientific exchange…
Have always played an important role.
Expo 2020 Dubai offers exiting opportunities…
To deepen these long standing ties.
To help drive positive change…
And to showcase innovative solutions,
integrating water, energy and food.
It is a chance to work together…
To build the important growing global consensus…
regarding the sustainable development goals.
These goals create a framework, for a more effective way of partnering…
To create a better future.
Through solutions that bring together governments, businesses, and knowledge institutions alike.
The Dutch pavilion will offer such solutions.
It is not just a building, but a fully functioning eco-system…
linking water, energy, and food.
It is a biotope, that will show visitors that the things they thought impossible…
are, in fact possible. Things like harvesting water from the desert air.
Who would have thought we would be able to do that?
Well, in our pavilion, this new reality will just be one of the innovations we will showcase
The Kingdom of The Netherlands is keen to bring water management innovations…
to Expo 2020 next year.
But we also believe, there is no time like the present
So today, I am pleased to be able to offer you…
The first bottle of water for Expo 2020…
Harvested from water vapor in the atmosphere.
Water: the source of food, energy, and life.
We hope to welcome you all to the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
With one goal in mind: connecting people and creating a sustainable future together for all.
Before her appointment as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Mrs Kaag held positions at the UN Political Affairs Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Organization for Migration in Geneva. Additionally, she was senior UN adviser in Khartoum and Nairobi, held various positions at UNICEF, including Deputy Director of the Programme Division and Chief of Staff in New York, and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in Amman. Mrs Kaag then served as Assistant Secretary-General for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York.
From October 2013 to September 2014 Mrs Kaag, as UN Under-Secretary-General, led the mission to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. After this mission was completed, in 2015, she became Under-Secretary-General in Lebanon with responsibility for all UN activities in the country, specifically the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
In 2015 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. She was awarded the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize in 2016 in recognition of her efforts and the results of her work in the Middle East.