Dutch prime minister tells UN of pain caused by MH17 disaster

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has addressed the United Nations general assembly in New York and spoken of the pain caused by the loss of Malaysian Airways flight MH17.

Everyone in the Netherlands knew someone or knew of someone in the plane, he said. The pain of the loss of 196 people will remain for years, he told his audience.

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed when it was apparently hit by a missile, thought to have been fired by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

So many innocent men, women and children were killed, the prime minister said. ‘Whole families were ripped out of their neighbourhoods. There are empty desks in offices and schools.’

‘The perpetrators must be brought to justice, however complex and time consuming this may be,’ Rutte said.

International community

‘Unhindered access to the crash site is therefore essential. When innocent people fall victim to impunity, to human rights violations and the violence of war, the international community cannot and should not stand by and just watch.’

The summer tragedy showed how national interests cannot be separated from conflicts elsewhere in the world, he said.

‘We were reminded again how closely involved events at home and abroad can be and how a stable world order is in our national interest,’ the prime minister said. ‘In total, 298 people would have been here today if it was not for a conflict in eastern Ukraine,’  the prime minister said.

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