Word of welcome Taiwanese delegation, 2 October 2023


Dear guests,

Welcome to The Hague.

I am very glad that you are visiting our city this week.

My personal connection to Taiwan goes back a long time.

This started when I was Mayor in Amstelveen – a city next to Amsterdam.

I established warm relations with several Taiwanese regions, such as Tainan.

In 2013, I travelled to Taiwan to explore opportunities for economic collaboration.

The warmth and kindness of the local residents left a lasting impression on me.

I continued this warm relationship when I was Mayor in Utrecht.

In 2018, I welcomed a Taiwanese delegation including the Mayor of Taipei, who was very interested in our policies to promote cycling in the city.


Now I am proud Mayor of The Hague, the third largest city in The Netherlands.

As the Mayor of The Hague, I continue to have a close connection with your country.

Last year, I participated in an online event with the Mayor of Taipei – Wen-Je Ko (spreek uit als Ku).

This event focused on how cities can use data to improve their services towards citizens.


Mayor Ko introduced me to their Urban Intelligence Center, a hub for data collection in the city.

Speaking of digitalization, you are here for The Hague Cyber Security Week.

This is a very special week during which many activities on cyber security are organized.

I have heard that you are visiting the ONE Conference – one of the most important cyber security conferences in Europe.


For The Hague, International City of Peace and Justice, it is very important that our city is safe.

Two weeks ago, the computer systems of the International Criminal Court were hacked.

We are working very hard to make sure something like this does not happen again, and, very importantly, does not happen in our city hall.

That is why we initiated Hâck The Hague.


Our Chief Information Security Officer, Jeroen Schipper, will tell you more about this event.