It was 25 years ago that I was in the Netherlands, in Den Haag to be more precise, as a French delegate to finalize the second round of negotiation on the AEWA treaty. There were 146 participants in all, representatives from 64 Range States plus many observers. It was a hard week of work, with discussions in plenaries and in the corridors. Most of us ended up exhausted despite the coffee breaks. The Netherlands hosted this formal meeting after several informal ones. I would like to pay tribute to Gerard Boere, from the Dutch Ministry (also a keen birder) for all his successful efforts.