1. ITV Report

Flight MH17 victim was 'sort of guy more people in the world should be'

Dutch Aids worker Pim de Kuijer, who died on flight MH17, was the "sort of guy more people should be," a friend and former colleague has said.

Mr Kuijer, from Amsterdam, was on his way to an international AIDS conference in Australia when his life was cut short when the plane crashed in Ukraine.

The 32-year-old had planned to backpack around Australia before heading through Malaysia on his way home.

In his last post on Facebook he seemed excited about his trip and made a joke about his backpack, who he nicknamed 'Sarah.'

It said: "It's been 3 years since I carried Sarah on my back from Malaysia to Amsterdam overland. She still fits, so high time for another trip, right Sarah? AIDS '14 conference and backpacking in Australia first, then Malaysia revisited. Jumpa lagi!"

Jumpa lagi translates to 'see you soon' in English.

Friends posted on Facebook Pim's death was a Credit: Facebook/Pim de Kuijer

Maurits Hekking, who knew Pim through his job as a political advisor, said he was the "sort of guy more people in the world should be."

He said: "He was such an upbeat and energetic guy. He was really intent on making the world a better place.

"He was inspirational, passionate against fighting Aids and at the forefront of fighting for human rights and democraticisation.

"He even monitored the elections in countries like Egypt and Ukraine. There is a dark irony that he has died in this way."

Mr Hekking, who knew Pim as they who were both members of the Dutch political party D66, said he was so talented he could have risen through the ranks to become either foreign or health minister.

He said: "Losing Pim is a real waste. He could have made a real difference and will be sorely missed by the party. Lots of people are very sad that he didn't get to fulfil his potential."

Pim at a D66 conference. Credit: Facebook/Pim de Kuijer

Mr Hekking added Holland was mourning the loss of almost 200 Dutch nationals, including a senate member, from the flight which took off from Amsterdam yesterday.

"The country as a whole is really hurting from this. We are downbeat especially because many of those on the plane were involved in such noble causes. You get a sense of why has this happened?

"It just feels unneccessary and stupid because it wasn't an accident. It is something that is something that could have been prevented so easily."

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