Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom on Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition

Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom

Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

Sixty-eight session - Second Committee

Agenda item 25: Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition

New York, 29 October 2013


Madame Chair,

We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to today’s debate.

We align with the statement of the European Union.

Recently the Committee on World Food Security presented the 2013 edition of the State of Food Insecurity in the world.

This report signals positive developments. There are nearly 36 million less hungry people in the world in 2013. The report also indicates that we make progress towards achieving the MDG-hunger target.

At the same time we are faced with the unacceptable the day-to-day reality of more than 840 million people who remain hungry or undernourished.

Our mission statement is “Kingdom of the Netherlands, your partner for peace, justice and development”. Increased risk of hunger is increased risk of violence, crime and unrest. Political instability and insecurity are related as well. Sustainable development is not possible if 840 million people are hungry. The Netherlands wants to be a partner in fighting hunger and malnutrition.

We advocate a comprehensive approach and collaboration between all stakeholders in the capitals, Rome and New York on Food and Nutrition Security.

The Netherlands Mission in NY contributes to these discussions through the Group of Friends on Food and Nutrition Security. This Group is complimentary to discussions in Rome. It offers an informal platform that brings together member states, UN, private sector and civil society in NY on a variety of themes.

For the Netherlands food and nutrition security are key elements for the Sustainable Development Goals and the post 2015 development agenda. I would like to reiterate that the so called ‘left overs’ of MDG-discussions and their aims should be an integral part of the post-2015 development agenda.

We also welcome innovative approaches, and calls for action like the Zero Hunger Challenge of the UN-Secretary General towards a global commitment to end hunger, eliminate childhood stunting, make food systems sustainable, eradicate rural poverty and zero food waste.

In this context we believe it’s crucial that smallholder farmers and small and medium enterprises (SME’s) have access to financing mechanisms. I am proud to say that Her Majesty Queen Maxima is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. The access of both smallholder farmers and SME’s to financial services is vital for accelerating agricultural development and sustainable economic growth.

Madame Chair,

The Netherlands is strongly convinced that the challenges of Food and Nutrition Security require a broad and integrated approach on both the political and the implementation level.

Aid, global governance and international trade are interconnected. We consider the nexus between Food and Nutrition Security and private sector development as critical. Governments should create the right incentives and conditions for farmers and agribusiness. We support the development and implementation of broad consensus-based guidelines that positively link private agricultural investments to public concerns and objectives.

On the level of implementation, we promote the so-called ‘Dutch diamond approach’, a co-operation model in which governments, the private sector, universities and civil society act together with a shared vision. This approach has shown positive effects both in agriculture (public private partnerships) and in nutrition (Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition).

The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products worldwide and has large technical expertise in food and nutrition. We are ready to share our expertise with other countries as much as we can.

Madame Chair,

The Netherlands recently has taken over the chairmanship of the Committee on World Food Security in Rome through my colleague Ms. Gerda Verburg.

In this capacity we will endeavour to have food and nutrition security integrated in the post 2015 development agenda.

The Netherlands is your partner in peace, justice and development, and also in food and nutrition security. We will do our best to realise these ambitions.