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

Statement by Ambassador Karel J.G. van Oosterom on Sustainable Development

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 19: Sustainable Development

New York, 5th November 2013


Mr. Chairman,

The Netherlands fully aligns itself with the statement of the European Union.

Mr. Chairman,

For the Netherlands, making a comprehensive and sustainable post-2015 development agenda with support of all member states is a high priority.

The recent Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals was an important step towards realising the MDGs and exploring the post-2015 development agenda. We support a coherent approach that integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development, with the eradication of poverty at its core, as expressed by Fiji on behalf of G77. A single universal framework would also include peace and security, gender equality, human rights, the rule of law and democratic governance.

Our mission statement is “Kingdom of the Netherlands, your partner for peace, justice and development”. We want to be a partner in sharing expertise and experience in these areas with UN and other countries to accelerate action on sustainable development and contribute to the post 2015-agenda discussions.

We agree that the so called ‘unfinished business’ of the MDG agenda should be an integral part of the post-2015 development agenda. We should continue to focus on the disparities in achieving the MDG’s we must make sure that no one is left behind.

Mr. Chairman,

We consider climate change as one of the major challenges for sustainable development and poverty eradication. We should aim for low-emission economies and climate resilient development.

We welcome the initiative of the UN Secretary-General to host a ‘leaders’ summit’ in 2014 with all stakeholders to accelerate action towards a carbon-free economy.

Mr. Chairman,

In my country we have always been in a struggle against water. One third of my country is below sea-level. One of the greatest threats of climate change is sea level rise. The Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is also facing increased risks of climate change, like flooding and the severe impact and damage of hurricanes.

We attach high priority to adaptation to climate change, especially in the most vulnerable countries, like Least Developed Countries, CARICOM member countries and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). We support the statement of Papua New Guinea on behalf of SIDS on this issue. We contribute to initiatives that make those countries more resilient to the impact of climate change.

We also support regional cooperation frameworks in tackling climate change like the CARICOM framework to Climate Change and the recent adoption of the Majuro Declaration during the Pacific Island Forum. We support the statement of Maldives on this issue.

In preparation of the UN SIDS conference in September 2014, the Netherlands will organize a conference on these topics with the Small Island Development States in the spring of next year.

For centuries the Netherlands has developed technical experience and innovative solutions in water management to protect our sea and river shores against flooding. We are ready to share our expertise with countries and other partners as much as we can.

Thank you.