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

Statement by Ambassador Karel J.G. van Oosterom in SC Debate on Women, Peace and Security

Statement by Karel J.G. van Oosterom

Permanent Representative of the Netherlands Mission to the United Nations

Open Debate in the Security Council

on Women, peace and security,

Women, Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict-affected Situations

New York, 18 October 2013


Mr. President, excellencies, distinguished participants,

My delegation welcomes this debate and the report of the UNSG on Women, Peace and Security. We celebrate the 13th anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325. In this context, we appreciate the opportunity to make a few remarks in addition to the EU statement which was made earlier. This indicates the importance we attach to this theme which is close to our mission statement: “The Kingdom of the Netherlands, your partner for peace, justice and development”. I would like to highlight five points:

Firstly, we see women as leaders

- In our own National Action Plan on 1325, as well as in our wider Human Rights and gender equality policies, we have chosen to focus on the role of women as political actors in conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery.

- We believe in the power of women as agents for peace, and as representatives of communities living in conflict. During the recent United Nations General Assembly, the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, hosted an event with a group of Syrian women, hearing their recommendations and opening doors for them here in New York. They inspired many and offered a new window of hope for a political solution to the horrific conflict in Syria. We stand ready to support Syrian women’s contribution to end the conflict.

- We encourage the Security Council to remain committed to the full agenda of resolution 1325, including meaningful participation of women in all peace negotiations, security sector reform, and decision making related to conflict resolution and post-conflict re-building. We call upon the Security Council to more systematically implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda in its work.

Secondly, we support women’s agendas in countries in conflict or transition

- The UN Secretary General, in his report, finds that deficits remain in opportunities for women to exercise leadership and in resources provided to support them and their organisational capacities.

- The Netherlands has recognized this and established a funding mechanism called ‘Women on the Frontline’, for women’s organisations in transitional countries in the Middle East and North Africa. We aim to support them with organisational and capacity development, so they are in a position to make their voices heard, demand their rights and contribute to the development of their country.

- We also welcome efforts by UN mediators to include women in processes of peace and transition. Yemen is an inspiring example, where against all odds, women are participating in the National Dialogue and are claiming their role in the next phases of transition. We also welcome Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Mary Robinson’s outreach to women early on in her mandate.

Thirdly, we support legal systems based on equality

- We fully endorse the EU statement and its focus on the need for a gender sensitive approach to rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Women and girls should have equal access to fair and transparent services of justice and be able to influence justice policies and institutions in their country. In this respect, we also acknowledge the important contribution of the ICC and other special courts and tribunals in addressing specifically gender and sexual based violence.

- As the focus of today’s debate is on the importance of the rule of law and justice, let me highlight an example. In the DRC, in Maniema province, we help establish a gender-sensitive judicial system, including training women to become lawyers themselves.

Fourthly, we care about prevention and protection of victims of sexual violence in conflict

- The Netherlands welcomes the continued high level attention for the role of women in conflict situations. This Council adopted resolution 2106 last June. Other international actors, such as the G8, have also shown real commitment to the prevention and prosecution of sexual violence in conflict. We very much support this part of the 1325 agenda.

- We welcome and support the SG’s recommendation to ensure the full range of services to victims of rape, including access to services for safe termination of pregnancies resulting from rape, without discrimination and in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law.

- Prevention of and protection from sexual violence is an issue that continues to need our full attention. I am proud to announce that the Netherlands has recently increased its contribution to the UN Trust fund for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by 2 mln USD, now totalling more than 8 mln USD.

Fifthly, we stand ready to share experiences and improve on our joint implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda

- Let me end by reiterating the Dutch commitment to this agenda of Women, Peace and Security. Our National Action Plan, jointly signed by government and civil society, is more than a paper document. The Dutch government has allocated 4 million Euro’s annually for its implementation.

- We offer our full support and cooperation to the Global Review on implementation of 1325 that UN Women is currently undertaking. In that context, we are pleased to announce that the Netherlands will host an international conference on lessons learned in late 2014.

- As said, the Kingdom of the Netherlands wants to be your partner for peace, justice and development and the role of women is crucial in all three dimensions. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak.