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

High-Level Meeting of the Security Council on Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: International Cooperation on Combating Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism

Statement by Peter van der Vliet, Chargé d’Affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, New York, 19 November 2014

Mr. President, thank you for giving me the floor.

I thank you for the opportunity to speak today at this High-Level Meeting on International Cooperation on Combating Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism. The Netherlands aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union. I would like to make some additional remarks in my national capacity.

Mr. President,

The direct threat posed by Foreign Terrorist Fighters concerns us all. Both international peace and security and national security are at risk.

The Netherlands is actively engaged in addressing extremism and terrorism in partnership with the United Nations, the Global Counterterrorism Forum, the European Union, and other partners. Our participation in the international military coalition in Iraq is a clear sign of our determination to contribute to international efforts to combat terrorism.

I would like to highlight three issues:

1.    The action taken in the context of the Global Counterterrorism Forum,

2.    our national program to deal with Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and

3.    our vision on the role of the United Nations.

Action in the context of the Global Counterterrorism Forum

Mr. President,

During its Ministerial Meeting last September, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) adopted a comprehensive set of non-binding good practices to address all aspects of the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon.

These recommendations cover not only counterterrorism responses, but also preventive efforts, including efforts aimed at countering violent extremism, recruitment and facilitation, travel and return.

As co-leader, together with Morocco, of the GCTF’s working group on foreign terrorist fighters, the Netherlands will actively promote these good practices. We stand ready to work closely with all UN member states and UN partners on this issue.

National Action Program on Foreign Terrorist Fighters

Mr. President,

The Netherlands government has launched a comprehensive Action Program to deal with foreign terrorist fighters.

This Action Program has three main objectives:

•    to protect democracy and the rule of law,

•    to diminish the threat posed by foreign fighters in the Netherlands, and

•    to remove the breeding ground for radicalization.

The national action programme contains several measures to prevent, detect and counter radicalization and to encourage alternative narratives, enhance resilience and address social tensions.

Front-line professionals from all sectors of society are closely involved to counter radicalization, including through the internet and social media.

The national Action Programme also focuses on risk reduction regarding travel of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. This includes penal, administrative and social measures. Potential departures are prevented or disrupted.

The role of the United Nations

Mr President,

The United Nations forms a cornerstone for global efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. It brings all nations together to share challenges and best practices. The Netherlands welcomes the active engagement of CTED and CTITF in support of Member States’ efforts to address the threats posed by international terrorism.

Mainstreaming of measures to prevent radicalization and to counter terrorism across the UN Agenda is a high priority, as well as combating the financing of terrorism through an effective use of the sanctions regime.

Traditional reluctance in development programs to address terrorism should be overcome in order for the UN to deliver on its potential and contribute at the national level to inclusive participation in societies and equal access for all to opportunities and basic services. In this manner it can address the root causes of terrorism.

We would also welcome more work on the role of long-term counter terrorism policies in the context of UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

Conclusion

Mr President,

In conclusion, international cooperation is essential to combat terrorism and the threat posed by Foreign Terrorist Fighters. National experiences and challenges can help others in adjusting their approach to incorporate best practices. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is ready to be a partner in preventing and combating terrorism.

Thank you Mr President.