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

Open Debate of the Security Council in connection with the Ebola outbreak under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa”.

Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom. Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations. Open Debate of the Security Council in connection with the Ebola outbreak under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa”. NEW YORK, 18 September 2014  

Mister President,

Introduction, acknowledgements 

Let me start by thanking you for convening this United Nations Security Council Emergency Meeting on Ebola. We align ourselves with the EU Statement earlier made. We are deeply concerned about the impact of the Ebola outbreak on the lives of people, especially those in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and DRC who are hardest hit. Our hearts and minds are with all those who suffer. It is a tragedy that women make up 75 percent of the victims, primarily because of their role as caregivers. We pay tribute to the courageous health workers in the field. Let me take this opportunity to express deep appreciation for the invaluable work performed by the World Health Organization under your leadership, Director General Chan. Dr. Nabarro, we applaud your appointment as UN System Coordinator on Ebola and we welcome the coordinated Overview of Needs and Requirements to fight the Ebola outbreak.      

International commitments, The Netherlands contributions 

The Netherlands welcomes the establishment of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). Now, more than ever, a “One UN” approach is needed to fight Ebola. It is literally a matter of life and death. Assets of the relevant UN agencies should be used together to work effectively. The Netherlands is a partner of all these agencies, such as WHO, UNICEF, WFP, IEP, Mister President. The situation is increasingly grim and humanitarian aid such as funds, medical supplies and health workers is pivotal. Strong and long term commitment of the international community is essential to fight the Ebola outbreak effectively, and strong coordination at the international level is crucial. The Netherlands has so far contributed to the fight against Ebola with financial means, through the EU and through its contributions to the UN system. My Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will soon announce new major contributions to combat the Ebola crises. During next week’s event on Ebola, we should further discuss this great threat the international community is facing. To express our deep concern over the Ebola outbreak, The Netherlands co-sponsored the United States Draft Security Council Resolution S/2014/673 and welcomes its adoption. We encourage the joint effort to support the affected States.

Long term commitment 

The international community must remain committed as long as necessary, to support the affected countries in the region. Regional and international trade and the economies are severely affected, food prices are rising, the agricultural harvest limited due to little rainfall and public health systems need to be rebuilt. We also welcome the call on the private sector to maintain trade and transport limits.

Conclusion

To quote Director General Chan: “Ebola is not just a public health crisis, it is also a social crisis, a humanitarian crisis, a political crisis.” The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a crisis that cannot, and should not, be ignored by the international community. It has the potential to destabilize entire countries and regions, compromising national, regional and international security. This is a global crisis that requires every one of our nations to act. My government is determined to take further action.

I thank you, Mister President.