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

Open Debate of the Security Council on “Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.

NEW YORK, 7 May 2014

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 on “Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.

Thank you Mr. President for convening this meeting and marking this historic moment on the 10th anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1540. And we pay tribute to the work of the Republic of Korea in chairing the 1540 committee. We fully align ourselves with the statement made by the EU.


The adoption of resolution 1540 ten years ago was historic; it was a crucial step in preventing terrorist groups from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction. To realize that important goal, we all have to work together. Even today, the risk that non-state actors acquire or develop nuclear, chemical or biological weapons is real. Effective multilateralism, strong bilateral partnerships and robust national implementation are key to achieving our common aim to prevent this from happening. 

(Robust national implementation)

The Netherlands has taken robust measures to ensure compliance with UNSCR 1540. These include effective controls to prevent non State actors from developing, acquiring or transferring weapons of mass destruction. We continue to review our policies.  A good example is the current review of our biosecurity regime. We are working on a control mechanism in cooperation with science institutions and hospitals in the Netherlands that work with these materials. We will present this new biosecurity regime at the upcoming Meeting of Experts of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

We furthermore take innovative measures to improve chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear safety. Rotterdam for example, one of the largest ports in the world, scans all containers on nuclear and radiological materials. And we share best practices like these with other countries. 

(Bilateral partnerships and effective multilateralism)

We truly believe in the power of sharing information and providing assistance to other countries. Therefore, we support other countries in strengthening their legal and regulatory infrastructure, both on a national basis as through the EU. We invest in global cooperation in countering nuclear, chemical and biological threats. The Netherlands is a strong supporter of effective multilateral export control regimes and assist other countries with their implementation. The Netherlands is furthermore actively lobbying for the universalization of multilateral treaties to which it is a party. And of course, the Netherlands hosted the recent Nuclear Security Summit. We welcome the reference to the NSS in the presidential statement adopted today. 

(Nuclear Security Summit)

The Nuclear Security Summit of 24-25 March 2014 contributed to higher awareness and better implementation of nuclear security worldwide and pushed as such the 1540 agenda. For my country, it is crucial that the results of the NSS are not limited to its participants. Therefore we actively share the outcomes; this afternoon for example, our sherpa presented the achievements here at the UN to all member states. 

The Summit resulted in “The Hague Communiqué”, agreed upon by the leaders of 53 participating countries and 4 international organizations. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was one of them. The participants welcomed the significant contribution made by the UN to strengthening nuclear security. Particularly in promoting the ratification and effective implementation of international conventions and protocols against terrorism. This includes nuclear terrorism - as well as the work undertaken by the UN Security Council Committee 1540. On the basis of resolution 1540 all member states are involved in the strengthening of nuclear security.

NSS participants urged states “to fully implement resolution 1540 and subsequent resolutions, and to continue to report such efforts on a regular basis”. By doing so, the NSS community expressed even a stronger commitment than in the Summits preceding to The Hague. 

The Netherlands is proud to be one of the 33 countries, that signed up to the joint statement, a so called ‘gift basket’ on 1540. This group, led by Canada and the Republic of Korea, committed to fully implement the UNSC Resolution 1540. The main purpose of this gift basket is better implementation, reporting and providing assistance within the framework of 1540.  The signatories also undertake to rapidly submit National Action Plans, as recommended in the resolution. For this reason the Netherlands recently committed itself to submit our first national action plan.   

To strengthen the NSS-process, we also hosted summits for industry and the scientific community. Especially the Nuclear Industry Summit was of great importance, because implementation of nuclear security and control measures very often has to be done by industry.  

(Concluding remarks)

Inspired by the spirit of the NSS, the Netherlands would like to set the bar high for the next ten years. The focus of our work should further shift from awareness raising to effective implementation. Only together we can achieve the important objectives of UNSCR 1540.   The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to be an effective partner for both the UN and other member-states to realize these goals.

Thank you.