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

Statement Post-2015 Development Agenda 'Ensuring stable and peaceful societies'

NEW YORK, 24 April 2014

STATEMENT BY H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage! High Level and Thematic Debates of the President of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.” Fourth Session: “Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies” 


Madam Chair, 

I would like to thank the PGA for organising this important debate and the panelists for their contributions. For the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a comprehensive post-2015 development agenda is one of the most crucial aspects of our current work here at the UN. This post-2015 agenda should combine the unfulfilled elements of the MDG’s with new challenges. These new challenges include all sustainability related issues as well as stable and peaceful societies, the subject of today’s debate.

Let me quote former UNSG Kofi Annan who said in 1997: “Good governance and sustainable development are indivisible. That is the lesson of all our efforts and experiences, from Africa to Asia to Latin America. Without good governance -- without the rule of law, predictable administration, legitimate power, and responsive regulation -- no amount of funding will set us on the path to prosperity.” 

We have confirmed this relation in the Rio +20 outcome document. 

The link between peace, good governance, the rule of law and sustainable development is backed by clear evidence from scientific research. Capable, accountable and inclusive institutions are a crucial factor in creating and sustaining the conditions necessary for sustainable development. As personal safety increases, growth increases and progress is made in reaching the MDGs. Better governance is correlated with improved completion rates for primary education, adult literacy and reduced infant mortality.

1.6 million people who voted in the MyWorld survey, put “freedom from crime and violence” among the top seven issues they want to see included in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Important targets under ‘stable and peaceful societies’ include:

- Reduce levels of violence.

- Ensure justice institutions are accessible, independent, well-resourced and respect due process rights 

- Enhance the capacity, professionalism, accountability and legitimacy of the security forces, police and judiciary

- Reduce organized crime, including illicit flows and trafficking (of people, arms, drugs, finance, and wildlife)

- Reduce the number of IDPs and refugees

These targets are measurable, often using data that are already collected by the UN. These include data on refugees and IDPs, on illicit arms flows and trafficking, on violent and conflict deaths. The UN’s Rule of Law Indicators can be used across several targets. Also work for the UN Statistics Commission has confirmed that measurement is feasible and has highlighted the possibility of perception indicators. An example of such a perception indicator is the number of people that report being safe to walk home at night. Many of us are already tracking progress through initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership and regional peer review mechanisms.

The goal of stable and peaceful societies forms a universal agenda. Different countries of course start from different positions. But for all of us, effective and accountable institutions build trust between the state and society. They also manage pressures that could otherwise drive conflict. They also enable a country to build its economic capacity and to deliver public services and goods to its citizens.

In particular, I would like to align myself with the statement of the Deputy Representative of Barbados who has mentioned the security initiative for the Caribbean region. As three of the countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are situated in the Caribbean (Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao), we look forward to working together on that agenda.  

My government welcomes the relevant part in pillar 5 in the African Common Position on the Post - 2015 development agenda. This pillar acknowledges the importance of peace and security in Africa and in the world, and it underlines the inextricable links between development and peace, security and stability.

Madame Chair,

If we are serious about our vision of leaving no one behind and about a life of dignity for all, then a goal on peaceful and stable societies must be at the heart of a truly universal post-2015 development agenda. 

Let me quote the fundamental formula of the UN World Summit in September 2005.  “There is no peace without development; there is no development without peace; there is no lasting peace and sustainable development without respect for human rights.”

The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to be a partner for the United Nations and its member states for peace, justice and development to realize this visionary ambition. 

Thank you for your attention.