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

Open Debate of the Security Council on “Women and peace and security”

NEW YORK, 28 October 2014

STATEMENT BY H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in Open Debate of the Security Council on “Women and peace and security”


Muchas gracias senora presidente. 

Let me first express my appreciation to the current president of the Security Council Argentina for organizing this important open debate on Women, Peace and Security; we especially welcome the special focus on “Displaced women and girls”. The urgency of this topic is evident. The world faces unprecedented numbers of refugees and displaced persons. Three quarters of them are women and girls. 

We also would like to thank the Secretary General for his annual report on UNSC resolution 1325. The Netherlands fully endorses the report and its recommendations. We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the EU.

In view of time constraints, my full speech will be available via twitter and on our website. Here I will limit myself to the key points on the need for women’s leadership, on the need for implementation of this Council’s resolutions 1325 and 2122 as well as on the way ahead.


(Refugees – and the need for women’s leadership)


Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands strongly believes in the power of women. They must be leaders, they must be key participants in political decision making, in conflict prevention, in conflict-resolution, in conflict-recovery. 

Women can and must play an important role in addressing the root causes of the conflicts that caused so many refugees.

Women must participate in decision making on humanitarian issues, such as provision of emergency assistance. 

We admire the work of women’s human rights defenders, who fight for equality, also within conflict-affected areas. The international community should acknowledge their risks, support their efforts and ensure their safety.

We support the call of the Secretary-General for comprehensive SRHR services in conflict-affected settings in all its aspects, including family planning material and safe abortions for victims of rape. 

In light of the current humanitarian needs around the world, the Netherlands has substantially increased humanitarian funding with 570 million Euro for the period 2014-2017. This includes 10 million for UNICEF in view of its focus on vulnerability of girls in humanitarian emergency situations.(Implementation of UNSC resolutions 1325 and 2122)


Madam President,


The Kingdom of the Netherlands gives priority to implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 and 2122. We supported the women of Syria to come together under the ‘Syrian Women’s initiative for Peace and Democracy’. We made their voices heard, working closely together with UNWomen and UNDPA. 

We invest in gender expertise at strategic positions, to allow for a more effective and strategic implementation of the WPS agenda. The Netherlands has for example employed civilian experts to UNWomen missions in New York and Amman. And we have made available a senior advisor sexual violence in conflict to the MONUSCO mission in the DRC. 

We also welcome the appointment of Dutch Ambassador Marriët Schuurman as NATO’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. We look forward to work with her on further implementation of 1325 at NATO.

In addition, we believe in the added value of training people on the ground on issues related to women, peace and security.  Moreover, in our Security Sector Development programme in Burundi there is attention for gender-based violence and the rights of women.

In our National Action Plan 1325, the government, knowledge institutions, and Dutch civil society work together in partnership. The purpose of this Plan is to empower women in six focus countries and in the MENA region. It has an annual budget of 4 million euros. 

This cooperation is a powerful instrument for effective action for women empowerment. 

We aim to enhance the inclusion of women in peace negotiations and we aim for the inclusion of Women, Peace and Security dimensions in peace agreements. 

We welcome the sustained positive trend shown in the SG report and we are committed to work with the UN-system, partners and other countries to further improve this trend.

(The way ahead)


Madam President,

On the way ahead, we are horrified by today’s violent extremism and its despicable effects for women and girls. We should include the women, peace and security agenda while drafting responses to these terrible situations. We should support the role of women, as mothers, wives, and sisters, in countering violent extremism. And we should strengthen women’s civil society as well as women’s political participation and leadership. 

Furthermore, we should use the opportunities which the coming year has to offer. The Netherlands supports the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the post-2015 agenda. And we support integration of these issues across the framework.

In February, the Kingdom of the Netherlands will organize an international conference that will address both the 1325 agenda and the review process of peace operations. The results of the conference will provide input for the UN High Level review of peace operations. Key issues will be the participation and leadership of women in (post) conflict and transitional situations. We will share Dutch experiences and lessons learned on implementing 1325 with an international audience.



Madam President,

In conclusion. 

Together we must maintain the Women, Peace and Security agenda as a priority. 

Together we must translate our words into concrete action on the ground. 

By empowering women. 

By promoting gender equality. 

By investing in training. 

By working together with civic society. 

By learning from each other.

By seeing women as leaders, and not just as victims.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has the ambition to be a partner for peace, justice and development. And women are crucial in all these three domains. 


I thank you for your attention.