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

GA Debate on Peacebuilding

NEW YORK, 16 April 2015

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative / Chargé d’Affaires of the Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations Peter van der Vliet General Assembly. Item 29: Report of the Peacebuilding Commission on its Eighth Session and Item 109: Report of the Secretary-General on the Peacebuilding Fund.

Mr. President, excellencies, distinguished participants,

 

The Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomes this debate as well as the reports by the Peace Building Commission on it eight session, and by the Secretary-General on the Peace Building Fund.

We align ourselves with the statement made by the European Union.

I appreciate the opportunity to speak and to reiterate the commitment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to peacebuilding. Peace Building is crucial to address the gap between security and development in fragile post-conflict countries.

Before continuing, I would like to thank the former Chair of the PBC, Ambassador Antonio Patriota, for his commitment and achievements in the past year. Also I would like to congratulate Ambassador Olof Skoog with his appointment as the new Chair of the PBC. And lastly, I would like to thank the Peace Building Support Office and Assistent Secretary General Oscar Fernandez-Tarranco for their ongoing support. 

Mr. President,

The two annual reports under discussion today are both comprehensive documents, signaling the complexity of peacebuilding challenges. The Kingdom of the Netherlands can relate to this, as we are engaged in peacebuilding activities in many countries worldwide. 

We believe that the United Nations has a central role to play when it comes to both peacekeeping and peacebuilding. For this reason the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been a staunch supporter of the UN peacebuilding architecture since its inception, both politically and financially. To illustrate: over the last decade the Netherlands has provided over 50 million euros in funding to the UN Peacebuilding Fund alone, ranking the Netherlands consistently as one of the top donors of the Peacebuilding Fund. Also, the Netherlands is an active member of the Burundi configuration and we are glad to be part of the Organisational Comite.

2015 is a year marked by reviews. A year in which we take stock of what we have learned to collectively prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. The Netherlands looks forward to making an active contribution to the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture. In this regard, please allow me to take this opportunity to highlight briefly four issues that stand out. 

First: to prevent conflict is better than to remedy it. One of the original aims of the Peacebuilding architecture was to address exactly this issue. We believe that the full arsenal of instruments available to the UN should be used to maximum effect with regard to early warning and early action. 

This brings me to my second point: the interlinkage between peacekeeping and peacebuilding. It is essential to include peacebuilding elements into the buildup to UN missions and the post-mission transition process, in order to prevent relapse into conflict. It is therefore important to align the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture with the Peace Operations Review. This point was also emphasized during the regional conference on peace operations which the Netherlands organized in February. Also, alignment with the 1325 review is important, as the adoption of a gender perspective to consider the special needs of women and girls during conflict and in post-conflict reconstruction should be part of an integrated approach in both peace keeping and peace building.

Third: perhaps the most important lesson we have learned is that peacebuilding is a multidimensional process. Fostering Peace, Justice and Development in vulnerable countries necessitates a comprehensive approach. It requires a clear vision and strategy, based on shared goals, complemented by continuing political commitment, financing for development and ways to provide security in an effective and accountable manner. The Netherlands has gained significant experience with this approach over the last decade, illustrated for example by our contribution to the integrated peacekeeping mission in Mali, where we have adapted our bilateral cooperation programs accordingly. 

And fourth: the Kingdom of the Netherlands believes in working in partnership. Therefore it is of crucial importance to continue to work in close cooperation with recipient countries and make sure their voices are heard in the review process.

Mr. President,

The peacebuilding agenda is a comprehensive agenda. Because of this, we warmly welcome the broad terms of reference for the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, which look beyond the core peacebuilding institutions and also take into account the functioning of the UN system as a whole. 
In that context, The Netherlands also looks forward to the PBC’s annual session in June, where “predictable financing for peace building and breaking the silos” will be discussed. 

In conclusion, Mr. President, 

The Kingdom of The Netherlands will remain your partner for Peace, Justice and Development. In that context, let me reiterate once more our strong support for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture.

Thank you.