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

Open Debate of the Security Council on “Regional organizations and contemporary challenges of global security”

Statement by Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations Open Debate of the Security Council on “Regional organizations and contemporary challenges of global security” New York, 18 August 2015

Thank you Madam President,


Let me first express my appreciation to the current president of the Security Council, Nigeria, for organizing this important open debate.

I align myself with the statement by the European Union, which gives an extensive overview of the ways in which the EU is playing its role as a regional organization as a partner in confronting contemporary challenges of global peace and security.

As this Council is acutely aware, conflicts are on the rise.

The UN must adopt a much more outward-looking and outward-oriented focus in order to effectively deal with this.

Time cannot be wasted with internal strife, or we risk losing credibility and legitimacy.

Only by forging stronger partnerships the international community can effectively address current security challenges.  

These partnerships include cooperation between international, regional and sub-regional organizations, but also between governments and civil society, business communities and development organizations.

The Kingdom of The Netherlands firmly believes that regional organizations play an essential role in addressing issues of peace and security.

This applies to the prevention of conflict, the containment and resolution of conflict and the rebuilding in the post conflict phase. It is the ambition of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to be a partner for peace, justice and development, in all these three phases.

Effective cooperation and coordination with all those involved requires a commitment to frank and inclusive communication.  

If such partnerships come together, they can lead to sustainable stability and security: before, during and after conflict.


Regional and sub-regional organizations are well positioned to understand the root causes of armed conflicts.

They are often aware of emerging conflicts very early on, and can use tools such as mediation for conflict prevention. An important point just now made by my Armenian colleague.

There is much to learn from each other in partnership.

An interesting example is the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Agreement and Peace Process in Colombia, implemented with support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Colombia of course is a neighbouring country of our Kingdom.

As we mentioned during the debate in this Council on security challenges for SIDS three weeks ago, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four autonomous countries, three of which are in the Caribbean: Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten. Et c‘est aussi une reason pour laquelle nous considerons Haiti, don’t le representant Permanent est maintenant a ma coté, un pays voisin de notre Royaume!

Therefore we are intensifying the interaction on e.g. regional security challenges with CARICOM.   

Another example comes from the OSCE, of which the Netherlands is a founding member state.

Through its multi-dimensional approach - political, economic and human dimension - it is able to play a crucial role in monitoring and verifying the implementation of the Minsk agreement, which is the basis for a sustainable solution of the conflict in full respect of Ukraine’s’ independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.


(During conflict)

When conflict erupts, the international community must do its utmost to contain and mitigate its consequences and to resolve it. Peacekeeping is often needed to protect civilians and create the conditions for peace. In mali, the Netherlands is an active partner in MINUSMA.

A political process of course is crucial to achieve peace.

On the African continent, the Kingdom of the Netherlands pays tribute to the increasingly important role the AU is playing in maintaining peace and security.

Great progress has been made in recent years in implementing the African Peace and Security Architecture.

The Peace and Security Council has proven to be a key force behind increased action and visibility of the AU.

Today, AU missions are increasingly deployed ahead of UN missions, making them important instruments to stabilize conflicts and guarantee security.

In the political process, sub-regional organizations are often best placed to help steer countries in conflict back onto the road to peace by taking on the role of mediators and negotiators. Important recent examples in Africa are ECOWAS, ECCAS, EAC and IGAD.  

In very tense and complicated situations, their efforts need to be enhanced and supported by the international community, for example by the IGAD-PLUS formula.  

The European Union takes pride in cooperating closely with the African Union. 



After a conflict ends, timely and coordinated efforts are needed to prevent a relapse into conflict.

We see time and time again that if exit-strategies are nothing more than an afterthought, countries are at great risk of falling back into conflict.

Peacebuilding must therefore in our view be an essential element of every mission. It must be included in initial planning, and it must be part of a comprehensive vision for peace, justice, and sustainable development.

The UN, regional and sub-regional organizations as well, need to make this shift together, to save lives and prevent cycles of violence.



As the high Level Panel Report on Peace Operations states:

 “We have truly entered an era of partnership peacekeeping, indeed of partnership in all aspects of the international peace and security agenda.”

Now is the time for the UN to reach out and strengthen these partnerships, developing mature and productive relationships based on trust, mutual responsibility and accountability.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is committed to remain a partner, for peace, justice and development for that worthy purpose.

I thank you.