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

Open Debate Security Council “The Respect to the Principles and Purposes of the Charter of the UN as Key Elements for the Maintenance of International Peace and Security.”

Speech by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, NEW YORK, 15 FEBRUARY 2016

[Introduction]

Gracias, señor Presidente,,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands would like to thank the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for convening this debate and for providing the UN member states with the opportunity to reemphasize the importance of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.

I’d also like to thank the Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki-Moon for his important comments at the outset of our discussion today.
I align myself with the statement of the European Union.

Maintaining international peace and security is the core task of the Security Council.
However, it’s important for all UN member states to take their responsibility in realizing this goal.

In my statement, I will focus on three issues which for my country lie at the heart of maintaining peace and security;

- promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes,

- respect for human rights,

- and effectiveness of peacekeeping missions.

[Peaceful settlement of disputes]

The international legal order is the basis on which friendly and lasting relations between states are built.
International law is even more important when disputes occur.
Peaceful settlement of disputes, recognized as one of the purposes of the Charter, makes an invaluable contribution to a more just and secure world, and can prevent conflict.
In The Hague in the Netherlands, we host both the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. To emphasise the importance we attach to these institutions, let my highlight the presence of the Mayor of The Hague today at this debate.

Both institutions fulfil a crucial role in realizing the ambitions of Article 33 on peaceful settlement of disputes under the UN Charter. The upcoming 70th anniversary of the International Court of Justice in April this year is a good occasion to reiterate the value and achievements of this institution.
As the host country of this principal judicial organ of the UN, we encourage all states to recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court.

[Human rights]

The promotion of respect for human rights is a cornerstone of the United Nations.  Unfortunately, current reality in the world shows that we must do much more to realize our ambitions.
Large scale violations of human rights, happening on a daily basis in Syria as we speak, deserve action by the international community. The principles of the charter and international humanitarian Law need to be upheld at all times. We condemn situations where the civilian infrastructure, especially hospitals and schools, are systematically targeted by parties to a conflict.

Sovereignty should never be used as a shield by states to prevent mass atrocities being addressed.
As former Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated, it was never meant as a license for governments to trample on human rights and human dignity.  The international community has been standing by while people suffer horribly. The concept of Responsibility to Protect provides guidance on what we should and could do.
We urge the permanent members of the Security Council to refrain from using their vetoes in these situations and to use all means at their disposal to increase interaction with human rights actors to improve the situation.

[Peacekeeping missions]

In order to maintain international peace and security, the UN Charter allows for collective measures.
By accepting the Charter, all member states promise to give the UN assistance in any action it takes.
We must fulfill this promise, especially where it comes to peacekeeping.
Over the years, peacekeeping missions are deployed in more and more complex situations.
Our military, police and civilians experience this on a daily basis in the missions that we contribute to, such as MINUSMA and UNMISS, like so many other states.
We call upon all UN members to contribute to peacekeeping missions with rapid deployment and high quality capabilities, in order to heighten the efficiency of peacekeeping missions.

[Conclusion]

Mr President, in conclusion.
As the Dutch philosopher Spinoza said “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”

As I stated before, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is your partner for Peace, Justice and Development. We will continue to work with all of you until these goals have been attained for the peoples and nations of the world. For we believe these goals together embody the core values of the charter of the United Nations that were codified to address the needs and desires of mankind on its journey towards a better future.

I thank for your attention.