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

Security Council Debate “UNAMA”

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations NEW YORK, 15 March 2016

(1.  Introduction)

Thank you Mr. President, and thank you for the opportunity to speak at this debate on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his detailed and thorough report and Special Representative Haysom for his briefing. Also I would like to thank Ambassador Saikal for his statement.

Today I will focus on three issues: 1) The security situation and peace process, 2) the Road to Warsaw and Brussels, and 3) the role of UNAMA.

(2.   Security Situation and Peace Process)

The security situation in Afghanistan remains worrisome. The report of the Secretary-General on Afghanistan states that the security situation deteriorated even further in 2015 and it indicates a substantial increase in casualties amongst the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to underline the commendable job that the Government of National Unity and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, in the face of rising attacks, have done in providing security to the Afghan people. However, we need to address the critical shortcomings and it is clear that continued international support, including by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in strengthening the security forces remains necessary.

The number of civilian casualties has seen an increase as well, as reported by UNAMAlast month. This shows all the more that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is urgently needed. Political unity in the Afghan government will help create stability and a positive perspective for the Afghan people. Durable peace can only be achieved through Afghan led reconciliation, supported by a regional process. Commendable efforts in that direction have recently been made by Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as within the Quadrilateral talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US, and China, which hopefully can lead to direct talks with the Taliban. The Netherlands stands ready to support reconciliation efforts if so desired.

(3.  Road to Warsaw and Brussels)

Mr President,

The international community, including the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has been engaged in Afghanistan for over a decade now in collaboration with the Afghan government. Together we have seen some very positive results in terms of development; service delivery of health care and education has improved drastically since 2001. Women and girls are actively part of social life and Afghanistan witnessed a sharp increase in girls enrolling in schools.

In addition, the Government of National Unity recently took steps to strengthen protection services for women.The Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomes the emergency fund for medical treatment of women victims of violence, that was launched on 31 January by President Ghani, and the extra funding in the state budget for additional violence against women prosecution units.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has been a long time partner of Afghanistan, having contributed significantly in the fields of security, justice and development. We are committed to fulfil our part in the longer term development of Afghanistan. The Netherlands is currently planning its post-2016 engagements, in the fields of defense, development and diplomacy, in the run-up to the NATO summit in July in Warsaw and the Brussels summit in October.

For both conferences, which are very much interlinked, it is crucial that both the Afghan Government and the international community demonstrate their commitment to Afghanistan’s future; in terms of progress for the necessary reforms on the one hand, and the necessary international support on the other. The Kingdom of the Netherlands wishes to further work together with Afghanistan and partners within the international community on the implementation of the reforms as agreed in the Self Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework for the further development of Afghanistan.

( 4. Role UNAMA)  

Mr President,

The Council renewed the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today. I would like to underline the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ continued support for the role played by UNAMA in Afghanistan and to thank UNAMA for its continued constructive role in coordinating the international community efforts and in fulfilling its political mandate.

( 5. Conclusion)

Mr President,

The Netherlands remains committed to Afghanistan throughout the Transformation Decade, in the context of increased Afghan ownership and leadership. In this spirit of partnership, focusing on supporting peace, justice and development, we will continue to support Afghanistan and its people.

Thank you.