Security Council Open Debate: “Non-Proliferation of WMD”
Statement by H.E. Mr. Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New York, 23 August 2016
I join my colleagues in expressing appreciation to you for organizing this timely and important debate on preventing the proliferation of WMD and related materials and technologies to violent, extremist armed groups and non-state actors.
This is a threat that requires strong national and international mechanisms and effective international cooperation.
It is, therefore, essential to maintain its prominent place on the international agenda. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is - and will remain - a dedicated international partner in this regard, also if elected to serve as member of this Council in 2018.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands fully aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union, and further shares the international concern regarding CBRN threats.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the activities and priorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: nuclear security, inclusiveness and resolution 1540.
For the past several years, the prevention of nuclear and radiological terrorism has been one of our top priorities.
We took active part in the Nuclear Security Summit process, hosting the meeting in 2014.
The Summits led to significant progress in reducing the amount of weapons-usable nuclear material in circulation, strengthening the international nuclear security architecture and enhancing international cooperation.
Just as significant, the Summit process served to raise awareness of the nuclear and radiological terrorism threat at the highest political levels.
As the Summit host, we sought to actively contribute to translating the NSS political commitments into concrete actions.
In the same vein, the Netherlands is currently the international coordinator for the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
The GICNT has been instrumental in enhancing national capabilities through practical and effective international cooperation to prevent, detect and respond to nuclear terrorism.
Through these initiatives and activities, a robust network of political, judicial, intelligence and technical representatives and experts has been established.
Collaboration within and across governments has been enhanced. But not only that. Other relevant groups have also become more engaged, including industry and civil society, which are just as essential to our efforts to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Our colleague from Italy earlier made a very clear statement in that regard with which we agree.
Going forward, it is necessary to take steps to maintain these types of networks and to sustain close and effective international cooperation.
The Netherlands remains firmly committed to the full and effective implementation of resolution 1540 as a central instrument to prevent the spread of WMD to non-state actors.
The comprehensive review of 1540 offers a very welcome opportunity to strengthen this implementation and we greatly appreciate the leadership of Spain in this regard, and the open and inclusive nature of the review process.
Enhancing effective implementation of resolution 1540 requires sustainable enforcement of national laws and regulations, not only from a law enforcement perspective, but also in terms of export controls, physical protection and control of the financial channels used by non-state actors to proliferate.
Challenges clearly remain when it comes to effective implementation.
The strengthening of the implementation mechanism, providing technical assistance (a point just made by our colleague from South-Africa), the promotion of regional collaboration to prevent implementation gaps, and the promotion of active engagement with industry, the private sector and civil society are all ways to help advance these efforts.
Though much has been accomplished to prevent the spread of WMD, related materials and technologies, much more remains to be done.
We should maintain momentum in raising awareness of the threats and challenges, and in devising and implementing measures necessary to combat the CBRN terrorism threat as effectively and efficiently as possible.
The Netherlands looks forward to continue working closely with partners on this issue, as Your Partner for Peace, Justice and Development.