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

Security Council Open Debate “Post-conflict Peacebuilding: Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture”

Statement by H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, New York, 23 February 2016

Gracias, señor Presidente,

[1. Introduction]

I align myself with the statement made by the European Union earlier today.

First of all, I would like to thank Venezuela for organizing this timely debate. It is fitting that a neighbor of Colombia has invited member states to reflect on the importance of peacebuilding. Colombia shows that it takes courage and perseverance to overcome obstacles that a government is facing on its way to peace.  If there is sincere will on all sides and if there is a will to involve all stakeholders more support can be gained and sustainable results can be realized. The vision, political commitment and accountability of governments like those of Liberia and Timor-Leste, laid the groundwork for resilient and inclusive economic and social development based on legitimate institutions.

I would also like to thank Ambassador Kamau and Ambassador Skoog for their contributions to the debate, as well as Ambassador  Rosenthal in his capacity as Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. The Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomed the AGE-report “The Challenge of Sustaining Peace”, which provides clear recommendations for improvement and reform in the practise of peacebuilding. This requires coordinated and coherent action by the UN system as a whole as well as the member states.

Mr. President,

Today I will focus my remarks on three points: 1) partnerships and the role of women and youth, 2) UN coherence and  3) peace operations. In my concluding remarks I will refer to the resolution on the Peacebuilding Architecture.

[2. Partnerships]

Peacebuilding can only be durable and inclusive if we view it as a partnership whereby all those with a stake in peace are involved, and not only the belligerents: local communities and governments, women and youth, business communities, regional organisations and NGO’s. Women’s participation is a condition for peace, as we know. And it starts with personal involvement. For example, to invite women to participate in panels and at negotiating tables. The Netherlands supports the initiative of Mr. De Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, to establish an independent Women’s Advisory Board to his Office is one that we welcome and applaud.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands strives to support partnerships for peacebuilding. For example, since 2012 UNICEF, with the support of the Netherlands, implemented an innovative program titled the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Program, with the help of PBSO. The partnership combined education activities with academic developments on peacebuilding and advocacy under national ownership and in coherence with political efforts. It was implemented in 14 countries, amongst them Pakistan, Uganda, Somalia and also Liberia. It is an example of a coalition of stakeholders working for the same goal: to give children and youth the tools to support peace in their country.

[3. UN coherence]

The Kingdom of the Netherlands considers it of the greatest importance that the Peacebuilding Review should be linked to the UNSG's review of peace operations, the review of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Linking the recommendations of these crucial reviews and processes should ensure maximum coherence of the UN's actions.

The High-level thematic debate in the GA in May provides us with an opportunity to reflect on concrete ways to enhance coherence in the UN system on the issues of peace and security.

In addition, to prevent and effectively end conflicts the Security Council has a range of possibilities at its disposal. We welcome a more effective use of existing mechanisms such as horizon scans and briefings by Special Advisors of the SG and other bodies such as PBC, PBSO and DPA.  Also, we believe that Resident Coordinators and Special Representatives should be accountable for the efforts of the UN on the whole cycle of conflict.

To illustrate our contribution to facilitate enhanced cooperation: this very morning we hosted a meeting between UNDP and DPKO to enhance their cooperation on the ground on rule of law implementation in post-conflict situations.

[4. Peace operations]

During or after a conflict a coherent UN strategy should focus on joint goals and deliverables, on the basis of a shared conflict analysis and with complementary roles for political, military, police and development instruments. We see a close link between peace, justice and development, also in this context.

In addition to supporting physical safety and political dialogue in conflict affected states, the restoration of trust in the maintenance of law and order is of equal importance. SSR and DDR are main components of building peace. The police component in missions should be further developed. Resolution 2185 on the role of police in peace operations underlines that police organizations are the primary link between the government and the community in the field of security. They also provide an essential element of the transition to stabilization.

[5. Conclusion]

I would like to conclude by referring to the resolution on the Peacebuilding Architecture now being negotiated in the GA. In our vision the resolution should give a clear and actionable mandate to the Secretary General, to take the steps necessary to turn the recommendations from the Peacebuilding Review into actions aimed at overcoming silo’s and fragmentation within the UN system. We support the Ambassadors of Angola and Australia in their efforts.

Lastly, I would like to mention the issue of financing. Peacebuilding activities are currently hampered by a lack of funding. In order for the PBF to contribute strategically to peacebuilding efforts it must be able to rely on more donors than the ones that are bearing the burden now. Aside from being a large donor itself, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is advocating for more and more reliable funding and backstopping of SPMs, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and mediation, in the 5th Committee and other fora.

Let me conclude by reiterating our strong support for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, as your partner for peace, justice and development.

I thank you.