Security Council Debate “UNAMA”

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations New York, 21 December 2015

Thank you Madam President, and thank you for the opportunity to speak at this debate.

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.

The UNAMA report describes an increase in the overall security incidents, which also intensified in nature. This is a worrisome trend. Recent attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar, Kabul and just today in Helmand underline the conclusions of the UNAMA report: Afghanistan faces continued and increasingly pressing security challenges. The Kingdom of the Netherlands stands by the Afghan government and the Afghan people and offers its condolences for the lives lost in recent attacks - civilians as well as those fighting for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Continued support of the international community, the Kingdom of the Netherlands included, remains essential.

Developments as seen in Kunduz have shown the need to ensure women’s protection and meaningful participation. For this reason the Netherlands welcomes the implementation of the Afghan National Action Plan on UN Resolution 1325, and the establishment of prosecution units dealing with violence against women in all provinces. 

Lasting peace and stability cannot be established without a regional peace and reconciliation process.  This process should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and needs the required buy-in of countries in the region whose security is closely interlinked with Afghanistan. I would like to stress that a sincere commitment from countries in the region is crucial to achieve a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.  In this context we welcome the positive steps that have been taken during the recent Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad. )

Madam President,

Apart from the security challenges, Afghanistan also faces serious economic challenges.

Recent reforms such as the tax reform, are encouraging. Both the Unity Government of Afghanistan and the international development partners must remain focused on building confidence in the Afghan economy, including through strengthening the rule of law. The Netherlands will continue to support this effort, through contributions to reconstruction programmes, such as the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, but also through political and economic empowerment of Afghan women.

Madam President,

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 support Afghanistan throughout the Transformation Decade. Therefore the Netherlands is assessing its contributions post-2016: contributions that will be made in a context of increased Afghan ownership and leadership.

The Netherlands recently pledged to continue to support the NATO Train, Advise and Assist Mission Resolute Support in Northern Afghanistan. Also, we contribute staff to UNAMA and to the European Union’s police training mission EUPOL.

The NATO-summit in Warsaw in July 2016 and the Brussels summit in October 2016 will mark significant moments to show our commitment to Afghanistan beyond 2016, be it military, political or through development assistance. It is important that both the international community and the Afghan government demonstrate their commitment to achieve progress in these fields.

Madam President,

Continued engagement of the international community will remain crucial to safeguard the progress that has been made.

In the years to come the Kingdom of the Netherlands will stand by the Afghan people. We are committed to our partnership with Afghanistan – based on a mature and productive relationship and broad cooperation, focusing on peace, justice and development.

Thank you.