High level event: “Preparing for the 20th anniversary of 1325: Pledge of commitments on Women, Peace and Security”

Statement by Hedda Samson

Political coordinator of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

NEW YORK, 23 April 2019

Vielen Dank for providing the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the opportunity to speak.

Let me start by commending Germany and UK and others France for organizing this event.

The Women, Peace and Security agenda has had a long history before and now almost 20 years since resolution 1325.

As our vice-minister said in her statement during the last Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security in October 2018:

“We have ran out of excuses.
We know, so we now need to act.
Let’s make women participate.
Let’s protect those who do.
Let’s listen to them and let’s empower them.”

Today  I will touch upon a few aspects of the Dutch contribution to the WPS agenda, focusing on working with civil society and on recent commitments.

  1. Civil Society Space and working with women’s organizations

Around the world, women’s rights and civic space are under increased pressure.

We, UN Member States, need to stand firm to protect the rights to freedom of expression and association.
We need to work on protecting those who stand up for the rights of themselves and others.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has a long tradition of supporting and working with civil society, including women’s organisations and women rights defenders, while being open to dialogue and criticism.

We are working towards our fourth National Action Plan, which includes a funding component for civil society organizations.
As for the third National Action Plan, we focus on strong engagement with civil society when it comes to its development, its implementation and accountability for our work.

Within our new funding schemes for civil society, we will focus on strengthening local women’s leadership.

2. Concrete commitments

Let me share some examples of recent commitments.

Last year, we decided to contribute to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund in Mali and our funding will continue this year.
The Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund provides grants to women-led, grassroots organizations to strengthen women’s participation in peacebuilding, with a specific focus on women’s economic reintegration.

In Yemen, we are funding a new programme developed and implemented by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Peace Track Initiative.
This programme aims to bring together the various women’s organizations and inclusion platforms that exist in Yemen.
This helps them to develop a common strategy and to strengthen connections with the grassroots level.
The overall goal is to enhance women’s participation in all tracks and phases of the Yemeni peace process.

Finally, we actively support efforts to increase the number of uniformed women in peace operations.
Therefore, we are actively supporting the Elsie Initiative on increasing the number of women in peacekeeping operations and will contribute to the Elsie Trust Fund to further work towards this goal.

Mr President, the Women, Peace and Security agenda is a global one.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue its efforts in furthering its goals, working together with all of you.

Thank you.