Security Council Briefing: Non-proliferation / DPRK

Statement by His Excellency Mr. Stef Blok,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

New York, 27 September 2018

Mr. President,

Thank you for organising this meeting on the DPRK - a subject at the top of our agenda. It’s an issue of vital importance to peace and security in the region – and to the world at large.

We’ve come a long way in the past year. As Henry Ford once said: ‘Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is strength.’

This Council has worked hard to optimise its strength. By striking the right balance between the two main ingredients: pressure and dialogue. And I think it’s safe to say that we’ve succeeded. Thanks to our unity – a vital component that should never be underestimated.

Our show of unity was, of course, brought about by the gravity of last year’s events: the DPRK’s multiple ballistic missile tests and its nuclear test; and its development of a nuclear and missile programme that posed a threat to regional and global security, as well as the global non-proliferation regime.

It gave us a shared sense of purpose, and highlighted the urgent need to bring the DPRK back to the negotiating table.

In response, this Council has worked together tirelessly, and with clear results. It adopted three far-reaching resolutions within the space of five months, resulting in the most comprehensive sanctions regime ever. This forced Pyongyang back to the negotiating table, and created the window of diplomatic opportunity that exists today. The Republic of Korea and the US seized this opportunity in 2018 by organising high-level talks.

President Moon, President Trump and you, Secretary Pompeo, rose to the occasion, and we are grateful for that.

The international community should maintain the pressure until the DPRK meets its international obligations. We should never underestimate the power a united Council can wield.

A united Council will keep up the pressure on the DPRK.

A united Council will ensure full and effective implementation of sanctions, and pave the way for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

A united Council will support diplomatic talks, and reassure the DPRK that we’re willing to engage with it, once it has taken concrete steps towards denuclearisation.

To achieve this, a well-functioning 1718 Sanctions Committee is essential. It can play a key role in taking action against sanction violations and in minimising the humanitarian impact. As Chair of the Committee, the Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to do its utmost to this end.

We need a Panel of Experts that can do its job in an effective, independent and secure manner.

And, last but not least: we need to be persistent.

It won’t be easy. But no efforts should be spared in seeking a peaceful solution.

There’s simply too much at stake:

The DPRK continues to evade sanctions in order to advance its nuclear weapons programme, often with the – possibly unwitting – assistance of other countries.

The DPRK might still be moving towards a deployable nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

There’s still a risk of the further spread of nuclear weapons (and other Weapons of Mass Destruction) and delivery system technology. And this would further undermine the global non-proliferation regime.

In closing, let me say this:

Failure is not an option. Failure benefits no one. If we act in unison and fully implement this Council’s resolutions, historic breakthroughs are possible.

The world is watching. And this Council must act.

In unity. Because unity is strength.

Thank you, Mr President.

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