Security Council Briefing: 1267/1373/1540 Committees

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

New York, 3 October 2018

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

And in honor of your Presidency of this Council in October let me say this in Spanish: Muchas gracias señor Presidente.

We congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for this month. We wish you and your team good luck and you can count on our full support for your work in the weeks ahead.

Let me also thank Ambassadors Nikki Haley and Jonathan Cohen and their teams for their excellent and transparent stewardship of this Council in the previous, rather hectic month.

Mister President, we last met in August, to discuss counter-terrorism. I then stressed that the terrorist threat had changed, but that it had not diminished. This was proven once again last week in the Netherlands, when the authorities foiled a major terrorist attack. Seven men were arrested. They were planning to make as many victims as possible at a big event in the Netherlands with a terrorist attack. In our view, that incident underlines that we cannot be self-complacent. We cannot let our guards down. Therefore, we welcome our discussion today.

I would like to thank you, Ambassador Llorenti, and Ambassador Umarov and Ambassador Meza-Cuadra for your briefings and for your excellent work as chairs of these committees. I think all of us in this Council acknowledge the special responsibilities and the additional workload of the chairs involved. We appreciate your important work to counter-terrorism and we commend you and your team’s efforts.

In my intervention, Mr. President, I will focus on three issues:

  • Implementation;
  • Transparency;
  • And accountability.

1. Implementation

My first point, on implementation. Resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 are the foundation of this Council’s work on countering terrorism and WMD.

This Council has built on this foundation by adopting various subsequent resolutions, most recently, resolution 2396 on returning and relocating Foreign Terrorist Fighters. One could look at these resolutions like the structure of a house, with several rooms. Together with the foundation and the structures, these rooms are part of a sturdy, solid house. But for the house to weather heavy storms, maintenance is crucial. So, implementation of resolutions is key. The work of the 1267, 1373 and 1540 committees and their expert bodies is indispensable in this regard.

The success of their work, however, depends on us, all the Member States of the United Nations. We must take responsibility in fulfilling the commitments prescribed by the resolutions.

It is for that reason that last week, my Prime Minister handed over a full operational Passenger Name Record system to Secretary-General Guterres. The system was developed in the Netherlands. And now the system can be used by the UN to support Member States in meeting their PNR obligation as stipulated in resolution 2396. To that end, we call upon Member States to join us and others in financing the UN’s PNR outreach project.

2. Transparency

Mr. President, on my second point: transparency. If you allow me, I will continue with my metaphor. There is no use in building a house with rooms, if the doors in those rooms stay closed. The three committees and expert bodies we’re discussing today have to be transparent. The doors must be open. We therefore encourage the chairs of the committees and the experts to continue their joint briefings, travels and workshops.

We encourage them to share more information with other parts of the UN, like the Office of Counter-Terrorism, the IIIM for Syria and the UN Investigative Team for the Accountability of Da’esh. And we encourage them to open the front door as well and intensify their outreach to non-Council members and non-UN organizations. In that context let me mention the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which met here in New York last week. The GCTF has two co-chairs, Morocco and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and it is our joint ambition to work as closely as possible with the United Nations structure.

3. Accountability

Mr. President, on my third point: accountability. As in any house, some rooms are used more frequently and therefore require more maintenance than others. In the complex fight against terrorism and proliferation of WMD, we have to make priorities.

Accountability should be the overarching driver of our efforts. Terrorists should be held accountable for the atrocities they commit, in particular war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In particular we need accountability for the mass atrocities committed by ISIS fighters. The security of our societies and the dignity of the victims depend on it. This in particular also applies to sexual violence in conflict and we welcome the statement by our Kazakh colleague just now on this important aspect.


In conclusion, Mr. President: the counter-terrorism house we’ve built over the years is strong. But we can’t sit back and relax. We have to maintain our common house. And we have to be willing to renovate and expand, where necessary, to address new threats.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue to roll up our sleeves, together with our landlords: the 1267, 1373 and 1540 Committees, their chairs and their expert bodies.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

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