Security Council Open Debate: Maintenance of international peace and security

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

New York, 21 November 2017

Mr President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands thanks you for convening this open debate and congratulates you on the unanimous adoption of resolution 2388. We also wish to thank today’s briefers and Secretary-General Guterres for his leadership in addressing human trafficking.We support the statement delivered by H.E. Amendola in context of the split-term with Italy and we align ourselves with the statement made by the European Union. 

And please let me highlight the presence in my delegation of the acting Prime Minister of Saint Martin, who is in New York for the Caribbean High Level Pledging Conference.

Mr President,

The recent, appalling reports on human trafficking in Libya all the more underline the importance of this open debate. We fully support yesterday’s statement by the African Union and welcome the SG’s call to investigate the situation. Stopping human trafficking in conflict situations, like Libya and the Sahel, is a shared responsibility that requires a shared and common effort.

Please allow me to focus on three important aspects in that regard: prevention, protection and prosecution.

First, prevention. Ideally, we eradicate the root causes of human trafficking and prevent it from occurring in the first place. The first step thereto is enhancing our information position. UN entities operating in conflict and post-conflict situations play an important role in that regard.

We therefore welcome the SG’s recommendation to strengthen this role by including the issue of human trafficking in country assessments and pre-deployment trainings. We also have to enhance our understanding of the relationship between human trafficking and the financing of terrorism so as to destroy the gruesome business model. The Netherlands will support CTED in identifying this relationship and gather good practices to address it.

Mr President,

Second, protection. Trafficking in human beings is an act that constitutes a gross human rights violation. It is therefore crucial for the UN and its Member States to prioritize the protection of victims. The Kingdom of the Netherlands does its share by supporting migrant rescue operations in the Sahel and the reintegration of victims of human trafficking.

Mr President,

Thirdly, prosecution. Perpetrators of human trafficking thrive in a climate of impunity. They must be arrested, detained and prosecuted. And if, for whatever reason, we are not able to do so immediately, we should look at other ways to sanction their behavior in the meantime.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands commends the Secretary-General for referring in his report to the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Crime Threats on Trafficking in Human Beings. This partnership, coordinated by the UK and the Netherlands, brings together European member states, Interpol and others to share knowledge and to jointly investigate human trafficking cases.

In conclusion, partnerships are at the heart of our shared responsibility and shared efforts to stop human trafficking. We welcome the steps made by the UN to enhance coordination. We encourage all member states to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. And we encourage the Security Council to more structurally address irregular migration, including human trafficking, in mission mandates and reporting.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands stands ready to take up its responsibility in this during its term on the Security Council next year.

Thank you.

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