Security Council: Explanation of vote on Somalia/Eritrea

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

New York, 14 November 2018

First let me welcome our colleagues from Djibouti, Somalie, and Eritrea to the Council.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands has a longstanding and strong commitment to peace and development in the Horn of Africa.

That is why we support the decision by the Council today to pay tribute to the positive developments that haven taken place in the region.

The peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea represents a historic step.

It paves the way for improved bilateral relations and stronger regional peace and stability.

We welcome the decision by Eritrea to start engaging with the international community and to work towards consolidation of the peace agreement.

These are important steps, and we encourage Eritrea to build on this momentum to give an impulse to domestic governance reforms.

This includes reforms on the economy, the national service, democratization and human rights.

In particular we call on Eritrea to better cooperate with international mechanisms, in particular those related to human rights.

Mr. President,

The positive developments in the Horn of Africa do not relieve this Council from its responsibility to monitor progress closely.

In particular, The Kingdom of the Netherlands underlines the need for concrete steps in the normalization of relations between Eritrea and Djibouti.

That is why we welcome the decision by this council to remain seized, and to ask for regular reporting on this important issue.

We also emphasize that other decisions and demands made by this Council towards Eritrea remain valid.

This includes the decision by the council that Eritrea shall cease using illicit means to collect taxes outside of Eritrea, as stated in resolution 2023.

Mr. President,

Finally, we welcome the renewal of the sanctions measures in Somalia as essential support to the Somali government in its efforts to deliver stability and security in Somalia.

We welcome in particular the addition of a stand-alone sanctions criterion for sexual and gender based violence.

Those who commit these heinous acts should know that the Council today showed its commitment to respond to these practices.

In conclusion Mr. President as others have done, we condemn in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attacks in Mogadishu.