Security Council: Explanation of vote on Police, Justice and Corrections Resolution

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

New York, 13 December 2018

Let me start by thanking Cote d’Ivoire for the excellent partnership on this resolution, on the Conflict and Hunger resolution that was adopted earlier this year, and on the resolution on improving peacekeeping mandates that is still being negotiated.

I would also like to express my gratitude to all Council members for bringing about this resolution. An important text underlining the Council’s responsibility in the area of Police, Justice and Corrections.

Mr President, let me give you our main reasons for pushing for this resolution, which so perfectly reflects the priorities of our Council membership this year. A year in which we have constantly stressed the importance of the rule of law for preventing conflict and sustaining peace. A year in which we underlined the responsibility of the Security Council in this regard. 

This resolution is a major step forward.

Firstly: It recognises that there can be no lasting peace without justice. It gives the Security Council a practical tool to focus on this issue in mandates of peacekeeping operations.

Learning, of course, from good examples from the past.

Like, for example, the special Prosecution Support Cells established by MONUSCO. Without their assistance, serious crimes – including sexual violence – would have gone unpunished.

Or MINUSMA’s Justice and Corrections Section. It helped improve conditions of detention in Mali, reducing human rights violations and preventing further radicalisation.

And UNAMI in Iraq. Here, we also pushed for a stronger focus on accountability in the mandate, increasing the chance for sustainable peace and stability.

Secondly, this resolution very clearly assigns responsibilities where they belong. It not only invites the Security Council to adequately include tasks related to the rule of law as part of the mandate; but also urges host countries to combat impunity and promote accountability.

Thirdly, this resolution stresses the importance of sound cooperation and coordination between the broad range of actors working on the rule of law in the context of peacekeeping operations. Making use of joint analyses, programming and planning. And of data, benchmarks and other evaluation tools to improve the UN’s performance and effectiveness in consolidating peace.

Lastly, this resolution underlines the importance of gender in UN missions, and of better prevention and response to gender-based violence. It cites the ambition to double the numbers of women in police contingents of United Nations peacekeeping operations by 2020.

This resolution will thus contribute to a goal shared by all of us around this table: to make peacekeeping operations more effective, by addressing elements across the conflict-spectrum.

Mr President, we are proud that today, near the end of our term as a Security Council member, this resolution has been adopted unanimously. It delivers perfectly on our three main priorities: prevention, better peacekeeping and accountability, and the rule of law. Indeed, it seems to embody a slogan that you have heard my country use several times in the Council and that I will repeat again today: ‘there can be no peace without justice’.

Thank you.

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