Netherlands and Italy to work in concert on Security Council

Italy and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will focus their efforts during their membership of the UN Security Council on conflict prevention, peacekeeping, the protection of civilians during conflicts, the rule of law and the effects of climate change on peace and security. These will be central priorities during the two years when Italy and the Kingdom will alternately serve on the primary international body for peace and security.

The two countries have agreed to share a Security Council seat during the 2017-2018 term, with each holding the seat for one year: Italy in 2017 and the Kingdom in 2018. Both during that period and in the run-up to it, they will work as closely as possible with one another and with other European Union member states on the Council.

Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni signed a statement on Wednesday evening in New York concerning their planned collaboration. The Netherlands and Italy are also co-organising several events this week at and around the UN General Assembly.

‘I’m looking forward to working with our Italian friends,’ Mr Koenders said. ‘It’s important that we multiply our impact by jointly shaping our role on the Security Council. We’re going to tackle this in a concrete, focused way. There are plenty of challenges that will demand our attention, for example in the areas of peace missions, security and migration.’

The Netherlands and Italy are already planning staff exchanges, working out the details of secondments of Foreign Service officers between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Rome and The Hague. The two countries will also share information and continue to organise joint events and meetings.


There are seats on the UN Security Council for five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US) and ten non-permanent members. The ten non-permanent members are elected by all UN member states for a term of two years. Italy and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have agreed to share the usual two-year term: Italy will serve in 2017 and the Kingdom in 2018.

The UN Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. To fulfil this mandate, it can deploy UN missions, adopt arms embargos and impose economic sanctions.