The Netherlands to chair UN Security Council in March 2018

On 1 January 2018 the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten, will take its seat on the UN Security Council for a period of one year. Foreign minister Bert Koenders was in New York today for a session of the General Assembly, where member states voted on the seat; every valid vote cast went to the Netherlands. The Kingdom will chair the Security Council during the month of March 2018. It will be present as an observer at the Council’s meetings from October 2017.

After the vote, Mr Koenders said how proud he was of the Netherlands’ non-permanent seat in the world’s most important body working for international peace and security. ‘The Security Council is the UN’s calling card,’ he said. ‘Membership of the Council will give us an ideal opportunity to exert influence at the highest level, and to put issues we consider important on the agenda. The many complex conflicts and tensions in the world require an effective response from the Security Council. We will put our hearts and souls into this task.’

Among other things, the Netherlands would like to contribute next year to deploying UN peace missions as efficiently and effectively as possible. It is vital to give these operations stronger mandates, said the minister. ‘We will press for peace mission mandates to focus on the main tasks, and for agreements at an early stage on the provision of well-trained personnel and reliable equipment, as well as on exit strategies.’

During the Security Council elections in 2016 the Netherlands made agreements with Italy on dividing the 2017-2018 term, so that each state would occupy the seat for one year. The General Assembly vote has now formally confirmed that the Kingdom will hold the seat in 2018.

Mr Koenders thanked the Italians for their excellent cooperation and for their work in the Security Council in 2017. He stressed the importance of concerted European action, at the UN as elsewhere. ‘We seek to achieve our goals by working closely with our European partners, so that we can help Europe play an even more effective role on the world stage.’

Ministry responsible