The Netherlands contributes to more effective UN operations

As a member of the UN Security Council next year, the Netherlands will actively support the United Nations in modernising and enhancing the effectiveness of its peace operations. ‘To that end,’ said foreign minister Bert Koenders, ‘we will make good use of our experiences as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, where we are making a key contribution in regard to intelligence.’

Mr Koenders said this on Friday following a meeting with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. UN missions are often faced with the difficult task of promoting peace and stability in countries where the political and security situation is complex and the UN forces are themselves under attack from terrorist groups.

It is therefore all the more important that these missions be given clear mandates and receive the troops and capabilities with which they can perform their duties as effectively and safely as possible. The Netherlands has pushed for these reforms in recent years, and in 2018, as a member of the Security Council, it will continue to work towards these aims.

‘Through diplomatic and military channels, we encourage other Western countries to participate more often in UN missions, because they have high-quality capabilities and well-trained troops,’ the minister said. ‘To get this off the ground, the Netherlands is helping the UN to develop rotation schedules for deploying these essential but often scarce resources, like helicopters.’

The minister appreciates the fact that some European partners are already shouldering their responsibility. For example, around 900 German troops are taking part in the UN’s MINUSMA peace mission in Mali.

Mr Lacroix expressed gratitude for the Netherlands’ continued support and commitment to UN peacekeeping: ‘I very much welcome the priority that the Netherlands are giving to enhancing the performance of our operations. This will support the UN Secretary General’s priorities to reform and to raise our performance at every level. I would like to express my deep appreciation for the Dutch military participation in MINUSMA. The Dutch blue helmets provide our mission with high quality intelligence which allows us to implement our mandate in Mali more effectively.’