The Netherlands begins term as president of UN Security Council

Today, the Netherlands starts its month-long term as president of United Nations Security Council. This means that the Kingdom of the Netherlands will chair all meetings of the Security Council for the month of March. The Security Council is the UN’s most important body, and the Netherlands holds a non-permanent Council seat for 2018.

Sigrid Kaag, who is currently both Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, will travel to New York a number of times this month to chair Council meetings personally.

On 8 March, for example, Ms Kaag will chair a Security Council meeting about extending the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Netherlands is in charge of coordinating all matters related to Afghanistan in the Council. On 22 March the minister will chair a meeting about the Lake Chad region in Africa, where a drought is threatening to cause water shortages.

Two of the Netherlands’ chief priorities during its Council term are modernising peace missions and addressing the root causes of conflict, such as climate change. 

As president, the Netherlands will not only chair all sessions, but will also be responsible for overseeing the Council’s agenda, in close consultation with the UN and the other members of the Council. The Security Council discusses a wide range of issues, such as peace missions, sanctions, civilian protection and terrorism. Topics currently high on its agenda include North Korea, Syria and Yemen.