An international approach to peace and security
The causes of war and the reasons why it persists are many and varied. Accordingly, in its foreign policy the Netherlands has adopted a broad approach to the issues that lead to conflict.
International peace and security in Dutch foreign policy
Conflicts are usually rooted in a combination of factors, such as competition for raw materials, weak governance and social inequality. The Netherlands accordingly takes a broad approach to international peace and security, which is based on defence, development and diplomacy. This 3D approach involves close collaboration between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs and Finance.
Activities conducted within the framework of the 3D approach are funded from the international security budget. The government makes €250 million available annually for these activities, which include crisis management operations. In addition, the government aims to fund military missions, wholly or in part, from the development cooperation budget.
The Netherlands focuses primarily on the current and former conflict zones of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and the Western Balkans.
Dutch involvement in the Middle East peace process
The Netherlands also invests in positive ties with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The government hopes that this will help achieve peace and security in the Middle East, based on a two-state solution.
International cooperation on peace and security
Reaching a peace agreement is often a difficult process. Getting adversaries to agree on a ceasefire is rarely enough to bring lasting peace. The only way to resolve conflicts and prevent new wars is through a well-coordinated international approach, usually facilitated by one of the three international alliances:
- the United Nations (UN);
- the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO);
- the European Union (through its Common Security and Defence Policy).
By pooling the efforts of as many countries as possible, sufficient financial resources and troops can be deployed to achieve a common aim. Together, the members of the alliance can put the warring parties under intense pressure to resolve the conflict.
Exerting influence at international level
The international community can influence existing or imminent conflicts in various ways, for example:
- by helping to build a safe and peaceful society;
- by imposing sanctions on a country;
- by military intervention through international missions;
- by preserving the rule of law with the help of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and various tribunals.