Op-ed in Dutch newspaper NRC on the United Nations

A call for stronger Dutch engagement with the United Nations, published by NRC today.

In an op-ed for the leading Dutch liberal paper, co-authored by the president of the Dutch United Nations Association (NVVN) Simone Filippini, we argue that a withdrawal from international organisations is short sighted and selfish.

Our piece is a response to an investigation by NRC, which revealed mismanagement of sanitary projects and waste of aid funds by the UN project organisation UNOPS. While acknowledging the need to take consequences, we argue that abandoning the UN organisation – as some have suggested – would be the wrong response.

Not only would a withdrawal punish the people in developing countries for whom even fewer toilets can be built. Disengagement would also a strategic mistake: as a result, the Netherlands would lose influence and the possibility to address mismanagement and improve the functioning of an organisation.

‘The recurrent call to freeze funds of a UN agency when things go wrong is shortsighted and selfish. It does not solve the problems, harms international cooperation, and weakens the position of the Netherlands in the world.’

Read the full article in NRC: Loop niet weg bij internationale misstanden, wees juist meer betrokken