Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders opened the exhibition ‘Art & Diplomacy’ at the Egmont Palace. These annual summer exhibitions were initiated by the Minister eight years ago in order to reinforce our foreign policy through our cultural heritage.
Today the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflicts, presided by Belgium since 1 January, has adopted conclusions on the situation of children in the armed conflict in Syria. For the first time in a long time, the UN Security Council sent such a strong message on the situation in Syria, more in particular on the violations of children’s rights. The Security Council calls the ones responsible for those violations to order. Our country has led the negotiations on the recommendations that should prevent such violations.
Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden attach the utmost importance to the preservation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), signed by Iran and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, as a key instrument for the non-proliferation regime and a major contribution to stability in the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo met with , the sister of the Saudi human rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul. She was detained in May 2018 because of her activism for women rights in Saudi Arabia. It is thanks to women such as Loujain that women are entitled to drive today in Saudi Arabia. She pays however a hefty price for her activism and risks a prison sentence
Today, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), who is conducting a criminal investigation into the case, made public the names of four suspects allegedly involved in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014. This tragic incident, almost 5 years ago, cost the lives of 298 people, including several compatriots. The Dutch judicial authorities also announced that the trial of these suspects will begin in the Netherlands in March 2020 and that the investigation will proceed in the meantime.
Belgium congratulates Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam on their election as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. They will join the Council for a period of two years from January 1st 2020.
Today is the International Day for Peacekeepers. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders wishes to pay a special tribute to the more than 100.000 men and women, originating from 122 countries, who serve with dedication under the flag of the United Nations in the fourteen peacekeeping operations deployed around the world. Through their engagement and their courage, they embody the ideals of the United Nations.
May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). On that day in 1990, the World Health Organization decided to remove homosexuality from the internationally used list of diseases. This year IDAHOT focuses on Justice and protection for all.