From 29 May to 1 June, Belgium hosts the 2nd meeting of the UN working group to prepare standards to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. The meeting is organised jointly by the FPS Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Defence Minister Steven Vandeput stress the significant Belgian contribution to this very important fight. In recent conflicts, IEDs have been used increasingly indiscriminately against civilians, humanitarian workers and peace-keepers.
Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs
Offices closed on 5 June
The offices of the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will be closed on Monday 5 June 2017.
Today is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders would like to pay a warm tribute to the 113,000 men and women who serve devotedly under the United Nations flag in the 16 peace-keeping operations around the world. With their commitment and courage, they embody the ideals of the Charter.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is shocked by the terrorist attack of yesterday evening in Manchester. His thoughts are with the victims and with their families and friends. He offered his deepest condolences to his British colleague Boris Johnson. Belgium sympathizes with the British people.
Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has made a plea for a better humanitarian funding. The Council also consulted with Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the reform of the UN System and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Prior to the Council, minister De Croo had a talk on Digital for Development with Sven Mikser, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Estonia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has met today with Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and current chairwoman of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The next four years, Belgium will release 26 million euros for the GPE, a multilateral mechanism that focusses on access to primary and secondary education.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is satisfied with the new Belgian Civilian Crisis Management Strategy approved by the cabinet this morning. The strategy describes Belgium's vision, priorities and ambitions related to civilian crisis management. Our country uses civilian crisis management to contribute to the efforts of the international community in preventing or dealing with foreign crises by means of non-military actions. The new strategy replaces the previous strategy dating from 2012, which has been modified to reflect the changes in the international context.
On Wednesday 17 May, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met the ambassadors of the Arab countries accredited in Brussels. The main focus of the meeting was the situation in the Middle East Peace Process. It also allowed an exchange of views on the regional situation as a whole.
May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia and Transfobia (IDAHOT). Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders underlines that the fight against discrimination and respect for human rights of LGBTI persons remains a priority in Belgium’s foreign policy.