Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders took part in the Ministerial Conference of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) today and yesterday in Monaco.
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Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Didier Reynders invited a group of high-level experts at the Egmont Palace in Brussels to discuss the importance of including child protection issues in peace negotiations. Belgium has played a leading role in this field for years and remains committed as the chair of the UNSC Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) during its mandate in the Security Council in 2019-2020.
The brutality of conflicts is affecting millions of children and the number of violations against children in conflict situations is continuously increasing. In the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Belgium’s Queen Mathilde and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo held a plea to stop the war on children.
Today, the UN Security Council (UNSC) Working Group on Children and Armed Conflicts, presided by Belgium since 1 January, adopted conclusions by consensus on the situation of children in the armed conflict in Myanmar. For the first time in a long time, the Security Council is sending out a strong signal about the situation in Myanmar and the violations of children's rights in particular.
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.
On the occasion of the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, Belgium is organizing an informal session of the UN Security Council on the important role the United Nations can play in liberating and reintegrating child soldiers into society. They are recruited worldwide by armed groups or government forces.
In the margins of the United Nations Ministerial Week in New York, Belgium organized a high-level event on the reintegration of child soldiers together with Virginia Gamba, UN special envoy for children in armed conflicts. The Minister moderated the event and Queen Mathilde spoke in her capacity as UN Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers we reflect on the tens of thousands boys and girls who are recruited today in armed conflicts. Even today, in about twenty countries all over the world, children are exposed to the cruelties of wars and conflicts: they are witnesses or victims to these cruelties and, in many cases, are forced to use violence themselves.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders took the floor today during an open debate of the UN Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict. Minister Reynders was invited to take part in this debate, opened to countries who do not sit at the Security Council, by France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.
In the margins of the opening of the 72nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders took part today to an event about the protection of children in armed conflicts.