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This visit will be mainly devoted to the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
This participation at ministerial level illustrates Belgium's continued support for this treaty banning the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is the necessary first step towards a world without nuclear weapons. The NPT is an indispensable pillar of our international security. It has reduced the risk of nuclear war. At the same time, it has opened the door to peaceful nuclear applications in the energy, medical and other sectors. This conference will address the challenges of nuclear proliferation in specific situations such as Iran and North Korea. The fundamental role of arms control as a confidence-building measure will also be at the heart of the discussions.
The Minister will participate in a ministerial meeting of the Stockholm Initiative, whose actions Belgium supports.
On the occasion of this trip, Minister Lahbib will have a series of meetings with senior UN officials, such as the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, the Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Sima Bahous, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, Mr. Miroslav Jenca. Hadja Lahbib will also meet with several of her counterparts who are in New York for the NPT conference.
Hadja Lahbib: "Belgium is firmly committed to multilateralism, at the heart of which is the United Nations. It is part of our country's diplomatic DNA because we are convinced that international cooperation and the multilateral approach offer the best response to global challenges, particularly in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation.
When one looks at the deterioration of relations between world powers and the increasing prominence of nuclear weapons in public discourse, the formidable challenge facing this conference is clear.
In general, I will also use this visit to discuss with UN officials and several of my counterparts the current issues and priorities for Belgium."
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