De Croo signs new agreement with UN Environment on driving sustainable development

Alexander De Croo & Erik Solheim

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo and UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim today signed a new deal to work together on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
They also discussed Belgium’s foreign environmental priorities, including the impact of conflicts on the environment in the African Great Lakes Region, the role of the private sector, digital innovation and the progress of international cooperation in more fragile countries – a topic of great interest for Belgium.

The Minister also discussed the Belgian Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Charter, which was drawn up at his initiative and should be finalized by mid-October. The charter describes the role of the private and public sector, and that of civil society, in the implementation of the goals by the Belgian Development Cooperation.

The SDGs are an unprecedented opportunity for change. If we want to eradicate poverty by 2030 and preserve our natural capital, we have to build strong partnerships with the private sector, bolster innovation and invest in green economy. This new framework arrangement with UN Environment strengthens our commitment on sustainable development and environment,” said Minister De Croo.

Belgium and the environment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is an essential partner in Belgium’s multilateral cooperation. Over the period 2013-2016, our country contributed more than €16 million to the organisation, of which more than €4 million was given in 2016 alone. Belgium was the 8th biggest donor to the Environment Fund in 2015.

UN Environment plays an important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which Belgium supports. Environment is one of the key priorities of the agenda, of which the leading theme ‘Transforming Our World’ is based on five pillars: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. Belgium has a duty to support UN Environment by continuing to work toward sustainable environmental management through the new agreement.

Belgium’s continued commitment to UN Environment is much appreciated," said Mr. Solheim. "We are very proud to be on the list of 15 priority organisations the Federal Government of Belgium supports." 

For more information, please contact:

  • Didier Vanderhasselt, Spokesperson Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, +32 477 40 32 12,
  • Michael Mareel, Deputy Spokesperson Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, +32 473 73 05 94,
  • Isabelle Valentiny, Head of Communications, UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe, +41 79 251 82 36,