Speech of Didier Reynders at the launch of the campaign for a seat at the UN Security Council, New York

Majesté, 
Monsieur le président de l'Assemblée Générale,
Monsieur le secrétaire-général,
Excellences, 
Mesdames et Messieurs,

C’est un plaisir de vous accueillir ce soir et de voir que vous avez répondu présent en si grand nombre à l’invitation de la Belgique.

Majesté, je vous remercie d’avoir accepté de rehausser cet évènement par votre présence. Je tiens à saluer votre constant et remarquable engagement pour lutter contre la pauvreté et l’injustice dans le monde. Votre mandat de défenseur des Objectifs de développement durable vous invite à promouvoir les ODD près de la communauté internationale, vous le faites avec brio tant sur le terrain que dans des événements de haut niveau tel que celui auquel vous participerez demain sur la thématique des droits de l’homme.

Je tiens à féliciter les représentants des pays récemment élus pour un siège non-permanent au Conseil de sécurité. Nous leur souhaitons courage et détermination face à un agenda de plus en plus complexe dans le domaine de la paix et de la sécurité. Des réponses efficaces et harmonieuses devront être trouvées et mises en œuvre pour faire face aux nombreux défis de ce monde. Siéger au Conseil de Sécurité est un honneur et un privilège et implique une prise de responsabilités au service de tous dans le respect de la Charte des Nations Unies.

As you know, Belgium has presented its candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2019-2020. As symbolized in our logo combining the dove of peace and the pen of agreements, our campaign is based on Fostering Consensus, Acting for Peace. Consensus is built with conviction and loyalty. Belgium will make it a point of honor to listen to all countries and partners, to hold dialogues and to share views. Solving conflicts for the long term is only possible if measures in the field of security are combined with a comprehensive multilateral strategy.

One of our common challenges is to build sustainable peace. It is fundamental to invest in conflict prevention and mediation and to guarantee sustainability of UN peace operations. A comprehensive and long term peacebuilding effort requires an similar political engagement on the part of the Security Council.

One of the top priorities of Belgium is the respect and the promotion of human rights, which are essential for the dignity of each individual and for sustaining peaceful societies. This is our first line of defense against violent extremism and terrorism. Belgium will always be engaged in preventing radicalization and hate speech, enhancing equality and countering discrimination. Belgium is also very concerned by protecting civilians, caring for children and safeguarding access to schools and hospitals in armed conflicts.  

Indeed, we must work together to tackle effectively today’s global challenges, such as extreme poverty, climate change, global health issues, migration, refugees and humanitarian crises. Belgium is a committed partner for sustainable development, supports UN Agencies through core funding and is particularly focused on least developed countries.

As a founding member of the UN, Belgium believes in an effective multilateralism that leaves no one behind. We have consistently supported a multilateral approach and we know that smaller States can make the difference when it comes to building bridges and uniting Nations. Belgium will always aim to be part of the solution by using diplomatic ingenuity, discretion, perseverance and the ability to look beyond narrow lines of self-interest, in total transparency.

Our world has many different voices and the real challenge is to make them become harmonious. Only a world in balance will be a world at peace. Belgium stands ready to assume its responsibilities.

Thank you for your presence and thank you for your support in this campaign.