Alexander De Croo promotes women's rights at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo is in Hamburg today, as one of the guests of honour at the Global Citizen Festival. The music event that coincides with the G20 wants to raise awareness about development issues such as women's rights and the right to education. Minister De Croo was invited by the organizers because of his commitment to women's rights.

Ahead of the G20, which will take place in Hamburg on Friday and Saturday, Global Citizen will organise a large music festival in the Hamburg Barclaycard Arena tonight with performances by Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Ellie Goulding and Shakira, among others. The performances are mixed with appeals and statements from politicians and activists calling attention to key development issues, such as women's rights, the right to education and access to health care. In addition to Alexander De Croo, guests include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Support for women's rights
Minister De Croo was invited by Global Citizen because of his commitment to women's rights. Earlier this year, he organised the She Decides Conference in Brussels during which more than 50 countries and organizations raised a total of 181 million EUR for women's rights. In April, he went to Benin and Senegal, along with UN goodwill ambassadors Goedele Liekens and Axelle Red to visit projects that invest in family planning, contraception and safe abortion.

During his speech at Global Citizen, Minister De Croo will voice his support for the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, UN Women and UNAIDS, United Nations agencies dealing with women's rights and sexual and reproductive rights and health.

Sexual abuse and terror
In Hamburg, Minister De Croo will also sit down with Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist who was kidnapped by Islamic State in 2014 and was the victim of severe sexual abuse. Since her escape, she has been working as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations in support of women who are victims of terror and sexual abuse. Last year, Nadia Murad received the Sacharov Prize of the European Parliament and the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize of the Council of Europe. She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This is the second time that Alexander De Croo is a guest at a large-scale event of Global Citizen. In April 2015, he also participated in the Global Citizen Earth Day in the Mall in Washington. Minister De Croo then announced that Belgium would be earmarking 36 million EUR for the Global Partnership for Education, an international organisation aimed at improving education in the least developed countries.