Didier Reynders travels to New York for first ministerial meeting in the Security Council

Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, is leaving for a two-days working visit to New York today in the framework of Belgium’s mandate in the United Nations Security Council.

Minister Reynders will first participate in an informal debate on the issue of Women, Peace and Security in the Middle-East. The “Women, Peace and Security” agenda has been one of the pillars of Belgium’s foreign policy over the last 20 years and will remain a priority of our mandate in the Security Council. Our country is actively committed to a broader participation of women in mediation and conflict prevention, as well as in peace negotiations. To ensure sustainable peace, it is essential that women are involved as leading actors of these processes within their communities and countries.

Tomorrow, Didier Reynders will participate in a formal ministerial debate dedicated to the consequences of climate change on international peace and security at the invitation of the Dominican Republican who is currently holding the presidency of the Security Council. As climate change generates new socio-political tensions in regions as diverse as the Sahel, the Middle-East, central Asia or Island-States of the Caribbean and the Pacific, Belgium pleads for a greater integration of climate-related risks into the daily work of the Security Council. In line with our attention to conflict prevention, which requires to develop a greater sensitivity for situations which could lead to actual conflicts, this link between climate and security should be anchored more operationally within the United Nations system.

As Belgium was assigned the responsibility to draft resolutions and other Council decisions related to the humanitarian aspects of the conflict of Syria, Minister Reynders also invited his colleagues from Germany and Kuwait – with whom Belgium will share this task – for a working lunch on this issue.

During his stay, the Minister will also have a number of bilateral meetings, including with fellow ministers of Foreign affairs of countries currently seating in the Security Council, and with high level United Nations officials.