Minister Alexander De Croo is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo will participate in the annual session of the General Assembly in New York this week. It will be an intensive week full of meetings and events at the United Nations (UN).

This year, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will focus on climate and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the UN Climate Summit (23/9) and the SDG Summit (24-25/9), UN Secretary-General Guterres wants to encourage the member states to show a higher level of ambition with concrete commitments whilst guaranteeing the required funding.

Minister De Croo will intervene on Monday during the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, which is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3). On Tuesday, he and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde will participate to the SDG Summit. He will also have discussions with partner organisations of the Belgian Development Cooperation, such as UNICEF, UNDP and the Global Fund.

 
Human rights and humanitarian action

This year, special attention will go to the Belgian membership of the UN Security Council. Minister De Croo will focus on two themes: human rights and humanitarian action.

On Monday, Belgium will organise a side event on the protection of children in armed conflict. Minister De Croo will speak at the event together with Nobel Prize Laureate Nadia Murad and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde, among others. On Wednesday, a Belgian side event on compliance with international humanitarian law is planned.

 
Prohibition of nuclear testing

Belgium has been at the forefront of the promotion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) over the past two years and will report on its actions. The nuclear test ban remains relevant to the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.

Recent developments around Iran, Yemen and the Persian Gulf, as well as Syria, the Sahel and the Great Lakes are also high on our country's agenda.

Of course, our membership of the Security Council for the period 2019-2020 will also be central to the many meetings and we will continue to shape our mandate, which is built around three concepts: the prevention of conflicts (prevention), the protection of civilians in conflict areas (protection) and increasing the effectiveness of the UN and the Security Council (performance).

 
Alliance for multilateralism

As a founding member of the UN, Belgium is a convinced advocate of multilateralism. On behalf of Belgium, Minister De Croo will, therefore, be present at the launch of the 'Alliance for Multilateralism', a Franco-German initiative to promote global cooperation. There is a need for an integrated approach to peace and security, the defence of human rights and the implementation of sustainable development objectives. Belgium will remain committed to the pursuit of multilateral responses to challenges that are global, complex and interlinked. It will be a busy week full of political and diplomatic contacts.

During his stay in New York, the Minister will also have numerous bilateral meetings and will actively participate in the informal meeting of European foreign ministers and the working breakfast by HRVP Mogherini with the EU countries that have a seat or have been elected to the Security Council. These are aimed at increasing the effectiveness of a common European foreign and security policy, including within the UN.

Follow the Belgian participation in the Ministerial Week on our social media:

During the week several press releases will be sent out. All you have to do is register here: http://press.fb.emailing.belgium.be/c19/h602a1