Minister Goffin chairs the UN Security Council in New York

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Philippe Goffin is on his way to New York as part of the Belgian Presidency of the UN Security Council. The four-day visit will be intense, as it is full of encounters and meetings. On Tuesday and Wednesday (11-12/2) he will also participate in several activities with the King and Queen.

On 1 February 2020, Belgium took over the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a month. Belgium wants to take this opportunity to put various topics on the UNSC agenda, such as the issue of children and armed conflicts, transitional justice and the importance of European cooperation within the Security Council.

On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers (12/2), Minister Goffin will chair a briefing in the UN Security Council on the integration of child protection measures in peace processes. HM the King will address the Security Council on behalf of our country. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and a number of experts will also take part in the briefing. "Our diplomats in New York and Brussels, as well as the rest of our diplomatic network, have worked very hard towards this presidency. For example, regarding children and armed conflicts, our aim is to gain unanimous support for practical guidelines for peace negotiators on child protection", says Minister Goffin. Today, over 420 million children (one child in five worldwide) suffer from the consequences of conflict situations.

On Thursday (13/2) Minister Goffin will chair an open debate in the Security Council on a second priority theme for Belgium: Transitional justice. This is in line with the fight against impunity that Belgian diplomacy has been conducting for years. In the aftermath of conflicts where gross violations of human rights took place, it is often not easy to achieve reconciliation. Communities that used to be in sharp conflict with each other suddenly have to learn to live together again. Transitional justice plays a key role in this, if the country concerned is not to relapse into conflict.

 
Middle East peace process

In addition to setting one's own accents, it is of course also important as chair to respond adequately to current events and urgent developments in the world. Following the American plan for the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Minister Goffin will also preside over a special session of the Security Council on the Middle East Peace Process on 11/2 in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Furthermore, the Minister will have numerous bilateral meetings in accordance with the diplomatic priorities of Belgium.

The European High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, will address the UNSC, upon our country's invitation, on 25/2 on the role of the EU on the world stage and on cooperation between the EU and the UN. Other important issues such as Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Haiti - which will be on the Security Council’s agenda later this month - will also be part of the talks in New York.

This is the sixth time that Belgium has a seat on the Security Council. This has given our country a great deal of expertise and authority over the years. Minister Goffin: "Our expertise, our ability to make compromises and our willingness to speak openly and freely with everyone, make our country a credible partner and a bridge builder who generates confidence in the international community and who is listened to".

Follow the Belgian presidency of the UN Security Council on our social media:

  • Facebook: Diplomatie.Belgium
  • Twitter: @BelgiumMFA & @BelgiumUN
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  • LinkedIn: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Belgium

In the course of the week there will also be severalof press releases. You can register for this here.