Equal Rights Coalition: committed to LGBTIQ rights

Dear colleagues, Excellencies, It a pleasure to see that five years after its creation, the Equal Rights Coalition is being consolidated and reinvigorated. This comes at a critical time, when in many places, including in Europe, the advancement of LGBTIQ rights is stagnating or even regressing. The Coalition can and must play its part in turning around this worrisome trend. We therefore welcome the formal launch of the Strategy…


Seminar on the EU Strategic Compass

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me first wish you all a warm welcome. My colleague, Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder, and myself are particularly proud to gather such a large and knowledgeable audience here today. As I understand, it is the first time ever that civil servants from both the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Ministries of Defense of the 27 Member States address together EU defence and security policies. Belgium firmly believes it is key to reflect jointly…


Generation Equality Forum: Belgium renews commitment to women's rights

25 years ago, we committed ourselves to taking bold steps to achieve gender equality. Although we have made progress, no country has managed to fully implement the Beijing Platform for Action. Belgium welcomes today’s historic opportunity to renew its commitment and to continue its work to make human rights a reality for all women and girls. The fight against gender-based violence will remain a priority for Belgium. The…


Plenary meeting on Thursday 20 May 2021: verbal questions

Verbal questions about the Israel/Palestine conflict Only the spoken word shall count Dear Members of Parliament, I would like to thank you for your numerous questions regarding the dramatic developments in the Middle East. A situation that has touched everybody. Our thoughts are with all the innocent civilian victims and their families and the populations who are currently living in anxiety and uncertainty. Last week, during the plenary meeting, I comprehensively covered the context of the…


10th anniversary of The Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe

Today, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe. This Convention sets the highest international standards for the prevention of violence against women. It’s a major human rights treaty, establishing comprehensive legal standards to ensure women’s rights to be free from violence. It’s also a success story: as of today, 34 States ratified it. Among them, the Benelux countries have been…


65th session of the UN- Commission on the Status of Women

General Debate – Intervention of Belgium Dear Mister Chair, Distinguished representatives, Ladies and gentlemen, As the UN Secretary General recently said: gender equality is perhaps the world’s greatest human rights challenge. More than 25 years ago, we committed ourselves in Beijing to take bold steps to achieve this goal. Women’s unequal share of power and decision-making was 25 years ago already recognized as a…


Sophie Wilmès calls for further efforts towards nuclear disarmament

On Monday, 22 February, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès addressed the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva during its high-level segment. The Conference on Disarmament, of which Belgium is a permanent member, was established in 1979. To date, it is the only multilateral instrument dedicated to the negotiation of disarmament agreements. Disarmament and non-proliferation are crucial issues for international peace and security and as such constitute a priority…


Leaders’ Pledge for Nature : United to Reverse Biodiversity Loss by 2030 for Sustainable Development

The message scientists sent us, sounds loud and clear: both climate change and the loss of biodiversity have devastating consequences for our health, our prosperity and wellbeing, and for sustainable development as a whole. They mutually reinforce one another. Urgent action to address these threats in an effective and coherent manner is needed to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for present and future generations. We ought…


Speech to the 75th United Nations General Assembly

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Heads of Delegation, Ladies and Gentlemen.   Confidence – responsibility – commitment   These are the three pillars on which we are building mutual aid and cooperation between our various countries: effective multilateralism. These are the three values that we need to safeguard this multilateralism and that I…


SWP_2319

Response to parliamentary questions on the National Security Council meeting held on 23 September 2020 and on Brexit

Check against delivery.   National Security Council meeting held on 23 September 2020   Thank you, Mr Speaker.   First of all, I’d like to express my amazement at how linguistic imperfections are the main concern for some people rather than the gravity of the situation. But it’s no big deal, or “c’est pas grave”, as the French expression goes.   The whole of Europe is indeed facing a resurgence in the epidemic – and Belgium, where the situation…