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…


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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…


Speech on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations

Dear Mr Chairman, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,   75 years ago, The guns of World War II had only just died down, The largest multilateral organization ever was born. The United Nations Charter came into force. This anniversary is an opportunity to remind us of the objectives behind this unique creation. The aim was to rebuild a world in ruins by establishing a strong and universal framework of international standards. To rebuild a world to save future generations…


BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND

Response to parliamentary questions on COVID-19 and on preparations for a second wave

Check against delivery Thank you, Mr Speaker. The improvement we’ve seen in the health situation in recent weeks isn’t a given, as shown by the reproduction number, which has risen above 1 again. One of the questions was about daily figures. I share your opinion entirely. I share your opinion, and we’ve asked [the Belgian federal public health institute] Sciensano to start providing us with daily figures again, to at least ensure that the experts have these at their disposal,…


BELGA PHOTO POOL CHRISTOPHE LICOPPE

National Security Council meeting of 15 July

Phase 5 of the phase-out plan is not yet activated. Some indicators are worrying and we are keeping an eye on things. We all need to be more vigilant. On 23 July, we will assess the situation again.


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Response to parliamentary questions on the handling of the crisis and on the recovery

Check against delivery   Handling of the coronavirus crisis   Thank you, Mr Speaker.   Of course, the summer-holiday period is a very popular time for people to travel abroad, and the lockdown we have experienced because of the public-health crisis has definitely made the desire for a change of scene even greater. However, as we know and as has been said many times, the virus has not gone anywhere. It is still out there. New infection clusters have emerged in several of Belgium’s…


Response to parliamentary questions (events sector and management of the crisis compared with other OECD countries)

Check against delivery   Emergence from the crisis and the road ahead for the events sector   Thank you, Mr Speaker.   As I’ve said a number of times, easing the lockdown is an unprecedented, complex and gradual process that requires us to strike a balance between the desire and the need to return to normal life, on the one hand, and the requirements of the health situation, on the other. Unfortunately, because of their very nature, certain sectors cannot resume their activities…


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Response to parliamentary questions

Check against delivery   Meeting of the National Security Council on 3 June 2020 – support measures for the hospitality industry   Thank you, Mr Speaker.   Various sectors and industries are affected by the resumption in activity envisaged in phase 3 of the lockdown exit plan, chief among them the hospitality industry and the cultural and sports sectors. I’m not going to repeat here all the decisions set out yesterday, but I will focus on some specific details that have…