Sophie Wilmès presents Belgium's human rights policy

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès will represent Belgium today at the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council. She will speak on behalf of the Federal State and the federated entities. Belgium’s human rights policy will be reviewed for the third time since 2011. The UPR provides for a regular evaluation of the human rights situations of all 193 UN member states. Every year, three UPR sessions take place, each time covering 14 countries.…


Sophie Wilmès speaks with Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania

On Thursday 1 April, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès spoke with her counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. The two ministers reviewed the bilateral and regional cooperation, including between the Benelux countries and the Baltic States, of which they each hold the Presidency. They welcomed the upcoming State Visit of King Philippe to Lithuania. Finally, the two ministers discussed several international issues on the…


Belgium announces €18 million in humanitarian aid for Syria

On the occasion of the fifth Brussels Conference on Syria (‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region’), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès and Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir announced today 18 million euro in additional humanitarian aid for the Syrian people. They stressed that a permanent solution to the conflict is only possible if all parties involved take…


Sophie Wilmès chairs the ministerial meeting of the International Coalition against Daesh

On March 30, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès co-chaired with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken a virtual ministerial meeting of the International Coalition to defeat Daesh. This meeting in restricted format brings together the 32 States and international organizations most involved in its action. Today’s ministerial meeting demonstrated the unity and solidarity of the Coalition and the continued commitment of its members as expressed in the…


Sophie Wilmès meets her American counterpart Antony J. Blinken

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès received her American counterpart Antony Blinken at the Egmont Palace today for a first bilateral meeting. Both ministers participated in the NATO ministerial for the past two days. It is Secretary Blinken’s first visit to Europe since the Biden administration took office. The meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere and allowed to set out some lines for concrete transatlantic cooperation. President Biden already…


Sophie Wilmès highlights Belgian leadership in the fight against falsified medical products

The 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was held in Kyoto (Japan) from March 7 to 11, partly virtually. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès participated in an event organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the issue of falsified medical products. This is an issue of particular importance for Belgium: “Access to safe and effective quality medicines is a priority for Belgium, and we have…


Sophie Wilmès presents Belgian priorities in Human Rights Council

Today, February 22, the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council started in Geneva and will continue until March 23. On this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie addressed the ministerial part of the session. She presented the priorities of the Belgian government and shared some reflections on the current challenges in the field of human rights. The promotion and protection of human rights is a cornerstone of Belgium’s foreign policy. This is…


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…


Benelux Foreign Ministers host meeting with ICC Prosecutor and their EU colleagues

Today, February 22nd, in the context of the Belgian Presidency of the Benelux, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès invited the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms. Fatou Bensouda, and her fellow EU Foreign Ministers for an informal meeting with the 27 EU Ministers ahead of the monthly Foreign Affairs Council. Ms. Bensouda started her mandate as Prosecutor in 2012 and will finish it in June this year. During the meeting, Ms. Bensouda has been invited to give a…


Sophie Wilmès emphasizes continued Belgian commitment to children's rights on International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers

On the occasion of the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès reaffirms Belgium’s commitment to improving the protection of children in armed conflict. The United Nations aims to improve the situation of these children by addressing the six most serious violations of children’s rights: killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools or hospitals, denial of access to humanitarian aid…