Together against the Death Penalty

On the occasion of the 19th European and World Day against the Death Penalty, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès reaffirms Belgium’s commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty. The fight against the death penalty has long been one of our country’s main thematic priorities. The ultimate goal of Belgium and the EU is a worldwide and total abolition of the death penalty for all crimes. This year’s World Day focuses on women. Although women…


Sophie Wilmès launches the Belgian part of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Today, Friday 8 October, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs, Sophie Wilmès kicked off the Belgian section of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) – a series of Belgian events that will take place throughout the autumn – at an opening event in the presence of European Commissioner, Didier Reynders. As a founding member of the European Union, an established supporter of the European project and the seat of the European institutions, it is very important…


Belgium organizes an event on the humanitarian impact of COVID-19 in conflict areas

On Thursday 23 September, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès will co-chair a high-level event with European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the impact of COVID-19 on children. This event is organised in the margins of the UN General Assembly, in cooperation with Niger and the NGO Save the Children. For the fourth consecutive year, Belgium, in cooperation with the European Commission, is organising an event to draw international attention to…


Belgium considers that Mr. Rusesabagina did not receive a fair and due process

On Monday September 20th, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès was informed of the verdict in the trial of Mr. Rusesabagina in Kigali. At the end of this judicial procedure – and despite repeated calls by Belgium – it has to be concluded that Mr Rusesabagina did not receive a fair and due trial, in particular with regards to the rights of defence. The presumption of innocence was not respected either. These elements de facto call into question the…


Belgium at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York

The 76th session of the UN General Assembly will open in New York on 20 September, under the theme “Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations.” Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Level Week (20-27 September) will be held partly face-to-face and partly in virtual mode. Belgium will be represented in New York by Prime…


Informal Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich): conclusions

Today, Friday 3 September, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès and her fellow ministers met at the invitation of the Slovenian presidency in Brdo, Slovenia, for a Gymnich, a half-yearly informal meeting of the Council of Foreign Affairs. Among other things, the ministers discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the relationship between the EU and the Gulf States and the EU-China relationship. Afghanistan Following the exceptional virtual Council on 17 August, the…


NATO ministerial: Afghanistan

Today, Friday 20 August, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Sophie Wilmès attended NATO’s extraordinary Foreign Affairs ministerial meeting by video conference, which was organised following the situation in Afghanistan. This meeting gave the Deputy Prime Minister the opportunity to discuss access for our flights to Kabul Airport and the operation of the airport itself with the members of the Alliance. Through its Deputy Prime Minister, Belgium expressed its deep concern over the…


Extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council: Afghanistan

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Sophie Wilmès attended an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on Tuesday 17 August by video conference, which was organised following the latest developments in Afghanistan, where the radical-Islamist Taliban have gained control of the country after a rapid advance. Procedures for evacuating citizens are underway in various EU Member States, including Belgium. “Our first priority is the evacuation of our citizens and of…


Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union of 12 July: conclusions

On Monday 12 July, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès, and her European counterparts met in Brussels for the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting. Meeting with Yair Lapid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel In the afternoon, the EU Foreign Ministers also had an exchange of views with their new Israeli counterpart, Mr Yair Lapid, who was on his first visit to Brussels. The discussion focused on EU-Israel bilateral relations, on the regional issues of…


Eighteen countries unite at Belgium's initiative to defend LGBTIQ rights in Europe

18 European Union Member States, at the initiative of Belgium, expressed their deep concern in a joint declaration about the adoption by the Hungarian Parliament of amendments that discriminate against LGBTIQ people and violate the right to freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting children. Member States condemn the new legislation as a blatant form of discrimination and stigmatization of LGBTIQ people based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The legislation…