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 pandemic has created a context of increased sexual violence, bullying, and online violence.

As a commitment maker in this Coalition of Action, Belgium will further strengthen the measures to fight gender-based violence by developing a 6th National Action Plan against gender-based violence based on the Istanbul Convention, as well as a 4th National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Belgium will also strengthen the normative framework, particularly by ratifying ILO Convention 190 on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

Gender mainstreaming in all our actions remains essential. This will be the case for Belgium in the National Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings, or in the new humanitarian strategy.

Of course, we all know how necessary funding still is. My country will therefore continue to support its commitments by funding UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work and achievements of civil society and human rights defenders. They play an essential role in achieving progress and deserve our full support.