This Wednesday 26 May, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès, met three Honduran Ministers during their visit to Europe: the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Lisandro Rosales Banegas, the Minister for General Governmental Coordination of the Republic of Honduras, Mr Carlos Alberto Madero Erazo, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ms Karen Alejandra Najarro Bonilla.

The meeting was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries. This initiative, which has been in the works since 2017, will strengthen bilateral political consultations between Belgium and Honduras. Our country will take advantage of these discussions to emphasise points it considers particularly important, such as respect for the rule of law, the fight against corruption and the defence of human rights. It will also highlight the country’s economic situation and climate change. These concerns were reiterated at the ministerial meeting. Belgium pays particular attention to women’s rights, for example in terms of their sexual and reproductive rights. It should also be noted that during its last Universal Periodic Review in November 2020, Honduras accepted the Belgian recommendation to intensify the fight against violence targeting women in the country.

The discussions also focused on climate change, which is affecting Honduras particularly badly. Minister Madero presented his country’s plan for reconstruction and sustainable development after Hurricanes ETA and IOTA. Deputy Prime Minister Wilmès detailed Belgium’s commitment to the fight against climate change and the financial mechanisms that we support at the European and multinational level for the sustainable development of those countries most affected by climate change.

The Ministers reported on the health situation in their respective countries. Belgium welcomes the fact that the first vaccines have arrived in Honduras through the COVAX mechanism. Our country has reaffirmed its support for any initiative aimed at strengthening solidarity among the countries of the world in the common fight against the pandemic.