Today Ratko Mladić has been found guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. This sentence puts an end to a long legal battle in this Tribunal for the many victims of the atrocities which have taken place 20 years ago in the Western Balkans.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is shocked by the inhuman treatment of migrants in Libya and by the use of violence against them. He condemns these revolting practices. Belgium takes good note of the enquiry opened by the Libyan authorities, with the hope that it will be concluded as quickly as possible.
The Global Conference on Cities and Migration is currently being held in Mechelen, Belgium (16-17 November). Hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the City of Mechelen, the conference is co-organized by partners UN-Habitat; IOM, the UN Migration Agency; and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo decided to make available an additional grant of 7 million EUR for the Least Developed Countries Fund. He makes this announcement in the margins of the COP23, the UN Climate Conference which is currently on-going in Bonn. With these extra resources, Belgium wants to help the most vulnerable countries to become more resilient against the impact of climate change.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders closely followed the recent developments in Lebanon. He wishes to express his support to the unity, the stability, the sovereignty and the security of the Republic of Lebanon.
The Armistice, which marked the end of the First World War, is being celebrated this 11th of November. Today is also the last day of the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. It was during this tragic battle, on Belgian soil, that chemical weapons were used for the first time on a large scale. Unfortunately, the use of chemical weapons still does not belong to the past.
General Conference of UNESCO Member States officially appointed today Audrey Azoulay as the new Director-General of UNESCO. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders congratulates Audrey Azoulay and wishes her all the best in her future functions. The Minister takes this opportunity to thank outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova for her commitment and dedication.
The EU has several tools at its disposal for the implementation of its Foreign Policy (known as the Common Foreign and Security Policy or PESC). The Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) is one of these tools. Since 2003 the EU has conducted in the CSDP-framework, 21 civilian crisis management missions in various unstable crisis area’s worldwide. Every year approximately 30 Belgian experts are deployed/seconded in one of these missions.
The 23rd United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP23) starts tomorrow in Bonn (Germany) under the presidency of Fiji. It is the first time that a small island State like Fiji takes the control of climate negotiations. Belgium supports Fiji in making a success of the COP23.