This Wednesday, November 25, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès welcomed at the Egmont Palace the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen on the occasion of his visit to Europe.
Today the world celebrates International Children's Day. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocols urge countries around the world to make policy changes and align legislation with the rights of the child, to invest in specific areas such as education, to take measures against the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography and child labor, and to protect children in armed conflicts.
This Tuesday November 17, the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) will bring together by videoconference the Ministers in charge of European Affairs. Due to the unavailability of Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmès, Belgium will be represented by Minister David Clarinval.
Belgium expresses its concern about the escalation of the conflict in northern Ethiopia and the looming humanitarian crisis. Belgium calls for an immediate ceasefire by all parties involved. Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir: "Humanitarian actors must be given timely, independent, unimpeded and unconditional humanitarian access to the Tigray region in order to provide indispensable assistance in a safe manner to the population in need".
Belgium condemns the recent demolition of four homes in the occupied Palestinian Territories (in al-Rakeez, south of Hebron) by the Israeli authorities. This essential infrastructure was built with Belgian funding, as part of humanitarian aid implemented by the West Bank Protection Consortium. Our country asks Israel for compensation or restitution for these destructions.
Suzanna Moorehead, chairman of the DAC, the development committee of the OECD, presented the results of the peer review of Belgian development cooperation. The peer review is one of the most important assessment tools on international level with regard to development cooperation. It examines the way in which OECD-DAC members comply with their international obligations and encourages them to integrate the best practices of other members into their own operations. The report indicates that Belgian development cooperation has made significant progress in a number of areas.
This afternoon, Minister for Development Cooperation and Urban Policy Meryame Kitir addressed the Security Council for the first time under the Belgian mandate during a ministerial debate on contemporary causes of conflict and insecurity, such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the preventive measures against COVID-19, the session was held in a virtual manner.
To the day 20 years ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the landmark resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. By doing so, the Security Council recognized that armed conflict has a different impact on women than on men. For example, conflict-related sexual violence mainly affects women, women do not participate in conflicts in the same way or are barely involved in their resolution.