In the margins of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders - in name of the Benelux - and French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau signed a declaration opening the way to a closer cooperation between the Benelux and France, in particular, the Grand East and Haut de France regions.
Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders participated in the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union in Brussels. He welcomes the conclusions of the Council on Women, Peace and Security.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders reiterates Belgium's commitment to defending and promoting human rights throughout the world.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is pleased that Belgium will donate 2 million euros for the rehabilitation of radioactively contaminated sites in Central Asia. By doing so, our country contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, particularly in the field of public health and sustainable livelihoods. Apart from Belgium, the European Commission, the United States, Switzerland, and Norway are already participating in the initiative.
Due to the current circumstances surrounding Brexit and the lack of solid information, the Embassy is not in a position to make any recommendations when it comes to procedures to follow in order to obtain the right to stay. Even though the Home Office has not communicated all the details regarding the stay of citizens from EU member states, it would from now on be prudent to keep any documents proving residency in the United Kingdom. Those documents could then be presented to the Home Office if requested.
The Convention on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Convention was signed on 3 December 2008 in Oslo. Belgium pioneered the fight against cluster munitions by adopting in 2006 the first law in the world prohibiting these weapons. In 2007 this commitment was complemented by a law on divestment in the field of cluster munitions production.
In the coming years, Belgium will invest an additional 43 million euros in the rights of girls and women around the world. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo announced this at the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” international charity concert in Johannesburg. Minister De Croo shared the stage with African heads of state and government, and music stars such as Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Over the next two years, Belgium will contribute 4.4 million euros (5 million US dollars) to the fight against forgotten tropical diseases. This will be done through the Extended Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN), a project of the World Health Organization which aims to control and even eliminate five tropical diseases. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will double the Belgian contribution, giving twenty million people access to the necessary treatments over the next two years.