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    Belgium joins UN Security Council

    ©US Department of State
    ©US Department of State

    Belgium was yesterday voted on to a seat on the Security Council of the United Nations, for a period of two years. The government had been expecting the result, which led to intense lobbying by Belgian diplomats in the run-up to the vote. In the end, Belgium received the votes of 181 of the 188 member states.

    The UN Security Council is the world’s premier forum for questions of peace and security. It has five permanent members – the US, China, Russia, the UK and France – and ten others. On this occasion, Germany, South Africa, Dominican Republic and Indonesia were also elected.

    “In the exercise of this mandate, Belgium will try to be a constructive, reliable and open partner within the Council and for the rest of the international community,” said foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders. “It is only possible to achieve a consensus in favour of peace on the basis of partnership, exchange and inclusion of all of the parties concerned. The spirit of dialogue which has guided us throughout our campaign will continue to mark our actions during the two years of our mandate.”

    The government has said its priorities as Security Council members will be the protection of civilians and the impact of conflict on children, as well as the role of women in conflict prevention and resolution. Other important themes for Belgium are the respect for international humanitarian law, the fight against terrorism and extremist violence, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the ban on chemical weapons, and the impact of climate change on the security situation in the world.

    Belgium will be represented on the Council by Marc Pecsteen, former cabinet head for minister Reynders.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times