Belgium has taken over the rotating presidency of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC), where it will strive to broker consensus and promote European cooperation on a range of prickly geopolitical issues.
“During its presidency, Belgium will bring several subjects to the table, like the problem of children in armed conflicts, transnational justice and the importance of European cooperation within the Council,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a press release.
Belgium’s mandate within the international security body started in January 2019, and, presides over the body since 1 February, as it wraps up its two-year run as a non-permanent member.
Throughout the shortest month of the year, Belgium’s delegation will promote multilateralism as a key way forward, the ministry said, noting the resurgence of nationalistic sentiments throughout the globe.
As it sets the agenda for the security body, Belgium will also work to draw the attention of the international diplomatic community to “certain issues” of importance for Belgium.
Belgium’s diplomatic arm at the UN will first seek to tackle the situation of children trapped in armed conflicts abroad, with King Philippe set to deliver a speech seeking to “mobilise” the UNSC around the issue, which the ministry said concerns one in five children worldwide.
Two other issues high up on Belgium’s agenda include the role of international justice in rebuilding communities in the aftermath of conflict as well as EU-UN cooperation, with an address by the EU’s foreign affairs representative scheduled on the occasion of the latter.
During its first year at the UNSC, Belgium, together with France, Germany, Poland and the UK, called on Israel to end all settlement activity in Palestine, referring to it as “illegal,” denounced human rights abuses ahead of an election in Burundi and called for the international community to end the “acute humanitarian crisis” gripping civilians caught amid a proxy conflict in Yemen.