On 29 April 1997, the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons entered into force. Twenty years later, this remains the only treaty that outlaws a complete category of weapons of mass destruction and enforces this ban through a verification regime. Currently, 192 countries have joined the convention.
On 29 April 2017, Belgium celebrates the 25th anniversary of its relations with Tajikistan. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes this celebration, which crowns a bilateral relationship that has diversified over the years. He also pays tribute to the friendship between our two peoples and wishes the people of Tajikistan great harmony and prosperity.
The winners of the 'Prize for Belgian heritage abroad' were announced during a ceremony in the Egmont Palace in Brussels, in the presence of Prince Lorenz. This prize is an initiative of the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the King Baudouin Foundation.
The undersigned Equal Rights Coalition members urgently call on Russian federal authorities to conduct an independent and credible investigation into reports of arbitrary detention, torture and killing of gay men by security services and other government authorities in the Republic of Chechnya.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo today signed two programmes in Benin, related to the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Belgium will be cooperating with UNICEF to help combat child marriages. With the support of our country, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be setting up an information project aimed at young people and women, covering sexual education and sexual violence.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders today launched the Belgian Foreign Affairs Instagram account, in the presence of 350 6th grade students who participated in an interactive session on the European Union, "Let's talk together about Europe".
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is concerned about the situation in Venezuela. In recent weeks and particularly in the past few days, the tension in the country mounted considerably. The Minister encourages the government and the opposition to pursue a real and effective dialogue. A national consensus should allow for a solution for the serious humanitarian crisis that hits the population and for the political and economic difficulties the country is faced with.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Secretary for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem welcome the direct flights that connect Brussels and Mumbai (India) since 30 March. The official inauguration flight is taking place today. Brussels Airlines now flies five times per week between Brussels and Mumbai. This new route is the only direct air connection between Belgium and India.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo this week brings a four-day working visit to Benin and Senegal. He will be accompanied by Goedele Liekens and Axelle Red, both active as Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations. The four-day visit fits in with the initiative 'She Decides', which focuses on the reinforcement of rights for girls and women, and in particular with regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs has officially transferred its library collections to the Royal Library of Belgium. Dirk Achten, Secretary-General of the FPS Foreign Affairs and Patrick Lefèvre, Director-General of the Royal Library completed the transfer agreement this morning.