On Thursday 23 September, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès will co-chair a high-level event with European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the impact of COVID-19 on children. This event is organised in the margins of the UN General Assembly, in cooperation with Niger and the NGO Save the Children.
Belgium will deliver 153,900 vaccines to Uganda. These vaccines will contribute to stepping up the vaccination campaign for teachers and reopening schools to more than 10 million pupils and students. With this, Belgium is responding to the Ugandan government's request to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
On Wednesday September 22, Minister of Development Cooperation and Urban Policy Meryame Kitir visited the port of Beirut, severely damaged by explosions in August 2020. This was the first visit of a Belgian minister since the explosion in Beirut. She had the opportunity to pay her respects and lay a wreath at the memorial dedicated to the victims, along with members of the family of a Belgian-Lebanese victim. With this gesture, Minister Kitir wished to express her condolences and solidarity with the families of the victims of this tragic event.
Belgium strongly condemns the coup attempt in Omdurman and reiterates its full support for the people of Sudan and their transitional government. It calls for the respect of the Juba Peace Agreements, signed on 31 August 2020.
The 76th session of the UN General Assembly will open in New York on 20 September, under the theme "Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations."
Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation, will visit Jordan from September 19 to 21 and Lebanon from September 21 to 24. This working visit will focus on the humanitarian issues face by the two countries, which are of great concern to Belgium. This attention is illustrated by the Belgian humanitarian aid dedicated to the response to the humanitarian needs resulting from the Syrian crisis.
On 4 August, French President Macron and the United Nations will hold a third international donor conference to raise funds for emergency aid for the Lebanese people. The video conference will take place exactly one year after the tragic explosion that ravaged the port of Beirut and caused a lot of casualties. The explosion came on top of institutional and socio-economic crises in Lebanon that have only worsened since then.
At its meeting on May 25, 2021, the European Council supported equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines and welcomed the leadership of the Covax mechanism in this regard. The EU's goal is to donate at least 100 million doses by the end of the year, as well as to help build local production capacity. In this context, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that Belgium's goal is to donate 4 million doses by the end of 2021.
Wouter Poels is the new Deputy Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. He succeeds Karl Lagatie who will take up his new role at the Permanent Representation to the United Nations in New York this summer.