Belgium will financially support the World Food Programme’s roll-out of blockchain technology for cash-based transfers in refugee camps. Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo announced the collaboration during a working visit to the United Nations in New York. Belgium is investing twenty million euros in total this year in innovation to improve humanitarian assistance.
Belgium strongly condemns all use of chemical weapons which are a blatant violation of international law. Belgium therefore understands the military action in Syria of our American, French and British partners who have targeted identified production facilities.
Belgium will raise its budget for humanitarian aid for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to 25 million euros this year. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation has announced this in Geneva, where a humanitarian donor conference for the DRC is taking place. The humanitarian crisis in the DRC has worsened considerably during the last 2 years.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders takes note of the decision of the Russian authorities to expel a Belgian diplomat from Moscow. This decision was notified this morning to the Belgian Embassy in Russia (Moscow). The Minister regrets this decision from Russia.
Ballistic missiles were fired by the Houthi rebels in Yemen targeting Saudi Arabia on Sunday 25th of March. This attack made several victims. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is very worried by this new provocation.
With the Easter holidays approaching, Foreign Affairs is stepping up its campaign for Travellers Online. We welcome the support of Goedele Liekens and Adrien Jovenau, two well-known media personalities who travel the world, in two promotional clips. Starting as of today, they can be watched on all our social media channels and on our websites.
On 24th December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly took the historic decision to open the negotiations of a treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas (“Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions” or “BBNJ”). High seas represent two thirds of our oceans and are barely protected today. The protection of oceans is a priority of Belgium’s diplomacy. From today until Wednesday 28th of March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium will host at the Egmont Palace in Brussels a meeting to prepare the opening of the negotiations of this new treaty.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Didier Reynders welcomes yet another air link with China. Starting on Sunday 25th of March, Cathay Pacific will operate direct flights from Brussels to Hong Kong. From now on, our capital and the main decision centers of EU and NATO will be directly connected with the main financial hub in Asia. 4 direct flights a week are foreseen. The total number of direct connections with China amounts at 4 and soon we are to expect yet another one.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation and Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo will be heading on a two day mission for Kenya, Africa’s “Silicon Savannah” . He will be accompanied by Startups.be and Close the Gap. Nairobi is one of the most important tech hubs in Africa with a thriving start up scene. Under De Croo’s tenure, Digital for Development (D4D) has taken a central place in Belgium’s Development Cooperation policy, leveraging digitalization for development.