Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders announces that, this year, Belgium voluntarily contributes € 450 000 in support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The funds will support the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Concretely, Belgium will contribute € 250 000 to radiotherapy and nuclear medicine programs and € 200 000 to the modernization of the IAEA laboratories.
Exactly 100 years ago today, on July 12th, 1917, the first large-scale mustard gas attack in human history took place on Belgian territory in Ieper. This chemical weapon caused numerous deaths and scarred other victims for life. Today, chemical ammunition is still being found on the battlefields of the First World War. Belgium continues to destroy significant amounts of these weapons and has recently invested in the acquisition of new equipment to continue its dismantlement activities.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo today participates in the London Summit on Family Planning. During his speech, he made a remarkable appeal for more feminism among his male colleagues worldwide. Minister De Croo also announced additional contributions for the protection of girls and women in humanitarian crisis situations. Belgium also commits to digital technology in order to better map access to family planning in low-income countries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is worried on the arrest of 8 human rights defenders in Turkey, among whom the director of Amnesty International In Turkey and two international experts who were assisting in a workshop on digital freedom and the protection of human rights defenders in Istanbul. Earlier, the president of Amnesty International in Turkey was arrested.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is, just as the European Union, very worried about the projects to build more than 1800 additional housing units in East Jerusalem. This was announced by the Israeli authorities.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday announced an agreement on the essential elements of an economic partnership agreement between the European Union and Japan. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes this announcement. It is an important step towards the most important bilateral commercial agreement that the European Union has ever concluded.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo is in Hamburg today, as one of the guests of honour at the Global Citizen Festival. The music event that coincides with the G20 wants to raise awareness about development issues such as women's rights and the right to education. Minister De Croo was invited by the organizers because of his commitment to women's rights.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders condemns the launch of a ballistic missile on 4 July by North Korea. This new violation of UN Security Council resolutions adds to tensions in the region. The development of the North Korean missile program also increases the threat to international security.