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Belgium elected to UN Security Council with 181 votes
Belgium secured one of five non-permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday. The two year mandate will start on 1 January 2019.
After considerable lobbying by Belgian politicians and a visit to New York by the King and Queen of Belgium, in the end it was not a surprise result. The country needed to convince two-thirds of the General Assembly and it received the backing of 181 out of 188 countries.
Belgium had highlighted its history as one of the founding countries of the Security Council, its diplomatic skill and ability to compromise.
It’s the fifth time that Belgium has been elected to the council; the last time was 13 years ago.
The 15-member Security Council is the leading authority on international peace and security in the world. Permanent seats are held by China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Belgium is joined by Germany, Indonesia, South Africa and the Dominican Republic as non-permanent members.
Foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders welcomed the election results, “as an expression of the trust given to our country by the international community.”
The foreign office said, “the protection of civilians and the impact of conflict on children will be at the heart of Belgium’s mandate, along with the role played by women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.
“Respect for international humanitarian law and the fight against impunity, the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, non-proliferation and the prohibition of chemical weapons, and the impact of climate change on security will also feature among the issues of special concern for Belgium.”
Photo: Foreign minister Didier Reynders and Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations, Marc Pecsteen, after the vote at the in New York. Yorick Jansens / Belga