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Belgium is committed to international mediation

Koen Adam
24 May 2018
The willingness to seek reconciliation and compromise is part of Belgium's DNA. Our country is therefore pleased to support mediation efforts worldwide.

 

In the light of its campaign for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Belgium has always indicated that it wishes to play a pivotal role in the event of conflict. Our own history bears witness to a willingness to seek reconciliation and compromise which is part of our DNA. Mediation is an excellent diplomatic tool to bring the different parties involved in a conflict closer together and to encourage them to resolve their disputes peacefully. 

Strengthened by its own tradition, Belgium wants to help support global mediation efforts. At the initiative of Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, a major conference was held in Brussels in February 2017. Leading players in the field of mediation laid out their vision on how to make progress in this area. Subsequently, at the beginning of 2018, two high-level seminars were held in New York on the obstacles mediators face: the tension that can arise with humanitarian actors in 'crisis hot spots', on the one hand, and the role of African women in mediation, on the other.

In addition, Belgium supports international organisations active in mediation, such as the United Nations, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Institute of Peace (EIP), the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) and Sant Egidio. With Brussels as a diplomatic hub, Belgium is offering to host the mediation processes that these organisations are setting up. Finally, the FPS Foreign Affairs invests in mediation training and awareness raising of its own diplomats. At the end of 2018, mediation will, for the first time, be included in the training programmes offered to foreign diplomats by the Egmont Institute and the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

Our presence in the Security Council over the next two years would provide an additional incentive to strengthen the development of our own mediation profile. Our experience in constitutional engineering and in treating minorities, as well as our focus on Africa, could potentially serve as an asset in this respect.

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