Today, the Chamber of Representatives approved an amendment of the legal framework in which the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) operates. The amendment is the final element of a thorough reform of BIO. This reform makes the investment company better embedded in the Belgian development policy, strengthens the link with the private sector, and increases the impact of the development initiatives in Belgium’s partner countries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo endorsed a number of international commitments today to step up the efforts against sexual misconduct in the international aid sector. The commitments were signed in the margins of the international high-level meeting “Putting People First” which took place in London today.
Belgium is the second most efficient donor in the fight against extreme poverty. This is the conclusion of the respected Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in their recent report: “Financing the end of extreme poverty”. Our country ranks right behind Ireland, but ahead of Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden and Finland. The focus on least developed countries and the strengthening of aid effectiveness has been one of the priorities of the Belgian development cooperation policy over the last years.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is pleased that the European Union created a sanction regime against the use of chemical weapons today in Luxembourg. This allows the EU to act against people and organization involved in the development and the use of chemical weapons. This decision by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, underlines the European commitment to the fight against these gruesome weapons.
Today is the European and World Day against the Death Penalty. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders underlines that Belgium continues to engage for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The Minister regrets that a number of countries continue to use the death penalty, even for specific forms of conduct such as blasphemy, adultery and same-sex sexual relations. The death penalty has no place in the 21st century.
In October and November 2018, the Belgian development agency Enabel organizes ‘Hack the Goals’, a series of six hackathons in five partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation. Creative teams in Senegal, Niger, Palestine, Morocco, and Uganda will look for new and innovative solutions for development challenges. Alexander De Croo, Minister of Development Cooperation and for the Digital Agenda, is thrilled: “The future is digital, also in terms of development.
“We have to tackle climate change at home, but we must certainly not forget the poorest countries. They are the biggest victims of climate change.” That is the message of Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo and of Enabel director Jean Van Wetter. Today and tomorrow, the Belgian development agency Enabel organizes an international climate conference in Brussels.
The Inter-Ministerial Conference on Foreign Affairs decided today, under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders, to establish a technical working group to discuss uncertainties pertaining to the status of some Belgian schools abroad - including Belgian schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This working group will be composed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Communities. Other departments of the federal administration will also be associated.
On Tuesday 2nd of October, Belgium had proposed first help and support to Indonesia via B-FAST. Local technical requirements described by Indonesia, as wel as related organisational requirements, do not allow however to be able to carry out the proposed mission properly.