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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at press stakeout with Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium

Brussels, 28 May 2015

Ladies and gentlemen,

I thank the Prime Minister[, Charles Michel] and also the Belgian Government for their strong contributions that they have been making to the United Nations.  Belgium is a supporter of our efforts to promote peace in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We appreciate deeply the contribution the Belgian Government has been making to the peacebuilding process. We also discussed the situations in Yemen, Libya, Syria and Burundi. In all these situations, we count heavily on the strong support of the Government of Belgium.

We discussed those issues and others of mutual concern.  We also focused on the major United Nations meetings that will take place in the months ahead: the conference on development financing in Addis Ababa in July; the special summit meeting in September in New York to discuss the sustainable development agenda; and the climate change meeting in December in Paris.  This is an opportunity - a historic opportunity - to place the world on more sustainable footing, and I encouraged Belgium to continue doing its part to make this year a great success for the world’s people.

During my visit to Brussels, I also had an audience with Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, and my meetings with the leadership of the European Commission and the European Council were very fruitful.  I was also very honoured to address the European Parliament.  The European Union is a pillar of international cooperation for peace, development and human rights.  I am encouraged by the many contributions of the European Union. 

At the same time, the world needs Europe to do more: more to protect migrants and refugees, more to tackle climate change, more to help the poor and vulnerable people around the world to lift themselves out of poverty.

The European Union is a locomotive with a powerful engine.  I urge Belgium and all members of the European Union to continue helping to drive us towards a world of dignity for all. 

Again, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for your strong support. I really count on you.

Thank you.


Off-the-Cuff on 28 May 2015