Speech on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations

Dear Mr Chairman,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


75 years ago,

The guns of World War II had only just died down,

The largest multilateral organization ever was born. The United Nations Charter came into force.

This anniversary is an opportunity to remind us of the objectives behind this unique creation.

The aim was to rebuild a world in ruins by establishing a strong and universal framework of international standards.

To rebuild a world to save future generations from the scourge of war, protecting human rights, ensuring respect for international law and promoting both freedom and social progress.

These are still our commitments within the United Nations.

Despite an ever-changing world, our collective project, our ideal, remains more than ever. We need to do more to address growing global tensions and challenges.

Multilateralism continues to be a necessity to meet all challenges in our globalized world.

The United Nations remains to this day the place par excellence where countries can talk to each other, can listen to each other in order to better understand each other, can negotiate on a world scale, can work towards consensus.

Because of its history, my country, Belgium, wants to build bridges and create dialogue and mutual understanding.

This is a constant of our international commitment. It is an essential part of our diplomatic DNA.

As an elected member of the Security Council, Belgium focuses its action on prevention, protection and effectiveness.

Conflict prevention is an essential element of Belgian foreign policy. In this context, we are very attentive to the consequences of climate change for world peace.

The protection of human rights is a prerequisite for peace and security, in particular the protection of civilians and children in armed conflict. In a context of international tensions,

Belgium strives to work towards the effectiveness of UN action by constructively playing the role of honest broker.

The UN's collective successes are indisputable in various fields: peacekeeping operations in dozens of countries, the negotiation process putting an end to bloody civil wars, the establishment of international justice, not to mention interventions in fields as diverse as agriculture, education, labor law and child protection.

However, after 75 years of work, let us recognize that our world is not yet the one envisioned by those who signed the United Nations Charter.

As Martin Luther King aptly put it: 'All progress is precarious and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.'

We must step up our ambition and reaffirm the values of cooperation, dialogue, solidarity and compromise.

We owe it to our contemporaries, especially to the most vulnerable ones, and to our children.

These values, these commitments, we must translate into concrete actions that bring tangible progress and restore the necessary trust between states, but also between citizens and their representatives.

This is indeed the very purpose of the 2030 agenda, adopted five years ago by this Assembly.

The following decade must therefore be one of firm and determined action.

Our future is at stake.

There is no other way.


Long live the United Nations.