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King Philippe and Queen Mathilde head to New York to visit UN

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde will soon be leaving for New York to take on a 3-day visit. The Royal pair will be visiting the United Nations office in an attempt to acquire a Belgian spot on the UN Security Council.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgian will take a 3-day visit to New York from April 23 to 25. Their Majesties will be accompanied by the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders. On the agenda is a visit to the United Nations Office where King Philippe will address the General Assembly.

This visit comes upon the invitation of the president of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák who organises a high-level meeting on “Peace Building and Sustaining Peace”. In his speech, the King is expected to focus on the role of mediation and the full participation of women in negotiations and decisions pertaining to peace and security.

The visit of the King and Queen will also provide the opportunity to highlight the strengths of Belgium as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2019-2020. Two seats have to be divided between Belgium, Israel and Germany. The campaign for the seat was already launched in October 2015 in the presence of the King and Queen.

The ultimate decision will be made on the 8th of June.

Professor International Right at the Catholic University of Louvain, Jan Wouters has commented on the “vital” role of the King and Queen in order for Belgium to acquire a seat. He said: “At the highest level they have access to ambassadors and top diplomats who can still be won over. The Queen also stands up for poor countries and has built up a strong reputation. That also reflects on the image of Belgium.”

Queen Mathilde will also take part in several meetings in her capacity of Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

On Wednesday the royal couple will visit the Military Academy of West Point. In the evening the pair will travel back to Brussels.

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