The Belgian Diplomatic Days, an annual event that brings together Belgian heads of mission from around the world, kicked off in Brussels on Monday, November 6, 2023, at the majestic Egmont Palace for a week of important meetings and discussions on current foreign policy priorities and challenges.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo spoke during the opening, highlighting the importance of sustained international action in addressing global challenges. He also emphasized the need for Belgium to play a leading role in promoting sustainable development, human rights, and democracy
Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib also spoke during the opening session, outlining her vision and priorities for Belgian foreign policy in a time of global challenges and shifting geopolitical landscapes. She emphasized the importance of multilateralism, cooperation, and dialogue in addressing these challenges. She also highlighted the need for Belgium to play a leading role in promoting sustainable development, human rights, and democracy.
Throughout the week, Belgian diplomats will discuss a wide range of topics, including the interface between diplomacy and defense, the challenges of international developments for Belgian migration policy, and the impact of emerging technologies on diplomacy. These discussions will help Belgian diplomats to better understand the complex and rapidly changing world in which they operate and to develop effective strategies to promote Belgium’s interests.
One particularly significant focus of this year’s Belgian Diplomatic Days is to prepare for Belgium’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2024. This presidency will provide Belgium with an opportunity to shape the EU’s agenda and to promote its priorities. The Belgian Diplomatic Days provide a vital platform for policymakers to discuss the EU’s challenges and opportunities, and to develop a common vision for Belgium’s Presidency.
The Belgian Diplomatic Days also serve as a symbolic reminder of the importance of diplomacy and the representation of Belgium on the global stage. The presence of Belgian heads of mission from around the world is a testament to Belgium’s commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation. The Belgian Diplomatic Days also provide an opportunity to showcase Belgium’s culture, values, and achievements.
After a week of intense discussions and meetings, the diplomats will return to their respective international posts with a deeper understanding of Belgium’s foreign policy priorities and a strengthened commitment to serving the interests of Belgians worldwide. The Belgian Diplomatic Days play an essential role in ensuring that Belgian diplomacy is effective and responsive to the needs of the nation and its citizens.