King Filip speaks top diplomats for UN Security Council positions

King Filip speaks top diplomats for UN Security Council positions

World April 21, 2018 17:39

- King Filip hopes to reach New York this week, which King Willem-Alexander achieved only three years earlier; the Belgian king is going to try to win enough souls to give Belgium a seat in the Security Council of the United Nations for two years from 2019 onwards.

Belgium has competition from Germany and Israel for the two seats of the Western group of countries. The estimate is that Germany will have little trouble getting enough votes during the vote on 9 June. Apart from a number of strong friends, Israel also has many enemies, but Brussels is still not comfortable with the vote, with two-thirds of the 193 member states having to give their support. Hence the commitment of the royal couple; Queen Mathilde is also used as the secret weapon of Belgian diplomacy.

'It promises to be exciting until the last moment,' predicts Jan Wouters, professor of International Law at KU Leuven, who will be speaking at Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. He believes that the efforts of the king and the queen are 'vital'. 'At the highest level they get 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. '

King Willem-Alexander advocated the advantages of a Dutch membership in a speech to the General Assembly: a first for a Dutch head of state. He was also very active in the corridors, supported by the prime ministers of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands. Queen Máxima was also present, but had to keep quiet because of her own UN function.

The Netherlands had to take on Sweden and Italy for the occupation of two seats. The Swedish king Carl Gustaf had previously invited representatives from many countries to Stockholm and Sweden received sufficient votes in the vote on membership. Italy and the Netherlands were given the same amount and then it was decided to divide the loot: both a year in the Security Council. Italy occupied the chair last year and the Netherlands is now in it.

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