Activities of Secretary-General in Belgium, 13-14 July

On Wednesday, 12 July, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres departed New York to Belgium where he arrived the following morning.  In Brussels, he would take part in the second United Nations-European Union High-Level Dialogue.

On Thursday afternoon, the Secretary-General met Prime Minister Alexander de Croo.  In remarks to the media immediately before the meeting, the Secretary-General thanked Belgium for its commitment to multilateralism and its cooperation in several areas, including human rights, sustainable development, climate action, as well as peace and security.

The Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, then met with their Majesties, the King and Queen of the Belgians.  In a tweet published after the meeting, the Secretary-General said he was grateful for their commitment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including the role of Her Majesty the Queen as a Sustainable Development Goals Advocate.

Early in the evening, before the start of the United Nations-European Union High-Level Dialogue, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Secretary-General made a statement to the press.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that the meeting was taking place at a time when international cooperation is challenged at its core.  We live in an ever more multipolar world, he added, and the European Union must be an essential pillar of this new global order.

The Secretary-General also renewed his call for a transformation of the global financial system to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals, adding that he sees the European Union as a potential engine for that transformation, based on equity and solidarity.

The United Nations-European Union High-Level Dialogue continued on Friday, 14 July.  The day started with a session focused on climate, followed by discussions on peace and security, the digital transition, as well as ways to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and reforms of international financial institutions.

The United Nations-European Union High-Level Dialogue is now an annual event, which illustrates the importance of the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union. 

The Secretary-General departed Brussels on Friday, 14 July 2023.

For information media. Not an official record.