Belgium in the UN Security Council 2019-2020 Webinar 3: Children in Armed Conflict


18 December 2020

Watch the recording on YouTube.

Every year the FPS Foreign Affairs, the Egmont Institute, the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, and Ghent University, organise a conference on Belgian foreign and defence policy that looks back at the key developments, and looks ahead at future challenges and ambitions. Because of the pandemic, the edition 2020 will take place by way of a series of three webinars.

At the moment when Belgium will be near the end of its two-year membership of the UN Security Council, these webinars will take stock of achievements, identify lessons to be learned, and formulate new ambitions.

Webinar 3 will focus on children in armed conflict, one of the priorities during Belgium’s current term on the Security Council, and a challenge for Belgium itself, faced with the difficult question of repatriating the children of Belgian foreign terrorist fighters from Syria. During its mandate in the UNSC, Belgium held the Presidency of the WG on Children in Armed Conflicts, with the fight against impunity as one of its main priorities. It is also one of the main contributors to UNICEF’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism. Its commitment has gained visibility thanks to the participation of Queen Mathilde to a high-level event in the margin of the 2019 UNGA and of King Philippe to the UNSC on the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers. Now that Belgium is about to leave the UNSC, what could be the next steps of its advocacy in favour of the protection of children’s rights at a time humanitarian principles are questioned and targeting civilian populations is a key ingredient of warfare tactics?


Chair: Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Egmont Institute

  • Michael Kohler, Deputy Director-General – Directorate-General “European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation” (DG ECHO) – see Bio
  • Robert Mardini, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)  – see Bio
  • Ambassador Marc Pecsteen, Belgian Foreign Affairs – see Bio
  • Heidy Rombouts, Director for Belgium, Plan International – see Bio

The working language will be English.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)