This weekend the Security Council will visit Belgium. This visit is part of the remembrance of the First World War. It is the first time that the Security Council will visit the country. After Belgium, the Council will visit the Netherlands, Somalia and South Sudan. The current Security Council members are Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, South Corea, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, the United Kingdom and the United States.
This visit has a special dimension for Belgium as it is a candidate for a non-permanent seat at the Security Council during the 2019-2020 mandate (elections in 2018).
The programme of the visit is focused on the origins of the conflict, its historical context and the lessons learned, especially in the context of preventing armed conflicts. Different themes will be discussed: the protection of civilians during armed conflicts, the protection of cultural heritage, the process of war, the use of chemical weapons, reconciliation, remembrance and education on peace. The Security Council will consecutively visit Dinant, Leuven, Poperinge, Ypres and the military base in Poelkapelle. This base is used as a destruction site for chemical weapons from the First World War.
The themes presented throughout the Belgian visit are of importance to the work of the Security Council. Belgium would like to emphasize the importance of learning appropriate lessons from our history and our experiences.
Hereby the programme of the 9th and 10th of August, open to the press:
- Dinant: Welcome at the city hall at 10.15 by mayor Fournaux (probably accompanied by some saxophone players); tour of the citadel
- Leuven: tour at 14.00 of the library building, tower and exhibition (in presence of mayor Tobback); welcome by mayor and university rector Torfs, presentation of the speakers (no press during presentations and debate)
- Ypres: Last Post ceremony (complete) at 20.00; walk to Lakenhall for dinner; welcome by mayor Durnez
- Poperinge: 9.30: welcome to Lyssenthoek Military Cemetery and tour of the cemetery
- Ypres: 10.45: start of visit to In Flanders Fields
- Poelkapelle: 14.30: welcome at the military base