137 Belgian municipalities fly the peace flag

Each year the UN holds its “International Day of Peace” on 21 September. The idea behind the International Day of Peace is to “promote the ideal of peace”. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.

To mark the International Day of Peace, 137 of Belgium’s 589 municipalities are flying the peace flag. In the East Flemish city of Ghent the biggest peace flag in the world is flying from the city’s Portus Administrative Centre.

Pieter Teirlinck of the not for profit organisation Vrede told journalists that "It it is 70 years since the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result of the nuclear attacks on 6 and 9 August 1945.”

Vrede stresses that then no distinction was made between soldiers and civilians and this resulted in a disproportionally large amount of victims and consequently broke international law.

Pieter Teirlinck added that "There are still 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, 20 of which in Belgium at the Kleine Brogel Airbase. One of these bombs is 10 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.”

Vrede says that a recent survey found that 61% of Belgians believe that the nuclear weapons should be removed from the Kleine Brogel Airbase.

"All the democratic parties from both the government coalition and the opposition recently gave their support to a Flemish and federal resolution calling for nuclear weapons to be removed from Flanders. Worldwide 115 UN member states signed the so-called “Humanitarian promise” in which countries were invited to start up diplomatic negotiations to achieve an international ban on nuclear weapons. However, the Belgian government doesn’t support the initiative”, Mr Teirlinck added.