King Filip reminded his audience that 30 years ago King Boudewijn, his uncle, spoke before the UN as the Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force. “King Boudewijn was aware of the importance of raising awareness of the fate of children” King Filip said. “Since then the UN has realised great strides, but more needs to be done.”
For Belgium protecting children in conflict and listening to their voices is an overarching priority in Belgian foreign policy. It’s an issue that remains of great geopolitical importance. The king spoke of the plight of girls and boys fleeing conflict, of victims of sexual violence and the need to protect these children and listen to their voices.
“Millions of young people are wounded in body and spirit” the king said.
The king called for concerted action by the international community with the necessary means being allotted. He spoke of the need to provide meaningful support to integrate victims in society and break the cycle of violence.
“Far too often the fate and rights of children are neglected” he added. “We should do far more. At stake is the future of war-torn societies. Every child has the right to grow up in a home and in a safe environment as well as a right to education. Realising such goals can prevent further conflicts” King Filip concluded.