The Belgian Premier Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès in New York.

Belgian PM : "Climate, vaccines and terrorism: nobody is safe until everybody is safe"

The Belgian Premier Alexander De Croo has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, highlighting the urgency of the climate challenge among other things. The PM referred to the 41 deaths after unprecedented floods in eastern Belgium this summer. 

"Those floods were the worst our country has ever seen. Belgium was in shock", Mr De Croo told the assembly as an example to underline the importance of the upcoming climate conference in Glasgow (COP26). "This will be the most important meeting in years. Our joint mission should be to do whatever it takes to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees as stated in the Paris climate agreement in 2015." 

To reach this goal, it will be crucial to invest in the most vulnerable countries, the PM said, highlighting the importance to find the promised 100 billion dollars per year for climate mitigation. "This is a matter of life and death. If we don't tackle the climate crisis, we will not only lose lives, but tensions will also increase worldwide, triggering more instability and insecurity."

Climate is just one of three main global challenges according to the PM. The second one is the corona pandemic. De Croo pressed for vaccine solidarity in this respect to get as many people vaccinated around the globe, also in the poorer countries. 

A third one is tackling the terrorism threat, the Flemish PM added. The guideline for corona - "nobody is safe until everybody is safe" - should also apply to the two other challenges, he concluded. 

Watch Alexander De Croo's address (in English) in this video: 

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