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10 November 2017

Speech of His Majesty the King of Belgium

at the National Domestic Workers Movement

Mumbai, Friday 10 November 2017.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear children,

 

Sharing this moment with you is for the Queen and I a source of great joy. We thank you for the gift of your smiles and song.

We are happy that we could include a visit here in our program in India.

Strong values guide the relations between our two countries since a long time. They were specially felt during the First World War through the heroic support of brave Indian soldiers who fought at our side for our liberty.

Many Belgians also came to India, fascinated by this great country and its people, to give the best of themselves wherever there was a need.

Among those is Sister Jeanne. Dear Sister, we know you since a long time. You dedicated your life working for others. We are grateful for your dedication and your energy. What you have created here is a powerful example for all of us.

Let me thank you and congratulate you, Sister Jeanne, and all those who work here in a spirit of selflessness. Queen Mathilde and I wish you every success.

 ...

07 November 2017

Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians

at the State Banquet hosted by

His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind, President of India

Rashtrapati Bhavan, Tuesday 7 November 2017

 

 

Mr. President, Queen Mathilde and I thank you for your warm welcome this morning and for the kind words you addressed to us a moment ago. 

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“Satyam eva jayate”, “Truth alone triumphs”. Only what is true, what is worthy, will prevail. This ancient wisdom from the Mundaka Upanishad, which is more than 2,500 years old, was adopted by your country as its national motto 70 years ago. In today’s complex world it is more valid than ever, and it will guide us through our visit to India. 

Like so many Belgians and members of our delegation, we come to India with feelings of great respect and admiration. For your old and rich culture, which continues to fill us with wonder and to inspire us. For the greatness and the legacy of your leaders, from emperors like Ashoka and Akbar to Mahatma Gandhi. For your tradition of religious tolerance : more than 3,500 years ago, the Rig Veda already referred to “the One existence, which sages describe in many ways”. For the vibrant and peaceful evolution of your democracy, the world’s biggest. For the dynamism of your economy and your world leadership in so many fields. 

Over the centuries, Belgium and India...

30 July 2017

Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians
at the Commemoration of the Centenary of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Ypres.
Menin Gate, July 30th, 2017.

Every time we stand here under the Menin Gate, we feel overwhelmed by the immensity of the sacrifice of the men whose names surround us. And when a fresh breeze whispers through the arches, it touches something inside all of us. It is as if the fallen were telling us : we did this for you. Indeed, they came to our country from near and far to defend our freedom alongside our own soldiers. Ever since, we have expressed our gratitude to these heroes, and a hundred years have passed without it being diminished.

I am proud of the people of Ypres and of other places on the Western Front. Conscious of the sacrifices made by those who fought on Belgian soil, they pay homage daily on behalf of all Belgian citizens. The Last Post ceremony, held here each evening, is a tradition founded and maintained by the local community. It has taken place more than 30,000 times since 1928 and is an important part of the identity of the city of Ypres. Members of the Last Post Association organise the ceremony day after day, on busy summer evenings and quiet winter nights. For your dedication, we thank you.

Passchendaele was a struggle for freedom, our common freedom, the freedom we enjoy today. At the time it...

20 July 2017

(Speech pronounced in Dutch, French and German)

Discours de S.M. le Roi
à l’occasion de la Fête Nationale, le 21 juillet 2017.

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Aujourd’hui, un vent d’optimisme souffle sur notre économie et sur le marché de l’emploi. Une nouvelle dynamique européenne semble prendre forme. Alors comment saisir ce moment ? Comment en faire une opportunité pour l’ensemble de la société ? En continuant à façonner une société inclusive, dans laquelle personne ne se sent abandonné.

Apprendre, au sens large, est une des clés pour y parvenir. Apprendre des autres et avec les autres.

A l’âge du savoir immédiat et omniprésent, apprendre à interpréter les faits et à émettre un jugement de valeur, permet de prendre ses responsabilités en connaissance de cause. ‘C’est vrai’. ‘C’est juste’. ‘C’est bien’ … Les jeunes apprennent cela en premier lieu de leurs parents. Et aussi de ces enseignants passionnés, qui éveillent chez leurs élèves le désir de comprendre. Dans un monde qui évolue à un rythme accéléré, ils apprennent de leurs aînés comment prendre du recul. Les aînés peuvent aussi apprendre des plus jeunes. Encourageons la rencontre de l’enthousiasme et de la créativité avec la sagesse et l’expérience de vie.

Le travail également est un lieu qui permet cette rencontre. De plus en plus d’écoles en Belgique intègrent le travail en entreprise dans leur programme. Lors d’un récent voyage en Suisse, j’ai pu apprécier les succès engrangés par ce modèle de formation en alternance. Continuons à favoriser les synergies entre le...

07 June 2017

European Development Days
Tour & Taxis, Brussels
7 June 2017
High Level Panel Debate
“Leaving no one behind”

(Speech pronounced in English and French)

“Investment in development, means first of all investment in people”. People must be at the center of our concerns and our efforts to leave no one behind. Quality education and health are cornerstones of an inclusive sustainable development.

Your Excellences, Ladies & Gentleman,

With this in mind, the European Development Days offer us an exceptional platform to make the case for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Europe invests more than anybody else into sustainable development around the world. Moreover, closer to home the countries of the European Union are deeply committed to instill in their social policies the core principle of sustainability for the benefit of all. 

We are still at the beginning of the journey of Agenda 2030. The beginning of a transformative journey. So the outreach to various players and the implementation are of the essence.  Brussels, at the very heart of Europe, can and will be an excellent multiplier for our Goals. 

Notre échange de vues de ce midi, auquel participaient également de hauts responsables des Nations Unies et de l’Union européenne, vient de l’illustrer. Il est évident que la poursuite des ambitions de l’agenda 2030 sera facilitée par la recherche de synergies et de partenariats.

Le sujet de discussion que nous allons aborder se situe au cœur de...

06 June 2017

European Development Days - Voices4Development Reach out-event - Flagey, Brussels, 6 June 2017

Remarks by Her Majesty the Queen

 

Chers jeunes,

Beste jongeren,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

C’est un moment important qui nous réunit dans ce palais de la culture, autour des SDGs, à l’occasion des Journées Européennes du Développement.

Bijna twee jaar geleden aanvaardden de Verenigde Naties de agenda 2030, een ambitieuze ontwikkelingsagenda met 17 ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen.

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, set by the UN, address all the major challenges facing the world today. From poverty to healthcare, education, climate change, peace and security, and more. 

For my part, I am particularly interested in education and health. And let us not forget mental health. The theme of this year’s European Development Days is ‘Investing in Development’. What better way to do that than by investing in decent education and healthcare for everyone? I firmly believe that without these, there can be no development.

During recent visits to Jordan and Laos, I was struck by what the young children I met told me. How traumatized they were by poverty, or by their fate as refugees. They desperately need mental healthcare to help them deal with these stresses.

The children also told me how eager they were to go to school. One child had made a drawing. Beneath it she had written: ‘Education is essential for our future. The role of teachers is crucial. They must be encouraged in their mission.’

It is a simple but powerful message....

12 May 2017

Address given by Her Majesty the Queen
Boost Philanthropy in Europe - Spring of Philanthropy
Concert Noble, Brussels, May 12, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the years the world has become increasingly complex. A variety of major issues have emerged that require long-term solutions. As a result, philanthropy has become more and more important.

The Spring of Philanthropy, organised by the King Baudouin Foundation, can only strengthen a great and longstanding tradition. A tradition that advances humanity – both the benefactors and those they help. Your involvement, as philanthropists, is essential to create opportunities for everyone.

As Honorary President of the King Baudouin Foundation, I am delighted to open this conference. On the one hand, it marks the official closing of the Spring of Philanthropy in Belgium. But it is also the launch of an important new initiative at the European level. Ten prominent European philanthropic organisations have come together for an open dialogue on new practices and innovative ideas. The hopes and concerns of philanthropists in Europe will be high on the agenda. But this dialogue will not stop today; it is just the first step of an ongoing process.

I am impressed by the diversity of the participants here. You have come from all over Europe. In each of your countries, philanthropy needs expression locally, in grassroots projects, but also nationally and internationally, as today.

This conference is an important and timely initiative. Our society is rocked by problems,...

29 March 2017

Speech of His Majesty the King of Belgium
for the opening of the Belgium-Denmark business forum
Copenhagen, Wednesday 29 March 2017.

 

Your Royal Highness,

Ministers,

Director-General,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In his wonderful tale "The Windmill", your great author Hans Christian Andersen, whose statue faces this building, evokes the soul that survives change. He describes an enlightened windmill that stands proud upon the hill and talks about itself and the people living inside it, whom it describes as its mind and its heart. When the old windmill is destroyed by fire, a new and more modern one is built in its place. Although it is completely different, the mind and the heart of the miller and his family remain unchanged.

This image of the windmill seems a fitting way to introduce the seminar that brings us here today. Not only because we have been struck by the expanses of wind turbines since our arrival in Denmark, but also because this tale highlights a very important principle: as technology progresses, human beings must remain the central concern.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

According to a recent survey carried out by the European Commission, Belgium and Denmark are in the top tier of Europe's most digitally advanced economies and societies. The level of digitisation in our countries is higher than that of our large neighbouring countries. We can justifiably be pleased about this, given that a global 'performance race' is very much a...

28 March 2017

Speech of His Majesty the King of Belgium
at the state dinner hosted by
Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark
Christiansborg Palace, Tuesday 28 March 2017.

Your Majesty,

Queen Mathilde and I would like to thank you for your warm welcome, and for the kind words addressed to us. Our visit comes at a time when your family is in mourning. We are very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts today are with your sister Princess Benedikte in particular.

This state visit is an opportunity to discover even more of your beautiful country. Forty years ago, four years after your proclamation as Queen, you were received for your first state visit to Belgium by King Baudouin. Today, four years after my own accession to the throne, you welcome us in Denmark. We have close family ties, in particular through my grandmother Queen Astrid and there has been sincere friendship between us since a long time. We have known you as a Queen with vast experience, close to your fellow citizens, and who is highly respected. In addition to your renowned artistic talent, your rich personality reflects both a deep respect for the traditions of your country and an outlook towards the future.

Your Majesty, Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Denmark successfully combines tradition with modernity. The distinction and splendour with which you have received us illustrates this sense of tradition.  But at the same time, your country has emerged as...

22 March 2017

(Speech pronounced in Dutch, French and English)

Speech by His Majesty the King at the
commemoration ceremony for the victims of terrorist attacks
Brussels, 22 March 2017.

Beste families,

Niemand kan beweren uw beproeving ten volle te begrijpen. U die een dierbare hebt verloren en u die in uw lichaam en in uw geest de diepe littekens draagt van de terroristische aanslagen, wij willen naar uw lijden luisteren en eerbied tonen voor uw beproeving.

 

Chères familles,

Personne ne peut prétendre comprendre pleinement l’épreuve que vous traversez. Vous qui avez perdu un être cher et vous qui portez dans votre corps et votre esprit les séquelles des attentats terroristes, nous voulons écouter votre souffrance et respecter votre épreuve.

La Reine et moi avons rencontré beaucoup d’entre vous. A la haine et à la violence, vous avez répondu par la dignité. Au doute et à la crainte, vous avez opposé le courage et une magnifique volonté de reconstruire. Ce matin encore vous nous le témoignez de manière poignante. C’est un exemple pour nous.

Vous nous avez dit combien vous avez vécu de moments d’intime solidarité. Je remercie chaleureusement tous ceux qui se sont donnés sans compter pour vous venir en aide, répondre à votre détresse et vous permettre de trouver le chemin de la résilience. Il est, dansce contexte, essentiel que vous puissiez avoir accès à la protection, au soutien et à l’accompagnement nécessaires.

 

Dames en heren,

Een jaar geleden werd...

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