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E.g., 18/12/2018
04 December 2018 (All day)

Mesdames et Messieurs,

C’est un privilège pour mon pays d’accueillir la Réunion mondiale de l’UNESCO consacrée au thème important qu’est l’éducation. Nous savons tous que l’éducation est à la base de tout développement.

Les progrès accomplis en matière d’accès à l’éducation, dans la plupart des pays du monde et au niveau mondial, sont indéniables. Le nombre d’enfants, d’adolescents et de jeunes ne fréquentant pas l’école - qui s’élevait à 376 millions en 2000 - s’est réduit de 35 % environ. Désormais, l’universalité de l’accès à l’école primaire semble davantage à notre portée, bien que les disparités régionales restent importantes. Le taux de scolarisation des filles en primaire témoigne aussi d’avancées réelles. 

Mais, encore aujourd’hui, 262 millions d’enfants, d’adolescents et de jeunes ne vont pas à l’école, soit 1 sur 5. Moins de 60% des filles dans les pays les plus pauvres terminent l’école primaire. 17% des enfants qui fréquentent l’école primaire ne terminent pas ce cycle. Plus inquiétant encore, les progrès enregistrés semblent désormais stagner.  Enfin, des conflits prolongés, causant d’importants déplacements de population, ont privé de nombreux enfants et adolescents de plusieurs années de scolarité, au point que l’on a parlé à leur sujet de génération perdue. Parmi eux, des enfants-soldats dont la réintégration nécessitera des efforts soutenus.

Alors que les objectifs quantitatifs fixés par la communauté internationale ne sont pas encore atteints, l’Objectif 4 du développement durable nous a fixé un nouveau défi, à savoir « assurer à tous et à toutes une éducation de qualité, sur...

15 November 2018 (All day)

On the occasion of King's Day we share new official photos.
© Royal Palace

11 November 2018 (All day)

Exactly one hundred years ago, at this very moment, the call of bugles all along the front announced the ceasefire. Led by King Albert I, the Belgian army had shown great courage in recapturing our country. The sound of the bugles heralded the end of a war that had spread death and destruction, one that would leave deep scars on soldiers and civilians alike.

Today, once again, we stand respectfully before the tomb of the unknown soldier. And our thoughts return to that merciless struggle.

This majestic monument emanates an aura of greatness. The greatness of the heroes of the First World War, who fought and fell for their country. For our country. But at the same time, the monument emanates simplicity, the humility associated with the mystery of that maimed and nameless soldier. Undoubtedly, he would have wanted to tell us his story, he would have stood in the spotlight that shines on him today. But his real calling lies in namelessness and silence.

This unknown soldier stands, of course, for all the heroes and victims in our own families, our loved ones, our parents, our grandparents. They are present here too. This unknown soldier invites us to look deep into ourselves, to give meaning to his death. This soldier is each one of us.

We live in a world where images dominate. A world where we must see and know everything immediately. It is reassuring to realise that human greatness also lies in the unknown, in anonymity. That...

24 October 2018 (All day)

Mr. President,

Mr. Mayor,

Thank you for your kind words. The Queen and I are delighted to be in Porto again, and we thank you for hosting this lunch in the beautiful Palácio da Bolsa. A palace that was built by your Trade Association 150 years ago. The palace as a whole and the Arab room, in which we stand, in particular, tell us a lot about the Norte Region of Portugal and about the many features we have in common. A solid international trade record, with ports reaching out over the whole world. A geographic location that is ideal for global connectivity. And, of course, a simply unique historical heritage.

Today, we are both confronted with similar challenges, too. Brexit, for example. As our prosperity depends largely on exports, both Portugal and Belgium are concerned about the unavoidable re-emergence of trade barriers, which Brexit will cause. Increasing trade and investments between Portugal and Belgium could compensate. The double bridge over the Douro, built by the Belgian company Société Willebroeck, might inspire us to build new bridges between our countries. Let me mention some of the many opportunities.

At this moment, our delegations are holding talks about a sustainable blue economy and are meeting with innovative digital start-ups. Our shared vision of a more sustainable and innovative economy can and will produce concrete results. Another opportunity lies in social entrepreneurship, combining social objectives with real job creation and profitability. Let us provide our social entrepreneurs with the tools to develop...

23 October 2018 (All day)

Mr President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This morning I had the opportunity to visit the Oceano Azul Foundation. The foundation rightly points out that economic development and commitment to a more sustainable environment need not conflict. Quite the contrary, in fact. Our three-day visit to Portugal offers us many opportunities to gain such insights, and to translate them into joint projects between Portugal and Belgium.

Looking at the bigger picture, let us reflect on global events in order to put our bilateral relations into perspective. The global economic crisis had a tremendous impact on our economies and the lives of our citizens. Many challenges remain, such as unemployment, our ageing populations, the problem of inequality and the difficulty of getting our economies back up to speed. While we work together to overcome these challenges, our long-standing and fruitful model of multilateral decision-making is increasingly being tested.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Under these circumstances, who better to turn to than our old friends, to jointly create a new dynamic. Relations between Portugal and Belgium go back centuries and still produce very tangible results. Belgian tourism to Portugal is flourishing. Our country prides itself on hosting a large Portuguese community, which is an integral part of our society and contributes solidly to the economy. Many business partnerships exist between our countries, too : in technology, construction, food, health and medicine, banking and services. But we could do much more. Increasing our co-operation still further would only enhance the future for both our countries, socially...

22 October 2018 (All day)

Mr President,

Since our arrival this morning, the Queen and I have had a chance to catch a glimpse of your beautiful capital, on our way to our official meetings.  We thank you for your warm welcome, and the kind words you have just spoken on our behalf.

From the Jerónimos monastery this morning, to the Palace of Ajuda this evening - not forgetting the Santa Maria Maior cathedral, the Sé of Lisbon, of course - we have experienced eight centuries of Portuguese history. It is the history of a great nation, with an enterprising and glorious character.

Over the course of this unrivalled narrative, close ties have been forged between our two countries. Crusaders from our northern regions helped your first King, Alfonso Henriques, to reconquer Lisbon. Philip, the Count of Flanders, married King Alfonso's daughter, Mathilde. During the centuries that followed, our countries were led by the same ruling families, who have continued to create alliances among themselves. I myself have Portuguese blood and my great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth spoke your beautiful language fluently.

Maritime trade has long connected our major port cities, facilitating their rise in a similar fashion. Our peoples have always maintained friendly relations. And today, we still reserve a warm welcome for the nationals of our respective countries. Our soldiers have fought side by side at critical moments in history, and this is still the case in various theatres of action today. On this centenary of the end of the First World War, I would...

10 October 2018 (All day)

Address by Her Majesty the Queen

Global Girls Summit

Brussels, 10 October 2018


Mesdames et Messieurs,

Chers représentants des jeunes,

Je viens de m’entretenir avec plusieurs d’entre vous pour écouter vos vues sur l’égalité des chances et des droits des filles. Et je viens d’entendre le message clair et convaincant de Rimsha. J’ai donc rencontré des adolescentes fortes, qui n’ont pas peur d’exprimer leurs opinions sur ce qui leur importe. Toutes font preuve d’une grande aptitude au leadership et savent ce qu’elles veulent !

Mais toutes les filles n’ont pas cette chance ! Les filles sont souvent moins considérées que les garçons. Pourtant, les filles et les garçons, les hommes et les femmes sont complémentaires. Nous avons besoin des unes comme des autres, à mesure égale. Nous avons besoin de mener un dialogue sur les défis que les unes et les autres doivent affronter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

About half of the 1.2 billion 10 to 19-year-old adolescents in the world are girls.

And about one in six 15 to 19-year-old adolescent girls is married or in union. This puts girls, especially younger girls, at risk of premature pregnancy and childbirth. And that can have dangerous effects on their health and the health of their children.

I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of adolescent girls.

Here in Belgium and when I visit other countries, I often have the opportunity to speak with young people. On a visit to India last year, I had the pleasure of...

20 July 2018 (All day)

(Speech pronounced in Dutch, French and German)


Discours de Sa Majesté le Roi

à l’occasion de la Fête Nationale, le 21 juillet 2018

Link to the video



Mesdames et Messieurs,

Le superbe parcours de notre équipe nationale à la Coupe du monde de football a fait vibrer tout le pays. Nous avons vécu des moments inoubliables, avec eux et tous ensemble. C’est un de ces moments forts dans la vie du pays qui fait émerger le sentiment existant de fierté et d’appartenance. Mais aussi : nos Diables Rouges ont merveilleusement incarné notre devise : L’union fait la force. Nous sommes forts, ensemble, dans notre diversité, en accordant nos talents et en poursuivant un idéal commun.

Il y a bien entendu le beau résultat lui-même. Mais la beauté du parcours de notre équipe réside aussi dans la manière dont il a été accompli : par la correction de leur jeu, par le respect de l’adversaire et par la façon dont chacun de ces joueurs a mis son talent au service d’une même cause, l’honneur de notre pays.

De même, dans notre vie personnelle et notre vie en société, nous exprimons notre force au travers des résultats atteints, mais aussi par la manière dont nous les obtenons, en poursuivant un même but, en avançant ensemble, en conciliant nos talents et nos fragilités personnelles. Pour être fort, pour réussir, pour finalement être moi-même, je dois pouvoir compter sur les forces des autres, qui me révèlent la mienne. En m’engageant...

27 June 2018 (All day)

Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians
at the State Dinner in honour of His Excellency the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove,
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove
Castle of Laeken, Wednesday 27 June 2018.

Your Excellency,

Queen Mathilde and I are delighted to welcome you and Lady Cosgrove to the Castle of Laeken. We met in September last year, when you participated in the 100th commemoration of the Battle of Polygon Wood in Zonnebeke.

During the First World War, Australian troops were deployed from March 1916 to October 1918 on the Western Front in France and Belgium. The Australian Imperial Force took part in the famous battles of Messines and Passchendaele in 1917. In the course of the war, more than 420,000 Australians, out of a population of less than five million, volunteered to serve in the military. Over 61,000 sacrificed their lives. 12,000 fell on Belgian soil. It was by far the greatest wartime loss of Australian lives in your country’s history.

So, once again, I want to express Belgium’s gratitude to the Australian people. We have a duty to remember this sacrifice. Our shared history also reminds us how fragile today’s world order is. Globalized conflict could happen again. Just 22 years after the terrible Great War, the Second World War broke out and made even more victims. In the aftermath of this war, we tried to protect ourselves forever from new disasters, by building...

25 April 2018 (All day)

Speech by His Majesty the King of the Belgians

at the United States Military Academy,

West Point, Wednesday 25 April 2018


General Gilland, General Jebb, Faculty Members, Cadets,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon. Seeing you all gathered here today brings back great memories of my time at the Royal Military Academy of Belgium. And of the pride I felt when I completed my fighter pilot and paratrooper training, nearly forty years ago. Just before studying for two years in the United States. So I know what you sometimes have to endure - and also how it makes you grow. And, being an Army man myself, I can fully subscribe to the spirit of : "Go Army, beat Navy!"

Almost one hundred years ago, on the morning of 24 October 1919, my great-grandfather King Albert 1st was welcomed at this Academy by the then superintendent, Douglas MacArthur. To the cadets gathered before him, he expressed his gratitude and admiration for your Academy, which had trained Europe's liberators so well. He told them that, during the four years of the First World War, he had understood – and I quote "the importance for every officer and every soldier to be convinced that they are serving a noble and just cause".

In August 1914, my country had the status of neutrality. Nonetheless, it was faced with an ultimatum from the German emperor to allow his troops to pass through Belgian territory to invade France. King Albert and the...