On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium participated in a roundtable discussion with a focus on communication on sustainability issues, with experts and communication professionals. According to the Belgian royal court, the discussions “…relate in particular to the means of making information relating to sustainable development more effective in order to make it accessible to a wide audience.”
On the morning of Tuesday, April 26, 2022, His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium accompanied by the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Mr. Frank Vandenbroucke, visited the headquarters of Sciensano, a research institute and the national public health institute of Belgium, in Ixelles.
According to the Sciensano official website, during today’s visit His Majesty was informed about the:
“…various scientific activities taking place within the company. Among other things, His Majesty took a detailed look at the One Health principle, which is the common starting point for all the institute’s scientific activities.
His Majesty was also particularly interested in the way in which Sciensano is constantly preparing to face different crisis situations in terms of public health and is at all times ready to assist the Belgian federal and regional authorities and the international authorities on the science so that they can manage a crisis. Some Sciensano scientists have illustrated it with the help of various subjects, such as the monitoring of Avian Flu in our country and the analysis of the risks associated with materials in contact with food sources.
His Majesty was also able to personally discover how Sciensano helps the authorities to control a crisis during a visit to our research laboratory for pathogens in food sources. He, therefore, carried out one of the experiments carried out by our scientists in order to detect Salmonellosis.”
This afternoon the Belgian royal court announced that Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium has tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, Her Majesty “…is doing well and is following the recommendations of her doctor.”
Her Majesty has canceled all of her engagements for the next week.
This is the second time in one week that a monarch has tested positive for COVID-19. Last week, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco tested positive and was Asymptomatic.
Wishing Her Majesty a speedy recovery!
On Thursday, March 31, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium, in her capacity as an Advocate of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, gave a speech during the Sustainable Value Chains: From Legislation to Action conference organized by The Shift, a Belgian platform for a sustainable economy and society in Brussels.
The purpose of yesterday’s conference was to show how companies, NGPs, and public institutions can complement each other to set up value chains that protect human rights and the environment and thus contribute to sustainable development.
Below is Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium’s speech:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When the international community adopted Agenda 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in 2015, it gave itself a mission: to work together for a transition towards a more sustainable world. A transition that would benefit people and the planet. A transition that would put in motion the reduction of poverty and inequalities, and guarantee a life of dignity for all. A transition that would bring back balance in climate, in biodiversity, in water resources and oceans. And, in so doing, do no harm, protect the rights of every individual, leave no one behind and respect the planetary boundaries.
Understanding and keeping in mind the interconnectedness between all the SDGs is a precondition for fulfilling Agenda 2030. The SDGs provide a global and integrated vision to ensure that economic, social and environmental policies take into account the needs of all countries and all population groups, as well as the urgency of restoring the health of the planet. The SDGs are, therefore, a very useful and practical reference for policymaking and business-planning, as well as consumer practices. Since their adoption, a variety of stakeholders have worked diligently to produce practical instruments to assist decision-makers, at all levels, in this regard. Today’s event is a welcome contribution to this overall effort.
We are increasingly aware that the economic and commercial decisions and actions of one country or region can have consequences for populations or the environment on the other side of the earth. With this realization comes greater responsibility in making economic choices, adapting production and consumption patterns, and changing the behavior of companies and consumers. Indeed, the wide lens of the SDGs allows us to look beyond borders. They allow us to distinguish which actions may have a negative impact on the capacity of other – often poorer – countries to reach these objectives. Greenhouse gas emissions have dramatic consequences in terms of desertification and sea level rise worldwide. Commodity agriculture for exportation relies, in some cases, on dramatic deforestation. Affordable goods in developed countries may be the product of unsatisfactory work conditions, and even child or forced labor elsewhere. This spillover effect blurs the picture of our achievements as well as the evaluation of the real costs. We must ensure, too, that the way we implement the SDGs at a national or regional level helps other economies and communities to work towards these goals.
As you will discuss today, transparent and sustainable value chains have an important role to play in this respect. Of course, many international instruments, developed to guarantee the protection of human rights and the environment in the supply chain, predate the adoption of the SDGs. Nevertheless, they are based on the same principles and concerns, and they are now part of the general effort to push forward Agenda 2030, to which they are clearly related. They encompass, for instance, rolling back poverty, guaranteeing access to quality education, healthcare, decent employment, adequate housing, safe water and land, and promoting women’s empowerment. Moving from principle to practice to create and maintain sustainable value chains requires legal rules, transparency, responsibility, and due diligence. For smaller companies the task might sometimes look complex and arduous. Exchanging best practices and sharing experience, as you will today, is one way to help close the gap. Cooperation with local actors will be key. Hopefully, non-governmental organizations and consumers will continue to be demanding – but constructive – partners and sounding boards, in the common effort to establish value chains that contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.
I thank you.”
Photos courtesy of the Belgian Royal Court
On Monday, March 21, 2022, Their Majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium welcomed the President of the Republic of Austria, His Excellency Alexander Van der Bellen, and First Lady Her Excellency Mrs. Doris Schmidauer, to the Palais Royal in Brussels. President Van der Bellen and his wife were invited to Belgium for a three-day state visit. This is the first state visit between Austria and Belgium since 1997, but also the first incoming state visit to Belgium since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
After warm greetings were given and the Belgian as well as Austrian national anthems were played His Majesty King Philippe and President Van der Bellen, per tradition, participated in inspecting the Guard of Honor.
This evening there will be an official state dinner at Château de Laeken.
Click the link below to view a photo gallery from PPE:
Photos courtesy of the Belgian Royal Court
On Friday, March 18, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium, on the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8) participated in a round-table discussion with women from various sectors who reside in the province of Limburg held at the official residence of the Governor of Limburg in Hasselt.
According to the Belgian royal court, discussions focused on “…the position of women in society, the challenges they face and their expectations…”
Click the link below to view photos from the photo news agency, PPE:
Photos courtesy of the Belgian royal court
On Thursday, March 17, 2022, Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium hosted a round-table discussion with youth magistrates at the Palais Royal in Brussels.
The theme of today’s discussion, The COVID Pandemic and the Increased Fragility of Young People focused on the “…impact of the various confinements on the mental well-being of vulnerable young people is discussed…” according to the Belgian royal court.