Belgium @ UN

Belgium at the United Nations.

Fun Facts about Belgium @ UN

About Belgium at the UN
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Belgian Waffle Event at UNHQ
  • Former Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak was the first President of the General Assembly, in 1946.                                           
  • Belgian architect Gaston Brunfaut was part of the team of architects to design the UN Headquarters in NY (along with others such as Le Corbusier & Oskar Niemeyer).                                                                                                                                                     
  • Queen Mathilde of Belgium is an official Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), appointed by the UN Secretary General.
  • The Smurfs (yes, they are Belgian!) are equally committed to the SDG’s, as the blue cartoon characters are frequently used to explain these global goals to people around the world, including children.                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • Belgium offered two gifts to the UN, on display at Headquarters in NY: a portrait of Nelson Mandela by Belgian painter Jan Beekman and the “Triumph of Peace” tapestry designed by Belgian artist Peter Colfs. It is one of the largest tapestries ever woven, measuring 43 ½ by 28 ½ feet, and took 14 craftsmen operating a loom specially built for the manufacture of the tapestry to complete. The wool and jute used to make the tapestry could stretch nearly four times around the equator, with a total length of 94,000 miles.                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Belgium has been elected to the UN Security Council six times (1947-1948, 1955-1956, 1971-1972, 1991-1992 and 2007-2008, 2019-2020). We are a candidate for the term 2037-2038 (stay tuned).
  • Belgium is in the top 25 of contributors to the UN regular budget and has been President of the 5th committee three times (apparently we love numbers!).                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • The highest ranked Belgian working for the UN is currently Serge Brammertz, Under Secretary General and chief prosecutor for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).                                                                                                      
  • Two Belgian nationals – Alice Hecht (2006-2009) and Peter Van Laere (2015-2019) served as Chief of UN Protocol.
  • Once a year, the General Assembly Hall smells like Belgian waffles, as we host a (very popular) tasting event at the UN Delegates Lounge.