Working to offer Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian populations a better future

date: 28 February 2014

Andris Piebalgs & Jean-Pascal Labille

The Minister for Development Cooperation, Jean-Pascal Labille, and the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will be travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda for a working mission between 3 and 6 March.

The mission will mainly focus on pacification and the sustainable reconstruction of the Great Lakes Region and the role which European partners can play in this process. Indeed, fighting and pillaging have reigned here for many long years causing a large number of citizens to flee to neighbouring countries, but the time has now come for reconstruction in order to ensure a return to stability. The objective is to clearly demonstrate that the rewards of peace are much more beneficial than those of war and to give work to demobilised soldiers. Belgium is very committed to this process: our country is currently working to raise awareness among the international community and, in particular, the European Union, as to the need for a targeted and coordinated intervention.

Many events are programmed in the frame of this mission with the Belgian Minister, Mr Labille, and the European Commissioner for Development, in particular, meetings with civil society and local political stakeholders, as well as several field visits. A meeting is also planned with young people from Anderlecht and Dinant who are participating in the ‘Move with Africa’ initiative, launched by La Libre and supported by Belgian Development Cooperation. This will provide the students with the opportunity to present a review of their week spent in Rwanda in the frame of the projects carried out by the Belgian NGOs Entraide et Fraternité and Vétérinaires Sans Frontières.