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Welcome to the website of the Australian Embassy in Brussels. Our role is to promote Australia's relationships with Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union, and NATO. The Embassy is open from 08.30am to 5:00pm weekdays, except public holidays.
Updated travel advice for Belgium, 27 November
The domestic terrorism threat for Brussels was reduced to level 3 (serious) on 26 November, in line with the level for the whole of Belgium. We advise Australians to keep an increased level of vigilance in places with high concentrations of people including concerts, major events, train stations and airports, public transport, and shopping districts. The level of this advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Belgium. Read more
European Union FTA talks progress
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) is pictured with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and European Council President Donald Tusk (centre) after their meeting.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb says the commitment between Australia and the European Union (EU) to work towards the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a major step forward in unlocking exciting new trade and investment opportunities in Europe. In a joint statement released on 15 November Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to commence work aimed at launching negotiations, adding that an FTA ‘will support sustainable growth and investment, open up new commercial opportunities and promote innovation and employment in Australia and the EU.’ Read more
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Australia supports our partner countries, regional and international fora to take an integrated approach to ending violence against women and girls. Read more From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP announced that he had become an official White Ribbon Ambassador demonstrating his commitment to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women.
Australian Veterans’ Affairs Minister visits Belgium
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, visited Belgium on 11-12 November as part of his trip to Europe to inspect key Anzac Centenary commemorative sites and to meet European friends supporting the memory of Australian sacrifice during World War One. While in Flanders he laid a wreath and recited the Ode at the Last Post Association’s nightly ceremony at Ieper (Ypres). Minister Robert then had a meeting with Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois in Brussels during which they discussed Australian-Flemish co-operation on World War One commemoration.
Municipality of Zonnebeke announces Wood of Peace initiative at Polygon Wood
The municipality of Zonnebeke, near Ypres (Ieper), as part of its program to commemorate the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres (The Battle of Passchendaele) on 12 October 2017 launched on Remembrance Day 2015 its Wood of Peace project. The municipality aims to create a wood near the two Polygon Wood cemeteries, Buttes New British Cemetery – where the annual ANZAC Day dawn service takes place – and the Polygon Wood Cemetery.
The Zonnebeke municipality plans to plant a tree for each of the 523 identified soldiers buried in the two cemeteries. Relatives of those buried are encouraged to register their interest in the project via a new website www.passchendaele2017.org. The planting of the first symbolic trees – one for each nation whose soldiers are buried at the two cemeteries – is scheduled after the ANZAC Day Dawn Service in 2017. Planting will take place on 12 October 2017 for family members and other participants. Read more
12,749 Australians died in Belgium during World War One, many in the Third Battle of Ypres around Polygon Wood.
Australia to lead Green Climate Fund Board
Australia has been elected unanimously to lead the Green Climate Fund in 2016. The Green Climate Fund, which commenced in August 2012, is the world’s leading fund for addressing climate change in developing countries including those in our region. Read more
Australia and the European Union reinforce their cooperation on Earth observation
Photo caption: Dr. Philippe Brunet (right) and Dr. Stuart Minchin (left) sign the Cooperation Arrangement. Photo credit: European Commission
Australia and the European Commission (EC) in 4 November signed a cooperation arrangement which will ensure access to vital satellite data. The Australian Government was represented by Dr. Stuart Minchin of Geoscience Australia and the EC by Dr. Philippe Brunet, Director of Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence. The arrangement enhances access to Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation and Monitoring programme, which captures data and imagery of our planet and its environment for the ultimate benefit of all citizens. Read more
Australia celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations
Australia joined countries around the world in celebrating the United Nations’ 70th anniversary on 24 October 2015. United Nations Day this year is a timely opportunity for global citizens to unite and celebrate the UN’s achievements and the important role it continues to play in international peace and security, development and the promotion of human rights. Australia has played an active role across the UN’s agenda over the past 70 years and is committed to helping shape the UN so that it continues to provide an effective platform for international cooperation to address the global challenges of today and the future. Read more
Australia's Candidacy to the Human Rights Council
Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop, and Attorney-General Senator, the Hon George Brandis QC, on 19 October officially launched Australia’s candidacy for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term. This is the first time Australia has sought membership of the Human Rights Council. Our inaugural candidacy embodies our commitment to the aims and purposes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the ongoing promotion and protection of human rights, both here in Australia and around the world. Read more
United Nations Security Council & Human Rights Council
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced Australia will be a candidate for the United Nations Security Council in 2029-30. The need for strong international cooperation to tackle global security challenges becomes more pressing each year. Australia seeks this term determined that elected members can and should make a difference in increasing the Security Council’s effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security. Read more
Promoting Economic Growth in the Pacific
On 29 September Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with Pacific Foreign Ministers to exchange ideas on how to grow economies and build sustainable development in our region. A dynamic private sector, the economic empowerment of women and healthy populations are all critical elements of building prosperity in the Pacific. Read more
United Nations Peacekeeping pledge
Australia has continued its tradition of strong support for UN peacekeeping, pledging to provide strategic air lift and training support. Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop today joined more than fifty world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in reaffirming support to UN peacekeeping and offer pledges of assistance. Read more
The Syrian and Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis
Australia will resettle an additional 12,000 refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Our focus will be on those most in need – the women, children and families of persecuted minorities who have sought refuge from the conflict in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Read more
Australian Arts and Culture Highlighted in Turkey
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced that the internationally acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre will perform in Istanbul as part of Australia’s year-long cultural festival ‘Australia Now, Turkey 2015’. Read more
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