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Public awareness campaign in Belgium

Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel will on Saturday launch an "African Week" highlighting the need for peace and bringing an end to the suffering of the people of the Great Lakes Region, as "the year 2003 will be again important for peace and stability for the region", according to a ministry statement. The public awareness campaign is aimed at fostering "a better understanding between various actors contributing to the return to peace in the region, to enable several Belgian communes to actively participate in the reconstruction of the region, and to raise funds for children in Burundi, the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] and Rwanda, who are the first victims of the wars in their countries". The programme includes a charity concert on Saturday in Brussels, featuring renowned artists from Burundi, the DRC and Rwanda; a conference next Monday between the trade unions of the three countries; and another one next Tuesday, bringing together experts on cooperation and the Belgian communes willing to help the Great Lakes Region through micro-projects of cooperation. A round-table conference will take place next Wednesday on the theme "Belgian policy in Central Africa and civil society", and will focus primarily on the role of the several African associations active in Belgium. An official charity dinner will close the week on 22 February, with the expected presence of heads of state of the region, as well as Belgian and foreign politicians. Economic and social decision-makers, artists, academics and representatives from civil society are also invited.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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