At the UN, Alexander De Croo accuses Vladimir Putin of “colonizing Africa”

2023-09-21 03:50:46


September 21, 2023

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo denounced Vladimir Putin’s “imperialism” and Wagner’s criminal actions in Africa at the UN.

The 78th UN General Assembly opened this week in an atmosphere weighed down by multiple planetary crises and the inability of international institutions to resolve them. In this deleterious climate, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) chose optimism tinged with realismWednesday evening in New York, during his speech at the United Nations.

Optimism, on the realization of positive political and economic projects carried by the international community to stem the climate crisis, poverty and wars. Realism, on the instability caused in Europe and Africa by Russia which attempts to marginalize the West.

“Russia created the Wagner Group to sow death and destruction in Africa.”

Alexander De Croo

Belgian Prime Minister

“Some people, right here in this room today, are pessimistic about the state of the world. But I disagree. There are good reasons to be optimistic,” the Prime Minister said, by citing several advances made since the beginning of the century thanks to the UN, such as the schooling of 85% of the world’s children at the primary level, and access to two billion more people with drinking water.

Russia, “new colonizer”

The Belgian Prime Minister launched a warning at the heart of his speech. “It must be recognized that the clear and present danger comes from a permanent member of the UN Security Council“, he declared. Referring to terrorism, poverty and climate change in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, he denounced the presence of Russia and Wagner’s militia in these countrieswhere they act as a destabilizing factor.

340 billion


Alexander De Croo reminded the UN platform that 340 billion euros had been invested this year in renewable energies around the world.

“Russia created the Wagner Group to sow death and destruction in Africa,” said Alexander De Croo, comparing Russia’s action in Africa with the war it is waging in Ukraine. “In fact, what Wagner and Putin are doing to Africa is exactly the same thing as Ukraine. Preventing Africa from prospering. Denying the sovereignty of African countries. And finally, as in Ukraine, colonize“, he added, accusing Moscow of returning to colonization.

Belgian Prime Minister calls on United Nations to protect “legacy of decolonization”. “Protect it from Putin’s imperialism,” he said.

A “new industrial pact”

The liberal said visible signs of global warming“wildfires in Greece, Spain, Canada and Hawaii. Floods in Libya and Hong Kong”, as well as “long periods of drought and water stress in my own country”.

But he turned to optimism, citing the record amount of 340 billion euros invested this year in renewable energies worldwide. “The prices of renewable energies continue to fall from year to year,” he said. “We should avoid listening to the Cassandras who say that everything is lost,” he insisted. “What we must do now is not to despair but accelerate towards the green transition.”

“We will continue to be a nuclear country.”

Alexander De Croo

Belgian Prime Minister

The Prime Minister announced that Belgium would focus on a “new industrial pact” during its presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), in the first half of 2024. This initiative would aim to develop clean technologies – wind, solar -, but also “green chemistry”, by working in collaboration with countries outside the EU, in Africa and Asia. Without giving up nuclear power as far as Belgium is concerned.

“We will continue to be a nuclear country,” he said, because “to continue the battle against global warming, we will need renewables as well as nuclear power“.

Migration pact

The second objective of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU will be to finalize the agreement between the Twenty-Seven on the Migration Pact, promised Alexander De Croo. “A pact to ensure that each EU country does its part of the job,” he said, deploring the “unacceptable, unbearable and immoral” treatment reserved for migrants by traffickers. “They decide the life and death of these people,” he added.

The Twenty-Seven are struggling to agree on the draft Migration Pact due to a lack of solidarity between European countries. The Prime Minister insisted on establishing partnerships with countries of originand the implementation of migration programs.

The summary

  • The Belgian Prime Minister denounced at the UN the “colonization” of Africa by Russia and the Wagner paramilitary group. He called on the United Nations to preserve “the legacy of decolonization.”
  • In a speech also tinged with optimism, Alexander De Croo called for a “new industrial pact” to promote green technologies in Europe. This will be one of the priorities of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU.
  • The liberal also promised that Belgium would try, during its presidency, to finalize an agreement on the European Migration Pact.

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