FICAC President Arnold Foote, in his speech, said:

Your Excellency Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Didier Reynders
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps
President and members of the Belgian Consular Union
Directors and members of the World Federation of Consuls

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen I am humbled and deeply honoured to receive this award from the Belgian Consular Union. This recognition means a lot to me. Thank you all very much.

I came here tonight, not only to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Belgian Consular Union and to congratulate it for its many activities, but especially to thank the BCU for the excellent contribution it has made, and continues to make, to the development of the World Federation of Consuls.

In this regard, I must make special mention of its President, Willy Deswaef, whose 20 years of leadership of the Belgian Consular Union is no ordinary achievement. President Willy Deswaef has served his Corps and his country, nationally and internationally, with distinction.

President Willy, you have earned our respect and admiration. Please accept our heartiest congratulations.

I would like also to say a special word of thanks to Mrs. Deswaef for the wonderful support that she gives constantly to her dear husband. Please give her a big round of applause. She deserves it.

The Belgian Consular Union became a member of the World Federation of Consuls in 1995. Today, the BCU is represented on our Board of Directors by Hon. Francois Piers, who is making an excellent contribution to our Federation.

I would like also to say a special thank you to the Belgian Consular Union’s dynamic Monique de Decker-Deprez, for the excellent support she gives to our Federation. She is an outstanding Consul. Thank you very much Monique.

Before closing, I would like to congratulate the members of the Belgian Consular Union for your achievements over the last 20 years and the excellent work you are all doing for your Sending States and for Belgium.

I wish for you many, many more successful years as you continue to write the history of the great Belgian Consular Union.