With the following words, we remember and honour our dearest colleague and friend François Carbonez.
François celebrated his 37th birthday on 25 September 2021. On Sunday, 10 October 2021, François passed away unexpectedly but peacefully.
François worked in the Light for the World European Union (EU) Liaison Office in Brussels, Belgium since 2011.
He was a strong advocate for EU development and humanitarian policies and programmes to be inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disabilities.
François was also engaged in the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) – as an EU Task Group Coordinator and then as a Board member – as well as being Co-Chair of the CONCORD Inequalities and Sustainable Economy workstream.
Inclusion was not just a word for François, it was his life and his mission. With his policy intelligence, analytical skills, and his way with words he strove to shape development cooperation to be more inclusive and accessible. He took on challenges with expertise and passion. He was a master in communications. He knew the value in staying silent on matters that did not need further input. But he also did not hesitate to engage on those topics that did deserve comment. Or outrage.
He shared his views, expertise and experience with colleagues and partners to influence others, and ensure that all aspects of inclusion are thought of.
François also taught us how to deal with not-so-good days. His dry and sharp sense of humour made meetings and conversations (and after-work drinks) more enjoyable. Where there was François, there was exchange, laughter, appreciation, cocktails and sweets.
Our thoughts are with François’ family and friends, and especially with his parents Veronique and Roland, at this difficult time.
We have lost a strong advocate for disability rights and inclusion and a close friend. François will be greatly missed, but he will forever be remembered in our hearts and our minds. His legacy lives on.