​Minister González Laya with UN Secretary General António Guterres
Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha González Laya visits the United Nations in New York

​During her trip to New York, Minister González Laya met with UN Secretary general António Guterres, President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and the executive directors of the main bodies of the United Nations system. The Minister also participated in a High-Level Panel on Children and Armed Conflict and spoke before the UN Security Council.

2/13/2020

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, visited the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday on a two-day trip, where she held a work meeting with the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres. This is the first meeting between António Guterres and a member of the present government.

Noteworthy among the issues they addressed was the shared vision of the 2030 Agenda, and the perspective with which both the Government of Spain and the UN are providing a response to the challenges facing society. The minister outlined Spain’s priorities for the United Nations to the Secretary-General: gender equality and diversity, the fight against terrorism, paying close attention to the victims, the fight against climate change, and humanitarian diplomacy and human rights. They also exchanged opinions on the main issues of international current affairs. The UN Secretary-General praised the role Spain is playing in response to the various crises in Latin America.

The minister invited the Secretary-General to make an official visit to Spain within the framework of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Spain will celebrate this anniversary and the dialogue plan launched by the Secretary-General with a campaign to promote the United Nations and inclusive multilateralism, through a human approach and with a positive impact on the daily lives of people.

The minister also held a meeting with the President of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, to whom she stressed Spain’s commitment to multilateralism, to the work of the UN in fighting terrorism, to the reform of the Security Council and to gender equality, with special focus on the need to harness the commemoration of Beijing +25 to maintain the consensus achieved 25 years ago in such areas as sexual health and reproduction, and the economic and political empowerment of women.

The minister took part in the High-Level Panel on Children and Armed Conflict chaired by the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs and by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, at which she expressed Spain’s full support for this agenda, following the success of the International Conference on Safe Schools held in Palma de Mallorca in 2019.
 
The minister also held a meeting with Spanish civil servants that work at the United Nations, reaffirming Spain’s commitment to the projection of our public servants at a multilateral level.

 

On the second day of her visit to the United Nations (UN), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, held meetings with the executive directors of the main bodies of the United Nations system, with which Spain maintains close relations of collaboration and support: with Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP; with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women; with Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs; and with Miguel Ángel Moratinos, High Representative of the Alliance of Civilisations. As well as reviewing bilateral relations with these bodies, the talks focused on the future of multilateralism and of the UN, the reform of the United Nations development system, the gender focus on the consolidation of peace and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, in addition to the need to adopt a strategic global vision that pays special attention to forgotten crises.

 




During her participation in the United Nations Security Council open debate on transitional justice, the minister also underlined that Spain firmly believes in its model of transition towards democracy, reflected in the 1978 Constitution, a truly successful case study in transitional justice. That is why, she argued, Spain should continue to respond to the demands of citizens and of civil society, with the aim of leaving no-one behind, and listening to and preserving the memory of the victims. She remarked that our experience shows us that no country is immune from the huge risk of the discourse of hatred and fear, that these phenomena can lead to human rights violations, to the denial of the principles and values of democracy and, ultimately, to conflict. She recalled the importance of the fight against impunity and Spain’s support for the Statute of Rome, and called on all members of the UN Security Council to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court.

 

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This text has been adapted from the non-official translations of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation's press releases 008 and 010.

 

 

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