Trip by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation to Geneva

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Alfonso Dastis, is taking part in Geneva in the High-Level Segment of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council.

The minister held meetings with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, and with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and gave a speech before the Human Rights Council. He also took part in the Disarmament Conference and is scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts, with the aim of gathering support for Spain’s candidature to the Human Rights Council for the period 2018-2020.

At the Palais des Nations in Geneva, and before the maximum United Nations body for human rights, Minister Dastis reiterated Spain’s commitment to human rights both within and beyond its borders and underlined that, faced with the uncertainty of today’s world, respect for human dignity and rights that derive therefrom is an obligation incumbent upon the international community, that it must not disregard.

The minister recalled that human rights form part of Span’s foreign policy and recalled some of the country’s priorities on the matter. These include gender equality and the empowerment of women; the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other similar forms of intolerance; the protection of the most needy, particularly children; the full range of rights of persons with disabilities from an inclusive and participative perspective; the defence of the work of civil society in this area and, in particular, of defenders of human rights; the elimination of the death penalty, a goal to which Spain will continue to support the efforts made by the International Commission against the Death Penalty, which has its headquarters in our country.

In relation to the Human Rights Council, he pointed out that today this body is more important than ever. That is why Spain wants to form a part of this Council, for the second time in its history. The minister stressed that we are candidates because we want to contribute to its success. We wish to share its responsibilities, and to be an active part of its efforts and achievements. Our proven capacity for dialogue and communication, and our perseverance in forging agreements and reaching consensus are assets that we wish to place at the service of this noble cause.




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