PRESS RELEASE 045
The Spanish State Secretary Participates in Various United Nations Meetings in New York
26/04/2018

The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ildefonso Castro, visted New York from 23 to 25 April to participate in the United Nations' High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, as well as in several events on conflict prevention, peace building and International Humanitarian Law. He also met senior United Nations officials responsible for Political Affairs and Peacekeeping Operations. Finally, he participated in an event on the Sahel Alliance.


In the United Nations' High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, Ildefonso Castro spoke of Spain’s conviction that the United Nations must play a key role in building and sustaining peace. He also expressed Spain's full support for the reform programme driven by Secretary General Guterres.


During his intervention, the State Secretary claimed that, in order to be sustainable, peace must ultimately respect constitutional order, guaranteeing the separation of powers, the rule of law and the principle of legality. Furthermore, peace must be inclusive and to that end, it is crucial to rely on the participation of women and young people. On this point, he reminded those present of Spain’s role in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, which has allowed for women to be now seen not merely as victims but as key players in conflict prevention and resolution.


State Secretary Castro outlined the importance of the protection and promotion of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, which are particularly vulnerable in conflict situations. He also expressed Span's willingness to host the Third International Conference on Safe Schools in 2019.


The State Secretary inaugurated an event organised by Spain on Humanitarian Law, attended by the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer. State Secretary Castro warned of the worrying trend in recent conflicts, where health care workers and facilities have become military targets. In 2016, Spain was a driving force, along with other members of the Security Council, behind resolution 2286 on access and protection for healthcare in armed conflict. Over several days, experts, ICRC members and member states of the Security Council and other delegations interested in the issue will discuss how to advance with the application of said Resolution.


 

Finally, the State Secretary participated in a Sahel Alliance event, co-organized by Spain, addressing the application of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel. State Secretary Castro emphasised Spanish commitment to the development and security of a key region for European and Spanish stability. Thus, he defended Spain's role in the Sahel Alliance. He called for a regional approach, as the most relevant challenges have a trans-national nature. On this matter, State Secretary Castro called for collaboration with regional institutions, such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the G5 Sahel framework.


 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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