Meeting Between the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Spain and the UNHCR Reinforce their Strategic Partnership

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation held a meeting today with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, in order to analyse the means to reinforce the strategic partnership and to contribute to dealing with the current humanitarian crisis, with more than 68 million forcibly displaced persons all over the world, over 25 million of whom are refugees.

Among other practical results, both parties agreed to create a framework of annual bilateral consultations to address several issues of common interest. Likewise, they also decided to explore alternative means of financing, such as the use of reimbursable resources from the Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE) managed by the AECID. In this regard, Minister Josep Borrell stated that during 2019 Spain aims to maintain a significant contribution to the UNHCR, an indispensable partner of Spanish humanitarian action.

On the other hand, Minister Borrell stressed that the generous contributions made by Autonomous Regions, municipalities and the civil society should be added to the central Government’s contribution.

Both parties satisfactorily noted that the Spanish Committee for UNHCR is the civil society entity that provides the most funds to the UNHCR worldwide, reflecting the generosity and mobilisation of the Spanish society.

Minister Josep Borrell expressed the Spanish Governments’ full support of the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and he congratulated the UNHCR for its leadership in its negotiations.

During the meeting, the challenges created by the large movements of people in areas such as Latin America and the Mediterranean were also addressed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation highlighted all the efforts being made by the Government at a national and global level and within the framework of the EU.

Minister Borrell expressed his full confidence in the EU's political and legislative measures to contribute to effectively respond to the corresponding needs of refugees and migrants that are arriving particularly through the Western Mediterranean route, which is currently the main means of accessing the EU.

He also highlighted, among other measures, the relevant investment being made by the Government in human and material resources in order to process asylum applications and the agreement with European partners for the implementation of resettlement programmes.

He also mentioned the support for the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework - one of the main elements of the Global Compact - in Central America and Africa, and the strengthening of cooperation with the UNHCR with regard to the protection and integration of refugees.

Finally, Minister Josep Borrell stressed that Spain will continue to act with solidarity and responsibility to face the humanitarian challenges caused by large displacements of people.





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