PRESS RELEASE 060
Minister González Laya calls for more multilateralism in the fight against COVID-19 in the videoconference with her European opposite numbers
22/04/2020

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, took part on Wednesday in a videoconference of EU Foreign Ministers called by the High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell. The meeting was held as part of the efforts to coordinate the EU’s foreign action in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership also on the agenda.

Arancha González Laya was in favour of the EU assisting multilateral cooperation under the leadership of the United Nations, with a key role for the World Health Organisation (WHO). “In this fight against COVID we need more multilateralism, more cooperation and thus more support for the WHO,” explained the minister, who added that “no country will be truly free from the pandemic until will all overcome it.” Spain was also in favour of including a gender focus in all the health crisis response and its socioeconomic consequences, because women are particularly affected as a group and taking the lead in the fight against the pandemic. The minister and head of Spanish diplomacy also called for efforts to be redoubled in support of Africa and Ibero-America.

Among the other issues dealt with was the situation in Ukraine. The Minister expressed her support for the efforts of the Ukrainian government, in particular, given the internal difficulties, as regards COVID-19, as well as third-party actions of destabilisation and disinformation. She considered that “Ukraine should be urged to continue along the path of reform, particularly in those matters aimed at consolidating the rule of law, judicial reforms and progress in the approval of the new banking reform law.”

The situation in Libya was also touched on. The minister shared her concern for the humanitarian situation and the resurgence of hostilities. There was agreement on having to provide resources to the Irini mission to ensure the effectiveness of the arms embargo and the recovery of the political process. Finally, the situation in Libya, Turkey and Afghanistan were mentioned briefly, although it was agreed to return to these matters in subsequent meetings.

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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