The acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, begins his agenda at the 78th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, focusing on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the fight against international terrorism, and Latin America, during a ministerial week which will also see him hold several bilateral meetings.
Albares travels to New York after participating in the General Affairs Council in Brussels, with a programme beginning with a meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The minister will use the meeting to give fresh impetus to investigations into the case that cost the life of the Spanish aid worker Emma Igual in Ukraine. He has requested that this be investigated as a “war crime”.
Russian aggression will also feature prominently today at the aggression court coordination meeting being promoted by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, followed tomorrow by a ministerial meeting in support of the International Criminal Court and an 'accountability meeting on Ukraine' to explore mechanisms to ensure that the Russian authorities pay for the aggression and compensate its victims.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum is another highlight of Albares' first day at the United Nations, where two new members (Kenya and Kuwait) will be welcomed. Additionally, Albares will co-chair, on behalf of Spain, with his Iraqi counterpart, the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, which is also holding a meeting today on the fringes of the Ministerial Week.
The traditional Ibero-American Foreign Ministers' breakfast will be the stage for welcoming Ecuador, in its first act as Pro Tempore Secretariat, and to listen to the assessment that the head of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), Andrés Allamand, will make, highlighting the success of the EU-CELAC Summit meeting organised under the Spanish Presidency of the EU in Brussels last July.
Feminist foreign policy
Feminist foreign policy and the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development will feature prominently in the minister's activities during this ministerial week, which will also include a review of the situation in the Middle East, during which Albares will present Spain's commitment towards the region, where the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, undertakes its work.
Economic diplomacy is also on the agenda for Minister Albares during his stay in New York. Albares will speak at the US-Spain Chamber of Commerce Global Economy Forum.
The minister will also take advantage of his visit to the UN to host a reception for the Spanish community in the city and to meet with Spanish officials working in the UN system, whose number has increased by 7.7% in the last year, to 2,724. During the week, Albares will also hold meetings with think tanks and the media, to explain the progress that Spain has made at the halfway point of its six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which began on 1 July and has already achieved noteworthy successes.