🇪🇸 Spain - President of the Government Addresses General Debate, 73rd Session

the assembly will hear a statement by

His Excellency Pedro Sanchez Perez

casting-on president of the government

of Spain may I request protocol to

escort His Excellency I have great

pleasure in welcoming his Excellency

Pedro Sanchez Perez casting-on

president of the government of Spain I

invite him to address the General

Assembly president of the assembly

Secretary General of the United Nations

heads of state prime ministers ministers

delegates it is my honor to address you

as president to the government of Spain

I do so with the emotion that this hall

inspires in me and with respect for the

values that shaped this organization

which guide its day-to-day work I would

like to begin by highlighting that this

is the first time in history that a

Latin American woman is presiding over

this assembly this is yet another

reflection of the fact that in the 21st

century global governance is

inconceivable without the leadership of

women I define myself as a feminist

politician and now is doubtlessly the

time for women I have always firmly

believed that multilateralism allows us

to reach levels that would be

unattainable through the individual

actions of states with this idea in mind

I would like to reassert the value of

agreement and dialogue as means of

addressing the challenges faced by the

international community challenges that

stay in my country is meeting in a

hopeful spirit of collective action in

the face of those who would spread fear

and uncertainty Spain's commitment to

the United Nations is based on shared

values and a shared conviction the

pursuit of justice in all its forms

through the respect for human dignity

democracy freedom equality and human

rights embracing now more than ever the

goals of promoting the peace and

well-being of all peoples the United


ladies and gentlemen like the European

project in which I so firmly believe as

of my government was not born from an

idealist utopian as some disparagingly

suggest it was born from a victory over

the forces of hatred racism and tyranny

today the world is facing enormous

global challenges we have spoken about a

number of them here and we have been

called upon to act by the people of each

of our countries we are being asked to

produce a real agenda for change these

times do not need nationalist or

non-exclusive rhetoric now is the time

as the secretary-general was saying in

his statement to forge a new cooperative

leadership based on willingness not only

on a willingness to listen to others

which of course is important but also on

a readiness to understand their


it is the time to accept with heartfelt

empathy that no single person has a

monopoly on the truth we need leadership

that can build consensus and forge

agreements that can find solutions and

make the most of synergies we cannot

simply dismiss everything we have

accomplished by working together which

is significant today the world is better

than it was and much better than it

would have been had the United Nations

never existed

however the real strength of this

organization I believe does not lie in

its past achievements which have been

many but rather in everything it can do

to shape of the future the time is now

ladies and gentlemen we are the last

generation as we have often heard that

we'll have the chance to halt the

consequences of climate change and we

are the first generation to have the

wherewithal to eradicate poverty from

the world it is not a question of seeing

obstacles but of identifying

opportunities it is a question of making

change into a catalyst for achieving

sustainable development and this is not

an ideal it is a real necessity as has

been shared by many speakers before me

many countries

are now facing the dilemma between

continuing to be open societies or

transforming themselves into closed

inward looking societies as if a return

to the false calm of borders and

renouncing collective action we're the

only means of addressing the

uncertainties of our times we already

know where such ideas lead therefore now

we must look beyond the seeming dictates

of these fast-moving times let us move

past the Lost Decade of the economic

crisis and growing inequality which our

societies suffer from our commitment has

a name a date and goals it is the 2030

agenda for sustainable development which

the government of Spain is fully

committed to it was Kofi Annan to whom I

wish to pay tribute to with my words

today who taught us many things one of

them is something I should like to share

with you today he taught us that human

rights development and security and

economic and social development are all

independent interdependent I would like

to call to mind these pillars

accompanied by an additional thought we

must put the dignity of human beings at

the heart of all our public and

political action the principles that

have brought us to this point in our

history are not in retreat and never

will be in fact they are more relevant

than ever and that is where Spain will

continue to stand defending those values

because without dignity without equality

between men and women without respect

for human rights there will be no peace

and no development in the world as a

member state of the United Nations Human

Rights Council until 2020 Spain supports

initiatives that strengthen the capacity

of the council and of the High

Commission of Human Rights we are

fortunate enough to have in the High

Commissioner now a person of the

political and personal stature statute

of the Chile and Michel bascially the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

which is celebrating its 70th

anniversary provides the framework to

move forward

Madam President there is no greater

injustice than that which defines what a

human being will or will not be - based

on whether they are born a boy or a girl

how to measure everything that

generations of our societies have lost

by accepting this discrimination between

men and women

for generations humankind must not

tolerate this injustice we must develop

a truly global roadmap to eradicate all

forms of discrimination which are still

today in the 21st century societies in

2018 being suffered by women because

they are women this may be gender-based

violence violence trafficking of women

or female genital mutilation in this

endeavor the United Nations can rely on

Spain's commitment the Cabinet of

Ministers I lead ladies and gentlemen is

made up of 60% women because we aim to

lead by example because the battleground

in our society is in companies education

and society itself and much of this

battleground is linked to gender

equality in leadership where glass

ceilings remain is simply due to inertia

I would like therefore to congratulate

publicly the Secretary General having

reached full parity between men and

women in his senior management group for

the first time in the history of the

United Nations Spain ladies and

gentlemen will continue to promote the

women peace and security agenda it is

crucial that women participate as peace

brokers in all phases of conflict in our

opinion for them to be resolved we will

continue to support the in done

questionable work of UN Women to whom we

contribute very actively Spain was the

first donor to establish a full

partnership framework with this


we have also joined with this government

the circle of leadership promoted by the

secretary-general to combat sexual

exploitation and abuse in un operations

it is essential that we promote a zero

tolerance culture

tolerance in this area Madam President

there are no shortcuts or quick fixes

for today's major challenges such as

crises which affect us very directly in

countries like Spain the refugee and

migration crises humanities sim cannot

simply accept as inexorable the fact

that sixty eight million people have

been forcibly displaced around the world

of whom more than 25 million are

refugees and over 3 million are asylum

seekers during this session the General

Assembly will adopt something very

important for this government the Global

Compact on refugees we deemed this to be

a great leap forward wish must applaud

we must work closely with a High

Commissioner for Refugees and

acknowledge the situation that this

turmoil causes in host countries above

all we know that 85% of the world's

refugees and asylum seekers are

concentrated in developing countries

these states need our empathy and

commitment and above all else justice

and an equitable distribution of this

responsibility where we all have the

obligation to help and Spain will do

that Madam President

Spain has suffered the calamities of the

economic crisis more than almost any

other Western European country

nonetheless I should like to share with

all of you that the vast majority of

Spanish society has never turned its

back on the tragedy resulting from

migration and of this I am proud and I

would like to underscore it I am proud

of our society which has not let itself

be radicalized by the fever of fever of

xenophobic discourse based on a culture

of fever of the earth fear of the other

perhaps ladies and gentlemen this is

because we remember our own history as a

country we were a country of migrants

and refugees and that is why will not

abandon our international commitments if

we take in a boat that is adrift in the

Mediterranean with six hundred and

thirty people on board it is not only

because in

national log demands it but also because

it is a moral imperative which Spain

will respond to Spain welcomes the

Global Compact for safe orderly and

regular migration which is said to be

adopted in a brotherly country with whom

we share so much Morocco in Marrakesh in

December when migration ladies and

gentlemen is safe orderly and regular we

can benefit from its positive aspects

rather than image of countries as

fortresses with exclusionary and

xenophobic narratives the government of

Spain in our country champions the

concepts of solidarity humanity and

respect Spain is well aware of what this

challenge entails we are ultimately a

country of origin transit and

destination and return we defend a

migration policy whose fundamental goal

is to address the root causes of

migration such as poverty environmental

degradation or a lack of opportunities

for many young people in the world

ultimately we must aspire for migration

to be a free choice and not a necessity

this policy I believe and the government

of Spain believes requires dialogue and

cooperation with the countries of origin

in transit and particularly with Africa

and we are working in the European Union

and in the government of Spain and

significantly on this madam president

there are many forms of poverty many

forms of poverty please allow me to

underscore the immorality we as we said

of childhood poverty and poverty that

reflects women more than 15 million

girls and I wish to repeat that figure

15 million girls of school age will

never have the chance to learn to read

or write in primary school 15 million

girls and 330 million women are living

on less than $2 a day to come back to

this and other forms of poverty

I would like to mention the reason for a

global perspective and I think it's

important to share this with you the

reason for a new 21st century humanism

which is based on the values that have

brought the greatest prosperity ever

known to humankind throughout our

history the 2030 agenda and its 17

sustainable development goals are we

believe the current embodiment of that

spirit with humankind and the planet at

its heart we must adopt this as a new

global social contract this is what a

agenda 2030 is and the sustainable

development goals a new global social

contract which binds all of us and

connects us with future generations

Spain is going to work with

determination to make this change

we have approved an action plan for

implementing agenda 2030 and we will

launch our own national sustainable

development strategy indeed many of the

measures adopted by my new government in

these hundred days are directly or

indirectly tied to our commitment to

meeting the sustainable development

goals of agenda 2013 combating gender

violence measures against child poverty

which we have implemented in our

government measures against energy

poverty to promote universal health care

in our country policies for grants and

scholarships to advance equal

opportunities for the youth in our

country and improving workers rights

this is a summary of actions which are

fully in line with agenda 23rd 2030

agenda Spain is moving forward along the

path traced by the United Nations in

agenda 2030 miss vane has done this in

the past when we championed the

Millennium Development Goals with the

largest contribution from any single

donor in the United Nations system as

well as the sustainable development

goals furthermore many years ago Spain

also created the cooperation fund for

water and sanitation in Latin America

and the Caribbean in which we've

invested more than 800 million euros but

none of this makes any sense

unless we tackle the great

threat of our generation the impact of

climate change I come from a country

Spain where 40% 40% of our surface area

is threatened by desertification

therefore we must fight this battle at

every level which means addressing its

most immediate effects but also in above

all it means addressing underlying

structural causes which exacerbate the

climate change we are seeing this is why

we are keenly aware of the need to

undertake a steady decarbonisation and a

controlled decarbonisation of our

economy yesterday I announced that Spain

would join the towards carbon neutrality

coalition with this step we deepen our

commitment to implementing ambitious

medium and long term strategies for

reducing green house gas emissions and

carbon dioxide which will enable us to

fully comply with the Paris agreement

because the fact is we cannot delay any

further in making a just ecological

transition to lay the foundations for a

new production model which the Spanish

government is committed to our future

depends on renewable energies and clean

technologies ladies and gentlemen and

only from this starting point will we be

able to combine material well-being with

social justice and environmental

sustainability I would also like to

share with you that we will participate

actively and constructively in Cup 24 in

Poland this year and of course also in

the climate change summit that the

secretary-general will convene next year

and which we hope will be a success

Spain will contribute constructively and

actively to this ultimately ladies and

gentlemen we have to be able to move

forward and comply with the Paris

agreement in these meetings we believe

offer us the opportunity to move forward

and achieve our goals madam president

it is also up to us to make progress on

the security agenda but a security

focused on human beings it has taken us

a long time I believe I'd like to share

this with all of you it has taken us a

long time to learn that security is much

more than a concept tied to defence in

the mid

three cents of the term security finds

its resident debt not in the absence of

conflict but rather in guaranteeing

human beings ability to be free

terrorism continues to be one of the

major threats to this freedom which I

call for this phenomenon was not born

out of a supposed clash of civilizations

as some have flames a few decades ago

there are few areas in which cooperation

multilateralism as represented here in

the United Nations and collaborative

leadership can bear such abundant fruit

as the secretary-general was saying in

his statement can bear such abundant and

beneficial fruits the fight against

terrorist financing networks is crucial

as our international police and

judiciary cooperation at international

level and the exchange of information

and intelligence these are fundamental

and I am sure that all of you here would

share that however it is also essential

to combat the hatred and violence that

are being echoed in so many fora

we must do all that we can to prevent

our young people from falling prey to

fanaticism and to radical exclusionary

discourse governments businesses and

civil society must build social and

economic integration which can prevent

recruitment networks from taking over

this space it is here in this space

devoid of any personal expectations that

we must win the battle against terrorism

likewise we must be able to overcome the

slightest hint of division and

resentment also crafting a narrative of

solidarity and remembrance that includes

the voices of the victims of terrorism

and strengthens the cohesion of our

societies investing in education

ultimately then ladies and gentlemen in

education in our young people in taking

an integrated approach to migration

issues and providing the media with

tools to combat hate speech which are

which run throughout in global

discussions on this and to fight

stereotypes these are essential areas

and are precisely the areas of action

that fall under the remit of the

Alliance of civilizations which is an

instrument for dialogue between cultures

and religions and the government of

Spain defends that the growing tensions

are regarding nuclear proliferation and

weapons of mass destruction are equally

troubling the world cannot afford

another arms race we must therefore make

the effort to regain lost consensus and

to strengthen the non-proliferation

regime and you can count upon the

commitment and participation of the

government of Spain in this the spread

of armed conflicts and their changing

nature which is increasingly high but in

complex also demand our attention

Spain is firmly committed to

strengthening the role of the United

Nations in maintaining peace and

international security we therefore

support something the union

secretary-general said with regard to

the measures preneur promoted by this

institution to position prevention and

peace building at the center of the UN's

work we also support the Secretary

General's efforts to reform the

architecture and management of United

Nations peacekeeping operations to which

Spain has been a very active contributor

for decades to give you an idea over the

years more than 160,000 Spanish troops

have served with I believe loyalty and

commitment and the support and empathy

of much of people beyond our borders to

United Nations peacekeeping operations

consequently Spain has supported the

Secretary General's action for

peacekeeping declaration regarding

peacekeeping operations but prevention

maintain maintain and consolidating

peace are not enough wherever a conflict

breaks out we must act Spain therefore

supports respectful and enforcement of

international humanitarian law so that

no violation enjoys impunity I call upon

the justice system therefore to pursue

and to prosecute those who commit war

crimes genocide and crimes against


here the efforts of the International

Criminal Court are we

believe irreplacable that must be stated

loud and clear i also call upon the

leaders of states and of the

international community to protect their

civilian populations and again it's

important to underscore this here in

this assembly spain robustly supports

the France Mexico initiative to limit

the use of veto powers in cases of mass

atrocity humanitarian disasters like

those in Syria and Iraq remind us of the

high price to pay of failing to arrive

promptly madam president for the

multilateral system to be effective we

must renovate and reinforce it and this

is a continued debate within this

assembly because if we do this we will

be defending everything that we believe

in which is multilateralism Spain

therefore strongly supports the reform

of the United Nations system promoted by

the secretary-general we have before us

the challenge of clearly integrating the

pillars of peace sustainable development

and human rights and are avoiding the

duplications and overlaps which are

dragging down this institution we must

win back and again I want to underscore

this here we must win back public

opinion I think this is vital we must

win the favor of a global citizen

citizenry that has grown up and come of

age in that mysterio growing skepticism

about an organization that can no longer

rest on its past achievements which were

significant in many and which we must

remember but which must now we must now

tackle with ambition the task of winning

over new generations our sole source of

strength lies in the capacity of the

United Nations to project this message

to the world therefore I think it is

very important and fundamental that we

lead by example do we worthy of this

example and by those who represent the

very best of the UN those workers who

risk their lives in conflict zones to

all of those men and women who put their

lives at risk in conflict zones every

day I express my sincerest recognition

the challenge of the distribute into

which politics has fallen is also at

stake in the multilateral arena we must

win this battle against those who would

spread the shadow of uncertainty with a

single goal that of casting doubt on the

role of international organizations such

as the United Nations Spain is a solid

ally in this task Madam President there

are two issues that within the context

of the United Nations I should also like

to call your attention to before ending

my intervention

the first is Gibraltar as regards

Gibraltar Spain's position is well known

and aligned with United Nations doctrine

it is well known by the United Nations

General Assembly the United Nations

decision to leave the European Union

means that Gibraltar will also leave the

Union as the government of the spot

Spain I would like for us to take

advantage of the historic opportunity to

establish a new relationship between

with the UK and involving Spain to bring

prosperity to the whole region to the

gia brought Aryans and of course those

to the wider area of the Cambodia

brought her another area which is of

concern to us is of course the Western


as you know Spain defends the central

role of the United Nations and would

like to contribute to the efforts of the

secretary-general and his personal envoy

to achieving a just lasting and mutually

acceptable political solution that will

provide for the self-determination of

the people of Western Sahara in the

context of arrangements consistent with

the principles and purposes of the

charter of the United Nations madam


Spain is a fully fledged democracy this

year we are celebrating the 40th

anniversary of our Constitution which

brought democracy to our country it's a

fully fledged democracy which ranks high

on all of the global indexes that

measure the core democratic quality of

countries institutions

Spain indeed has made defence of and

commitment to multilateralism a hallmark

of our foreign policy

a hallmark which we have maintained with

fervor and conviction when we leave our

country when we go abroad

today the world faces major threats as a

number of speakers have said today

cooperative leadership of which Spain is

a part

demands a renewed commitment to

multilateralism solutions for global


only be found through cooperation

between states and this is the firm

conviction of the government of Spain

and the Spanish society we believe the

decade to come will represent a victory

for consensus and a defeat of those who

only seek to hear the echoes of their

own voices I address you today in a city

which saw the arrival of millions of

human beings fleeing from poverty and

from political racial and religious

persecution the immense majority of them

who came to this country this city were

Europeans today on both shores of the

North Atlantic a collective veil of

amnesia is being drawn over the memory

of what we were and of what we are

because what we are is diversity nothing

but diversity as a great Spanish poet of

20th century eggs line X hours wrote

Leon Felipe and I cite it's not a matter

of getting there first on your own but

of arriving in time with everyone

nothing defines better than the United

Nations the vitality of agenda 2030 it

represents this decades horizon of hope

one that must be conquered in order to

arrive as the poet said together and in

time were leaving no one behind may it

be that way I thank you

number eight I humbly ask an adult on

behalf of the General Assembly I wish to

thank his Excellency Pedro Sanchez Perez

casting on president of the government

of Spain for the statement just made and

I request protocol to escort his


the assembly will hear a statement by

Her Excellency Anne Abramovitch Prime

Minister of the Republic of Serbia