In his address to the UN General Assembly, Don Felipe VI, the King of Spain, stressed his country’s respect for the UN Charter as well as its support of implementing the key aims of the Organization, including the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the tackling climate change, which is a “global priority” and the key to leaving a better world for future generations.
In a wide-ranging address, he noted that 2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, who had communicated the importance of living alongside others. Developed democracies such as Spain often experienced complicated periods in history, such as economic problems, but overcame them through a firm belief that disputes could be resolved with respect for rules.
Indeed, such values of dialogue, commitment, duty and solidarity could turn nations into beacons of freedom throughout the world. The 2015-16 biennium demonstrated that his country shouldered its responsibility, met its commitments and took part in solutions to global challenges. Moreover, Spain is approaching the final stage of its work in the Security Council with transparency, having worked on effective solutions to existing and potential conflicts.
King Felipe said Spain has taken initiatives in humanitarian affairs and promoted the role of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, while fighting abuses and violations against their freedom and dignity. Spain would further work on the adoption of a resolution to ensure that non-State terrorists could not access weapons, especially those of mass destruction.
On the conflict in Syria, he said that the whole region has been destabilized, and neighbouring countries’ generosity in welcoming refugees should be recognized. Also in the region, Iraq is suffering from terrorism by Da’esh [also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL]. Spain participated in assistance provided by the international coalition and would support Iraq in building a democratic country that is home to people of all ethnic and religious identities.
Spain accorded particular attention to Africa and was concerned about conflicts on the continent: in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic, where Spain had a special interest. He acknowledged the work of the African Union in maintaining peace.