29 October 2015

Opening remarks at press encounter

Ban Ki-moon

Buenas tardes. Es para mí un placer estar de vuelta en España. Esta es mi undécima visita al país. A usted, Señor [José Manuel] García Margallo, Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, y al Gobierno y el pueblo de España, muchas gracias por su hospitalidad.

This is a particularly fitting time for me to be here in Spain and I would like to express my deepest gratitude for Spain’s support and global solidarity.

I am here to celebrate with you the 60th anniversary of Spain’s membership in the United Nations and also 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

For six decades, Spain has worked to advance the values of the United Nations Charter – from laying the foundation for peace in Central America, to mediation in the Mediterranean region, to peacekeeping in Lebanon and elsewhere, to generous help to fight global poverty, to building bridges of understanding across cultures and faiths through the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, and much more.

This month, Spain is also serving as President of the Security Council. I commend Spain’s leadership role to advance efforts against terrorism and violent extremism, and highlight the central contributions of women in building peace and security around the world.

In that regard, I would like to pay my highest tribute and commend the leadership of President of Government, Prime Minister [Mariano] Rajoy, for his leadership in presiding over the Security Council meeting on reviewing then legendary Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. It had resulted in another legendary and historic resolution 2242 – just mentioned by the Foreign Minister.

Earlier today and yesterday, I had very productive meetings with His Majesty, King Felipe, and Prime Minister Rajoy, and Foreign Minister García Margallo.

I know that the plight of refugees fleeing Syria and other conflict zones has resonated strongly in Spain.

I commend His Majesty, the King, for his recent appeal at the European Parliament for solidarity with the most vulnerable group of people.

I welcome the efforts of the European Union to work with countries of origin and transit, including through the upcoming Valetta Summit meeting on Migration.

We also discussed efforts to address the conflict in Syria, the situation in Libya and Yemen, and I would like to take this opportunity to commend tireless engagement of my Special Envoy, Señor Bernardino Leon, as well as a number of other peace and security issues.

Finally, let me say this is a pivotal time for global development.

Last month in New York, the international community, the world leaders, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is a landmark people-centred, planet-friendly blueprint to end global poverty and ensure a life of dignity for all.

We must now make this promise real for people and our planet.

The Climate Change summit meeting in Paris, which will be held from November 30th through the middle-part of December, will be the first test of our political will to implement the Agenda. I trust leaders will leave Paris with an ambitious, meaningful universal climate change agreement. I want to thank the Government of Spain for its commitment to this goal.

Let me conclude by thanking you once again, Mr. Minister, for your warm welcome and strong support. It is wonderful to be back in Madrid and looking forward to another such great visit.

Thank you very much.
¡Muchas Gracias!