Spain to hold non-permanent seat at UN Human Rights Council

The General Assembly of the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has elected Spain as a member of the Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 period. Fourteen other countries in addition to Spain have also been appointed as non-permanent members, including Angola, Australia, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, and Ukraine.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) has underlined Spain’s commitment to protecting human rights worldwide, with a special focus on protecting vulnerable populations, fighting racism, and strengthening democratic governance.

Press release - OHCHR 


Madrid City Council and ‘Acción contra el Hambre’ join efforts to tackle malnutrition

On the occasion of World Food Day on October 16, 2017, Madrid City Council and Spain’s chapter of Action Against Hunger (‘Acción contra el hambre’) launched an audiovisual exhibition on the negative effects of malnutrition in developing countries. Under the title ‘War and Hunger’, the campaign aims at showing the intrinsic ties between malnutrition and violent conflicts worldwide. According to advocates, fostering food and nutrition security is essential to end violence and advance the SDGs.

Press release - Acción contra el hambre (in Spanish)


Spanish foreign affairs ministy and local governments to strengthen coordination on development policy

Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America Fernando García Casas has reached an agreement with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) to foster development policy coordination and advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. According to this new agreement, the FEMP will collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) to gather, assess, and follow up on development spending flows disbursed by up to 800 local governments. In addition, MAEC will offer training and educational resources to development officials from different municipalities based in Spain.

Press release - MAEC (in Spanish)


Spanish foreign ministry signs agreement with REDS on 2030 Agenda

The Spanish secretary of state for international cooperation and for Ibero-America, Fernando García Casas, and the president of the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development (REDS) and former foreign minister of Spain, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, have signed an agreement to promote compliance on the 2030 Agenda. Under the agreement, REDS, the Spanish chapter of the United Nations Secretary General’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, will support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the implementation of the SDGs in Spain.

News article - MAEC (in Spanish)


Spain's AECID offices meet for training on collaboration

Spanish development agency AECID gathered staff from  its 52 country offices, including technical cooperation offices and cultural centers based in the global south, for a training session aimed at improving development policy coordination and advancing the new Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021. Participants included Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis, Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America Fernando García Casas, and AECID Director Luis Tejada, among other development officials. In addition to exchanging information and sharing experiences from the ground, Spanish officials assembled in Madrid discussed the new development priorities for the coming years.

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)


Spain joins ‘Call to Action’ to tackle violence against women

Spanish development agency AECID announced that Spain has joined the international ‘Call to Action’ initiative to fight against gender-based violence. Launched in 2014 by the UK and Sweden, the Call to Action aims to advance and guarantee the protection of women and girls in humanitarian and emergency situations, and to promote gender equality worldwide. It now counts 66 members, including states and multilateral organizations.

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)


Spanish government launches inter-ministerial body to implement SDG agenda

The Spanish government has announced the creation of an inter-ministerial, high-level task force on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. According to Spain’s Ambassador for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Juan Francisco Montalbán, this new administrative body aims to initiate and coordinate the implementation of the SDG agenda in Spain, as well as to elaborate a national strategy on the SDGs. Situated in Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s office, the body will be chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Alfonso Dastis.

Unicef, Oxfam Intermón, and WWF Spain welcomed the announcement, having previously called on the Spanish government to ramp up its efforts to implement the SDG agenda and increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.4% of Spain’s gross national income (GNI) by 2020.

News article - El País (in Spanish)

Press release - Unicef, Oxfam Intermón, and WWF Spain (in Spanish)


Spain to launch new humanitarian strategy for Niger

Spanish development agency AECID announced that its humanitarian office is preparing a new 2018-2019 strategic plan for Niger. Nutrition, epidemic preparedness, and climate change could be among the top priority sectors of this new country strategy, which will suggest an integrated response between different humanitarian sectors.

According to AECID, malnutrition, the presence of endemic diseases, irregular population movements, flooding, and insecurity are the most pressing challenges facing the provision of effective humanitarian support to Niger.

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)


Spain breaches EU quota for refugee admissions

Spanish development NGOs, as well as several MPs and representatives from municipal governments, have criticized the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for not meeting its obligations towards refugee admissions, according to the European Commission. Despite committing to host up to 17,337 refugees from 2015 to 2017, Spain has admitted only 1,279 people to date. Several Spanish media outlets have noted that Spain sits between Romania and Croatia as EU Member States that have admitted some of the smallest number of refugees.

News article - El Diaro (in Spanish)


Spanish congress urges measures to advance access to essential medicines worldwide

The Congress of Deputies’ Health Committee has approved a non-binding resolution calling for the Spanish government to implement recommendations made by the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines. Among other measures, the parliamentary proposition underlines the need to strengthen biomedical innovation and R&D funding in Spain.

In a press release, Spanish global health NGO Salud por Derecho (‘Right to Health’) welcomed the initiative and appealed to the government to move forward and join global efforts to foster universal access to essential medicines.

Publication - Spanish Congress

News article - Salud por Derecho