Displaying 1 - 20 of 516

Oxfam Spain launches paper with political recommendations ahead of Generation Equality Forum

With the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) for gender equality being held in France from June 30-July 2, 2021, Oxfam Intermón (the Spanish branch of Oxfam, an NGO which aims to end global poverty) and ‘L’Associacio de Drets Sexuals i Reproductius’ (a sexual and reproductive health and rights organization) launched a position paper with political recommendations for the Spanish government to assume a leadership role in fostering gender equality worldwide.

This paper underlined the need for Spain to improve political coherence and to allocate 30% of Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) to the fight toward women's rights, 60% toward some projects that are especially "significant", and 6% toward sexual and reproductive health and rights programs. According to Oxfam Intermón, such measures are indispensable to effectively implement Spain’s feminist foreign policy announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Arancha González Laya in March 2021.

Despite Spain co-leading GEF’s Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Foreign Minister González Laya did not make any significant new financial announcements at GEF.

Position paper on GEF 2021 – Oxfam Intermón

After reshuffle of Spanish cabinet, José Manuel Albares takes over as new Foreign Minister

On July 10, 2021, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a significant reshuffle of his coalition government, which is expected to be in place until the end of the current term of office in 2024.

The new Spanish government is composed of 23 ministers (14 women and nine men), which includes three Deputy Prime Ministers or Vice-Presidents of the government. The Spanish Minister of Economic Affairs and Digitalization, Nadia Calviño, has been appointed as First Vice-President of the government becoming Sánchez’s top aide. The left-wing Podemos party’s leader, Yolanda Díaz, is Second Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Labor; and Teresa Ribera is Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Ecological Transition.

Among other changes, Sánchez has appointed the Spanish ambassador in Paris, France, José Manuel Albares, as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. Albares, who is a diplomat who worked as Sánchez’s office Director General for International Affairs from 2018-2020, will take over from Arancha González Laya as head of the Spanish diplomacy and development cooperation. In his first public remarks as Foreign Minister, Albares reiterated that Spain will continue to champion global efforts to tackle climate change and to foster gender equality.  

News article – El País (in Spanish)

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

At Generation Equality Forum, Sweden commits to championing comprehensive abortion care, Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, in addition to previously committing US$206 million for ending gender-based violence (US$44 million), financing women's rights organizations (US$60 million), and supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)—including comprehensive abortion care (US$102 million)—Sweden pledged to support the implementation of the Common Agenda for Comprehensive Abortion Care, established in April 2021 with the following priorities:

  • Intersectional and inclusive movements from the local to the international;
  • Responsive funding;
  • Person-centered quality abortion care;
  • More and greater coordination across and beyond the movement, supporting risk, creativity, advocacy, and accountability;
  • Action addressing the opposition to abortion and SRHR; and
  • Improved access to comprehensive abortion care in humanitarian settings.

Sweden, along with the other new signatories, also committed to creating platforms for continued dialogue and collaboration, including at least one more Global Safe Abortion Dialogue in the coming five years, and platforms to increase resources and support existing funding mechanisms, programs, and funds that provide direct, flexible, progressive, and sustainable funding to feminist organizations, movements, and activists, including those that are often hard to reach and/or who have been historically marginalized.

This increase of resources will be done through a collective funding commitment for the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) will participate in the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements and continue to contribute to joint learning and advocacy for improved methods to support feminist movements and youth-led organizations with flexible funding. 

Sweden, as an organizer of the Stockholm Gender Equality Forum in 2018 and a supporting entity of the Tunis Forum 2019, has been actively engaged in the work leading up to the GEF. Sida has provided funding to UN Women for their work relating to Beijing +25 and GEF to ensure an inclusive process with participation from civil society at the center. In addition to being one of the co-leads for the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights together with, among others, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, Germany, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and PayPal, Sweden is also an Action Coalition Commitment Maker for the Action Coalitions on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender-Based Violence, and Feminist Movements and Leadership, as well as the Compact on Women, Peace, and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA Compact).

Work in the Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights has revolved around four sub-areas: home and care work, a level playing field, access to resources such as land, ownership and financial services, and the macroeconomic perspective and gender budgeting.

Sweden's priorities have included "economic and social reforms such as individual taxation, childcare, care for the elderly, the labor market, and various welfare reforms," said Ulrika Grandin, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "We have also put extra pressure on the feminist trade policy, which we think is well reflected in the action plan."

Sweden has a long-standing status as a global leader for gender equality. In 2014, Sweden became the first country in the world to adopt a feminist foreign policy, allowing it to use all its foreign policy tools (including development cooperation) to address gender equality globally.

News article – Omvärlden (in Swedish)

Spain provides Bolivia with essential medical supplies to fight COVID-19

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Spanish Ministry of Health announced Spain will donate essential medical supplies to the government of Bolivia to help address the COVID-19 crisis in the Andean country.

Spain’s AECID will coordinate a humanitarian operation consisting of antigen tests, antibiotics, and other medicines amounting to €1 million (US$1 million). The Bolivian government will be in charge of disbursing the health supplies to its population. Bolivia is among Spain's priority partner countries.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain to support transformative digitalization in Africa

On June 28, 2021, the Spanish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Ibero-America, Cristina Gallach, hosted a strategic meeting between leadership representatives from ‘Smart Africa’, a public-private partnership aimed at fostering digitalization in the African continent, civil society organizations, and the government of Spain.

Gallach underlined transformative digitalization as the cornerstone of Spain’s efforts to support sustainable development, inclusive education, women's empowerment, universal health care, and the fight against the climate crisis in Africa. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation's (MAUC) priorities in Africa were earmarked in the 'Foco África 2023' operative plan, which was approved by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ cabinet in March 2021.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spain presents Special Ambassador on Global Food Security as candidate for FAO committee chairman

On June 18, 2021, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAUC) announced that Gabriel Ferrero, the Ambassador on Special Mission for Global Food Security (the former MAUC’s Director-General for Sustainable Development), is Spain's candidate to chair the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

The new chair for CFS will be appointed on October 11-14, 2021. 

Ferrero’s career has been dedicated to sustainable development and food security. Between 2011 and 2012, he worked at the United Nations in different posts such as Coordinator of the UN High-Level Task Force on Global Food Security.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spain calls upon EU to strengthen COVID-19 response in middle-income countries

On June 14, 2021, during an informal meeting of EU development ministries, the Spanish State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, underlined the need for providing middle-income countries with technical and financial assistance in order to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Ángeles Moreno proposed to create a new fiduciary fund at the International Monetary Fund to ensure that middle-income countries, particularly those in the Latin American and the Caribbean region, can have access to international funding to respond to COVID-19. Moreno also underlined the importance of continuing to promote human development as a key instrument to foster nutrition, health, and education worldwide.

Press release – Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (in Spanish)

Spain and EU to provide US$6 million to fight COVID-19 in Central American countries

On June 11, 2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) decided to disburse, in collaboration with the European Union, €5 million (US$6 million) for Central American partner countries to purchase essential medicines and health supplies to respond to COVID-19 in the region.

This funding will be channeled through the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA)) in 2021. While the EU will provide an overall amount of €4 million (US$5 million), Spain's AECID will disburse up to €500,000 (US$600,000) to this initiative.  

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain strengthens cooperation with UNICEF, to contribute US$6 million

On June 11, 2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) decided to strengthen strategic cooperation with the approval of a new memorandum of understanding.

This new agreement, which will be mostly focused on tackling the COVID-19 crisis in middle- and low-income partner countries and vulnerable contexts, accounts for a new voluntary contribution of €5 million (US$6 million) to be disbursed by Spain to UNICEF in 2021.

Press release – Cooperación Española (in Spanish)

Spain's AECID and Médicos del Mundo to foster primary health services in vulnerable contexts

On June 7, 2021, the director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Magdy Martínez Solimán, met with the director of the global health NGO Médicos del Mundo, Elena Urdaneta, with the aim of strengthening cooperation in humanitarian contexts.

AECID and Médicos del Mundo decided to join efforts in Afghanistan, Syria, and Palestine to foster primary health services for vulnerable populations. Médicos del Mundo is currently working in collaboration with the AECID and the European Union’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), in a primary health program in Syria's northeast region.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain approves financial cooperation strategy for Sahel region

On May 27, 2021, hosted by the Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, the executive board of the Spanish Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE) decided to launch the new “FONRODE Strategy for the Sahel Region” with the objective of fostering Spain’s financial development cooperation in that region.

With a 2021 focus on fostering food security, digital education, climate response, and public health systems, the FONPRODE is a financial instrument managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the Ministry of Economy that provides partner countries and multilateral agencies with loans and equity investments.

In addition to the launch of the new Sahel strategy, the FONPRODE’s executive board decided to disburse €34 million (US$41 million) in loans to Panama, Peru, Costa Rica, and Niger to strengthen financial inclusion and nutrition programs.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain’s Sánchez calls for pandemic preparedness, universal access to COVID-19 vaccines at international fora

At both the G20 Global Health Summit (hosted by Italy and the European Commission on May 21, 2021) and the World Health Assembly (hosted by the World Health Organization on May 25, 2021), Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for guaranteeing equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and for a new international treaty on pandemic preparedness.

Sánchez, who reiterated Spain’s strong engagement in the global fight against COVID-19, made the case for his government’s proposal, 'Vaccines for All' initiative, which is aimed at advancing universal access of COVID-19 vaccines by fostering technology transfers, reducing trade obstacles, and accelerating vaccines distribution. Sánchez also mentioned Spain’s recent announcement of providing the Latin American and Caribbean region with 8 million vaccine doses.

Despite supporting the importance of strengthening and financing the World Health Organization and the Access for COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), Sánchez did not make any financial announcement to any global health instrument.  

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spanish development NGOs urge government to further achieve SDGs

On May 17, 2021, Oxfam Intermón, Unicef Spain, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Spain published a report with updated indicators to be included and taken into account in the new ‘Strategy for Sustainable Development’ that the Spanish government is about to release in the coming weeks.

According to these development NGOs, the government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez should increase, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, its financial and political efforts to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Press release – Oxfam Intermón (in Spanish)

Spanish Socialist Workers Party presents parliamentary resolution to foster global education ahead of Global Education Summit 

On May 14, 2021, the governing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez presented a non-binding resolution at the Congress of Deputies’ Development Committee calling upon the Spanish government to take leadership in fostering education systems in low- and middle-income partner countries.

The PSOE’s resolution underlines the importance for Spain to adopt an active role ahead of the Global Partnership for Education's (GPE) Global Education Summit to be held on July 28-29, 2021, by accelerating progress toward reaching the Sustainable Development Goal on 'Quality Education' (SDG 4) and putting a special focus on girls’ education.

The resolution also encourages the Spanish government to provide the GPE with a financial contribution for 2021-2025 in order to help address the current education crisis.   

News article – Europa Press (in Spanish)

Spain launches ‘Musawat Network’ to foster gender equality in MENA partner countries

On May 10, 2021, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) announced the launch of the ‘Musawat Network’ aimed at fostering gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Musawat Network will coordinate AECID’s programs related to gender equality in Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine.

With the approval of the Spanish foreign ministry’s new 'Feminist Foreign Policy Guide' in March 2021, gender equality was outlined among Spain’s top development priorities. The AECID currently provides partner countries in the MENA region with about €20 million (US$24 million) for development programs related to women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)

Spain presents 'Vaccines for All' initiative at Porto Social Summit

On May 7, 2021, during the Porto Social Summit (which gathered European leaders and organizations in Porto, Portugal), Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez presented the Vaccines for All initiative aimed at supporting global immunization against COVID-19.

The Spanish proposal calls for “exponentially and urgently” increasing the production of and access to COVID-19 vaccines by adopting several measures structured into three pillars:

  1. Sharing knowledge – this includes adopting the temporary vaccine waiver under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), activating voluntary licensing agreements, reinforcing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), and adapting global rules on intellectual property rights in preparation of future pandemics.
  2. Scaling up production – this includes creating a global 'Platform on Manufacturing & Supply and Demand Matchmaking' in collaboration with the COVAX Manufacturing Taskforce, as well as facilitating trade to prevent import duties and export bans along the manufacturing value chain related to vaccines.
  3. Accelerating distribution – this includes increasing financial and non-financial contributions to COVAX, establishing a public-private alliance between airlines, governments, and international organizations to promote the distribution of vaccines and supplies, and strengthening the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator’s (ACT-A) Health Systems Connector pillar.

Finally, Spain's proposal calls for the creation of a monitoring mechanism led by the WHO in collaboration with other agencies such as the World Trade Organization.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Spain and Mexico strengthen cooperation to tackle COVID-19 crisis worldwide

On April 30, 2021, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAUC), Arancha González Laya, met with the Mexican Secretary for External Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, to review current global challenges and advance bilateral cooperation partnerships.

As a result of the meeting, Spain and Mexico decided to strengthen collaborations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to foster equal and universal access to new vaccines, treatments, and other health goods. González and Ebrard also aligned strongly on other development areas, such as addressing gender equality and the climate emergency.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spanish Development Council calls for modernizing Spain’s development assistance system

On April 28, 2021, a plenary meeting was held by the Development Cooperation Council, a consultive body that is chaired by the Spanish foreign ministry's (MAUC) State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, and is composed of government officials, civil society representatives, and development cooperation experts.

The Council reviewed Spain’s development priorities for 2021 and reiterated the current government’s aim to increase official development assistance (ODA) to 0.5% of the gross national income (GNI) by 2023. It also called for a deep reform of Spain’s development infrastructure to adapt it to the "new multilateral order of Sustainable Development" and to develop more effective decision-making procedures.

The Council validated the initiative of a new law for sustainable development, which would be approved by the Spanish parliament by the end of 2021.

Press release – MAUC (in Spanish)

Spain to provide 8 million vaccine doses to Latin America and Caribbean

At the 27th Ibero-American Summit on April 21, 2021, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a special voluntary contribution of 8 million vaccine doses against COVID-19 to the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.

The vaccine doses, which will be disbursed through COVAX with the collaboration of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), represent between 5% and 10% of those acquired by Spain in 2021. 

Sánchez reiterated Spain’s strong commitment to contributing to the global COVID-19 response and to guaranteeing universal access to new vaccines.

The Ibero-American Summit, held in Andorra, concluded with the approval of the 'Andorra Declaration: Innovation for Sustainable Development', which calls for strengthening the multilateral response against the pandemic, urges the international community to equally disburse COVID-19 vaccines, and underlines the importance of improving pandemic preparedness for future global health crises. 

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

France and Spain call for new international treaty on pandemic preparedness

France's President Emanuel Macron and Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez participated in the high-level event Reforming and strengthening the global health system to better respond to future pandemics’ to discuss the global response to COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness. 

While Macron underlined the importance of international solidarity for guaranteeing equal global access to COVID-19 vaccines, Sánchez highlighted the importance of reinforcing the multilateral system to make sure no one is left behind. Both leaders advocated for a new international treaty on pandemic preparedness and stated that COVID-19 has shown the need for a new and effective mechanism to prevent and respond to future pandemics.

This high-level meeting was organized alongside the 27th Ibero-American Summit held in Andorra la Vella, Andorra, on April 21, 2021. In addition to Macron and Sánchez, participants included Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Chile's President Sebastián Piñera, Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado, and the Secretary-General for Ibero-America Rebeca Grynspan.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)