The Spanish president criticizes in New York the “inexplicable involution of some advanced democracies” in the sexual and reproductive freedom of women
In a General Assembly dominated by the conflict in Ukraine, and shaken by the nuclear threat from Vladimir Putin, it was expected that the topic would open the speech of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, this Thursday, followed by the pandemic, the climate emergency and the energy crisis.
Spain, which knows first-hand the disturbing consequences of an illegitimate independence referendum, could not but condemn the farce announced for this very weekend in the pro-Russian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson that Russia wants to annex. “These false referendums will constitute a new violation of international legality by Putin,” warned the Spanish president. “And I will be clear: your result will never be recognized.”
During a reception with the Spanish community in New York, the president told on Tuesday how he learned of the Russian invasion in the early hours of February 24, with a call from Josep Borrell, high commissioner for European diplomacy. He did not expect it, despite the fact that the US had been warning for months. He seemed as unreal to him as the world now feels Putin’s nuclear threat, or two years ago the pandemic that served to paralyze everything. “We thought we would never shake hands again,” he recalled.
The fact that three years later the UN General Assembly is being held again in full presence sums up his certainty that “wherever the danger grows, what saves us also grows”. He was referring to the development of 40 vaccines against covid-19, which Sánchez credits with representing “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.”
That is why Spain is also preparing to contribute 15 million euros to the Financial Intermediation Fund for the Prevention, Preparation and Response to Pandemics, which aims to anticipate others, as well as to the UN Covax program to carry the covid-19 vaccines. to all corners of the planet. This aid is crowned with 237 million euros of Official Development Aid over the next three years, of which 130 will go to the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, as announced the day before at an act of the Bill and Melinda Gates.
There are, however, other global challenges that directly affect Spain. Some of the 165 grain ships that the UN has managed to get out of Ukraine have ended up in Spanish ports, as President Volodimir Zelenski expressly said in his video intervention. “This is a complex problem that could worsen in 2023,” warned Sánchez, who blamed not only Russia’s blockade of exports, but also “selfish decisions to put up barriers to trade in agricultural products and fertilizers.” , for which he asked to “seek urgent solutions”.
Likewise, the Spanish president boasted of the “impressive” regulatory reforms that he has made to reduce the price of gas, but admitted that a profound one in the electricity sector throughout the European Union remains pending.
To her commitment to the digital transition in education, she added the feminist agenda for gender equality, since “we live in times in which claiming the obvious is still revolutionary.” Sánchez highlighted the fragility of the gains made, “victims of an inexplicable involution of some advanced democracies in the 21st century”, in veiled reference to the annulment of abortion protection that has occurred in the US, the host country of the high-level summit .
His international vision includes the promise to work for a greater rapprochement of the EU with Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the expansion of NATO. Also included, Sánchez added, is finding a “mutually acceptable” political solution for Western Sahara, in support of the work of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, “who has the full support of Spain.”
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