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6th Conference of Ambassadors

King closes off 6th Conference of Ambassadors by acknowledging work of all personnel posted abroad

Tuesday 19 January 2021

His speech brings to an end two days of hybrid, face-to-face and online meetings where, according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, "the foundations have been laid for our foreign action in a new global scenario".

Arancha González Laya pinpointed 2021 as the year of the economic recovery and of the recovery of areas and our presence in a new global scenario, with a strategy based on four pillars: a commitment to the integration of the EU; a commitment to multilateralism; new trans-Atlantic relations with the Biden Administration, and politics based on solidarity.

Precisely on the day of the approval of the "Solidarity Plan for Universal Access to Vaccination" so that countries with fewer resources can have access to the vaccine against COVID-19, the minister reiterated that "it is solidarity and not indifference that will help us to wipe this out".

Diplomatic work

In his speech to the ambassadors, King Felipe VI pointed out that the image and overseas weight of Spain are "more decisive than ever" in an increasingly more uncertain interdependent reality. "Our country's position in this new era deserves to be noteworthy, and the work and achievements made by us all over the last four decades, despite the difficulties, deserve greater recognition", he argued.

King Felipe stressed that Spain "is now a benchmark in different areas of international life; due to its high consideration as a social and democratic State under the rule of law; due to its prestige, diversity and universal nature of its culture; due to the eagerness and open and enterprising character of its men and women, and the dynamic nature and projection of its companies; due to its scientific and medical achievements and its sporting successes". But also, he added, in "such fields as development cooperation and policies to combat climate change; and in our proactive attitude in the search for international peace and in the fight for equality".

After acknowledging Spain's foreign action work, His Majesty claimed that "40 years ago, Spain returned to the world stage, and is now an active member in its design and management". This great change, he went on to say, "would have been impossible without a will to serve, high quality work and the personal sacrifice that have all characterised Spanish diplomacy over these decisive decades for the progress of our country. You have not only borne witness to this transformation; you have played a leading role in it".

2030 Agenda and international leadership

For his part, the Second Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Social Rights and 2030 Agenda, Pablo Iglesias, reaffirmed "Spain's clear commitment to the 2030 Agenda: to convert words into deeds and statements into policies. Our country must be an international benchmark in compliance with the 2030 Agenda, as well as an essential principle of our domestic policy, in our foreign action and in coherence among all our policies".

And he claimed that Spain aspires to exercising a position of global leadership in this matter. To which end, he stressed that "the annual progress reports bear witness to the reality of Spain's commitment, at a domestic level, but that this must also be the case at an international level".

"I firmly believe that the 2030 Agenda is the roadmap for overcoming the consequences left behind by the pandemic and for tackling the reconstruction of our country and of the whole world", stressed Pablo Iglesias, and in this context he concluded that "this is more important for the government than ever before".

Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan

In her speech, the Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, claimed that 2021 will be a year of transformations and modernisation, as a result of the opportunity offered by the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan to achieve "a structural transformation of our country, which will allow us to reduce our historical imbalances and to be ready to stand at the forefront of global changes in the future".

The aim, she explained to the ambassadors, is for "the plan and the associated investments and reforms to contribute to enhancing the growth potential of the Spanish economy and transform our model, thus leading to more significant, more balanced growth that creates quality jobs. Our estimates point to the plan amounting to an increase in the potential growth of the economy of more than 2%".

The challenge is not only to design the plan, "but also, above all, to be capable of implementing it quickly and with all due guarantees", in the conviction that "by working together, by protecting our economy, our jobs, our family income, we will enjoy robust growth in 2021", which will also be "more sustainable and inclusive".

Migratory policy

The Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, also took part in the Conference of Ambassadors, giving a speech focused on the field of migratory policy. In this area, he highlighted the government's clear commitment to prevention policies, which obviously involve real cooperation with countries of origin and transit and the effective fight against criminal organisations that engage in people trafficking.

"Our embassies and you, their leaders, have an important role to play in ensuring that this migratory policy can be effective", he said. Spanish ambassadors and the consular network are key elements in strengthening cooperation with countries of origin and transit in controlling migratory flows because, he explained, at this level "we need the participation of our partners, which is impossible without political dialogue".

Fernando Grande-Marlaska also underlined the cooperation projects with African countries in the fight against people trafficking networks. "In this area, we act through a range of projects that have proven their efficacy, such as the Joint Investigation Teams (Spanish acronym: ECI) and the Rapid Action Groups (Spanish acronym: GAR-SI), but also through the deployment of our own resources, our own public servants, as well as through training their personnel at our academies", he remarked.

Non official translation