The State Secretary for International Cooperation (SECI), Pilar Cancela Rodríguez, has defended, before the United Nations, the Spanish Government’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda to tackle issues such as the food crisis or to achieve gender equality.
On behalf of Spain, Cancela attended the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) entitled: “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
During this forum, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda is reviewed and actions are set out to address global challenges such as climate change or social inequality. In addition to holding numerous bilateral meetings during the three days she attended the HLPF in New York, the State Secretary participated in two side events – on the gender pay gap and food security – and a ministerial roundtable.
“The 2030 Agenda is central to the Government of Spain and, together with the Paris Agreement and the Addis Ababa Agenda, they constitute a coherent and mutually reinforcing framework, as reflected in the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy,” the SECI recalled at the ministerial roundtable on achieving the SDGs by 2030 in contexts of crisis. Cancela explained that this commitment is also “clear and firm in the framework of the European Union, reinforced by the European Teams for the advancement of the multilateral agenda, with exponents such as the new European Consensus on Development or the European Green Pact”.
During her speech at a side event on the gender pay gap, the State Secretary pointed out the need to “recognise women’s full equality in order to advance social justice”. “We need inclusive economic recovery plans focused on women and girls, especially those who suffer discrimination and violence: indigenous women, racial minorities, in rural areas or LGTBI, and more resources in cooperation to implement measures to curb the increase in violence, trafficking and sexual exploitation and the feminisation of poverty in the world,” she added.
The State Secretary also spoke at the ministerial round table “Accelerating the achievement of the SDGs by 2030: addressing the current crises and overcoming the challenges”. She called for a focus on the impact of the food crisis; the urgency of unlocking financing for development in Least Developed and Transition Development Countries; continuing to implement measures to achieve gender equality; and the need to support responsible global health management. “In the face of the current triple crisis, especially the food security crisis, there is a need to act quickly and in a coordinated manner through multilateral channels, avoiding overlaps and duplication. To this end, you can count on Spain’s full will, support and action,” concluded Cancela.
During the last day, the State Secretary participated in a side event on food security, in which she focused on the need for “humanitarian food aid in this price crisis that could leave millions of people in a situation of severe malnutrition”, indicating the need to respond immediately to the impact of the war on humanitarian aid, supporting the World Food Programme and strengthening its local food supply, decoupling as much as possible its dependence on Ukraine-Russia grain, “always in application of the development-humanitarian-peace nexus”.
Before attending the UN HLPF in New York, Pilar Cancela visited Washington on 11 and 12 July. During these two days she held meetings with officials from the Pan American Health Organisation, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development and the Organisation of American States.