In 1989, more than a decade after Spain’s accession, also in the month of November, the North-South Centre was created with the purpose of spreading these values beyond the European continent. The means chosen to achieve this purpose was fostering solidarity and raising awareness of global interdependence. Spain was one of the founding Member States of the Centre and has remained ever since an active supporter of its activities.
Since 1989 the world has changed in many ways, but the new political challenges which can be traced back to the Great Recession are best confronted with solidarity and cooperation based on the awareness of global interdependence, precisely the tools with which the North-South Centre works. As the Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis pointed out in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on the 21st of September, “we must work against inequality, promote prosperity and provide job opportunities to young people in order for our planet to remain habitable for future generations”. The North-South Centre can certainly do its bit to attain these goals by accomplishing its mission in its 4 priority areas: global education, youth cooperation, empowerment of women and migration. Let me add that Spain has consistently contributed to the North-South Centre’s cooperation programs on youth through the Instituto de la juventud (INJUVE), helping to organize the so-called University of Youth and Development.
For historical and geographical reasons, Spain has always given priority to the Mediterranean Region, which we conceive of as a space for peace and prosperity. In times of political upheaval and mass migration, turning the Mediterranean into such a space is a pressing duty not only for all coastal states, South and North, but also for all European and African countries and for regional Organisations such as the Council of Europe.
In this endeavour the North-South Centre has a growing role to play. I encourage the team now at the helm of the Centre to continue working with the same dedication that has yielded such outstanding results.
Ambassador Gil Catalina
Permanent representative of Spain
to the Council of Europe