Wednesday, 21st April 2021, Principality of Andorra: Under the motto “Innovation for sustainable development–Objective 2030. Ibero-America facing the coronavirus challenge”, the Valleys of Andorra hosted its first international summit.
Andorra’s Head of Government, Xavier Espot, dedicated his opening address at the Summit’s Plenary Meeting to the victims of the pandemic, and emphasized the value of working multilaterally to overcome the health crisis and move towards sustainable growth.
Espot reiterated Andorra’s commitment to the Ibero-American space and to the defense of unity to face the challenges of the future. During his address, he urged the international community to guarantee universal access to vaccines against Covid-19 at a fair or affordable price. ‘Only with global immunity will it be possible to regain the path of economic and social growth’ he assured.
The Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, thanked the Government of Andorra for the summit’s organization, as well as for all preparatory and parallel meetings and activities. The large participation in the plenary meeting, according to the Ibero-American Secretary General, “reaffirms the importance of the Ibero-American Space as a space for meeting, for dialogue, and for finding agreements on diversity.” Grynspan stated that the Summit hosted by Andorra “is historic”, as it is held in a pandemic context to which the Principality “has adapted with great agility and flexibility to meet the programming” of the Ibero-American Conference.
The work prior to the Summit, she added, has served to raise the sectoral proposals approved in recent months by the ministers of the 22 countries of the Ibero-American Conference, and have addressed the “urgencies” of the pandemic and at the same time “structural challenges such as the fight against inequality or climate change”. These proposals are nourished by the Declaration of Andorra, which, explained Rebeca Grynspan, includes “the need for an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery, the importance of the innovative role of the State, the urgency to face the climate challenge and the differentiated impact of the crisis on women”.
The Ibero-American Secretary General has reaffirmed the importance of “projecting and strengthening Ibero-America before the International Community.” In fact, Grynspan spoke of international support for the Summit and referred to the message of support from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who highlighted the role of the Summit as a “moment of hope in the face of the enormous challenges we face which must be a turning point that will mark the development of countries in the coming decades ”.
Grynspan also reported that The Pope, Franciscus I had addressed the Conference with a letter calling for “strong political will” to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic. The Ibero-American leaders who participated in the Summit, both online and in person, shared the need to reaffirm the importance of multilateralism to address the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus around the world. In this regard, The President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei welcomed the meeting of leaders, which “must contribute to multilateralism and cooperation” as the focus of the 2030 Agenda.
President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader reaffirmed the role of multilateralism in the distribution of vaccines. Spain’s King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez have shared the importance of the ties of Ibero-American countries, especially in a pandemic context, in order to join forces “in the defence of the Ibero-American Community in a global world.” The Spanish prime minister also congratulated Andorra on the choice of the motto of the Summit, which integrates various axes such as sustainability, the environment, innovation and the coronavirus crisis.
The leaders of Portugal, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister António Costa, highlighted the value of dialogue and cooperation between countries offered by the Ibero-American Summit, which is of great importance in dealing with the consequences of the pandemic.
The XXVII Iberoamerican Summit was held, due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, in an adapted format with 5 face-to-face delegations – the three countries from the Iberian Peninsula, because of proximity, and Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, which make up the Troika, while the rest participated electronically. Thus, in addition to the face-to-face representatives already mentioned, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, spoke at the Plenary Session; the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce; the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera; the President of Colombia, Iván Duque; the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado; the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel; the President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno; the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando; the President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo; the President of Peru, Francisco Sagasti; the President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle; the Vice President of El Salvador, Félix Ulloa; the Executive Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua, Denis Moncada; the Secretary of Bilateral Negotiations in the Middle East, Europe and Africa of Brazil, Kenneth da Nóbrega; and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, José Antonio dos Santos.
The Principality of Andorra assumed the presidency of the pro tempore Secretariat of the Ibero-American Conference in 2018, after the Ibero-American Summit in Guatemala ended, with the aim of organizing, together with the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), the XXVII Summit in 2020. However, due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, the Summit in Andorra was postponed to April 2021. Throughout the SPT, Andorra has coordinated with SEGIB all meetings, forums and activities of the Ibero-American Conference.
Other Summit’s participants included His Eminence The Episcopal Co-Prince of Andorra, Archbishop Joan-Enric Vives i Sicília, who attended the gala dinner; French President Emmanuel Macron (who participated virtually in a parallel activity); AntónioGuterres, United Nation’s Secretary General (who sent a video supporting and encouraging the work of the Ibero-American leaders)as well as Andorra’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Maria Ubach Font (who partook digitally owing to illness).
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Declaration of Andorra:
Spanish Royal Household: