Events

[2020-10-28] 70th Anniversary of Korea-Spain Relations

By 2020년 10월 29일 No Comments
Source: Yahoo Screen Capture

On October 28th, Chairman Ban Ki-moon was invited to speak on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the diplomacy between Spain and South Korea. He gave a congratulatory speech on the publication of the book “Spain and Korea: towards a new strategic partnership” that was published to celebrate seven decades of relations.

“Everyone at this ceremony here today is not only celebrating the launch of such a timely and rich publication; you are actively contributing to the proud history of strong bilateral ties between Korea and Spain.” He stated.

He continued his speech, talking about his own experiences with Spain. “On a personal level, I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked closely with many talented Spanish diplomats and international experts over my long carrier as a Korean diplomat, Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Secretary-General of the United Nations.” He said.

“I left with a feeling of increased confidence knowing that I could count on the robust cooperation of Spain and its sharp diplomats, policy-makers, and citizens as Secretary-General over the next ten years. And I did, as Spain’s active contributions on dialogue and peacekeeping, sustainable development, and climate action were simply immense.” He stated.

“Our shared values based on democracy, human rights, sustainability, the rule of law, public health, and climate action can help guide our two countries towards new strategic relations and also reenergize multilateralism.” He added.

To conclude his speech, Chairman Ban left a hopeful message for the future relations between the two countries. “Drawing on our shared experiences, I am confident that we can look forward to further deepening and broadening our robust bilateral relations in the next 70 years and beyond.“ He concluded.

Below is the full script of Chairman Ban Ki-moon’s speech

 

If you would like to read the full article, please refer to this link.

Thank you for your warm introduction.

H.E. Juan Ignacio Morro Villacián, Ambassador of Spain to the Republic of Korea,

Ambassador Jang Jae-bock, Deputy Minister for Public Dipomacy,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I’m honored to join you today and offer my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the publication of this very impressive book, “70th Anniversary of Korea-Spain Relations; Towards a New Strategic Relations.”

 

My special thanks go to Ambassador Morro for extending an invitation to me, as well as to the other distinguished speakers today who have shared their insights and well-wishes at such a meaningful event.

 

Everyone at this ceremony here today is not only celebrating the launch of such a timely and rich publication; you are actively contributing to the proud history of strong bilateral ties between Korea and Spain.

 

In this regard, I take this opportunity to offer my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of Korea-Spain Diplomatic Relations.

 

Since first establishing diplomatic relations in March 1950, our two countries have continued to not only expand, but also deepen bilateral cooperation in every substantive area. This includes in the economic, cultural, and political spheres.

 

On a personal level, I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked closely with many talented Spanish diplomats and international experts over my long carrier as a Korean diplomat, Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

I will never forget visiting Spain, shortly after I was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2007, and attending an incredible dinner alongside my wife hosted by Their Majesties the King Juan Carlos I and Queen of Spain at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid.

 

I remember that Spain hosted the First Alliance of Civilization Forum successfully in Madrid on January 2008 as a platform to cope with the world of extremism and division by promoting constructive dialogue between individuals, cultures, and civilizations.

 

In addition, Spanish government contributed $600 million dollars to the UN MDGs project, and organized the MDGs Advocacy Group. At its inaugural meeting held in Madrid in July 2010, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero co-chaired the meeting with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.  As Secretary General of the UN, I was very much pleased to have got full support and cooperation from Spanish government. This was a strong act of support for my fledging work and vision leading the UN.

 

I left with a feeling of increased confidence knowing that I could count on the robust cooperation of Spain and its sharp diplomats, policy-makers, and citizens as Secretary-General over the next ten years. And I did, as Spain’s active contributions on dialogue and peacekeeping, sustainable development, and climate action were simply immense.

 

Under this backdrop, I am of the view that this book launch is a fitting celebration and natural continuation of these deep, mutually-beneficial ties between Korea and Spain. And it also comes at a particularly important juncture not only for our two countries, but for all people and the planet.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We find ourselves at the center of a variety of converging crises and increased uncertainty. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend our economies, societies, and way of life. At the same time, our planet is on fire—both literally and figuratively with the climate crisis deepening as temperatures surge, sea levels rise, and wildfires burn.

 

COVID-19 and other global crises such as climate change have underlined our fundamental interconnectedness.

 

They have also made it clear that in today’s world we need global solutions borne out of cooperation and partnership to holistically address the great challenges that we face.

 

And such solutions must be rooted in inclusivity and sustainability; and centered on enhancing the health and resilience of people, communities, and our planet.

 

In this regard, I believe that our recovery from this pandemic must address climate change and guide us to a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future.

 

We must build back better, and greener, by constructing healthier societies for all.

 

To do so, we need to expand global cooperation, innovation, and partnership. Indeed, we are all in this together, and we all must ensure that the UN’s global goals are prioritized all around the world as they can serve as a roadmap towards the construction of a brighter world.

 

This are unprecedented times, and our response must be equally unprecedented.

 

But opportunities have arisen too, particularly for like-minded middle power countries such as Korea and Spain.

 

Indeed, as we move forward in the 21st century, we are likely to see a shift towards a more multipolar world.

 

As some nations prioritize nationalist isolation over global cooperation and great power rivalries increase, there is now growing space for middle power countries to come together through reinvigorated multilateral leadership and help forge a better world.

 

In this connection, I believe that the middle power countries of today, such Spain, Korea, and others, should step forward to contribute even more in the maintenance of the very multilateral order that we must recommit to in order to solve the inherently global challenges that we face.

 

Our shared values based on democracy, human rights, sustainability, the rule of law, public health, and climate action can help guide our two countries towards new strategic relations and also reenergize multilateralism.

 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

In our recent histories, Korea and Spain have both persevered over adversity, civil war, authoritarian rule, terrorism, and economic challenges. Today, our two countries are proud of flourishing democracies, playing an active and responsible role in the international community.

 

Drawing on our shared experiences, I am confident that we can look forward to further deepening and broadening our robust bilateral relations in the next 70 years and beyond.

 

This publication ceremony is a sterling example in this regard. I feel incredibly fortunate to have contributed an article in this beautiful book that truly exemplifies the friendly relations between our nations and people.

 

My sincere appreciation goes to the Embassy of Spain; and I offer my sincere congratulations once again on the occasion of today’s meaningful book launch.

 

I thank you.