The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, today asked the Catalan government’s representatives abroad to disseminate a report issued by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that calls for the release of the political prisoners. “We have a duty to make sure people everywhere know about the UN report, and I’m asking you to help fulfil that duty,” he said, encouraging them to ensure that this “extremely important and vital” decision, which “calls on all governments, including the Spanish government, to ensure that it’s implemented”, reaches the parliaments and governments of the countries where they are stationed.
President Torra and the Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Alfred Bosch, met with the 12 Catalan government representatives in Brussels. In the course of the meeting, the president urged them to act as “loudspeakers for freedom, for the civil and political rights of Catalans, and to speak for everyone they want to silence”.
Torra has also called on them to “support the points of broad consensus that exist in the country, the views shared by 80% of Catalans”, and “defend the values that define us as a people: a radical commitment to democracy, social justice, dialogue, freedom, culture, talent, and unyielding defence of human, social and civil rights, including the right to self-determination”.
Reactivation of the network of delegations abroad
The president noted that the meeting held today at the Catalan government’s Brussels delegation is “the picture of a country that wants to tackle key issues in a globalised world and the most important challenges we face, including the defence of freedom”.
Following the lifting of Article 155 and the reactivation of the network of Catalan government delegations, the president publicly thanked the representatives and their teams for performing a task that “hasn’t been easy” and that allows Catalonia to “have a project that keeps us moving forward”. Torra said: “One of the priorities we set at the beginning of our mandate was to reopen Catalonia’s delegations abroad, to relaunch Diplocat and continue to maintain contact with all the other institutions that have a voice in the world.” According to the president, Catalonia needs to “have its own voice in the world and tell people who we are, what we do, and what we represent. Because if we don’t explain ourselves, someone will do it for us.”
The president added that the work of the delegations goes beyond telling the world about the political situation in Catalonia: “We also need you to achieve our goal of making Catalonia a driver of social change, a place where everyone can pursue their life project with dignity and responsibility.”
Torra asked the representatives to help “attract investment and tell people about Catalonia’s potential in the world”. The president stressed that one of the main objectives for the representatives is to “convey this message of hope and stability, of a government that takes a rigorous approach to managing its finances and policies” to “anyone interested in our situation, whether potential investors or people who want to visit us”.
The president cited some of the economic figures which show that the Catalan economy is performing well and noted that experts say Catalonia remains the most attractive investment destination in southern Europe.
“Catalonia is complying with the UN opinion”
The Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Alfred Bosch, said that “Catalonia, for its part, is complying with the UN opinion” concerning the political prisoners, noting that one of the requests of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is that the conclusions of the report be disseminated by all possible means. “As the government of Catalonia, we have an obligation to make sure this decision is widely disseminated,” said Bosch, who joined the president in urging the representatives to carry out this task.
“Rather than acting on the opinion of the UN body, the Spanish state is doing just the opposite,” Bosch noted. “What we can’t accept is the United Nations being scorned and ridiculed. How can they show such disrespect for international bodies?” the minister asked, calling again on the Spanish government “to respond to the opinion of this official group, which reports to the UN Human Rights Council”.
Minister Bosch also emphasised that “external action is a necessity and an obligation”. He concluded: “Citizens demand that we contribute to Catalonia’s welfare, and that depends on increasing internationalisation.”