1. The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union denounced the obstacles to foreign action encountered with the Spanish Government: “We have seen it with the PP, we expect it from Vox, but we have also experienced it with the PSOE”
  2. During her trip to New York, Serret shared the Catalan Government’s call to establish a moratorium on the use of spyware such as Pegasus, as the US Administration has already done
Minister Serret, yesterday at the United Nations headquarters.
Minister Serret, yesterday at the United Nations headquarters.

The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, has assured from New York that “the Catalan Government’s commitment to carry out more and better foreign action, despite all the obstacles we have faced and are facing, will not change whatever the result of the upcoming elections on 23 July”. Serret denounced the obstacles to Catalan foreign action put in place by the Spanish Government, obstacles that “we have seen with the PP, we expect from Vox, but which we have also experienced in the case of the PSOE”. In this regard, she asked, “Why this fear of a foreign action that wants to contribute to the betterment of Catalan society, to stronger international relations and to joint efforts in tackling major global challenges?” She also questioned “what fear can explain on an international scale a political conflict that is recognised internationally and that the Spanish State itself has recognised through its negotiation table”. The Minister is convinced that the Catalan Government will continue to deploy “ambitious and uninhibited” foreign action, and will maintain “its call to build a better future and position Catalonia in the world”.

Serret made these statements at the United Nations headquarters, where yesterday she took part in an event within the framework of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) that is taking place this week in New York. For the Minister, “participating in this forum at the UN headquarters is another milestone in the Catalan Government’s foreign action and in its willingness to be an internationally recognised global actor”. In her speech, the Minister for Foreign Action and European Union called for a more active role for the governments closest to citizens in the multilateral system so that they can “participate and contribute directly to the UN to jointly accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda”.

Call for a moratorium on the use of spyware

During her institutional trip to New York, which ends tomorrow, Minister Serret has also held several bilateral meetings, in which she has transmitted, among other things, the Catalan Government’s call to limit the use of spyware such as Pegasus. “We have taken the opportunity to talk about the CatalanGate case, which we have suffered personally and which is a serious attack on fundamental rights”, she warned. Serret regretted that the socialist government “has not only committed this abuse, but has also hindered the investigation aimed at moving towards a context of regulation and protection for victims”, to ensure that cases like this do not happen again.

“We have taken a position, as has the US Government, to move forward with agreements that will bring about a moratorium on the use of this type of software” and, at the same time, “we call for the creation of an international regulatory framework that provides guarantees and preserves fundamental rights and freedoms”. Last April, the Catalan Government approved a moratorium on the use of targeted spyware technologies, an agreement that made Catalonia the second country in the world, after the United States, to apply specific measures against spyware, in line with the repeated recommendations of the United Nations, which advocate the creation of a solid regulatory framework to prevent its negative impact, as has been seen with Catalangate.

This is also called for in the Geneva Declaration, an initiative by the Catalan Government itself with the NGO Access Now to move towards international regulation of these tools and which urges the implementation of a moratorium on their export, sale and use. Costa Rica was the first country to call for a moratorium in this area. In fact, on this same trip, Minister Serret was able to exchange views on the need to regulate this type of software with Costa Rica’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations, Maritza Chan.

Today, Minister Serret will hold a series of meetings with United Nations agencies with which Catalan cooperation has a long history of collaboration. Among others, she will meet with representatives of UN Women and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which manages the UN Central Emergency Response Fund. She will also meet with the Vice-President of the International Peace Institute, Adam Lupel. Finally, the day will end with a reception for the Catalan community in New York organised by the Government Delegation to the United States and Canada.