The Government of Catalonia is to make a new contribution to UN Women of 260,000 euros to create the so-called Global Innovation and Knowledge Hub with the aim of advancing innovation in policies for the prevention of gender-based violence around the world. This was announced in New York by the Minster for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, after meeting with representatives of this United Nations agency, with whom the Government has been collaborating for years on several projects to promote gender equality and eradicate gender-based violence. “In the face of the rise of the extreme right and archaic Spain, Catalonia is reaffirming itself as a recognised global actor in feminist policies”, explained the minister, who stated that this is evidenced by “the extensive collaboration with UN Women, especially in the field of development cooperation”.
In an interview with the media after the meeting, Minister Serret claimed that the Government is becoming “an international benchmark” in the field of equality and feminist policies, thanks to the Ministry led by Minister Tània Verge and the executive’s global commitment to placing equality policies at the centre of political action to eradicate all inequalities, discrimination and violence.
A global meeting point to innovate in the fight against gender-based violence
The Government’s contribution will go towards the creation of the Global Innovation and Knowledge Hub, a UN Women initiative within the framework of the Action Coalitions to create a global meeting point for actors from different areas and contexts to innovate on policies against gender-based violence and to advocate for governments around the world to commit to making progress in this fight. In this regard, UN Women has proposed that Catalonia should participate in this hub.
The Minister of Equality and Feminisms, Tània Verge, celebrated Catalonia’s participation in UN Women because “gender-based violence is the main human rights violation suffered by women all over the world”. “The response must be global, it must be an absolute priority for all governments, as it is for the Government of Catalonia”, added Verge, who also stressed that “the eradication of gender-based violence has become a national issue, and that is why we have tripled the resources to provide more and better care for women and to provide more and better prevention”.
This new economic contribution will be added to the million euros that the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation earmarked between 2020 and 2023 to finance several of the agency’s projects in Cameroon, Guatemala, Senegal and Mozambique, among others.
About the Action Coalition
The Global Innovation and Knowledge Hub is an initiative within the so-called Action Coalitions, global partnerships coordinated by UN Women that engage governments, civil society, international organisations and the private sector to drive collective action, promote global dialogue and leverage more public and private investment for gender equality.
In total, there are six action coalitions that undertake various commitments, and the government already participates in one of them, which aims to eradicate gender-based violence, through the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation. It is, in short, a project to create a global agenda to fight gender-based violence.
A feminist and transformative form of cooperation
The Government of Catalonia has made a clear, firm commitment to consolidate the feminist and transformative perspective as a distinctive feature of Catalan cooperation. Indeed, this is reflected in the 2023-2026 Development Cooperation Master Plan, which was approved last week by the Catalan Parliament by a large majority. The aim of reaffirming this distinctive feature of Catalan cooperation policy is to contribute to tackling the structural causes of inequalities and human rights violations, acting both in Catalonia and in cooperation partner territories.
Minister Meritxell Serret ends her institutional trip to New York tomorrow, during which she has taken part in events within the framework of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and has held several bilateral meetings in priority areas for the Government. An example of this was her agenda today in the city, which focused especially on development cooperation. Serret met with UN agencies with which the Government has been collaborating for years through the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD), such as UN Women. Also, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), one of the ACCD’s strategic humanitarian partners and to which an annual contribution has been made for the past five years. Since 2018, the Government has contributed more than two million euros.
Today, Serret also met with Adam Lupel, vice-president of the International Peace Institute, an international think tank that works to promote peace, security and sustainable development on a global level. During the meeting, the minister conveyed the Government’s commitment to peace-building and peace promotion processes, one of the ACCD’s traditional priorities. Tomorrow, Serret will complete her agenda in New York with a meeting with Ilze Brands Kehris, Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights and head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York.