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  • Minister Serret: "We will maintain the aid of over one and a half million euros to the United Nations entities providing assistance to Palestine"

Minister Serret: "We will maintain the aid of over one and a half million euros to the United Nations entities providing assistance to Palestine"

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Minister Serret: "We will maintain the aid of over one and a half million euros to the United Nations entities providing assistance to Palestine"

  1. During the Conference on Feminist Development Cooperation, Serret reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to humanitarian aid for Gaza despite the budgetary blockade in the Parliament of Catalonia
  2. At the same time, the minister highlighted the feminist development cooperation policy promoted by the Catalan Government, pioneering on a global scale, and announced the new programme for young aid workers

The Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, took part this morning in the Feminist Development Cooperation Conference organised by the Government of Catalonia. Speaking at the Barcelona Botanical Institute, Serret underlined the commitment of the Catalan Government to the United Nations entities in Palestine, and assured that the 1.6 million euros of aid will be maintained in 2024, which is 15% more than last year.

“This reaffirms our commitment to multilateralism and to the United Nations system, as well as our desire to strengthen the multi-level governance approach,” said Serret, while also lamenting the budget blockade in Parliament for 2024. The budgets contemplated €47.8 M for development cooperation, the highest figure in the last 15 years.

In relation to the conflict in Gaza, the minister called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and an end to attacks on civilian society. Furthermore, she insisted that “it is necessary to comply with United Nations resolutions, including the one calling for a halt to the sale of arms to Israel”.

At the same time, Serret referred to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and reiterated that the Catalan Government remains committed to the reconstruction of the country. “Today we still have some 25,000 Ukrainians living in Catalonia. We want to continue reiterating our commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights.

Programme for young aid workers

In her speech, the Minister for Foreign Affairs strongly defended the values of peace and human rights “amidst the multiple crises and the rise of populism and the far right” and stressed the importance of deploying the Global Education Strategy, which is specifically aimed at young people.

The Strategy includes the programme for young aid workers, which will be launched next year, and is promoted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and European Union, the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, the Public Employment Service of Catalonia and the Catalan Youth Agency. “We want to focus on young people and new generations. They are currently detached from development cooperation and we want to give them the opportunity to participate in aid projects,” said Serret.

The initiative is aimed at unemployed young people under the age of 35 who are eligible to work on international projects run by non-governmental organisations. It is a way of bringing development cooperation policies closer to young people and presenting the sector as a source of job opportunities.

Feminist development cooperation in Catalonia, a global benchmark

The conference is a major step forward in the formulation of a new policy of feminist development cooperation. It is a “national policy” and “pioneering on an international scale,” she emphasised.

This policy, which is set out in the Master Plan for Development Cooperation 2023-2026, builds on almost 10 years’ experience in applying a gender approach based on human rights, and is a distinctive feature of Catalan cooperation. Furthermore, in her speech, the minister stressed that the Government of the Generalitat will continue with its commitment to reach the 0.7% target for development cooperation by 2030.

This conference brings together more than twenty experts from up to 14 countries from agencies of the United Nations, the European Commission, partner governments, foreign cooperation agencies, among others. “Only through this cross-cutting base – comprising institutions, organisations and experts from all over the world – can we contribute to building a fairer and more feminist world,” concluded the minister.