The 75th anniversary of the United Nations was marked with a special speech by King Felipe VI during the high-level meeting to commemorate the occasion.
Delivering his message from the Palace of La Zarzuela in Madrid, on September 21st 2020, the Spanish king discussed how it would be “difficult to imagine what the world would be like today without the United Nations” and touched on the impact the pandemic has had on the organisation.
The United Nations was officially formed in October 1945, when representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organisation. Spain became a member of the UN a decade later, on 14 December 1955.
King Felipe’s speech read:
“Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government, Mr President of the General Assembly, dear Secretary-General, Greetings from Spain and It is truly an honour and a pleasure to speak to you on this day.
“On this day when we solemnly commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations, I want to share with you several ideas, feelings, and convictions.
“On the one hand, a feeling of gratitude. It is difficult to imagine what the world would be like today without the United Nations. It has been fulfilling a demanding mandate for 75 years, constantly tackling difficulties and challenges; a long period that has made the organisation the benchmark for the maintenance of international peace and security, development and the protection of human rights that it is today.
“For this reason, my first words are of congratulations and gratitude for all those people who gave birth to it and for whom they have worked for seven and a half decades in their noble task, even sometimes giving their lives for the ideals that sustain it. Thanks with all my heart.
“Along with due gratitude, I must emphasise our conviction about the need for the greatest union. Indeed, we need more United Nations and more united nations.
“Because of the pandemic, humanity is experiencing an unprecedented global crisis that is putting our countries and the United Nations system to the test, but also demonstrating how necessary structured international cooperation is in an increasingly smaller world.
“The response to current challenges requires a strengthened, more inclusive and improved multilateralism that facilitates collaboration between state actors and civil society and that results in a real, positive and tangible impact on people’s lives.
“Lastly, I wish to underline the idea of commitment, which is fundamental to the fulfilment of the purposes of our organisation. Spain will continue to be, within the framework of the European Union, a loyal member of the United Nations and a reliable partner of its Member States.
“We will maintain an active commitment that promotes concrete actions in areas such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, the promotion of human rights and gender equality, the construction of peace or the protection of the environment.
“Also, of course, in the fight against terrorism, in the fight so that serious crimes against humanity do not go unpunished, or in humanitarian action based on principles and the protection of the most vulnerable; as well as the necessary digital and ecological transitions that we must all address.
“I hope that this brief and sincere message, which reflects the feelings of the Spanish, serves to recognise the work of the United Nations as the universal organisation that its founders projected, the common home of humanity, and to encourage it to continue and persevere in the noble mission to make it possible to improve people’s lives.
“Today all the Heads of State and Government that make up this General Assembly have adopted a solemn Declaration that marks the future we want for our peoples.
“Let’s make it a reality always thinking of the whole of society, of the common good of humanity. Count on Spain in this endeavour.
“Thank you very much and happy 75th anniversary. “