THE CARLOS V EUROPEAN AWARD RECOGNISES ANTÓNIO GUTERRES’ CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROCESS OF EUROPEAN CONSTRUCTION, THE PROMOTION OF MULTILATERALISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation held the 16th Carlos V European Award ceremony this Tuesday at the Monastery of San Jerónimo de Yuste. In this edition, the award was delivered to the Portuguese politician and Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres. The ceremony was presided over by King Felipe VI. (10/05/2023)
This award recognises Guterres’ extensive and long-standing life career devoted to social commitment, the process of European construction, the promotion of multilateralism, human dignity and sustainable development by addressing global challenges and crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, as well as one of the greatest challenges facing Europe and humanity, climate change, placing the 2030 Agenda as the global roadmap focused on people and the planet.
STRENGTHENING THE EUROPEAN IDENTITY
Felipe VI exposed the need “to increase global ambition at this time of insecurity and confusion in order to preserve and strengthen the points of reference that support us and guide us, such as the Charter of the United Nations, always trying to project all efforts towards a horizon of freedom and peace, of stability and prosperity”.
That, he claimed, was “the mission and commitment” of António Guterres, who “from practical reason has been building an alternative way for optimism, which is nothing but reasoned confidence in our strength, in our ability to cooperate, to build a better world”.
He also pointed out that Europe “must make its voice heard in this new context of transformation of the international order on the basis of the values and principles that are its hallmark”. All this, he reaffirmed, aimed at making decisions that will condition its future, such as the transition to renewable energy and the humanitarian challenge of refugees and migrants.
Among the most recent challenges that Europe has had to face, such as the Covid 19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine, he stressed the need “to reaffirm and unite even more forcefully and decisively”.
Throughout his address, His Majesty also referred to “European Yuste and American Guadalupe”, historical sites that have made Extremadura “proud of its roots and its history, looking towards the Atlantic through dear and sister Portugal, and which turn that history Spanish, Iberian, European and Ibero-American, into a clear example that feelings are not exclusive, but enrich those who are proud of the value of all of them”.
In addition, he recalled that next July, Spain will assume the presidency of the EU Council, which is “a great opportunity for our country to boost the relationship between the EU and Latin America”.
The President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, valued the figure of António Guterres: “the best man of his generation, always fighting for Portugal and Europe because to him, Portugal was Europe and it was universal, as was Spain”.
He went on to state that Guterres “already fully represented the Europeanist who, as prime minister, led the way to Europe with determination”, so that “what has inspired his life is serving others, helping those who suffer and giving them dignity” as a “defender of multilateralism, human rights and peace”.
FIGHTING FOR PEACE AND MULTILATERALISM
In turn, Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the award-winner of this 16th edition, thanked this recognition and dedicated it to all the people who work at the UN, “which is why I am even prouder”.
During his address, Guterres reflected on the global evolution and change experienced in Europe and warned that “peace must never be underestimated and taken for granted”, so “we must work to make peace and to keep it, every day, tirelessly”. “Instead of bullets we need diplomatic arsenals (…) through mediation, conciliation, and arbitration”, he said.
He added that “there will be lasting peace only if we achieve the full participation and leadership of women at the decision-making table”, while stressing the need of “reducing emissions and protecting our environment (…) taking action for justice”.
In addition, the UN secretary-general claimed that “human beings are at their very best in the most difficult times” and now, he said, “is the time when, once again, we must rise to the occasion”, because “Europe must renew itself in order to remain at the forefront, but it must not give up its identity. (…) a strong (…) united Europe can meet the enormous challenges of the present and the future. Europe is a border and not an island”.
Thus, he argued that on this European day we must “reaffirm the ideals of peace, justice and international cooperation” as well as promote and protect human rights in order to achieve a more just world.
EXTREMADURA, MEETING POINT BETWEEN EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA
On another note, the president of the Regional Government of Extremadura and president of the Board of Trustees of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Guillermo Fernández Vara, stressed that Extremadura is proud of being “one of the most Ibero-American regions” as is reflected in the Autonomy Statute of the autonomous community.
In this sense, he eulogised Extremadura’s “European identity, its Ibero-American voation and its cross-border location” and valued the power of the region, which stands as “a benchmark in renewable energy”. A fact that will make Europe less dependent on Russian gas or oil from the Middle East”.
“Whereas during many years of our history, Extremadura exported labour, it now exports labour, energy and services”, he stressed.
In addition, Fernández Vara highlighted that “the united Europe was born as a peace project” and that, he underlined, “is our path, the only one that can lead us to the future”.
Finally, the Ukrainian refugee living in Extremadura, Lana Tryhub, thanked the assistance and support given to the Ukrainian people since the Russian invasion, “a painful journey of life, but one that is also full of hope for a better future” in a Europe of solidarity.
Thus, Tryhub valued the assistance and protection so that “millions of refugees in the world can have hope thanks to the international solidarity mechanisms promoted by agencies like UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the work done by its leaders, such as Mr. Guterres”, whom she thanked for “your commitment and your struggle, thank you for showing us that hope is part of life”.
The president and the prime minister of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa, respectively; the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell; the minister of Defence of the Government of Spain, Margarita Robles; the president of the General Council of the Judiciary, Rafael Mozo; the Ibero-American secretary general, Andrés Allamand; the president of the Parliament of Extremadura, Blanca Martín Delgado; the government delegate in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, Francisco Mendoza; the mayor of Cuacos de Yuste, José María Hernández García; and the president of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation’s Executive Committee and general director of External Action of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Rosa María Balas, attended this edition.
The ceremony was also attended by National Heritage authorities; the Governing Council of the Regional Government of Extremadura; members of the religious community and guests, as well as 21 ambassadors from European and Ibero-American countries: Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Poland, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Panama, Bolivia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia; in addition to the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Ángel Moratinos; the Spanish Ambassador to Portugal, Marta Betanzos Roig; the 2017 Carlos V European Award-winner, Marcelino Oreja, and the members of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste: Ramón Jáuregui, Enrique Moradiellos, Gustaff Janssens, Monica Luisa Macovei, Manuela Mendonça, Abram de Swaan and Federico Mayor Zaragoza.