Press Release

New Agreement to Boost Spanish-UNFPA Cooperation

28 June 2005
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York — The Government of Spain and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today signed a new agreement that formally acknowledges the "growing importance" and "new challenges" inherent in key population issues, such as migration, aging and HIV/AIDS.

"Today we have entered into a new era of cooperation with Spain," said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. She also noted that the agreement is an 'affirmation' of Spain’s commitment to 'multilateralism' including issues of reproductive health and rights.

The agreement, signed by Ms. Obaid and the Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation Leire Pajin Iraola at UNFPA headquarters in New York, acknowledges the critical role that UNFPA plays in the realization of goals set at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. It also strengthens international cooperation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—particularly those relating to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, the achievement of universal primary education, the promotion of gender equality, the reduction of maternal and infant mortality and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Ms. Iraola herself has called for an increased focus on reproductive health and the plight of women who, she said, are among 'the poorest of the poor.'

"It is critical that this issue get the attention it deserves," she said. "We want to work more with the MDGs—in particular those that focus on gender and the need for equal opportunities."

The Framework Agreement will further relations between Spain and UNFPA with a view towards their continued cooperation in the establishment and conduct of aid programmes, projects and activities both in Spain and abroad. These specifically include projects and training involving junior professional officers, United Nations volunteers and the exchange of technical knowledge and expertise—including that specifically focused on issues of migration.

Spain, which contributed $ 787,128 to UNFPA in 2004, has a long history of supporting the Fund. Currently, the country is aiming to meet the official development assistance of 0.33 per cent of GNI by 2006, as laid out in the Barcelona Benchmark for European Union countries. By 2012, Spain is hoping to increase that figure to 0.7 per cent.

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UNFPA is the world’s largest multilateral source of population assistance. Since it became operational in 1969, the Fund has provided substantial assistance to developing countries, at their request, to address their population and development needs.

Contact Information:

Patricia Leidl, tel. +212-297-5088, leidl@unfpa.org

Spain
Population : 46.4 mil
Fertility rate
1.4
Maternal Mortality Ratio
5
Contraceptives prevalence rate
69
Population aged 10-24
15%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 95%
Girls 97%