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Spain’s King Felipe VI calls to eliminate ‘excesses’ of economic growth model

EU Priorities 2020

Spain’s King Felipe VI calls to eliminate ‘excesses’ of economic growth model

Spain's King Felipe VI

[United Nations]

Spain’s King Felipe VI, who is expected to deliver a speech in the European Parliament next week, called on Friday (25 September) to eliminate the “excesses” of the current model of growth, while preserving its strengths.

“This is our conviction and this is our commitment,” the Spanish monarch said in a speech at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, an event bringing together 150 heads of state and government to hammer out a set of objectives for the next 15 years, building on the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted in 2000.

Felipe, who was present for Pope Francis’ address to the General Assembly earlier Friday, evoked the pontiff’s message in favor of a common project by insisting: “To think of one world obliges us to act as one world.”

“The globalization of finance, of technology and of information should be accompanied by the globalization of solidarity, of knowledge, of equity, of liberty and of human dignity,” the king said.

>>Read: Global goals received with rapture in New York – now comes the hard part

The leaders gathered for the summit are making a commitment to “transform the world,” to free the planet “from the extreme poverty and the hunger that still afflict a good part of humanity,” he said.

Felipe spoke of the generation who will turn 15 in 2030, the target date for the achievement of the goals set during the Sustainable Development Summit.

“We are here to solemnly commit ourselves before the members of that generation that any one of them can fully develop his capabilities without any discrimination whatsoever,” the Spanish monarch said.

Acknowledging the “decisive steps” represented by the Millennium Goals, he pointed out that conflicts – such as the civil war in Syria – and natural disasters, such as the Nepal earthquake earlier this year, can undo decades of progress in developing countries.

While the “fragility” that the 2008 financial crisis exposed in wealthy countries was proof that “No one is immune from the weaknesses of a growth model that we must now correct and perfect, preserving its strengths and eliminating its excesses,” King Felipe said.

>>Read: Annick Girardin: ‘The SDGs can solve the causes of the migrant crisis’

“All of us are responsible” for the “successful culmination” of the new development agenda, he said, vowing that Spain would do what was necessary to ensure that success.

Felipe cited Spain’s contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, which was marked by an emphasis on providing resources to countries suffering from pervasive poverty and marginalization.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warmly praised Spain’s efforts on behalf of the Millennium Goals and Madrid’s role on the Security Council in an encounter with the king prior to the monarch’s speech.