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Spanish king praises European values, hands award to UN chief

Lasting solutions to challenges such as the war in Ukraine can only be found with dialogue, understanding, and consensus, Spain’s King Felipe VI said on Tuesday.

The king was speaking at a ceremony in the Yuste monastery in the western Spanish city of Caceres, where the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres received the Charles V European Award, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.

The Charles V Award, granted by the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, recognises the work of individuals, organisations or initiatives that have contributed to the construction of Europe and the promotion of its values.

The king highlighted the war in Ukraine, triggered by the “unacceptable” Russian invasion, which he said calls for “reaffirming and uniting with even greater strength” to achieve peace.

Felipe VI stressed that in the current context “mutual support” is needed to define the configuration of the international system and “rebuilding trust” among UN member states.

It is also necessary “for the world to have an architecture based on strong and effective multilateral institutions and international relations based on and governed by law,” he said.

As is usual in this ceremony, Felipe VI made a Europeanist plea, saying the EU is “the best place for democracy, rights, freedom, equality and solidarity”.

After accepting the award, Guterres urged nations to use their “diplomatic arsenals” rather than “bullets” in securing peace in Ukraine and other countries affected by wars.

“Negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration. We must try everything to resolve our disagreements peacefully,” Guterres said after receiving the Charles V Award.

He also condemned Russia’s invasion for violating international law and the UN Charter and stressed that for peace to be lasting, “it must be based on the respect and protection of human rights in their entirety.”

“Peace must never be underestimated or taken for granted. We must work for it every day (…). In a world that is tearing itself apart, we must heal divisions, prevent escalations, and listen to grievances. Instead of bullets, we need diplomatic arsenals,” he added.

(Carlos P?rez Gil EFE)

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