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Ban Ki-moon asks for talks regarding Catalonia’s self-determination claims

“The United Nations respect self-determination processes” stated the Secretary General of the United Nations when he was asked about Catalonia’s and Scotland’s self-determination processes during his official visit to Andorra, a small independent country in the Pyrenees which has Catalan as its official language. Ban Ki-moon urged all the political leaders to talk and find a negotiated and peaceful solution. “All the pending issues among countries have to be solved via peaceful means and through dialogue, respecting the genuine will of the affected people”, he stated. As opposed to the United Kingdom’s Government, the Spanish Executive currently refuses to even talk about Catalonia’s self-determination claims, which are backed by November’s electoral results and recent opinion polls.

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03 April 2013 12:05 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- \u201CThe United Nations respect self-determination processes\u201D stated the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, when he was asked about Catalonia\u2019s and Scotland\u2019s self-determination processes during his official visit to Andorra on Tuesday. Ban Ki-moon urged all the political leaders to talk and find a negotiated and peaceful solution. \u201CAll the pending issues among countries have to be solved via peaceful means and through dialogue, respecting the genuine will of the affected people\u201D, he stated. As opposed to the United Kingdom\u2019s Government, the Spanish Executive currently refuses to even talk about Catalonia\u2019s self-determination claims. These claims are backed by November\u2019s electoral results and recent opinion polls. Furthermore, on the last Catalan National Day, 1.5 million people demonstrated in Barcelona asking for Catalonia\u2019s independence from Spain.


\u201CI make a call to the leaders throughout the world to use their political leadership and their capacities to solve all the conflicts through dialogue and peaceful means\u201D, underlined Ban Ki-moon in Andorra, after having been asked about Catalonia\u2019s self-determination process.

The first visit of a UN Secretary General to Andorra

Ban Ki-moon made the statements in Andorra, which he was visiting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its addition to the international organisation. This small country has Catalan as its official language and has been an independent state for the last 700 years, isolated between valleys in the Pyrenees. During the press conference made next to Andorra\u2019s Prime Minister, Antoni Martí, Ban Ki-moon gave a brief welcome in Catalan: \u201CSenyores i senyors, bon dia\u201D (\u201CLadies and gentlemen, good morning\u201D). It is the first time that a UN Secretary General had visited Andorra.

\u201COur [roots] are in the Catalan culture\u201D

Martí underlined that in a globalised world, Andorra can offer the world its experience based on finding peaceful agreements. In addition, he stated that being connected \u201Cto the roots\u201D is essential nowadays and he added: \u201Cours are in the Catalan culture\u201D.

Catalan language in the UN

Just after having voted for its first constitution, on the 28th of July 1993, Andorra became the 184th member of the United Nations. It is the third smallest member after Liechtenstein and San Marino. With the addition of Andorra, the Catalan language was officially used in the United Nations\u2019 General Assembly. However, Catalan violoncello player Pau Casals, who composed the UN\u2019s anthem, had already addressed a few words in Catalan before the Assembly in 1971, claiming Catalonia\u2019s history and democratic tradition. Casals also denounced the persecution of the Catalan language and culture during Franco\u2019s dictatorship and in other periods of the Spanish history.

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  • The United Nations Secretary General arriving in Andorra (by Govern d'Andorra / ACN)

  • The United Nations Secretary General arriving in Andorra (by Govern d'Andorra / ACN)