international cooperation

Walking 100 km to bring water to Sahel

April 22, 2013 07:11 PM | Júlia Manresa

The third edition of the Intermon Oxfam Trailwalker has collected 620,000 euros to improve access to water in Sahel, Africa. The challenge consisted in walking 100 kilometres from the Pyrenees to the Costa Brava in less than 32 hours. 260 teams made up of six people participated, with the only previous requirement of bringing 1,500 euros each for the cause. 187 teams crossed the finish line and records were broken as the first team to arrive, “”, completed the challenge in 9 hours and 45 minutes, faster than any other team in all the Trailwalker events held in 12 different countries.

The President of the European Parliament asks the EU for “more investment” in the Union for the Mediterranean

March 15, 2013 11:00 PM | CNA / Maria Fernández Noguera

Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, while in Barcelona, has asked for a greater involvement by the European Union and its members in the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), which has its headquarters in the Catalan Capital. This institution was supposed to be essential in the EU’s foreign relations, building a Euro-Mediterranean cooperation space. However, the reality is that since it was founded in 2008 almost no projects have been developed and very few funds have been allocated. The Israel-Palestine conflict and the institutional instability of the Arab Spring are one cause of the paralysis of the UfM, but the lack of engagement of the European Union is also a contributing factor.

Treating HIV just after the infection delays the damage to the immune system

January 18, 2013 12:11 AM | CNA

An international study with the participation of the Hospital Clínic IDIBAPS, which is a leading research centre at a world level on AIDS/HIV and other common diseases, has proved that an anti-retroviral treatment carried out just after the infection delays the damage to the patient’s immune system and reduces the risk of transmission. The results of clinical tests on 366 infected individuals confirmed that the sooner and longer an initial anti-retroviral treatment is applied, the later the life-long treatments have to start. However, despite the results, researchers insist that is still too soon to change the current AIDS/HIV treatment protocols.

Lula da Silva collects the Catalunya international prize and asks Europeans “to fight” for the Welfare State

December 13, 2012 11:43 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has collected the ‘Premi Internacional Catalunya’, a prestigious prize recognising individuals who have greatly contributed to the development of cultural, scientific and human values around the world with their work. In the award ceremony held in the Palace of the Catalan Government, in Barcelona, Lula da Silva has asked Catalans and Europeans “to fight to guarantee the Welfare State”, which was achieved with so much effort. He also praised Catalonia as “a moral and political model for all democratic people” and “a world symbol of the fight for freedom and social progress”. The award was announced in April but the ceremony was postponed due to Lula da Silva’s recovery process after he suffered from cancer.

An opera based on philanthropist Vicente Ferrer to be shown in Barcelona’s Sant Jordi pavilion

November 27, 2012 11:16 PM | CNA / Margalida Amengual

The opera is based on Vicente Ferrer, a Catalan who devoted his life to helping the poorest people in Anantapur, in India’s Andra Pradesh. Vicente Ferrer’s project brought aid to some 2.5 million people. He died three years ago. On the 1st of December, the “opera collage”, as its author Joan Martínez calls it, will be shown in Barcelona’s Sant Jordi pavilion. Martínez met Ferrer in India and created this show in his honour. ‘L’home del paraigua’ has already premiered at the Liceu Theatre in September 2010.

Firefighters from Catalonia will train their counterparts in Ireland, France and Wales

August 2, 2012 11:00 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

Firefighters from Catalonia will be sharing their knowledge and experience of different types of fire. Catalan firefighters have experience with various kinds of fire because of Catalonia’s geographic diversity. The organisers of the bespoke courses designed for the varied conditions in Ireland, France and Wales, have stated that the accumulated experience “should not just remain in Catalonia but be taught internationally”.

UN’s body for Water Management (GWOPA) will be based in Barcelona

July 3, 2012 12:04 AM | CNA

Depending on UN-Habitat, the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) has established the Catalan capital as the permanent base for its headquarters. GWOPA will set up its offices in one of the historical Art-Nouveau pavilions of the old Sant Pau Hospital, in Barcelona. These pavilions will host other international organisations, such as one institute of the United Nations University. “It is not the first and neither will it be the last organisation to choose” Sant Pau’s historical site to base its headquarters, stated the Catalan Minister for Sustainability, Lluís Recoder.

European Liberals in Barcelona seek a “real Marshall Plan” for North African countries

March 30, 2012 10:34 PM | CNA

The European Liberals in the European Parliament have organised an international summit in Barcelona to discuss the Arab Spring within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean, which has its headquarters in the Catalan capital. At the meeting, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who is also the leader of the Catalan Liberal Party (CDC), asked the EU “not to turn its back on emerging democracies in the southern Mediterranean”. Furthermore, Mas emphasised the need to create jobs in the region. The European Liberals also urged the international community to take immediate action in Syria.

Another Moroccan diplomat becomes the Union for the Mediterranean’s new Secretary General

February 14, 2012 09:00 PM | CNA

Fathallah Sijilmassi is the substitute of Youssef Amrani, who quit after less than one year in office to become Morocco’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister. Sijilmassi was Director General of the Moroccan Agency for Investments, and previously served as the Moroccan Ambassador to Paris and earlier to the European Communities. The Union for the Mediterranean has its permanent Secretariat based in Barcelona. The UfM brings together the 27 European Union Member States and 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

The Union for the Mediterranean loses its Secretary General once again

January 4, 2012 09:54 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, whose headquarters are based in Barcelona, has resigned to become Morocco’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. King Mohamed VI appointed Youssef Amrani to counterweight the actual Foreign Affairs Minister, from the moderate Islamists. Amrani’s resignation means that the UfM has once again been left without a figure head in the past year, after Massadeh’s resignation in early 2011.

MSF “completely dissociates itself” from the attacks against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

October 18, 2011 10:54 PM | CNA

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) has stated it does not have “any truthful information” about the two Spanish aid workers kidnappers and their objectives. Therefore, MSF has dissociated itself from any “statement or presumption of responsibility related with this case”. After the latest armed actions in Southern Somalia, MSF wanted to clarify that they are not at all involved and that they fear these attacks may put the life of the two MSF workers kidnapped in Dadaab (Kenya) in danger. One of the two women kidnapped is Catalan and the other is from Madrid.