04.05.2017 - 22:08
The United Nations should ask Spain to respect the wish of the Catalan people to hold an independence referendum. This is the message that a group of Catalan civil society organizations sent to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in a letter published on Wednesday. “We want the UN to take a position,” said Beni Saball, lawyer and secretary of the Sobirania i Justícia (Sovereignty and Justice) organization. Pau Miserach, president of another of the signing entities, the Grup d’Estudis Polítics (Political Studies Group), added that the “supranational law” set by the UN “obliges” the Spanish government to “study, analyze, understand, and accept the Catalan reality”. According to him, “secession is not forbidden as such” by any international treaty and the Vienna Convention of 1969, ratified by Spain in 1980, recognizes the right of independence.
The signing organizations want the UN to warn Spain that it is violating Catalans’ rights by denying them a referendum. During a press conference in Barcelona, they said that Spain is actually violating treaties, resolutions, and international agreements that it has voted and ratified in the past “without reservations”.
The organizations said that after receiving their letter, the UN Secretary General can ask for more information from the Spanish embassy, the Spanish government, or themselves. If he does so, they will understand that the UN is “becoming aware” of the Catalan situation. The letter is signed by a wide array of organizations, including representatives from unions, the Catalan National Assembly, and the Commission for Dignity.