Peace in the Middle East? One Hundred Years after the Balfour Declaration? with Miguel Moratinos
Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé has committed his professional and political activity to international relationships and development cooperation. He was born in Madrid on the 8th of June 1951 and studied at the Madrid French Lyceum. He graduated in Law and Political Sciences at the University Complutense in Madrid, and then in Diplomatic Studies at the Spanish Diplomatic School. He entered Spain’s diplomatic service in March 1977. He is a father of three and is married to Dominique Maunac.
At the dawn of Spanish democracy, he began his diplomatic career as the head of the Coordination Section for Eastern Europe between 1977 and 1980. At the end of 1980, he was appointed First Secretary of the Spanish Embassy in Yugoslavia and remained there until 1984 and during the last three years there he held the post of chargé d’affaires. From Belgrade he went on to Rabat, this time as a political adviser, remaining there between 1984 and 1987.
With the Mediterranean in mind, he was appointed General Deputy Director for Northern Africa (1987-1991) and then Director of the Institute of Cooperation with the Arab World (1991-1993). After his tenure at the Institute, he was appointed General Director of Foreign Policy for Africa and the Middle East, holding such position between 1993 and 1996, where he took part in the organization of the historic Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in 1992. After being Spain’s Ambassador in Israel from July to December 1996, he was appointed by the European Union as EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, a mission in which he worked from December 1996 to June 2003. During this period, he promoted Peace Agreements and carried out actions on behalf of the EU to foster the Arab-Israeli dialogue and turn the Mediterranean into a region of peace and prosperity.
After these years of intense political and diplomatic activity, he engaged in Spanish politics and was elected member of Parliament on the lists of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) for the constituency of Córdoba. On the 18th of April 2004, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. In his term at the head of the department, he held the presidency of the United Nations Security Council and the chairmanships-in-office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union. He fostered the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
As the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the first Minister of Cooperation of the Spanish democratic period, he fostered effective multilateralism, the Alliance of Civilisations, the Group of Friends for the Reform of the United Nations and contributed to the creation of innovative programs for development, healthcare and women within the United Nations system. He promoted new programs and funds for water and sanitation in Latin American development countries. In his term as Minister, he doubled Official Development Assistance funds and placed Spain as the sixth donor in the United Nations system.
Upon termination of his office as Minister, on the 20th of October 2010, he joined parliamentary activity until November 2011. In that period, he ran to be elected Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and targeted his international action towards the struggle against hunger and poverty, the promotion of food security and the right to food.
In January 2012, he joined the team of the Global Dry Land Alliance in Qatar and promoted this international treaty for food security in more than 15 member countries of all continents. From 2012 to 2013 he was a member of the high-level advisory panel of the president of the 67th UN General Assembly.