Kofi Annan, who joined World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (WLA – CdM) in 2007 and the current UNSG, Antonio Guterres, currently on leave and who joined the Club de Madrid in 2002 as a founding Member on his capacity of former Prime Minister of Portugal.
This announcement was made public coinciding with a visit of Ban Ki-moon to Madrid. During his stay the former UN Secretary General endorsed with his signature, along with other 49 fellow Members, the The WLA – CdM statement on Trump’s decision to pull out from the Paris Agreeement on Climate Change. Whilst in Madrid, he also gave an interview to Associated Press focusing on the key messages of this declaration and received a UNICEF award for his work in defense of children during his mandate as United Nations Secretary-General.
“We are delighted to welcome Ban Ki-moon,” said Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of WLA – CdM and former President of Latvia. “Democracy is going through difficult and uncertain times. The enormous experience and legitimacy of Ban Ki-moon, credited with his commitment and constant work in his eight years as United Nations Secretary-General, will be of enormous help in furthering our mission: to work towards a democracy that delivers and leaves no one behind. “
“I’m thrilled and excited with my appointment as honorary member of WLA – CdM. I have personally witnessed the organization’s effort to improve the quality of democracy, its concern for social inclusion or climate change. In Madrid in 2015, I closed the CdM’s policy dialogue on preventing violent extremism, another of our common work and interest in which I hope to contribute with my experience”.
With the incorporation of Ban Ki-moon, WLA – CdM is currently made up of 110 leaders from all continents. By geographical regions, the Club of Madrid has 19 members from Africa and the Middle East, 16 from Asia-Pacific, 29 from the Americas and 48 from Europe. WLA – CdM is an independent, non-partisan organization and its Members offer pro bono its political experience and work.
They are chosen by the organization’s General Assembly, upon proposal of the Board of Directors, the body in charge of inviting the future Members. To be a WLA – CdM Member it is necessary to have been democratically elected President or former Prime Minister. Members of the Club of Madrid may also be appointed in the category of “honorary”. In this case, they are leaders who have led a top-level international organization. In this category we can find members such as Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan as former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jacques Delors as former President of the European Commission or Javier Solana as former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy and Common Security, among others.