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Arancha González Laya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arancha González Laya
Arancha Gonzalez in 2020
Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation
Assumed office
13 January 2020
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byMargarita Robles
Executive Director of the International Trade Centre
In office
September 2013 – 13 January 2020
Preceded byPatricia Francis
Succeeded byDorothy Tembo (acting)
Personal details
María Aránzazu González Laya

(1969-05-22) 22 May 1969 (age 51)
San Sebastián, Spain
EducationUniversity of Navarra
Carlos III University of Madrid

María Aránzazu "Arancha" González Laya (born 22 May 1969) is a Spanish lawyer and former assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. She was appointed to this position in August 2013 and until January 2020.[1]

On 10 January 2020, González became the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation in the Spanish government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.[2][3]

Early life and education

Born in San Sebastián in 22 May 1969, González grew up in the Basque municipality of Tolosa. She graduated in Law from the University of Navarre and has a postgraduate degree in European law from Carlos III University of Madrid.[4]


González began her career in the private sector as an associate at German law firm Bruckhaus Westrick Stegemann advising companies on trade, competition and state aid matters.

Between 2002 and 2005 González was the European Commission’s spokeswoman for trade and adviser to the European Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy. She subsequently served in various capacities in the Commission in the area of international trade and external relations, including negotiations of trade agreements between the EU and Mercosur, Iran, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Balkans and Mediterranean countries. She has also assisted developing countries in benefiting from trading opportunities in Europe.

González served as Chief of Staff to Pascal Lamy in his role as WTO Director General between 2005 and 2013. In that capacity she was intimately involved in setting up the WTO's Aid for Trade initiative[5] as well as the Enhanced Integrated Framework, a joint venture of several international organisations helping to build trade capacity in the world's poorest countries. She served as the WTO Director-General's representative (Sherpa) at the G-20.

During her tenure as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, González has spearheaded global efforts to empower women economically. This has included the launch in 2015 of the SheTrades Initiative, which aims to connect three million women entrepreneurs to market by 2021. She also played a leading role in the adoption of the Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade at the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2017. In 2019, González co-edited "Women Shaping Global Economic Governance", a collection of essays by 28 women leaders from across the globe.[6]

In 2014, González launched the first Trade for Sustainable Development Forum, gathering public and private sectors in an effort to drive the debate on the greening of trade and addressing trade and climate change. The 6th edition of the Trade for Sustainable Forum was held on 7-9 October 2019.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation

On 13 January 2020 González was sworn in Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation in the Sánchez Second Cabinet, succeeding Margarita Robles as acting Minister.[7][8][9]

In May 2020, some media echoed the rumors that would make González the favorite to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the announcement that the Director-General, Roberto Azevedo, would resign in August 2020;[10] by July, she ruled out any candidacy for the role.[11]

In December 2020, González said that Spain welcomed the normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel, but rejected the U.S.'s recognition of Morocco's claim to Western Sahara.[12]

Other activities

Political positions

González has been an advocate for Spanish unity and dialogue on the Catalan independence issue.[20]

Personal life

González has taught extensively on trade and development, including at the College of Europe (Bruges), the IELPO (Barcelona), the World Trade Institute (WTI) and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. She speaks six languages: Spanish, Basque, English, French, German and Italian.[4] Her hobbies include trekking and arts.


  1. ^ ITC Communications (15 August 2013). "UN Secretary-General appoints Arancha González of Spain as Executive Director of ITC". International Trade Centre. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  2. ^ Belen Carreno (January 10, 2020), Spain's PM names UN's Arancha Gonzalez as foreign minister Reuters.
  3. ^ "Arancha González Laya será la nueva ministra de Exteriores". El País (in Spanish). 10 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "La jurista vasca Arancha González Laya, nueva ministra de Asuntos Exteriores, UE y Cooperación". Europa Press (in Spanish). 10 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  5. ^ Ryan Heath and Eline Schaart (2018), Women Who Shape Brussels - 2018 Ranking: Arancha González Politico Europe.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Real Decreto 8/2020, de 12 de enero, por el que se nombran Ministros del Gobierno". Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). 12 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Toma de posesión de los ministros del Gobierno Sánchez Últimas noticias y reacciones, en directo". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 13 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  9. ^ "La toma de posesión del nuevo Gobierno de Pedro Sánchez, en imágenes". El País (in Spanish). 13 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Spain Foreign Minister Gonzalez Favorite to Lead WTO, WiWo Says". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  11. ^ Inti Landauro (July 8, 2020), Spain's Foreign Minister Gonzalez rules out running to be WTO chief Reuters.
  12. ^ "'Doesn't serve Palestinians': Israel-Morocco to normalise ties". Al Jazeera. 11 December 2020.
  13. ^ Board of Trustees Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies.
  14. ^ Members International Gender Champions (IGC).
  15. ^ Arancha González succeeds Michael Møller as Chair of the IGC Global Board International Gender Champions (IGC), press release of July 1, 2019.
  16. ^ ITC Advisory Board on TISI StrengtheningInternational Trade Centre.
  17. ^ Advisory Council Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
  18. ^ Strategic Committee Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA).
  19. ^ Arancha González Laya World Economic Forum (WEF).
  20. ^ Ryan Heath and Eline Schaart (2018), Women Who Shape Brussels - 2018 Ranking: Arancha González Politico Europe.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 23:37
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