Ban Ki-moon's speeches


Opening remarks at joint press encounter with President János Áder of Hungary

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Budapest (Hungary), 08 October 2013

Kösozönöm! Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, Jó napot [“Good day.”]

Thank you very much, President János Áder.

I am happy to be back in Hungary after two and a half years.

The President and I had very a productive and constructive bilateral meeting today and it is a great honour for me to participate in this Budapest Water Summit and I thank President Áder for his visionary leadership and initiative to organize this very important meeting. During our bilateral meetings of course we discussed at length climate change, development and a number of crisis situations.

Let me first tell you about the situation in Syria before I talk more about water issues.

We are both very much concerned about the situation in Syria.

I welcomed the recent adoption of a Security Council resolution [aimed] at ridding Syria of its chemical weapons. This was a hopeful sign following more than two and half years of deadlock.

As you know, yesterday I sent my own recommendation in accordance with the Security Council resolution 2018 on establishing a joint UN-OPCW mission to secure the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. I did so in close consultation with Director-General Üzümcü of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The Security Council has also made very strong commitments on the dire humanitarian situation that could help us reach millions of desperate Syrians. Now these commitments must be backed by action.

I again call on the parties to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, end the violence and work for a political solution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The President and I also discussed our partnership. I thanked him for Hungary’s many contributions to the United Nations.

I appreciate Hungary’s engagement across the international agenda. From promoting gender equality and boosting UN Women to supporting conflict prevention and UN peace operations, Hungary is making its mark.

The opening of the Budapest Water Summit today was a great success and I commend the leadership and initiative of President Áder for organizing this important conference.

I was impressed by this big turnout of many dedicated leaders from all around the world. Not only the governments, the business communities, the civil society and international and regional organizations. More and more countries recognize that water should be a source of common cause – not of conflict or not of concern.

Hungary is playing an important international role in this effort. It is a leader in the UN Group of Friends of Water, which is promoting wider understanding and cooperation on water issues.

I also count on Hungary’s leadership on other long-term challenges. Poverty, environmental degradation and climate change will all define humanity’s fate in the future.

That is why our campaign for sustainable development is so important.

I am grateful to Hungary for co-chairing the General Assembly-mandated open working group on global sustainable development goals -- SDGs.

It is essential to confront the problem of climate change. The latest report of the [Intergovernmental] Panel on Climate Change, released on 27 September, affirms the imminent dangers.

Hungary has already felt the effects. The President explained to me how dangerous it was all this flooding of the Danube River and he extensively explained the importance of raising political will on climate change, therefore I will not dwell on this matter long. All people are affected, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. That is why I am going to convene a summit meeting dedicated to climate change September next year.

I sincerely hope that Hungary will be represented at the highest level. I have invited President Áder to lead a delegation himself next year. I sincerely hope leaders next year will demonstrate their political leadership and also set an ambitious legal climate agreement by 2015. I will discuss these issues later today in meetings with Prime Minister Orban and Foreign Minister Martonyi.

This afternoon, I will also speak at Budapesti Corvinus University. I look forward to meeting young students who will be the leaders of tomorrow.

All my activities in Hungary are aimed at strengthening our partnership. I am very much grateful to the Hungarian government and people for their strong commitment and partnership they have been showing to work together with the United Nations to make our world better for all.

And I thank you very much. Köszönöm!