Sustainable development is Hungary’s priority at UN General Assembly

Janos Martoyi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary. UN Photo/Ryan Brown

30 September 2013 – The mission is clear – make our common development sustainable, the Hungarian Foreign Minister told the United Nations General Assembly today, stressing a new agenda that makes societies, economies, the environment and partnerships serve generations to come.

“As we face a turning point in our history and the state of the Earth, only with a fundamental shift in mindset may humanity succeed in a transition to global sustainable development,” Foreign Affairs Minister Janos Martonyi told the 68th Assembly’s high-level debate.

This year’s theme is to make a final push to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to shape a vision for an agenda once their deadline passes in 2015.

Hungary co-chairs the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, along with Indonesia. The 30-member working group, which consists of countries from all regions, will prepare a report containing a proposal on the SDGs that the 193-member Assembly will consider and act this UN year.

“The decisions we make today need to be relevant in 15 years as well,” Mr. Martonyi said, adding that they should acknowledge the purpose, the priorities and targets set.

Turning to areas of focus in the new agenda, the Foreign Minister highlighted the importance of water and sanitation.

“We believe that it needs to be addressed in an integrated way to achieve a human rights-based social development, prosperity, and ecological balance,” he noted.

The Budapest Water Summit, to be held in the Hungarian capital between 8-11 October, will focus on various international developments related to water.

Hungary, a downstream country of which 95 per cent of flowing water originates beyond its borders, had accumulated experience in flood control, drinking water and waste water treatment, and irrigation, according to Mr. Martonyi.

In his statement, the Foreign Minister also highlighted the country’s commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, noting that Hungary will coordinate the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) for the 2013-2015 period with the aim of accelerating the ratification process.

Addressing other senior world officials, Mr. Martonyi also spoke about the situation in Syria and strongly condemned the “surging” terrorist attacks against civilians in Kenya, as well as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere.

The General Assembly debate high-level officials concludes tomorrow.


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