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H.E. Ms. Kinga Göncz, Minister for Foreign Affairs

27 September 2008

Statement Summary

KINGA GÖNCZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, said the daily challenges that existed in an increasingly globalized world required answers originating from the principle of universally accepted values and the practice of flexible adaptation to swift changes in the environment.  That necessity was reflected in the new external relations strategy adopted by his Government at the beginning of the year.

Skyrocketing energy prices, the food and financial crisis, and commodity speculation were endangering the results achieved thus far in implementing the Millennium Development Goals.  She said that a coherent and coordinated response was needed to reverse the process.  As an emerging donor country, Hungary firmly believed that the international community could not use the difficulties faced by everyone as an excuse not to do the utmost to implement the Goals.

With the extreme pace of development and attendant increased emission of greenhouse gases, she continued, the environment was rapidly deteriorating.  Indeed, climate change was an established fact and a growing concern, and it was necessary to adapt to the new weather patterns and climate conditions.  A more effective institutional framework was needed to address those problems.  Such strategy should include clear political guidance; adequate, stable and predictable funding; a strong scientific base; and an improved assessment of activities and emergency response institutions.  However, solutions could only be achieved by obtaining practical answers and durable solutions that could be accessed by all.

Turning to the situation in Afghanistan, she said Hungary appreciated the achievements of the international community and the enormous amount of work that had been done thus far to bring tangible improvements to the everyday lives of the Afghan people.  Continuing, she said that Hungary also supported the efforts of the international community and the various institutions working to implement the peace agreement in Georgia.  The use of military force to settle territorial disputes represented a dangerous precedent that could have further implications in the whole region and beyond.  Any further steps and negotiations must be based on full respect of Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, internationally recognized borders, and a democratically elected leadership.

A lasting solution to present-day challenges could not be reached without the effective involvement of women into all aspects of international cooperation, she continued.  In the areas of genocide, Hungary had decided to prepare a feasibility study on the establishment of an international centre for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities in Budapest.  The independent institution would aim to contribute to global efforts to prevent such crimes against humanity.

She went on to say that, in order to address the various challenges of the twenty-first century, the international community needed a strong, reformed and well-functioning United Nations.  In the past two years, progress had been made in all areas of reform, and some of the new bodies had become operational.  In other fields, however, further consideration and negotiations with other Member States were needed to achieve a lasting solution, and Hungary was ready to contribute to those negotiations.

[Source: GA/10757]