H.E. MR. LASZLO KOVACS
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY
FIFTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 15, 2002
May I, at the outset, extend to you our sincere congratulations upon your election as President of the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly. I want to assure you that you can safely count on the full support of my delegation in discharging your important responsibilities.
I would also like to welcome in our midst the latest new member state of the United Nations, Switzerland.
Commemoration and resolve
It was only four days ago, when so many of us here paid tribute at Ground Zero to the memories of the thousands of victims who lost their lives last year in the brutal September 11 terrorist attacks. The remembrance there was heartbreaking, but at the same time it was a day of resolve as well. There is no doubt in my mind: this was a time again that brought into focus our deep commitment to freedom and democracy.
In this regard, I would like to reiterate that the people and Government of Hungary continue to maintain relentlessly their strong solidarity with the United States.
Global coalition against international terrorism
Our contemporary world has been decisively transformed since September 11 of 2001.
The fight against international terrorism is high on our agenda. Hungary is strongly committed to the effective efforts of the community of nations to counter this threat. Towards this, we have consistently acted in coalition with our allies and the international community.
In this respect, Hungary supports the on-going global endeavours of the United Nations aimed against terrorism. We find it crucial that Member States make every necessary and possible move to prevent further terrorist acts and implement national measures under relevant Security Council resolutions to combat this phenomenon. Effective cooperation among States is also indispensable to act resolutely against the menace of terrorism.
Besides being a reliable partner in the global coalition, Hungary has taken the necessary domestic legislative and executive measures to implement the decisions of the international community.
The Parliament of Hungary this week has taken the decision to ratify the International Convention on Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. By this legislative act, Hungary has become a party to all of the international instruments adopted by the United Nations against terrorism.
We continue to attach particular importance to the unimpeded work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council, with which we maintain a specially close relationship.
In the context of the global coalition against terrorism, Hungary follows the developments in Afghanistan with keen interest. We welcome the consolidation achieved so far by the Government of Afghanistan with the assistance of the international community. We wish to place on record our deep appreciation for the excellent work done by the international forces (ISAF) in that country.
Further efforts to contain and eliminate terrorist groups in Afghanistan will remain a top priority.
Hungary will be committed to maintain its support to the Government of Afghanistan as well as its people. .
The Iraqi non-compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions is a serious concern for all of us. Hungary regrets that the Iraqi regime refuses to cooperate with the United Nations and continues to pose a threat to peace and security in the region and the world at large. The international community cannot disregard and has to respond to this fact in a resolute manner. We will work closely with our allies and partners to pursue the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and we will take our share in the efforts to build a broad coalition of nations in order to prevent the Iraqi regime from producing and using weapons of mass destruction.
Global challenges and new type of security risks
Having entered the twenty-first
century, mankind continues to face further major global challenges likeillicit
drug-trafficking, money-laundering, corruption and transnational organized
crime. The role of the United Nations in facing and tackling these phenomena
is of paramount importance.
By the same token, global risks are widened by new types of security threats. In our view, serious problems of regional stability, armed conflicts of low intensity or threats of natural and man-made catastrophes are increasingly on the rise. Illegal movement of nuclear, biological and chemical materials pose grave threats. Illegal migration and illicit human-trafficking are also safely considered as new forms of security risks.
Hungary is more than prepared
to play its role with all available means at our disposal to meet these
new challenges through concerted international efforts, including regional
Arms control and international security
The year of 2002 marked the
beginning of a new review cycle of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
(NPT). We expect the annual sessions of the Preparatory Committee leading
up to the 2005 Review Conference to make a significant contribution to
the further strengthening all aspects of this legal instrument by ensuring
its full implementation and promoting its universality.
The early commencement of the negotiations of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) stands out as the next logical step aimed at curbing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We cannot but regret that disagreements over the comprehensive programme of work prevent the Conference on Disarmament from starting substantive work on this issue.
One of the most important new threats to international peace and stability in the changed security environment at the beginning of the 21st century is caused by the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
Hungary is ready to join international efforts to counter this danger, including new political and diplomatic initiatives. The system of multilateral legal norms relating to non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control fails to include regulations on responsible international behavior concerning ballistic missiles. Out of the several propositions emerged recently Hungary lends its utmost support to the negotiations of the International Code of Conduct against the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
We appreciate the vigorous
efforts of the member states of the European Union to move forward this
process and hope for its successful completion in the near future.
Developments of the last 12 months have raised more critically than ever the question of how to address in an efficient way the challenges posed by deliberate diseases, such as the anthrax incidents.
The reinforcement of national public health and civilian defence capabilities is crucial, even though there are only a few countries that, acting alone, can put meaningful assets in place. International co-operation in this respect is not just a distant opportunity, but it is in the interest of each and every country, and of all nations as a whole.
Complementary preventive efforts would be needed as well to at least diminish the likelihood of such an occurrence. Among such preventive efforts, the benchmarking of arms control compliance will eventually have to find its legitimate place.
That is why we deem important the successful conclusion of the 5th Rewiev Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention, to be resumed in November this year under Hungarian chairmanship.
Hungary remains strongly committed to the CTBT and its verification regime. In this regard, we concur with the view that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation will also be essential to combat international terrorism.
Hungary has, from the very beginning, given its strong support to the establishment of the International Criminal Court. ICC has become the first major multilateral legal institution in the twenty-first century. We were proud to become a State Party to the Statute of the ICC among those whose ratification helped the entering into force of the Statute this year.
We firmly concur with the
view that international law would be strengthened through this new legal
As a sign of our deep commitment to the Rome Statute, my Government has decided to nominate a candidate to the judges of ICC. I am confident that the election of a Hungarian judge would contribute to the genuine realization of the objectives set out in the Rome Statute.
International protection of human rights
Human rights are universal
values. Member States of the United Nations are expected to observe the
norms and standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including
minority rights adopted by the UN. By the same token, it will remain the
moral and political responsibility of states to call upon others to act
in accordance with their voluntarily undertaken obligations.
Hungary will not hesitate to raise its voice, when human rights are violated in any part of the world.
International protection of minority rights remains a major preoccupation for us. We continue to pursue our efforts aimed at a functioning universal minority protection legal system.
Globalization and interdependence are two major phenomena shaping our contemporary world, including the political landscape of the United Nations. By taking the advantages and opportunities stemming from these phenomena, all of us could seek a much better life for the inhabitants of our globe. To this effect, the United Nations has the necessary instruments at hand. A better and responsible use of these instruments can contribute to the implementation of the Millennium Declaration development goals aimed at serving a more prosperous and sustainable world for the generations to come.
If we have the indispensable
political will and determination, we can have a United Nations that works
relentlessly to improve the lives of all. That is, in the final analysis,
what the United Nations was founded for.
Thank you, Mr. President.