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Government of the Republic of Hungary : Speech by H.E. Jßnos Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, at the General Debate of the 68th UN General Assembly

10/01/2013 | 08:41am EST
October 1, 2013 11:50 AM

New York, 30 September 2013

Mr. / Madame Vice President,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Defining the strategy of development after 2015 is among the most important long-term multilateral agendas existing today. The task is complex, but the mission should be clear: make our common development sustainable. This is not just a synonym for the protection of the environment. The mission is to make sure that our societies, economies, environment and partnerships will serve us all and serve the generations to come.

Our population will be 9 billion by 2030, 65% of which will live in cities, forming consumer societies with ever growing demands, but using the same or a declining pool of natural resources. Civil organisation and other non-governmental operators have more influence than ever on our values and decisions. We are racing against climate change. Our perceptions on progress, equity, inequality, affluence and resource management are changing as we speak. The post-2015 development agenda must reflect these changes.

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.

We must accelerate progress towards the goals set out at the MDGs. However, we know that by 2015 we may not be able to meet all the targets we set in 2000. Therefore, the next important step is to create a single agenda through which we will complete the unfinished business and make sure that the results will last even in the light of the tremendous challenges humanity is facing.

We should aim at eradicating extreme poverty in a single generation. Transformation to sustainable development is costly.

However, it would be incomparably more costly to miss the opportunity. We should learn from past mistakes and find better alternatives. We all need economic growth; we all need justice, the respect of human rights, gender equality, dignity, good governance and successfully implemented national development plans. We all deserve to live free of want and of fear from devastating conflicts. Our objective should be not a zero sum game but a win-win outcome. We all share the consequences, and therefore we should also be aware of our common responsibility.

The decisions we make today need to be relevant in fifteen years as well. When our successors look back in 2030 on the agenda we are about to decide on, they should acknowledge the purpose, the priorities and targets we jointly set.

They should be convinced that our action had the right impact and made this world a better place. I thank the Member States for the confidence they have shown towards Hungary in entrusting us with co-chairing the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.

We will do our best in order to achieve a consensual, forward-looking, win-win formula as the outcome of the negotiation process. Hungary attaches utmost importance to the issue of water and sanitation. We believe that this issue needs to be addressed in an integrated manner to achieve social development, prosperity and ecological balance based on human rights. Water is a source of life, health, prosperity and a shared future but it could also be a source of risks. In order to take stock of the various international developments in the field of water, Hungary decided to organise the Budapest Water Summit to be held in our capital between 8-11 October of this year. Hungary is a downstream country, with about 95 percent of all fluvial waters originating beyond our state borders. And we have accumulated precious know-how in flood control, drinking water and waste water treatment, and irrigation to list but a few. The Summit will be accompanied by a Science Forum, a Youth Forum, a Civil Society Forum, a Business Leaders Forum and Expo, and a Philanthropy Roundtable. We look forward to welcoming Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN agencies active in the field of water, as well as other international and national leaders to the conference. Over 100 countries and international institutions have confirmed their presence in Budapest. The Summit will adopt the Budapest Statement and we hope that it will - as a synthesis document - greatly contribute to and facilitate the discussions and negotiations on SDGs.

Mr / Madam Vice President,

The appalling state of affairs in various parts of the world leaves no doubt as to the interdependence and the mutually reinforcing nature of democracy, peace and security, development and human rights. A cross-policy approach that takes account of these interrelations should be integrated into the work of the various bodies and forums of the United Nations. Hungary welcomes the measures that the United Nations' system is introducing to mainstream human rights. Likewise, it encourages national initiatives and contributions to the protection of human rights. Hungary remains dedicated to the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was in this spirit that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary has established the annual "The Budapest Human Rights Forum", intended to apply an interrelated philosophy to address current human rights challenges. The next Forum is due to take place in November, and will be dedicated, among other things, to the relationship between human rights and sustainable development.

Mr / Madam Vice President,

Hungary is committed to disarmament and non-proliferation efforts that are fundamental for maintaining global peace and security. We urge all countries to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. We also support the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East as foreseen by the last Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2010. The NPT remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and is key to nuclear disarmament. Hungary strives for a balanced implementation of the Action Plan set out in the Final Document of the 2010 Review Conference. Further progress should be made during this review cycle. The conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty is an indispensable step towards a world which is free of nuclear weapons. Negotiations for a treaty should begin at the earliest opportunity. My country was greatly honoured to chair the International Atomic Energy Agency's International Conference on Nuclear Security in July and we sincerely hope that the results of this conference will contribute to a safer world. On the CTBT, I am confident that its entry into force will greatly strengthen global peace and security. Only a Treaty that is in force will confine the chapter of nuclear testing to the history books. We therefore need to further intensify our respective efforts. With my fellow Article XIV coordinator H.E. Marty Natalegawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, we will make an attempt to bring us closer to that goal. I look forward to our coordinatorship of the CTBT for the period 2013-2015 with a view to accelerating the ratification process.

Mr / Madam Vice President,

The use of chemical weapons in Syria was a crime against humanity. The international community has finally embarked on action to ensure that similar attacks shall never ever be repeated. We urge that the perpetrators of all war crimes should be brought to justice. Without justice there is no reconciliation, without a chance for reconciliation, there is no lasting settlement. We welcome the U.S.-Russian Agreement on the Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons, as well as the consequent resolutions by the OPCW's Executive Council and the UN Security Council.

We look forward to a timely, transparent and full-scale implementation under the watchful eye of the international community. Hungary is ready to provide chemical and biological experts on the ground to facilitate these international efforts. We urge the Syrian authorities to take full responsibility to ensure that their chemical weapons are stored securely until inspection and destruction, and do not fall into the hands of any other State or non-state actor. Syria should live up to its commitments, including by providing full access to the international inspectors.

We hope that these developments will bring us closer to a lasting and sustainable political solution which should remain the backbone of our efforts in the Syrian crisis. Well over 100 thousand lives have already been lost and 5 million people displaced in this conflict. Most regrettable, it was only after a terrible chemical attack in August that the Security Council became ready to fulfil its duties and embarked on action. I urge all partners in the international community to seize this momentum and reinvigorate the process leading to the long overdue Geneva II peace conference on Syria.

Mr. / Madame Vice President,

Last but not least, my country is shocked by and strongly condemns the surging terrorist attacks against civilians at the Westgate Mall in Kenya, students in Nigeria, Christian, Muslim and other communities in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Our solidarity and sympathy is with the innocent victims.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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