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Coronavirus – Szijjártó: Security Challenges Must Not Be Forgotten

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.01.27.

The main challenge ahead of the global community is the coronavirus and pandemic but this should not mean that security challenges faced all around the globe are forgotten, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.

Wars and conflicts are the root causes of massive migration waves, Szijjártó said in his address to a conference of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.

He announced that Hungary’s contribution in Lebanon to the UN peacekeeping mission will be increased by 15 additional troops.

In his speech also published on Facebook, Szijjártó said that many things had happened since the founding of the UN. “Many changes took place in the recent 75 years but all those changes and events and developments have proven the unique role of UN when it comes to building peace and especially when it comes to keeping the peace,” he added.

He said the main challenge ahead of the global community was the coronavirus and pandemic situation

“but it should not mean that we forget about the security challenges which we have to face all around the globe”.

The security-related challenges and armed conflicts are becoming more and more serious, he said.

The wars and conflicts represent the root causes for massive migration waves which do not only constitute security related risks but health related risks, as well, Szijjártó said.

“In order to be able to avoid the outbreak of further migratory waves and in order to be able to avoid the accelerated spread of the virus all around the world we definitely have to unite our forces and capacities to resolve those conflicts which constitute the most serious security challenges,” he added.

Szijjártó expressed his belief that the UN played a huge role in this and added that it was necessary to strengthen this function of the organisation.

“If we really would like to strengthen this function of UN we have to increase the budgetary resources,” he said. The anti-terror activities of the UN should become part of the ordinary budget “because what else should be part of the ordinary budget of the UN if not the fight against terror”, he added.

He said Hungary was not amongst the biggest countries but “we made the pledge to host the regional headquarter of the UN office of counter terrorism and covering all the expenses of that.”

“Our troops and the staff have been present in three peacekeeping mission of the UN including Cyprus, Lebanon and the Western Sahara,” he said and announced that from February onwards Hungary’s contribution in Lebanon to the UN peacekeeping mission will be increased by 15 additional troops.

“We continue to spend financial resources on helping to prevent conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and so far we have helped 50,000 Christians to be able to stay in their homes in the Middle East,”

where their communities face persecution in some locations, he said.

Hungary’s development contributions amounted to 316 million dollars recently which means that in the last ten years “we have more than doubled our contribution in this regard”, he said

Hungary hosts more than ten thousand students on state-funded scholarships from different parts of the world where conflicts cause many problems and “the proof of the success” of these efforts is that this year some 49,000 candidates applied for 10,000 places.

The UN Peacebuilding Fund’s online ministerial conference was co-organised by Sierra Leone, Sudan, Canada, Germany and the UN Peacebuilding Committee.

featured image: Szijjártó in the UN back in 2019 (illustration); via MTI/KKM/ENSZ/Eskinder Debebe