On the second day of the VIII. Friends of Hungary Foundation Conference Hungarian President Katalin Novák has welcomed guests of the Foundation with a speech emphasizing family values and loyalty towards one’s own national community.
“If someone goes into the trouble of getting to know us, they will experience that being a friend of Hungary is perhaps not so difficult, instead it is a rewarding task and commitment”, said the President of the Republic. The Head of State stressed that we have many friends all over the world and there is an increasing number of them, but one of our tasks is to make the voices of our friends louder.
In the past decades, Hungary’s friends have perhaps been quieter than they should have been, or quieter than those who do not know Hungary and therefore do not love it as much, said Katalin Novák, thanking the Friends of Hungary community for their supportive statements and for helping the world to get to know Hungary.
The President also spoke about the compatibility of starting a family and fulfilling professional life, the Stipendium Peregrinum program to support talented young people and the building of a family-friendly Hungary.
Katalin Novák said: “In Hungary, we say that we see the future in children, we protect human life from conception and we do not let go of the hand of parents raising their children”.
She pointed out that family-oriented measures have not been in vain over the past ten years, as Hungary has seen the highest increase in the number of marriages in the world. Twice as many young people are getting married than ten years ago. The number of marriages has now annually exceeded 70,000, compared to 35,000 previously, the number of divorces is at a 60-year low, the number of abortions has halved and the birth rate has risen by 25 per cent.
She recalled that in order to make a focus on family an internationally attractive perspective, she had launched a network of family-friendly presidents. She said that she would like to create a network of presidents who are united by their aim of being family-oriented.
The President also spoke about Hungary’s support for persecuted Christians around the world, the war in Ukraine and the challenges ahead. She pointed out that the war on Hungary’s southern borders, in the Western Balkans, ended some twenty years ago, Hungary is a country that has experienced war in its immediate neighborhood twice in the last three decades, after the Second World War.
She added that there are Hungarian people living in both regions concerned, about 150,000 in Ukraine alone. “That is why we can be messengers of peace, ambassadors of peace”, she said.
The Head of State said that the Western Balkans is not entirely peaceful today, and it is this region that currently needs our attention. She recalled that she had recently visited Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia and Romania and had held meetings with these countries’ leaders. In the coming days, she will travel to London and then to New York, where she will lead the Hungarian delegation to the UN General Assembly.
E. Sylvester Vizi, President of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Hungary Foundation said that more than 200 people from 25 countries on five continents had come to the event.
He stressed that the survival of our national existence depends on families, families living in the Carpathian Basin and all over the world. He said that Hungarian families around the world carry Hungarian culture and the Hungarian language, which makes us special in the middle of Europe and into an incredible cohesive force.
After the reception, the President and the guests visited St George’s Square, where they watched the Hussar Dance.
Featured Photos: MTI/Bruzák Noémi