"Hungary expects tangible results from the Rio conference. In addition to more decisions on the launching of new processes, concrete goals and tasks with specific timeframes should be determined.", said Sándor Fazekas in Budapest at the last stop of the Central European Dialogue consultation series, during which Central European delegation have been discussing the most important issues of the upcoming Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.
The Minister for Rural Development stressed that "Sustainable development and the green economy are inseparable concepts. This is true even if representing this standpoint is a difficult challenge in this period of crisis." Quoting Count István Széchényi, Sándor Fazekas said, "Of those stones that roll before our path, we may build steps."
The Minister stated, "Hungary, in harmony with the European Union's standpoint, expects tangible results to be achieved in Rio. In addition to more decisions on the launching of new processes, concrete goals and tasks with specific timeframes should be determined that cover every dimension of sustainable development." "We support the strengthening of the institutional framework of sustainable development, and hopefully we will manage to make progress regarding the issue of transforming the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) into a specialised organisation.", he made clear.
"In view of its involvement in and international experience of water management issues, Hungary has made great efforts to ensure that water is at the centre of international attention during the Rio process and beyond", he reminded, adding "One of the greatest challenges of our century will be to provide a reassuring response to the issue of water"
Sándor Fazekas informed the press that "Hungary supports the initiative according to which a global sustainability goal must be determined with regard to water, and is prepared to play a leading role in this work", adding "Hungary undertakes to fully meet its international responsibilities. We have created the country's modern rural development strategy and the sustainable development strategy will also be put before Parliament this autumn.", he stressed.
"Within our region, several opportunities are presented by the Danube, the Tisza, and by Carpathian regional cooperation, ad well as by the activities of the Central European Initiative (CEI) and the Visegrád Four Group. Hungary wishes to continue to responsibly represent the achievements of the Rio+20 conference during its rotating presidency of both the V4 and the CEI in the upcoming years, and will continue to happily cooperate with every Central European country", stressed Sándor Fazekas.
According to State Secretary for Environmental Affairs Zoltán Illés, "There is a strong link between economy and environment. The "green economy" should not be the responsibility of just Rural Development and Environment Ministries. Ministers of the Economy and Finance play an equally important role in the realisation of the green economy and sustainable development."
"For Hungary, the green economy is not a restriction or just a compulsory task; it is instead an excellent opportunity. An opportunity that could become the engine of the economy", he made clear. "The government will create one million new jobs over ten year", he reminded, adding "The green economy will also play a significant role in this endeavour."
With regard to sustainable energy, the State Secretary pointed out that this is one of the great challenges of our age. "The production of renewable energy, the building of its infrastructure, and the innovation of green technologies requires the support of the government, local authorities, and non-governmental organisations." He pointed out that "Hungary has huge potential regarding wind and water energy, and renewable energy that may be harnessed from thermal springs. Our goal is the greatest possible exploitation of these opportunities", he said.
At its 64th Session in December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly voted to organise a high-level conference entitled UN Sustainable Development Conference. The conference was proposed by Brazil to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Environment and Development Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and for this reason it is also known as the Rio+20 Conference. The event will take place from June 20-22 2012 in Rio. The two main topics of the conference are: the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework of sustainable development.
The Rio process and active participation within it is a priority for Hungary. We feel it is essential that and agreement should come about between the countries participating in the Conference, and that the most important decisions that are a requirement for sustainable development are made.
Hungary is awaiting the Rio+20 Conference with great expectations; it is important to us that the representatives of interest groups – and especially the representatives of non-governmental organisations and of the scientific and business sectors – also take part in the preparatory process. The Central European Dialogue is the last stop in a series of consultations designed to prepare for the Rio Conference.