The National Sustainable Development Council and the Hungarian Association of Conservationists organised a conference entitled “The Realisation of Sustainable Development Goals in Hungary” on 7 February in the Upper House conference room of the Hungarian Parliament Building, which was attended by over 400 people.

The goal of the conference was to examine Hungary’s remaining tasks according to the UN’s development plan for the period up to 2030, including the realisation of common goals such as reducing poverty and famine, increasing knowledge, the preservation of biological diversity and reducing climate change. At the conference, outstanding lecturers from the administration and non-governmental organisations discussed both domestic and international development issues.

According to Secretary of the National Sustainable Development Council Gábor Bartus, the realisation of sustainable development goals is a prerequisite for the strengthening of our own nation and for its success within the regional, Europe-wide and global competition.

We can find several excellent examples of the enforcement of sustainable development goals, including the debt limit set out in the Constitution, the coherent package of measures aimed at reducing population loss, of the system is measures that facilitate a healthy lifestyle (everyday physical education at school, the reform of the public catering system, anti-smoking measures”.

The key indicators of the first progress report prepared in December 2015 for the National Sustainable Development Framework Strategy indicate that the national resources and capital types that provide the foundations for economic growth and societal development are not in good conditions.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted its Agenda 2030 programme in September 2015, in which it determined 169 global tasks assigned to 17 targets for the international community within the territory of sustainable development. The 2013 National Sustainable Development Framework Strategy to all intents and purposes covers all of the relevant UN tasks. UN targets within this field can best be realised by implementing the National Framework Strategy.

In his speech, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Agricultural Development and Hungaricums Zsolt V. Németh from the Ministry of Agriculture said: “Hungary has available a never before seen level of funding towards the realisation of the 15th target of the UN framework system, the preservation of our natural treasures, stopping the reduction of biodiversity and improving the state of the environment. 2300 billion forints (EUR 7.5bn) were available for environmental and conservation investment projects during the 2007-2013 programming period, while 2800 billion forints (EUR 9bn) are available within the framework of operational programmes and other thematic EU programmes during the current period, which ends in 2020”.

Executive Chairman of the Hungarian Association of Conservationists István Farkas said that the goals set by the United Nations will not be realised is we do not change our lives significantly, because the world’s developed countries currently use too many resources. “We would need 3-5 planets if everyone wanted to live at this same standard of living”, he highlighted.

“The standard of living of the countries of the Third World, or even the countries of Central Europe, cannot all be increased to this level”, he said. Mr. Farkas stressed that a radical restructuring of our socio-economic regulators is required, such as the current world order of free trade of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy. “Ethical principles must be better enforced in all of our lives, and in government policies”, he added.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)