The 11th Budapest Human Rights Forum opened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Tuesday. This year, the main topics of the two-day forum are the right to education, the protection of religious minorities and the relationship between sustainable development and human rights.

The Ministry’s Minister of State for Security Policy, Péter Sztáray stressed that the world is facing increasingly complicated security issues, such as illegal and uncontrolled migration, terrorism and extremism, and disregard for minority rights, all of which have human rights aspects. “While respecting the essence of human rights, the Hungarian Government handles human rights issues together with the issue of security, in a complex manner”, he highlighted.

The Forum, which is being held for the 11th time and which is aimed at establishing dialogue between the representatives of various governments, international organisations and individuals, has become a widely acknowledged event in recent years, he added. The Minister of State also pointed out that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed 70 years ago, and Hungary remains committed to its goals today.

At the opening ceremony of the Forum, Director of the UN’s Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna, Martin Nesirky said: In addition to acknowledging difficulties and celebrating successes, it remains a challenge to provide a practical meaning to the text of the 70-year declaration even today.

Managing Director of think tank the Universal Rights Group, Marc Limon highlighted: Many people think that the world is slipping into a human rights crisis these days. The primary reason for this is that we tend to notice only the negatives and larger countries, while progress is most often perceptible in smaller states.

He added that there are many reasons for hope in view of the fact that the majority of countries have made progress within the field of respecting human rights. Marc Limon also stressed that the greatest challenge today is how to facilitate the concrete application of the human rights included in international treaties in the world’s countries.