“As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Hungary will be striving to gain an accurate picture of all the world’s countries”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó Péter Szijjártó declared during his opening speech at the 9th Budapest Human Rights Forum on Thursday.

“In recent years the Hungarians have had to face the fact that reports have been written about their country by people have either never been to Hungary, or if they have only maintained relations with a very small segment of society”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “It is possible that this could also happen to other countries”, he added.

“As a member of the Human Rights Council, Hungary will not allow any of the world’s countries to  have their reputations tarnished by false accusations concerning a lack of democracy or the enforcement of human rights”, the Minister declared.

“We will be striving to allow the development of an accurate image of all countries. We will not allow anyone to discredit a country for any reason, for instance because they don’t like the given country’s elected government, or to use the United Nations or any other international institution for this purpose”, the politician explained.

“The fight for human rights loses credibility when institutions that are battling for human rights are used to discredit a country for political reasons”, he declared.

“As a member of the Human Rights Council, Hungary will be placing special emphasis on respecting the rights of minorities, because it believes that this is one of the important prerequisites of international peace and security. The other major goal is the protection of Christians, because we believe that we must do away with the approach according to which anti-Christianity is the last acceptable form of discrimination in the world”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“The persecution of Christians is no less a crime than discrimination against any other religious or ethnic community”, he added.

“For instance, at meetings of the European Union’s foreign ministers it is very frustrating that when I call for the protection of Christians in the Middle East I am clumsily prompted to speak about the protection of all religious minorities, not just Christians. If I want to talk about Christian communities then I will speak about them, because that is the duty of a Christian country and a Christian Europe. We must not force upon ourselves some kind of false political correctness or hypocrisy”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

Moving to the subject of the immigration crisis, the Minister said: “In short international media reports Hungary is identified with a fence, while the crisis is in fact an extremely complex issue”.

“While Hungary is protecting its borders it still regards people who are dispelled from crisis zones as victims who must be protected. Europe must help countries in the immediate neighbourhood of crisis zones care for refugees, who must remain close to home. This is the standpoint that Hungary will be representing in the UN Human Rights Council”, the Minister said.

“A new world order has been established, but we still don’t know whether it will remain in its current form or continue to change”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

“Everyone remembers the 2008 economic crisis, which called into question all of the consensuses that until then everyone had taken for granted with regard to sustainable economic development and stability. These changes have spiralled on into every area of life”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“In 2015 and 2016, the world faced extreme challenges: regional wars, the rise and expansion of the Islamic State, terrorism and the migration crisis”, he said.

“The right thing is for decision-makers not to take part in creating hysteria, but to instead see crises as an opportunity for change, because this is how solutions can be found to them”, the Minister added.

“In my view, the right approach is for decision-makers to regard the three important pillars of the United Nations as their starting point with regard to crisis management: security, human rights and economic and social responsibility. The way we can find a solution is if instead of dictates and the discrediting of certain countries we place our emphasis on dialogue”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)