“Hungary is committed to the peaceful use of nuclear energy”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in New York at a conference on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on Wednesday.

“The country retains the right to determine its own national energy mix, and the right to generate the electricity is uses cheapy, cleanly and safely”, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó explained that in recent decades Hungary has placed major emphasis on the use of nuclear energy, and this will continue to be the case in future in view of the fact that cheap electricity is one of the important conditions for the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy. Hungary generates over 40 percent of its electricity demand from such sources.

“While insisting on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Hungary is objecting to the testing of nuclear weapons throughout the world ‘with all possible methods and instruments’, and fully supports the international treaty on this issue, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This was why Budapest undertook to coordinate the implementation of the Treaty between 2013 and 2015”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

“We believe that the world would be a much calmer and more peaceful place, or could be, if we finally succeeded in banning the testing of nuclear weapons using the instruments of international law”, the Minister said.

He expressed his regret that in practice the world has been unsuccessful in fully stopping all testing, and called on countries that have still not ratified the Treaty to do so at the earliest opportunity.

He specifically mentioned the importance of freeing the Korean Peninsula from nuclear weapons. “We must also prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of any dictator or terrorist organisation”, he said. “The UN is playing an important role from this perspective, and Hungary is providing all possible assistance to enable the UN to fulfil its role”, Mr. Szijjártó underlined.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CNTBT) was opened for signing in New York in the autumn of 1996. 168 of the 185 countries that signed the agreement have since ratified it. However, the coming into force of the treaty absolutely requires the ratification of 44 countries with significant nuclear programmes. These include Hungary, which duly ratified the Treaty in 1999. However, out of the group of 44, the United States, China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan are yet to ratify the Treaty, and the latter three have not even signed it to date.

In his speech, Mr. Szijjártó drew attention to the fact that nuclear accidents can also have catastrophic consequences, as has unfortunately been proven in practice in the recent past. Accordingly, attention must also be placed on the safe functioning of nuclear power plants, he stated.