“Hungary supports political activities that are aimed at stopping migration, and rejects those that encourage illegal immigration”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in Geneva.

At the general debate during the 109th Session of the Council of the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Hungarian Foreign Minister confirmed that Hungary does not agree with several of the fundamental principles of the UN Global Compact for Migration, the adoption of which will soon be voted on, and rejects the Compact, and has exited the adoption process. Similarly to the UN’s policy, Brussels’s migration policy, which encourages immigration, has also failed, he added.

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The Minister pointed out that Hungary had previously made several proposals for the amendment of the UN Compact, and amongst others these were aimed at curbing the migration process, and included the fact that the situation and interests of target and transit countries should also be taken into account. He declared that migration is not a fundamental human right, and that illegally crossing a border is a crime. “The sovereignty of countries and the preservation of their culture must be assured, and the development of parallel societies must be avoided”, he said.

“The world is facing never before seen security challenges, and one of the most important of these is migration, which can destabilise whole regions”, Mr. Szijjártó said. He specifically mentioned the threat of terrorism, pointing out that since the beginning of the migration crisis over 30 terrorist attacks have been committed in the European Union “by people with migrant backgrounds”, and the threat of terrorism has never before been so high. “Hungary does not agree with the fact that migration is a fundamental human right. It also does not agree that immigration is good and should be encouraged”, he underlined.

Mr. Szijjártó also reminded those present of the element of the Hungarian position according to which people who are forced to flee their homes must be given assistance, but the problem must be handled at its source if possible, through solving the difficulties affecting source countries. “Help must be provided where it is needed”, he highlighted. “The international community should concentrate on assuring the population peace and security at home, and if this is not possible, then on enabling them to live a humanly dignified life in a region that lies as close as possible to their homeland”, he stated.

The Minister added that Hungary is also involved in such efforts via its Hungary Helps Programme. Despite rejecting the Global Compact, Hungary wishes to cooperate with the international community in the fight against people smuggling. In his reaction to the Hungarian Minister’s speech, IOM Director General António Vitorino said he agrees with what Mr. Szijjártó had described on several points. The “dynamics” of illegal immigration is indeed “disturbing”, he said. Mr. Vitorino said he also agreed that attempts must be made at prevention, and we must try to handle the roots of the problem. “However, to enable refugees to return home, their social re-integration must also be assured”, he added.

Mr. Vitorino declared that he has also been a member of the European Commission, and is aware of the regulations on the issue. He said that he himself would not make a direct link between terrorism and migration. “The majority of terrorist attacks were not committed by migrants”, he said. On the subject of the UN Global Compact for Migration, he said it contains several elements that Mr. Szijjártó also said he regards as useful. “In addition, the Compact is not a legally binding document; every country can decide for itself, which of its elements it implements”, he added.

He declared that the IOM is ready to support UN member states in these efforts. The IOM, which has 172 member countries, believes that organised migration that is realised in a humane manner is favourable for both immigrants and the countries that admit them. The IOM provides support to refugees and its basic principle stresses that all parties must respect international norms. While in Geneva, Mr. Szijjártó also held bilateral talks with António Vitorino.

((MTI / kormany.hu))