“Hungary will be submitting a proposal to the United Nations concerning an international day of remembrance for the victims of communist dictatorships”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at a press conference on Thursday in Budapest.

“The communist dictatorships are a tragic part of humanity’s common history, not only because of the number of lives that were extinguished, but also because they crippled hundreds of millions of people physically and emotionally, making them destitute, unemployed or unable to work, and thrust whole generations into a hopeless situation with no vision of the future”, Mr. Szijjártó said, justifying the initiative. “We cannot allow, even at international level, the relativization of the crimes committed by the communists, and we cannot give ground, even at international level, to those repulsive and unscrupulous attempts that are attempting to falsify history through the exploitation of a kind of false nostalgia”, he declared.

According to the Minister, the government has already begun drawing up the draft of the UN General Assembly resolution on the day of remembrance, and accordingly the topic will also be on the agenda of next week’s meeting of Visegrád Group (V4) foreign ministers in Prague. The Hungarian Foreign Minister has also asked that the issue be placed onto the agenda of the council of European Union foreign ministers to be held on 9 December, to enable the acquisition of support from as many EU countries as possible. “It is high time for the UN, as the world’s largest international organisation, to finally acknowledge the tragedies caused by the terrible actions of the communists, and to honour the memory of the victims”, he emphasised.

In reply to a question, Mr. Szijjártó said that what he would regard as fair would be for the resolution on the day of remembrance to be successfully adopted at the session of the UN General Assembly next September. “Last December, Members of Parliament and U.S. Members of Congress had already sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General asking him to designate a date as the day of remembrance for the victims of communist dictatorships, but in his reply, the Secretary-General pointed out that only a member state or a group of member states can make such a request. “This is why the Hungarian government has decided to initiate the designation of the day of remembrance on the part of the UN”, he stated.

Member of Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Christian Democratic People’s Party Bence Rétvári, who was one of the signatories of the first initiative concerning the day of remembrance, said: “The UN currently recognises 140 days of remembrance, but these do not include a day of remembrance for the victims of communist dictatorships, despite the fact that the communist ideal extinguished the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide and crippled the lives of many more”. He said it was important to get rid of double standards, explaining: “The communist ideal must be put in its place in world thinking and in the thinking of historians and politicians, to make it absolutely clear that it resulted in a dictatorship everywhere”.

In reply to a question, he told the press: “In view of the fact that the seizure of power by the communists occurred on different dates in different countries, we are not recommending a specific date to the UN, to avoid a debate concerning the date instead of about the principle”.

In response to a question on space research, Mr. Szijjártó said: “Few people in Hungary today know that there is 70 percent intellectual and technological content in two of the important space research projects being headed by Russia: the measuring and testing equipment due to be sent up to the International Space Station, and the preparation of the fleet of micro-satellites”. “In view of the fact that next year will be the 40th anniversary of Bertalan Farkas’s space flight, and Hungary will also be hosting the International Astronautical Congress, it is an important target for Hungary to be capable of sending another Hungarian research astronaut to the International Space Station by 2024”, he added.

“We are justified in wanting a Hungarian astronaut to perform tests using the measuring and research equipment that is being produced with a significant level of Hungarian added value”, he declared, adding: “Cooperation with the Russians is justified by the fact that it is they who are capable of getting astronauts up to the International Space Station