“Migration shouldn’t be managed, it should be stopped; we should not be making a major effort to make illegal migration legal, but to ensure that people can live in peaceful conditions in their own homelands”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the intergovernmental negotiations on the UN Global Compact for Migration on Monday in New York.

In his speech, the Minister stressed: “Hungary does not agree with the fact that migration is good, because it is bad for those who are forced to flee their homes, it is bad for transit countries, and it poses a challenge to target countries”.

DownloadPhoto: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

“In Hungary’s opinion it isn’t migration that is a fundamental human right, but to live a peaceful life in suitable conditions in one’s homeland”, Mr. Szijjártó explained. “And protecting borders is not a possibility but a responsibility for countries”, he said, adding “Illegal immigration must not be encouraged”.

“In addition, countries must have the right to freely decide whether they regard migration as the best solution to demographic and labour market challenges, or choose another solution”, he said. “For instance, Hungary does not regard migration as the most effective response, but accepts the fact that other countries may choose it as a solution; it would not, however, like to be placed under pressure as a result”, he explained.

“Hungary regards the debate on the Global Compact for Migration as highly important, because the decision made on the issue will determine the long-term future of our children and grandchildren”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister emphasised. “Accordingly, we must raise certain fundamental issues, such as whether we want order and security”, he pointed out.

Mr. Szijjártó said that in his opinion, in view of the importance of the issue, it would be worth asking people’s opinions. “The general approach of the Hungarian Government is to ask for the opinion of the people on highly important issues, and they clearly expressed their will at the National Consultation and the recent elections, at which the governing parties received a record level of support”, he pointed out. “The primary goal of the Hungarian Government is to guarantee public safety and the country’s security”, he added.

“In 2015, we saw that migration pressure often brings with is unmanageable challenges, parallel societies have developed in several European countries in recent years, and the threat of terrorism has reached never before seen levels in Europe”, Mr. Szijjártó recalled. “According to even the most conservative estimates there are 30-35 million people in the vicinity of Europe who could easily decide to set out towards the continent”, he said, adding: “We must at all costs avoid the development of a situation similar to that which occurred in 2015”.

As he explained, we must assure that people can live in peaceful and acceptable conditions at home, and if this is not possible, then those who are forced to leave their homes must be able to stay as close as possible to ensure that they can return home as soon as possible after the conflict is over”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister explained.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)