“The issue of water connects us, because we use the Earth’s water stocks together, and accordingly we are jointly responsible for preserving their quantity and quality”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the Budapest Water Summit on Thursday.

In his speech at the closing ceremony of the event, the Minister highlighted: “The issue of water is an issue that we will either win together or lose together”,

As he explained, the Budapest Proposal introduced at the conference includes the messages and operations with which the international community is capable of preventing an impending water crisis. “As also set down in the document, investment projects relating to water management, and primarily those that facilitate an increase in water security, must be promoted”, he pointed out.

At this year’s global summit, greater emphasis than before was placed on realisation, and this is why the professional expo showcasing the Hungarian water industry was given a priority role, the Minister explained. “The significance of Hungarian water industry know-how is underlined by the fact that there are currently 2.2 billion people around the world who do not have secure access to safe drinking water services, and 1.8 billion people who only have access to polluted drinking water”, he stated.

“Not only could regional and international water-related disputes become the sources of conflict, but so too could local water crises”, Mr. Szijjártó said, adding: “It is important to recognise the extreme importance of water in maintaining international peace and security”.

The Minister also spoke about the fact that with relation to water Hungary professes the principle that assistance must be taken to where there is need, so that people do not emigrate from these countries but can instead live a decent life in their own homelands.

“The Hungarian government is convinced that international development policy is one of the most effective and tangible instruments for handling the root causes of migration, because this is what makes it possible to contribute to improving local living conditions and to creating jobs”, Mr. Szijjártó declared. “Accordingly, Hungary is performing active international development activities on four continents, Asia, Africa, South America and the Balkans in Europe, with the aim of contributing to handling the root causes of migration and establishing international peace through accelerating the convergence of developing countries”, he stated.

“Water does not stop at borders, and accordingly international cooperation within this field is one of the priorities of Hungary foreign and neighbourhood policy”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“We who are alive today, and who take responsibility for future generations, do not have another few decades, or perhaps not even another few years, to find a solution to the challenges we face”, he emphasised. “Although important steps towards a solution have once again been taken during the past few days, the work must continue”, he stated, adding: “Hungary can always be counted on in this”.

The Minister pointed out that this is the third time that Budapest has organised the World Water Summit, adding: “Hungary is extremely glad to organise this conference, because although we count as a small country with relation to our population and geographical size, we are particularly proud of our natural waters”.

“Hungary is committed to planning with relation to the issue of water and a water-related future, as indicated by the fact that the chief patron of the Budapest Water Summit is President of the Republic János Áder”, he emphasised.

“Interest in the conference was particularly high this year, with over 2400 participants from 118 countries registering”, he pointed out.

“At the conference, the world’s political decision makers, water experts and scientists, and the representatives of financing institutions discussed prevention of a global water crisis and the resolving of water-related problems together and at the highest possible level”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister stated.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)