“In international diplomacy, we must strive to ensure that water-related conflicts do not become another security threat to the world”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at the accompanying event devoted to water management of the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“It has become perfectly clear that water will play a key role in maintaining international peace and security, and therefore international diplomacy should devote more attention to the peaceful distribution of water resources, as well as to the fight against the phenomena that pose a threat to the world’s water catchment areas”, he declared.

Mr. Szijjártó clarified that Hungary is treating water diplomacy as a high priority, and within the framework of the UN, obvious recognition is attributed to its achievements as president of the UN Water Convention for three years.

“Hungary would like to encourage many more countries to join the agreement, and ratify it”, he added. He recalled that currently 2,5 billion people live in areas with water shortages. This accounts for 36 percent of the world’s population, not to mention that one fifth of the world’s GDP is produced by people living in said areas.

According to the current predictions, 4,8 billion people will be living in areas with water shortages by 2050. In the world, there are 280 rivers and 600 water resources that stretch beyond country borders and 40 percent of the world’s population live in such areas.

“Local water crises can therefore easily become sources of conflict, which can result in the eruption of greater tensions”, explained Péter Szijjártó. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade also referred to the fact that the third Budapest Water Summit will be held this year, of which the first (in 2013) played a significant role in making the issue of water a separate objective within the sustainable growth framework.

At the 2019 Budapest Water Summit from October 12-15, decision-makers, representatives of the private and financial sectors, as well as academic leaders, will debate the best global solutions for assuring a secure water supply.