Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Global health-care cooperation must be totally depoliticized, minister says

Szijjarto: UN should spend less on bureaucracy, more on preventing terrorism

The United Nations should spend less on bureaucracy and spend more on the global fight against terrorism which Hungary greatly contributes to, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in New York on Wednesday.
21. September 2023 5:11

The ministry cited Szijjarto telling a meeting to support victims of terrorism under the arrangements of the United Nations General Assembly session that “we are now faced with the most serious threat of terror globally ever” despite all efforts, and 6,700 lives were lost last year as a consequence of terrorist attacks.

Terrorism creates a vicious circle with illegal migration, given the fact that terrorism is one of the major root causes for migration and one of the consequences as well, he said.

“As a consequence of terrorism, many people have to flee, and on the other hand, terrorists can hide in the migratory waves,” he added.

Europe is highly exposed to the phenomenon of illegal migration, migrants have created parallel societies in multiple places of the EU, and “the perception that we could successfully integrate these people proved to be a failure”, he said.

“So it’s an utmost priority for us to prevent terrorism from spreading and to eliminate the terrorist organizations as quickly as it is possible,” he added.

Szijjarto said this will only be possible if the efforts are being based on a global cooperation and the UN must take a lead.

He said it was unacceptable that only 3 percent of the budget of UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) is being issued by the regular budget of the UN.

“Maybe we should spend less on bureaucracy here and spend a little bit more on preventing terrorism and supporting the victims of terrorism,” he added.

The second biggest centre of UNOCT has been set up in Budapest and “we are continuously expanding and increasing its capacities”, he said.

Szijjarto also said that there was a growing number of attacks against Christian communities all over the world.

“I am proudly representing a country which has a more than thousand-year Christian statehood, and therefore, we are pretty concerned about these targeted attacks against the Christian communities,” he said.

Hungary gives all of its support to persecuted Christians, with more than 50 million dollars spent so far on a programme called Hungary Helps which helps them to remain where their communities had been staying, he added.

Szijjarto: Global health-care cooperation must be totally depoliticized

Global health-care cooperation must be totally depoliticized in order for the world to be better prepared for a potential future pandemic, the Hungarian foreign minister said at a United Nations’ General Assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday.

The ministry cited Peter Szijjarto telling a high-level meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response that the coronavirus pandemic had demonstrated “how defenseless we are regardless of all our super highly developed technologies and artificial intelligence at our disposal”.

“Unfortunately, we cannot give back the lives of those hundreds of thousands who have died … but we do have to draw and understand the conclusions in order to be more protected in the future,” he added.

“One of these lessons we have to learn is that all those strategic capacities might look like useless under normal circumstances, but under emergency circumstances they can save lives,” Szijjarto said.

Hungary is building its own vaccine factory, and is now able to produce masks, gloves and ventilators as well, and has its own air cargo delivery capacity, he added.

He expressed hope that as a consequence of COVID, everybody understands that “human health has nothing to do with geopolitics. Virus does not know any borders, any ideologies, any political affiliation”.

To be better protected, the world must come to an era of real global cooperation, which is not being limited, restricted or influenced by global politics, he said.

“Those who allow health care to be confused with global politics will be responsible for the fact that we cannot save the lives, we cannot protect as many people as many could have been protected with a real cooperation,” the foreign minister said.

Hungary was subjected to “tremendous” attacks because it had purchased vaccines which were manufactured in Eastern countries, and these criticisms and attacks were without any kind of professional aspects, he said. Szijjarto said that Hungary completed the most successful vaccination campaign in the European Union because the government bought vaccines from the East and West at the same time. The government considered vaccines as tools to save lives and not as a political statement, he added.

“The decade of dangers is coming up and we cannot exclude that new viruses will put challenges ahead of us,” said Szijjarto, calling it a global responsibility to be better prepared.

“If we approach this issue in a political manner, we will fail,” he added.

Global health-care cooperation must be totally depoliticized and all UN member states have to do their best in order “to make WHO the most professional and the most depoliticized organisation of power in a national political region”, the foreign minister said, concluding his address.

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