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Feb 13, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

FM Szijjártó in Vienna on nuclear energy, migration and terrorism

Speaking at an IAEA conference and counter-terrorism summit earlier this week, Foreign Minister Szijjártó made Hungary’s voice heard on some of the hard-hitting issues affecting the country today.

“Hungary is highly respected within the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó began his address on Monday at an IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security, adding that this is due to the fact that Hungary has gone out of its way in recent years to guarantee the security of nuclear facilities both internationally and domestically. With Hungary co-chairing the Nuclear Security Contact Group and hosting the Global Initiative to Counter Nuclear Terrorism summit next year, Szijjártó said, it is clear that Hungary’s efforts to maintain nuclear security are acknowledged globally.

Addressing the link between nuclear energy and climate policy, the foreign minister confirmed that, in Hungary’s view, meeting EU climate goals is only possible with the use of nuclear energy. Any discrimination against nuclear energy is unacceptable, as every nation should have the right – as long as it meets its national climate goals – to determine its own energy mix.

“Hungary is a front-runner on this issue since we are in the process of preparing the construction of further nuclear power plant blocks in Hungary,” Szijjártó said referring to the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant.

On Tuesday, before joining Prime Minister Orbán in Berlin, Minister Szijjártó spoke at a counter-terrorism conference jointly organized by the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Switzerland.

“The idyllic state of affairs in which there was no major risk of terrorism on the European continent came to an end 4-5 years ago,” FM Szijjártó said kicking off his speech. He then identified mass illegal migration and Islamic State terrorist activity as reasons behind the more than 30 major terrorist attacks in Europe since 2015.

While the UN is “wasting its money” on causes that pose a danger to the entire world, including the facilitation of migration, “it is untenable that the fight against terrorism is not part of the United Nations’ budget,” according to the foreign minister. The UN Global Compact for Migration, for example, encourages people to “set out from home” and jeopardizes the security of regions that have become the target destinations of these migrant flows.

Instead of encouraging them to come, FM Szijjártó said, we should adopt a four-step action plan, which will give Europe back its security. “ISIS must be permanently defeated, the borders must be protected, communities that have fled from terror must be given assistance to enable them to return home and the fight against terrorism must be made into one of the main duties of the United Nations,” Szijjártó said in closing.