Inaugurating the new offices of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in Budapest, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary was committed to helping the fight against terrorism succeed. “Early detection and pre-emption are more important today in fighting terrorism than ever before,” he said.
The minister said the UNOCT is a main player in the fight against international terrorism and greatly contributes to maintaining security and peace around the world. By opening a regional center in Budapest, UNOCT has given Hungary an important role in the global fight against terrorism. Meanwhile, the largest UN organization, the UNHCR is expanding in Budapest, he said. Seven UN organizations employ some 1,500 people in Hungary, Szijjártó said.
At the same time, Minister Szijjártó said it was in Hungary’s interest that the UN’s operations became “more flexible and effective”. He called a structural and operational reform “inevitable”, and called for the UNOCT to be fully integrated into the organization’s budget as part of that process. UNOCT is bringing high value-added processes to Hungary which require high levels of expertise, and also present an opportunity for serious developments, Minister Szijjártó said. He pledged the Hungarian government’s support for the new functions.
The minister added that the UN faced its greatest challenge six years ago, at the start of the migration crisis, which among other problems also presented serious security risks. European Union member states “have been living under the shadow of growing terrorism threat since 2015,” he said. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many to work and study online, making cyberspace “the new target for extremist and terrorist ideologies,” he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter