FM: Preventing emergence of divisive blocks key to preserving planet

Minister Szijjártó noted that the world had recently undergone two major shocks in the form of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said mankind will only have a chance to preserve the planet for future generations by preventing the re-emergence of divisive blocks in the world.

During his address at a high-level meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York on Monday, Minister Szijjártó noted that the world had recently undergone two major shocks in the form of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The global security situation is the worst it has been in the last 80 years, the minister said. He argued that the threat of terrorism was greater than ever before and that the world was “witnessing the most open and most shameless reference to nuclear capacities, while the chance for the outbreak of the third world war is more imminent than ever”. These security challenges threaten the re-emergence of divisive blocks in the world and could divert attention from the problem of preserving the planet, Szijjártó said. He said these challenges constituted a “vicious circle”, as divisive blocks would make it impossible to overcome environmental and climate-related challenges. Referring to a “regional partnership group established by Serbia and Hungary”, Minister Szijjártó urged the international community on behalf of both countries “to make a decision based on common sense”.
“And instead of dividing the world into blocks again, let’s enter the era of connectivity,” he said, adding that connectivity would promote mutually beneficial global cooperation based on mutual respect. Though Hungary and Serbia could have chosen to be isolated from each other, their leaders understood that connectivity was beneficial for both countries, Szijjártó said. Meanwhile, the minister said Hungary had emerged stronger from all of the recent crises thanks to its national responses to them. Hungary responded to the financial crisis with tax cuts, to the migration crisis with stronger border protection, to the economic crisis with investment promotion schemes, and to the energy crisis with the recognition that energy supply is a physical rather than a political or ideological matter, Szijjártó said. He welcomed that these response measures had enabled Hungary to contribute to meeting the UN’s sustainable development targets. Citing the UN’s sustainability report, he said, Hungary ranked 22nd and Serbia 36th in meeting sustainable development goals. Water and energy security are among the two most important issues and Hungary is committed to resolving the challenges related to them, he said. Concerning water shortages, Szijjártó highlighted the importance of technology, noting that water management solutions developed by Hungary were being used in many parts of the world. Water security is also critical for preventing the emergence of more migration waves, he added.