Katalin Novák's speech at the UN Security Council meeting
I would like to thank You personally, Mr. Edi Rama Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania for taking the effort to initiate this open debate.
Open debates create for us, non member countries of the Security Council an opportunity to express our views on issues impacting our world.
Our position is clear: the Russian Federation has crossed the Rubicon with the invasion of an independent and sovereign state, a member of the international community, and the member of the family of the United Nations. Our goal is a lasting, just peace in Ukraine.
According to the 2022 Global Conflict Tracker of the Council of Foreign Relations there were 27 armed conflicts around the world. Since the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation this number has significantly increased. We see that new armed and military conflicts emerge as we speak.
For one and a half year we have witnessed a major war as never before since the Second World War. At least not us, Europeans.
War itself is not unknown to us. In the early 90’s we saw the bloodshed and experienced the impact of the war in the Balkans, again Hungary’s direct neighbourhood.
And let us not forget the stability of the Western Balkans is even now the goal we have to work for. Among others, with the speeding up of the EU-integration of the region.
Today it is a nuclear power invading a European, for some of us – a neighbouring country. Also, with the realistic threat of nuclear escalation. A scenario that none of us want to experience.
We, Hungarians, are hit by the war in Ukraine in three dimensions:
- As a direct neighbour, we feel threatend. Ethnic Hungarians, citizens of Ukraine are fighting and are dying on the battlefield.
- The war in Ukraine directly threatens the security architecture of Europe.
- Since the war is being fought close to the Eastern border of NATO, the emergence of a new Cold War is a disturbing reality.
The war in Ukraine has serious impact, not only on the European Continent, but in the whole world: inflation and rising energy prices remind us that in this interconnected world local conflicts easily become regional, then global.
We all need to work together to promote peace and security in Ukraine. Hungary supports and is open to take part in any peace initiative that creates a feasible environment for a lasting ceasefire and creates a roadmap towards a sustainable and just peace.
We need organizations, countries and personalities who can invite the waring parties to a peace negotiation.
Organization: We acknowledge the United Nations and this Security Council of the UN as essential actors in this process. Being the fora for where both parties concerned are around the table, there is a room and a chance for talks and actions.
Countries: We need strong nations, for example the United States, China or Turkiye that are capable or ready to set the table for a possible solution, are capable or ready to talk with both sides and have the potential to influence the continuation further.
Personalities, we also need: Our history gives us so many examples that a small group of people or even a single person can have an effect or turn the flow of history. I am convinced that Pope Francis is someone who can facilitate peace in Ukraine.
And let’s not underestimate the power of women. Women leaders who join their forces to contribute the peacemaking can have a substantial contribution in this process.
This brings me to congratulating Nataša Pirc Musar, President of Slovenia for their Security Councilmembership.
Dear Nataša, your role is vital here.
The personal presence of Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine at this distinguished gathering before is also an indication that the moment has come to be serious about peace.
I take this moment to reiterate that Hungary welcomes the Ukranian Peace Initiative and is open to join the process.
I also count on President Zelensky to take action and facilitate the restoration of rights of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine, as he personally promised me during our last meeting in Kyiv, and – also yesterday - here in New York.
With regard to the future of Ukraine, Hungary is interested in a stable, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. In this spirit of good neighbourhood relations, Hungary will keep providing political, ecomomic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as we did ever since the war has started. The support that Hungary provided to 2.7 million Ukrainian refugees who crossed the Hungarian borders is a token of our unwavering support for the cause of peace in Ukraine.
Thank you so much for your attention!