What matters most is that we find the path to a just peace
As a Christian conservative politician, my most important goal is that in the war in Ukraine, we find the path to a just peace – said President of Hungary Katalin Novák at the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in Reykjavík on Wednesday.
Katalin Novák pointed out: meeting all the conditions of a just peace will not only allow a ceasefire, but also a sustainable peace including reconciliation.
The President of Hungary underlined: the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe have „a special responsibility to promote and secure peace for their citizens".
Katalin Novák welcomed the fact that more and more political leaders support "a fair and just peace", which is "the universal desire of all our citizens " according to Katalin Novák. She stressed: all people have the right to life, even those who are stranded in a warzone.
She recalled that the Council of Europe plays a central role in protecting and promoting human rights, and has done a great deal for democracy, human rights and fundamental liberties in the last decades.
„That is why this is a proper time and place to formulate a strong message, the message of the right to peace.” – she said.
In her speech, Katalin Novák also discussed the position of minorities.
„We should pay special attention that the fight for freedom does not mean the curtailing of the rights of ethnic communities"- the President emphasized.
She highlighted: „Respect for minorities is one of the core values on which European cooperation rests, and we should not push it aside”.
This is the fourth summit of the Council of Europe since its establishment in 1949. The last meeting of heads of state and government was hosted by Poland in 2005.
According to Katalin Novák, this should have been a summit of celebration, as " our economies have never been so developed as they are today. We have successfully recovered from the pandemic. We learned how to strengthen our common values, and how to cope with the cultural, historical, and linguistic diversity that makes Europe so unique and valuable".
Yet " there are a multitude of new and old challenges that call for our urgent attention and action: there is a brutal war raging on the European continent and our peaceful way of life is under attack. – she concluded.
„Russia’s insane decision to attack Ukraine, a direct neighbour to Hungary, turned our world upside down”- the President said.
According to Katalin Novák, the war requires a unified and firm response, as "the armed attack and aggression against a sovereign state is unacceptable". She added: war crimes must be investigated, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
During the two-day summit in Iceland, Hungary’s Head of State had a "friendly discussion" with Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni, and also held talks with President of France Emmanuel Macron. The President also conducted talks with President of Moldavia Maia Sandu and Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal.