PÁL SCHMITT, President of Hungary, associated himself with the European Union, said that the overthrow of autocratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa was a first step, but his country’s experience showed that the most difficult stages of transformation were yet to come. The process must be internally driven and carried out with international support. He expressed hope that those witnessing transitional periods today would benefit from Hungary’s own achievements and avoidable mistakes. “We are, of course, far from trying to give advice and provide ready-made solutions,” he said, noting that human rights and freedoms could only be implemented with respect for the cultural, religious and other traditions of each nation.
Turning to sustainable development, he said the concept of green economy was gaining ever-widening support, and described next year’s “Rio+20” was a unique opportunity to generate acceptance for the concept which, if implemented in a coherent manner, would create new resources for achieving internationally agreed development goals. There was a need to reorganize the United Nations environmental architecture to streamline and pool existing structures, with a view to increasing the coherence and efficiency of the whole system, he said.
Hungary had been at the forefront of mitigating non-communicable diseases, and had put national cancer and diabetes control systems in place that could contribute to “functional alternatives” around the world, he said. Comprehensive national and regional strategies could bring down the growing rates of those illnesses, contributing to cost-effective prevention, early detection and adequate treatment. Hungary would be proud to share its knowledge and experiences in the collective effort to bring about better health worldwide.
He went on to announce that his country had put forward its candidature for Security Council membership in 2012-2013. Hungary continued to uphold the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and international law. The country also stood ready to contribute to all efforts to enhance the capabilities of the United Nations in conflict-prevention and mediation. Hungary would advocate a stronger integration of security and development concerns, as well as enhanced interaction between the Security Council and the organization’s other main organs as an integrated approach to conflict resolution.