Her Excellency
    Katalin Novák
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    Statement summary

    KATALIN NOVÁK, President of Hungary, said her country has a thousand years of turbulent history, with wars, oppression and occupation, revolutions and wars of independence.  “We know the feeling of vulnerability.  We know what it’s like to live divided and what suffering wars cause.  We know how precious freedom is and how painful it is to be deprived of it,” she said.  For this reason, “the rejection of any kind of oppression has become an instinct in us,” she continued, condemning unequivocally the attack on another State, namely the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, which has caused immense suffering and destruction and has destroyed peaceful life in Europe.  “We are for the victims and against further escalation,” she stressed, adding that her country is providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and to all those fleeing the war.  

    “We help beyond our size and strength,” she said, pointing to the 150,000 Hungarians living in Ukraine, in Transcarpathia, who share every hardship and struggle, sacrifice and success.  The war also directly affects Hungarians.  “Hungarian fathers and sons living in Ukraine are also giving their lives in the trenches,” she added.  She recalled her two visits to Kyiv — at the invitation of President Zelenskyy — since the outbreak of the war.  “I have seen the suffering that families go through.  I have seen what they experience when peace is broken.  I have met Ukrainian and Hungarian people who have lost family members.  I have met Ukrainian children for whom a kindergarten was set up with the help and support of Hungary; children from whom the war is depriving a happy childhood,” she said.

    Stressing that there is no alternative to peace, she urged for the killing and destruction to stop as soon as possible, as war is never the solution.  Noting that peace is only realistically attainable “when at least one side sees the time for negotiations as having come,” she said that “we cannot decide for Ukrainians about how much they are prepared to sacrifice, but we have a duty to represent our own nation’s desire for peace”.  Underlining the need to avoid an escalation of the war, she said in every war, children are the most vulnerable.  War hits them hardest, although they are the ones who need security and stability the most.

    She then echoed the words of Elon Musk that demographic decline is a more serious problem than the climate crisis.  Little attention is paid to the real and irreversible change of the world.  “If there is no child, there will be no future,” she said, asking:  “What is the point of looking after the Earth if we don’t have children and grandchildren to pass it on to?”  Against this backdrop, she emphasized that the solution to the demographic crisis lies in strengthening and supporting families.  Hungary has made the strengthening of families and the tackling of the demographic crisis a priority, she noted, recognizing that a strong, united and healthy family is a guarantee of security.


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    Portrait of Her Excellency Katalin Novák (President), Hungary
    UN Photo credit.

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