Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay Permanent Representative at the Open Debate of the Security Council on “Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace”, 10 January 2017.
“Peace is Action, Not Words.”
Betty Williams, Northern Ireland,
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1977
Your Excellency, Mme President,
Mr. Secretary-General, honorable members of the Security Council, dear Colleagues,
I wish to thank Sweden for convening this important and long-awaited debate and Secretary-General Guterres for outlining his vision for prioritizing prevention and even more for resolving on his first day in office to “put peace first”.
In a world full of complex challenges and emerging threats, numberless unresolved conflicts, violent extremism and terrorist attacks carried out on a daily basis, mass atrocities being committed at this very moment in many countries, this is the approach that the world so terribly needs and the only one that can save us and succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
While we align with the statement delivered by the EU, I wish to add a few observations in my national capacity.
As the three reviews of the UN’s peace and security architecture recognize, there is a need for greater focus on prevention across all stages of conflicts. Since Hungary fully shares this view, last year we offered a voluntary contribution of 50000 USD to support the work of the Department of Political Affairs in preventive diplomacy and mediation.
Given that UN police can contribute across the entire spectrum of peace and security, there is a growing need for police participation in peace operations. To answer this call, we decided to deploy police experts to two African missions, and we seek further opportunities to boost our police presence in other UN peace operations.
Women’s participation in UN peace and security efforts, including post-conflict governance and peacekeeping, is still under the desired level. In order to cure this situation, Hungary intensified its efforts to identify, nominate and deploy female military experts and police officers to UN peacekeeping and EU CSDP missions. I am happy to announce that in the coming months, female Hungarian officers will be deployed to UNAMID and MINUSCA and serve as good examples for their compatriots.
As many already said today, there is no sustaining peace without sustainable development. Therefore, the effective implementation of Agenda 2030 is crucial. Hungary has a firm and longstanding dedication to contribute to the elaboration and realization of this universal and ambitious roadmap.
Generations are growing up without secure food and water supply, proper healthcare and education, denied their human rights, which all lead to regeneration of conflicts. With the increasing number of terrorist attacks and conflicts, the masses of people who are forced to leave their homes are growing day by day. Our ultimate goal should be to ensure everyone peaceful and secure living conditions in their homelands. But this can be achieved only by tackling the root causes.
As part of our prevention efforts, we must deal with transnational risks such as violent extremism, climate change, water scarcity, and modern slavery.
In that context, Hungary just increased its voluntary contribution for a UN Women project that focuses on preventing violent extremism and mitigating its impact by addressing root causes through integrated responses. At the end of 2016, we hosted the Budapest Water Summit to give momentum to the implementation of the water-related SDGs and to recognize the interlinkage between water, sanitation, climate change and peace. In addition, we will continue to work towards achieving the various SDG targets aimed at eradicating modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and child labor. Given the seriousness and complexity of this global problem as well as the shocking number of victims, we encourage the new Secretary-General to strengthen UN response by adopting specific measures to improve internal UN coordination in this area.
We also believe that there is no sustaining peace without respecting human rights and international humanitarian law. Human rights mechanisms together with the Human Rights Up Front initiative provide useful tools to respond early and effectively to signs of serious violations of human rights that often are early warnings of potential atrocity crimes.
Ending the culture of impunity is also a major contributor to conflict prevention and sustaining peace on national and international levels. Since ensuring accountability for serious crimes helps us to bring about reconciliation, address injustice, promote human rights and build peaceful, stable and resilient societies, Hungary provides voluntary contribution for a joint UN Women and Justice Rapid Response project aimed at securing accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes. We also highlight and commend the important role played by international and national judicial institutions in this respect, and we welcome the recent General Assembly decision to establish an international, impartial and independent mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes committed in Syria.
As a member of the Human Rights Council for the term 2017-2019, one of our priorities will be to work towards the prevention of atrocity crimes and to promote already existing tools of the international community that can contribute to effective and timely response.
The need for the UN is greater than ever. The UN has a central role to play in preventing conflicts and securing sustaining peace, but it has to be fit for purpose in order to be able to deliver. My country is a longtime advocate and supporter of reforming the UN. It is more important than ever to enhance the performance of the Security Council that faces unprecedented number of conflicts and complex crises. The Council should pay more attention to further improving its working methods and increasing transparency. Its elected members should become active players of the game and seek opportunities – just like Sweden by organizing today’s debate – to strengthen the Council’s preventive role.
I invite Member States to join the Code of Conduct elaborated by the ACT Group and already signed by 112 Member States, and by doing so, to pledge to support timely and decisive action by the Council aimed at preventing or ending the commission of atrocity crimes.
With respect to the working relationship between the Council and Secretary-General, we encourage you, Mr. Secretary General, to use more frequently the prevention tool provided by Article 99 of the UN Charter and – as also called for in the ACT Code of Conduct – bring situations that, in your assessment, involve or are likely lead to genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes to the attention of the Council.
In addition, we encourage your office to convene regular situational awareness briefings for Council members in order to assist them in making more informed decisions and to aid conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy and early engagement.
We also commend you for establishing the Executive Committee to support senior decision-making, rearranging the Executive Office, and the additional steps you already took to enhance performance in the peace and security pillar. We are convinced that these measures will assist in translating your Appeal for Peace into reality.
Hungary will support your leadership efforts aimed at creating a strong, efficient, responsible and credible United Nations that is able to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. We are ready to contribute to the work of this noble organization with our best efforts. We will play our own part proactively and we encourage other member states to do the same.