Hungary was one of five countries to vote against the United Nations’ Global Compact for Migration in New York on Wednesday.
The UN General Assembly approved the accord with 152 countries voting in favour of it, five against it and 12 abstentions.
Addressing the General Assembly ahead of the vote, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said Hungary would not support the accord because most of its goals were in conflict with Hungary’s national interests.ac
As the first speaker of UN member states after the opening address, Szijjártó said that the UN “was making a serious mistake” because the plan was “unbalanced, biased, and extremely pro-migration”. Authors of the document overlooked the interests of European residents, while the passage of the plan would promote migration and involve serious risks, he insisted.
Szijjártó criticised the document for depicting migration as a fundamental human right.
Furthermore, he said, it accepts migrants’ breach of national borders in their search for new homes, thereby encouraging migration and calling on UN member states to support it.
While the compact presents the effects of migration as positives, it is in fact a dangerous process, the minister said, arguing that migration destabilises both origin and transit countries and leads to the emergence of parallel societies in destination countries. Szijjártó added that migration also comes with significant security risks.
Szijjártó also criticised the compact for its failure to address the rights of those living in the destination countries and how their rights to living in peace and security can be guaranteed.
He repeated Hungary’s position that many of the compact’s goals are against Hungary’s security interests.
Hungary considers border protection and the right to decide whom a country can allow to enter its territory among the most important national competencies, he said. The Hungarian government also opposes the proposal to approach the question of border protection as a human rights issue, he said, arguing that it was a national security issue and a duty for every country.
Hungary also disagrees with the assumption that migration is beneficial for the labour market and from a demographic standpoint, Szijjártó said. The Hungarian government does not believe that Hungary will be less valuable than other countries if its society does not become multicultural, he added.
Hungary will also vote against the document, he said, because it does not want to see a repeat of the events of 2015 when 400,000 illegal migrants breached Hungary’s borders and passed through the country, attacking police officers and failed to show any respect for the local rules or culture. Hungary’s position when it comes to migration is therefore based on strict border control and an opposition to illegal migration, he said.
Instead of favouring immigration, the government intends to respond to its social challenges with the modernisation of education and by supporting families and preserving Hungary for Hungarians, Szijjártó added.
Earlier in the day, the minister said that the UN is about to make the same mistake as the European Union did in the past three and a half years but whereas wrong EU policies only have local influence, the global compact will result in “dangerous trends” and further waves of migration on a global level.
According to the compact, every country is affected by migration, either as an origin, transit or destination country, Szijjártó said. Hungary, however, disagrees and does not wish to belong to any of the three categories, he insisted.
Featured image: MTI