Hungarian foreign minister addresses UN Human Rights Council
Geneva, February 28 (MTI) – Protecting human rights is a priority task for the United Nations and its Human Rights Council (HRC) is a highly important institution, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Geneva on Tuesday.
Addressing the 34th HRC session, Péter Szijjártó called it important that no UN member state should use human rights as a tool of exerting pressure on another state.
It is equally important that none of the member states should “be held hostage” in a dispute that purely concerns inter-state relations, he said.
Allowing too much politics to surround human rights is still present around the world and certainly “undermines” the credibility of efforts aimed at enforcing such rights, he said.
As an HRC member, Hungary will do its utmost to prevent reports from being drafted by “bureaucrats” who in fact had never visited the country in question, he said.
“We will do our best to ensure that balanced and factual reports are prepared following consultations with the subject country’s officials,” Szijjártó said.
The minister said Hungary would also do its best to make sure the HRC avoids situations that involve “so-called civil organisations representing some kind of political interest” issuing “biased” reports about countries without talking to enough key representatives from the country in question.
Szijjártó highlighted three key areas which he said the HRC needed to focus on.
The first area he mentioned was the persecution of Christians. He said four out of five people who get killed for their religion in the world today are Christians. He criticised the West for what he called its “hypocrisy” on the issue of anti-Christian sentiment. Szijjártó said the West’s “hypocrisy” gave the impression that anti-Christian sentiment was the “least severe” form of discrimination.
“This is unacceptable to us,” he said.
Szijjártó said Hungary proposed calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) not to leave a single crime committed against Christians to go unpunished. Further, the international community must ensure that Middle Eastern Christians can return to their homes once the conflicts they had fled from are resolved and their homelands are liberated, he said. Given that Christians today are unlikely to be able to return safely to the region, an “administrative zone” should be established there so the UN can guarantee their return, Szijjarto added.
The minister also touched on the area of illegal migration. He said the ongoing migration crisis could only be resolved through an honest and candid approach and solely through solutions allowed by international law. He noted that the right to a safe life is a basic right guaranteed by international law, adding, at the same time, that international law did not guarantee people the right to pick and choose a country to live in and then go there by illegally passing through other countries.
“So instead of encouraging people to risk their lives and travel thousands of kilometres, we should concentrate on taking help … to the countries where they are already safe,” Szijjártó said.
The third area he highlighted was the protection of national minorities. He said that in the past, inadequate protections for national minorities had often ended with serious two or multi-sided conflicts. Szijjártó said national minorities should be seen as essential to building bridges between cultures.