International institutions have so far failed in the Ukraine war because they deepened the conflict rather than ensuring a platform for the warring parties to engage in dialogue, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Tangier on Friday.
Szijjártó told a panel discussion at the MEDays Forum that “multilateralism has not passed the stress tests” of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in close succession. International organisations were “slow waking up” during the pandemic, and now they can’t seem to ensure a platform for the talks to settle the crisis in Ukraine, he said. “I’m representing a country, Hungary, [which is] usually attacked for not following the mainstream, but represents interests which are specifically Hungarian and are based on national interests,” he said.
The government’s responses to the crises were successful, and Hungary emerged strengthened from both ordeals, he said. Hungary orchestrated the swiftest vaccination campaign during the pandemic because the government did not wait for a joint response and ignored political or ideological considerations when green-lighting vaccines, he said. Regarding the war in Ukraine, Szijjártó said Hungary, as a neighbouring country, had a vested interest in brokering peace in the region, and “that’s why Hungary is super concerned that the world is running totally in the other direction,” he said.
Currently, most statements run the risk of escalating the conflict, “but hardly anybody talks about peace”, he said. He said there was no immediate communication between the warring parties, and multilateral institutions had failed to create a platform for dialogue. Szijjártó insisted that the UN had been unable to achieve dialogue, an institution that was created to be a “last resort for negotiations”. “We see … that multilateral institutions are … misused to deepen this conflict,” he said. “The politicisation of these organisations is a serious mistake, and ruining platforms of dialogue” is practically a sin, he said.
The UN was not created for dialogue between like-minded countries but to offer a platform for negotiations between warring or enemy countries, he said. Noting the “attacks” after he was the only European foreign minister to meet his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September, Szijjártó said it seemed “there are strong forces in the world against opening the communications channels.”