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Hungary turns to United Nations because of Ukrainian Education Act

Hungary turns to United Nations because of Ukrainian Education Act

“Hungary is turning to the United Nations because of the amendment of the Ukrainian Educating Act, because Ukraine’s decision also violated the UN’s minority regulations”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday.

The Minister is attending the 72nd Session of the United Nations general Assembly in New York, and while reporting on his negotiations during the visit, he explained:

“Ukraine has made a shameful decision with relation to the amendment of the Education Act”, as a result of which Hungarian children over the age of 10 have been stripped of the right to study in their native language.

“This decision not only violated Ukraine’s international obligation and European Law, but also the UN’s regulations on minorities”, he pointed out.

Mr. Szijjártó told the press that accordingly he had submitted a written request to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights asking for the issue to be investigated, in addition to which Hungary will also be turning to the United Nations general Assembly, which is meeting this week in New York, requesting that the international community apply pressure to Ukraine in the interests of having the decision, which also violates the UN’s minority regulations, rescinded.

Prior to the session of the Foreign Affairs Council, he also spoke to the Foreign Minister of Austria, which holds the current presidency of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), also asking that

the organisation put pressure on Ukraine to ensure that the new legislation does not come into force, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

“Ukraine’s decision goes against every related European regulation and value, in addition to which the country is currently striving to establish closer relations with the European union, but despite this had chosen to ignore one of the most important European values with its decision”, he said.

In view of the fact that the amendment of Ukraine’s Act on Education severely violated the UN’s minority regulations, he has ordered Hungarian diplomats working with the organisation’s various bodies to block all decision that are initiated by or are important to Ukraine, the Hungarian Foreign Minister added.

“Hungary is also insisting that no joint European standpoint can be adopted at the currently ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva without the condemnation of Ukraine with relation to the issue”, he pointed out.

Mr. Szijjártó said that he had also provided a detailed report on the affair to his Visegrád Group (V4) counterparts during their recent meeting, and had made it clear that Hungary will be blocking all issues that are important to Ukraine until the question is resolved.

As we wrote, last week Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ – Kárpátaljai Magyar Kulturális Szövetség) leader László Brenzovics to discuss Ukraine’s new education law, the PM’s press chief said, adding that the law is bad for Hungary-Ukraine ties and breaches Ukraine’s international obligations.

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Photo: MTI/EPA/Szerhij Dolzsenko

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Press release

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