The Hungarian government’s top priority is to ensure people’s right to safety, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said before the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Monday.
Detailing a government report on migration, Szijjártó told the committee that because of a history filled with freedom fights, Hungarians value human rights. He said every government has a duty to protect its citizens’ right to safety, work and home creation.
“The Hungarian people have a right to live in security, so that they do not have to be afraid of terrorist attacks and so that they can protect themselves from the security risks of the emergence of parallel societies,” Szijjártó said.
He noted that in 2015, 400,000 illegal migrants had passed through Hungary “ignoring national and international regulations” and Hungarian behavioural and moral norms.
This is why Hungary’s government says no to any initiative that promotes or encourages illegal migration, the minister said.
Because of this position, Hungary has been the target of international criticism, he said, noting that Hungary had rejected the European Union’s migrant quota scheme and opposes the United Nations’ package on migration in its current form.
The Hungarian government guarantees the people their right to safety, Szijjártó said. It has not and will not take in illegal migrants, he said, noting the link between migration and the terrorist attacks carried out in western Europe over the last two years.
Szijjártó said the Hungarian government had also guaranteed the people the right to express their opinion through the “National Consultation” surveys and the referendum on migrant quotas. Through each of those means, the Hungarian people said no to illegal migration, Szijjártó added.
The government will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that only the Hungarian people can decide whom they want to live together with and who should or should not be admitted to Hungary, he said.
On the subject of the ongoing debate at UN forums on multicultural societies, Szijjártó said that a uniform, organised, homogeneous society was no less valuable than a multicultural one.
He said that while NGOs represented international interests, Hungary’s government represented those of the Hungarian people. The minister argued that NGOs were never elected by anyone and that the will of the people could only be represented by national parliaments and governments.
Szijjártó said that taxpayer donations to NGOs in Hungary showed that support for NGOs among Hungarians was low. Citing data from last year, Szijjártó said that of Hungary’s 4.5 million taxpayers, only 193 had donated 1 percent of their income to Amnesty International.
A total of 516 taxpayers supported the Hungarian Helsinki Committee “which regularly attacks the government and acts as a representative of society”, he added. Szijjártó said NGOs were “attacking” the Hungarian government because of its opposition to migration.
As regards the right to work, he said that the Hungarian government gives every Hungarian citizen a chance to exercise this right. In 2010, Hungary’s unemployment rate was over 12 percent, but today it is at 3.8 percent, he said, adding that this was “very close” to full employment as defined by economics. Over the past eight years, real wages grew by 36 percent and the minimum wage by 88 percent, he added.
Szijjártó said Hungary sees family policies, rather than immigration, as the answer to its demographic challenges.
Featured image: MTI