Water crisis key reason for migration, says Hungarian foreign minister
A key reason for migration in the world today is that “we are on the brink of a worldwide water crisis”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday after attending the UN Water Convention in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Instead of encouraging migration, the process should be stopped and its causes eliminated, he told public media.
Many areas already suffer from chronic water scarcity, and rising sea levels due to climate change may lead to the disappearance of islands and lowland areas, prompting new waves of migration, he said.
“Instead of inspiring migration”, the UN should concentrate on eliminating the cause of such crises, he said.
Hungary calls for an intergovernmental organisation to be established in order to create policies to tackle challenges related to water crisis and management, one that can also win the support of member states, Szijjártó said.
He expressed hope that a growing number of UN member states would join Hungary and the United States in warning about the “dangers the UN’s migration package means to the world”.
“It is the worst possible answer the UN can give to the challenges of migration,” he said.
“We are rooting for the initiative of the Polish interior minister and ever louder voices in the Austrian government to succeed in steering those countries towards a position similar to that of Hungary and the US,” he said.
For that matter, earlier that day, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Kazguu University in Astana, Kazakhstan. Kazguu is a partner of Budapest’s Corvinus University and 10 percent of its students who study abroad do so in Hungary, the statement said.
Cooperation between Hungary and Kazakhstan has intensified year after year, especially in the pharmaceutical, water management and education sectors, it added.
Hungary is increasing government grants for Kazakh students from 200 to 250.
In Astana, Szijjártó participated in the UN water convention held between October 10 and 12 and met his Kazakh counterpart, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Economy Minister Timur Suleimenov and the regional heads of Hungarian oil company MOL.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Szijjártó signed a cooperation agreement on water management with Shavkat Hamroyev, the Uzbekh minister for water management.
Featured image: MTI