2019. szeptember
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National statement by Minister Zoltán Balog (Hungary) at the 37th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference

National statement  by Minister Zoltán Balog (Hungary)  at the 37th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference

Az alábbiakban Balog Zoltán az UNESCO 37. Általános Kongresszusán, Párizsban elmondott beszédének a leirata olvasható.

Az emberi erőforrások minisztere mellett a kongresszusnak volt egy másik magyar főszereplője is: Bogyay Katalin az elmúlt két évben a szervezet közgyűlésének elnöki posztját töltötte be. Leköszönő beszédét ide kattintva olvashatják, illetve egy vele készített, a tevékenységéről szóló hosszabb interjú megtekinthető az UNESCO Youtube csatornáján.

National statement

by Minister Zoltán Balog (Hungary)

at the 37th Session of UNESCOs General Conference


Mr President of the General Conference,

Madam Chair of the Executive Board,

Madam Director-General,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished Colleagues,


On behalf of the Hungarian Government please allow me to start by congratulating Mr. Hao Ping for being elected as President of the 37th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference.

I also would like to congratulate to the outstanding work of Katalin Bogyay, Ambassador of Hungary to UNESCO, the President of the 36th Session of the General Conference. Dear Katalin, the Hungarian government and your country, Hungary are proud of You! Thank you!

Let me congratulate the Director General for her re-nomination and her ongoing efforts to build a visible, capable, credible and effective UNESCO. Hungary fully supports the reform process which was launched by Mme Bokova. I would like to thank for the Collaboration of UNESCO at the Budapest Water Summit this October. The Budapest Statement was adopted by unanimity at the end of the Summit. This Statement makes suggestions for the UN Member States for the post-2015 water related Sustainable Development Goals.

We are organizing the Budapest World Science Forum this year in Brazil, together with UNESCO and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. The Budapest World Science Forum to be organized the first time outside Hungary will make this important science meeting even more global and shows the commitment of the Hungarian Government to play a crucial role in science diplomacy worldwide.

Because of Hungary’s commitment in the protection of our environment we have applied to the membership of MAB, the International Coordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere.

We are committed to work towards transboundary biosphere reserves which put emphasis not only on preserving and protecting natural values, but also on creating sustainable development and improving the living conditions of the rural population. This accepted biosphere reserve programme is a perfect example of international co-operation and hopefully more countries will join the nomination.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Holocaust and Roma education are very much in the frontline in the Hungarian education priorities.

We are honoured that UNESCO has granted the patronage to the Holocaust Memorial Year 2014 in Hungary. This patronage was officially announced in Budapest last week by Dr. Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education in Hungary. The Memorial Year will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Hungarian Jews and will mainly focus on education and culture.

In Roma education we have introduced measures to help to preserve Roma identity, their language and cultural traditions. The Hungarian Romas, just like any other Hungarian nationalities, can initiate the education in their own language, and the teaching of Romani language. We are the first country in the world where each student has to learn about the history and culture of Hungarian roma. In the Curriculum cultural diversity and history of nationalities living in Hungary and the need for tolerance and acceptance is highly stressed. Moreover, students can learn about the negative effects of exclusion, racism and anti-Semitism during various courses. Roma education is strongly related to our social transformation.

Having this is mind Hungary is applying to MOST, the Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations Programme.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Cultural diversity is of utmost importance for the Hungarian government. It is part of the Hungarian cultural tradition to have different approaches towards our own identity. Always  keep West but never forget that you come from the East. This sentance of the famous Hungarian writer Sándor Márai has always been relevant in the last thousand years of Hungary. We, Hungarians keep discussing: are we a bridge or a ferry between East and West. But we also have friends in South and North.

And for Hungary, heritage protection has always been of a high priority, therefore Hungary is applying for the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Besides the protection of intangible and tangible cultural heritage, the World Heritage program is also widely acknowledged in Hungary. The Hungarian Parliament adopted the Law on World Heritage that entered into force in January 2012 in order to provide for a solid legal and institutional basis of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The purpose is to ensure the efficient management of Hungarian World Heritage sites, the protection of their outstanding universal values in line with the principles of sustainable development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally, let me emphasize that the Hungarian Government is fully committed towards UNESCO’s values in our educational, cultural, science and sport programmes.

Thank you for your attention!

(Fotó: Olivier Toussaint)

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