Opening speech by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, New York, Aria Hotel, Budapest, 28 October 2015.
Mr Henry Kallan, Mr Alexande Rovt, Mr Robert Izsak,
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Guests,
Let me first express my immense pleasure to be here with all of you tonight and celebrate a new creation of three New Yorkers in Budapest.
Myself also just arrived from the Big Apple, as Budapest in the coming few weeks is hosting some very prestigious international conferences and gatherings.
- The Blue Sky conference about Global Transformation and the Change in the world, held in the Castle district in the Institute of Musicology, the former Erdody - Hatvani Palace, built in 1750.
- The Budapest World Science Forum in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences opened in 1865.
- The Budapest Human Rights Forum in the 1oo years old historic building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Three influential international events, in three Historic buildings, in the coming three weeks in the stunning city of Budapest, bringing together thinkers, scientists, opinion makers, philosophers of the world.
So, it is just the most appropriate to celebrate a new meeting point for people coming from different walks of life, from different countries to the city of music, literature, architecture, opera, education, gastronomy, clubbing, fine art, festivals, rich history, and never boring people.
Budapest is a city of unsuspected jewels.
There are fine places in big cities.
And now, I would say, here we are in a new FINE PLACE.
First of all let me recall that Mr Henry Kallan and my dear Friend Nora Vasony, invited me to visit this wonderful venue in August. I was amazed. Not because I have found another very pretty boutique hotel in the world, but because of my UNESCO background, I am very sensitive towards the protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
I have found a new jewel in the city where the highest quality meets inspiration, beauty, originality in a very well preserved traditional Hungarian, I would say Central- European surrounding.
I see here the love and appreciation of music and traditions, and a strong commitment to connect peoples, cultures, thoughts, ideas through beauty and joie de vivre, meanwhile safeguarding and celebrating the diversity of cultural heritage.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Diversity, I always say, is not a burden but a source of inspiration.
This idea is represented in the United Nations but also by artist. Just remember what Béla Bartók, born in Budapest and died in New York said:
“My guiding philosophy has always been the ideal of different nations uniting into brotherhood, in spite of all the wars and hostility. I have tried to serve the aims of this idea as best as I can, in my music, so for that reason, I do not shrink away from any influence, be in Slokal, Romanian, Arab or any other source...”
Mr Kallan, Mr Rovt, Mr Izsak,
I congratulate for your vision, determination, and strong will.
My credo while working in the UN family has long been:
“ Be a dreamer, be an optimist, be an activist!”
You definitely needed optimism and activism to fulfill your dream in Budapest!
I am most grateful to the investors believing in the future of this very city, which is built on its rich tangible and intangible heritage.
And I believe we all have to feel responsible to the cultural heritage of humanity, no matter of any political turmoil or conflict we are facing with. Remember, there are vicious people today, destroying consciously cultural heritage! This we call: cultural cleansing!
That is exactly why it is most joyful to see preserved heritage dressed into contemporary flair.
A fine place, where peoples, cultures, thoughts connect through beauty, music and joie de vivre.
I thank you!