Remarks by Ambassador Katalin Bogyay in celebration of the International Day of the Family at the event organized by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, held in New York on 14 May 2015.
Talking in tune has always been my aim throughout my professional life. Talking with dignity to each other even when our differences held sway is my main preoccupation in the turbulent moments. Indeed, differences are at times pronounced in our opinions and visions. But I would still argue that we should handle our political differences through constant dialogue; through the art of listening, and responding in order to at least try not to misunderstand each other.
To me, the UN has to act at the highest possible level of dialogue.
So, here we are today to talk about the role of families in sustainable development , and the betterment of the future of our children.
There are globally different approaches towards the notion of family.
We all know very well, that You are given a family, you can create your own family, you can choose to live without a family, you can escape your family, you can cherish your family. You can insist on your blood relatives, you can envisage a family in which persons are bound not by blood but by love and other attributes. There are many formations of belonging. There are many formations of families. And it is the right of human beings to make a decision in this regard.
I learned a beautiful example of belonging in Africa.
Ubuntu – a philosophy that recognizes the fundamental fact of human existence –that we are what we are because we belong; we participate; we share, it is the gift of Africa to the entire humankind. When we live Ubuntu, we are open and compassionate towards fellow human beings, regardless of our differences, because we are secure and well-grounded in our own culture, aware of our belonging to a greater whole of humanity. Ubuntu makes dialogue possible, where we truly listen to each other.
In my country we tend to think that, as the basic support system of the youth, families have the power to influence, protect and guide them. I am talking about families which show a good example of fairness, listening, open dialogue, a democratic way of thinking and acting. In which the individuals learn to live with each other on the basic principle of respect .
Today here we gather to celebrate international family day! However we should always remember the threat of misusing family values, using family structures for oppression and violating basic human rights.
As Mr BanKi Moon says:
“Equitable social and economic development depends on fair legal frameworks and social norms that support the rights of women and children. Discriminatory laws and practices that do not give equal rights to all, and that suppress women’s and children’s rights, have no place in contemporary families, communities, societies and nations. Yet, in too many countries, discrimination against women and disregard for children’s rights remain built into family laws and Government policies, and prevailing social norms often condone and justify many discriminatory practices.”-says the Secretary General.
We can not rest until under the name of family such discriminations do not happen.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank Archbishop Bernardito Auza for inviting me to speak on this panel.
The UN family works globally for human rights, the rule of law and development. None of these can be achieved without teaching our children at a young age to respect and celebrate the diversity of the human race. Only then will grown-ups respect state sovereignty, territorial integrity and peaceful settlement of international disputes.
However, people do not seem to remember why UN had to be set up 70 years ago!
Conflicts, bloodshed and human suffering are ongoing.
Our deliberations on peace and ways to foster it will remain abstract musings if we do not apply them to real life, to real situations and people on the ground, if we do not try to make a real difference.
Understanding the indigenous forces and processes that promote tolerance, mutual acceptance and cooperation is the first step towards learning how to focus on these positive factors. It is our responsibility to teach our children not to view cultural diversity as a burden but as a source of inspiration.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
But if we look around what do we see?
Let me start with the pressing pain of losing or not finding one’s identity and looking for one.
Then, with the basic human aspiration of belonging to somewhere and to someone !
Not to mention the far cry for recognition and the wish to be talked about, never mind the reasons being good or bad!
The loss and confusion of identities often lead young boys and girls even to terrorist groups.
And all of this is taking place in a time of uncertainty and in a cha-ordic world, in the chaotic order of today.
The time of uncertainty we live in is a great platform for extreme thoughts.
And here I come to the point , which concerns the power of learning. Such ideals and values as compassion, conviviality, hospitality, fraternity, and solidarity are, to a large extent, learnt through education and life experiences. Peaceful transformation begins within one’s self, and involves learning about yourself, and learning about others.
I strongly believe that ensuring access to quality education for children and young people must be a priority in our efforts to combat radicalization . In line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we believe that education shall be available and accessible to every child, and shall be directed to the development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values and prepare the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace and tolerance.
We have to teach our children to think and act ethically, and we have to demonstrate to them how to live together peacefully.
And what about the role of the family in these pressing issues of today?
We, parents, have a critical role to play in shaping the worldviews of our children and in protecting them from violent extremists. I personally believe that we, parents, have to be alert, and protect our children from radicalization, to identify the early signs.
The early socialization that takes place within the family has a major impact on future generations. A positive family atmosphere with inspiring conversations, sharing of ideas, teaching responsibilities, and the respect for different views are decisive in building positive self-esteem and decision-making capabilities. Learning good communication skills leads to openness and acceptance of each other’s opinion. Children with a strong feeling of belonging are more likely to build positive identities and a positive outlook of their own future.
Hungary is strongly committed to supporting and strengthening families
The preamble of the Hungarian Fundamental Law refers to families as follows:
We hold that the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence, and that our fundamental cohesive values are fidelity, faith and love.
For this reason, providing a supportive environment for families has been a priority for my Government through the implementation of wide-ranging policy measures.
When we speak of sustainable development we often tend to primarily think of economic considerations. However, we can never forget that people, human beings should always be at the heart of our policies having major impacts on human lives, on the knowledge, well-being and health of people, on our present and future societies.
Sustainability does have many approaches, many faces. Integral human development is the basis and cornerstone of human future, we think.
Sustainability has many dimensions, and sustainable development can only be successful when all of its dimensions are present and mutually reinforcing.
Thank you for your attention.