23 Feb

Intervention by Ambassador Katalin Bogyay on “Maintenance of International Peace and security: Reflect on History, Reaffirm the Strong Commitment to the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations” at the open debate of the Security Council, held on 23 February 2015.

Your Excellency, Mr. President,
Honourable Ministers, Members of the Security Council,

Hungary wishes to thank China for convening this highly appropriate open debate of the Security Council because we cannot pledge enough our commitment to the principles of the UN Charter.

It is my privilege to take the floor for the very first time in this Chamber as the new Permanent Representative of Hungary.

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, and the spirit of consensus is difficult to bring to bear on some issues.

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.

Dialogos” is a Greek compound-word widely mistranslated and wrongly understood because of confusion between “duo” and “dia”. It does not mean a conversation between two people or two groups, but an acceptance, by two participants or more, that they will compare and contrast their respective arguments to the very end. Dialogue is accordingly a perilous enterprise, for it implies a risk that either participant may find his or her argument transformed, and thus their very identity put to the test.

To me, the UN has been created for dialogue. To me, the UN has to act on the highest possible level of dialogue.

You will agree with me that we have to renew our commitment to understanding and tolerating each other’s cultural background and identity, keeping in our hearts and minds the verses of Jalal al-Din Rumi, the great 13th century Islamic scholar, poet and philosopher:

“Half of me comes from here, half from everywhere.

Half of me comes from the pearls of the sea, half from distant shores.”

We, people of the world, are connected to each other globally, and today our interdependence is greater than ever. So we have to consciously protect our sensitive peace together and we have to act against the evil together for the betterment of the future of our children.

Mr. President,

We fully support the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union and that of the ACT group.

The founding mothers and fathers of the UN and its organs, including the Security Council, wanted to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” but also wanted to achieve more: human rights, rule of law, development. And as Nelson Mandela said, there is no peace without development and no development without peace. None of these can be achieved without teaching our children in 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.

We have seen an amazing evolution of humanity since the end of the Second World War. We should never forget the immense development in the political arena. And we should be proud of that. The UN has undeniably had its success stories. It stabilized the security situation during a bipolar world and in many cases served as the most important, sometimes last hope in the international platform of Member States to overcome their differences. 

Only, the world has been changing!

Only, people do not seem to remember why UN had to be set up 70 years ago!

Conflicts, bloodshed and human suffering are ongoing. Religious and ethnic minorities are again threatened, people are beheaded because of their religion, nationality and beliefs? Are we back in time?

Only, people do not go to the main square in their town to watch executions or to the arena to see brutality. No, we just switch on the television.

Mr. President,

The world needs new enlightenment. The UN could play the leading role in creating it.

Today, the world is in turmoil despite a never busier Security Council.

Somehow, we do not seem to learn enough from our sins and mistakes, our greediness and selfishness. And the Security Council and the international community seem to be paralyzed in many of these situations. But history already has shown us that failure to act will only prolong human suffering, invite further atrocities and that we will pay a high price for our inaction in the form of lost lives, lost generations, lost hopes, and lost futures.

Our incapacity to live up to the challenges we face also undermines the trust and belief that people around the world have in the UN. They see this world organization more and more distant and detached from reality.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them", as Einstein put it.

Based on the lessons learned and (re)united by our common values we must be open to new ideas in order to effectively implement the principles of the UN Charter.

Thank you.

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