Hungary supports political efforts to stop migration and rejects any endeavour to encourage illegal migration, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said during a general debate at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) council meeting in Geneva. He noted that Hungary disagreed with several basic tenets of the United Nations global compact for migration, adding that Hungary has withdrawn from its approval process. Just as the migration policies of Brussels have failed, so have the UN’s, he added.
Szijjártó said that Hungary had submitted several amendment proposals to the UN compact aimed at curbing the migration process and taking into consideration the situation and interests of target countries and transit countries. Migration is not a basic human right, and illegal border crossing is a criminal act. Countries’ sovereignty must be guaranteed and the development of parallel societies prevented, he said.
Mass migration is one of the most important of the unprecedented challenges that the world currently faces because it can destabilise entire regions, he said. He also highlighted terrorism as a challenge, noting that since the migration crisis started, more than 30 terrorist acts have been carried out in the European Union by “people with a migration background”.
Hungary disagrees with the assumption that migration is a basic human right which should be encouraged because it is beneficial, he said, stressing Hungary’s position that people forced to flee their countries should receive help, but the problem must be addressed at its root by overcoming the hardships of the countries of origin. “Help should be taken to where it is needed,” he added. The international community should focus on guaranteeing peace and security to people in their homelands, and if that is not possible, in the countries closest to them. The Hungary Helps scheme is Hungary’s contribution to these efforts, he added.
Despite rejecting the UN compact, Hungary wants to cooperate with the international community in the fight against human smugglers, Szijjártó said. IOM Director-General Antonio Vitorino said he agreed with several of Szijjártó’s remarks, such as the need to make efforts to handle the problems at their root. However, he said terrorist acts should not be presented as directly linked to migration because a significant part of them were not committed by migrants.