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If the world can prevent situations in which people are forced to flee their homes, conditions can be established whereby migration can be stopped altogether, Hungary’s foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, told a UN Security Council debate on peacekeeping in New York. Peacekeeping is an important means to cope with the global challenge of migration, the foreign ministry cited Szijjártó as saying in a ministerial-level debate on the topic of women in peacekeeping. Whereas peacekeeping is one of the UN’s most important activities, the organisation needs to be reformed, the minister said, adding that the Hungarian government was ready to promote reform. He noted the government’s recent decision to increase Hungary’s number of troops serving abroad from 1,000 to 1,200, adding that this would also enable the country to increase its number of troops in UN peacekeeping missions.

Hungary will send 60 peacekeepers to Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL mission, Szijjártó said, noting that those troops will serve under Italian command. The minister expressed his gratitude to the Lebanese government for having taken in millions of refugees. Hungary sees a great opportunity in deploying police forces to peacekeeping missions, Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary’s “highly skilled” officers regularly help their colleagues in the Balkan region with border policing. Whereas this may not be a traditional peacekeeping role, having secure borders does contribute to preserving the peace, the minister said. He said 20% of the Hungarian Armed Forces and 23% of the police force are women.