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International cooperation is crucial for tackling global problems, Speaker of Parliament László Kövér told a celebration marking the 130th anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Hungary’s IPU membership. IPU keeps the international community’s old and recently emerging problems high on its agenda to contribute to the fight against poverty, nuclear disarmament, tackling migration, efforts against climate change, and combatting terrorism, he said, warning, however, that “patriotism and international cooperation must complement each other”. “We cannot for a moment forget about preserving a national identity and national characteristics, about guaranteeing the rights to the mother tongue and the homeland.” Respecting national characteristics at a time of globalisation is a fundamental requirement for any kind of international cooperation, Kövér said.
IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron said in her address that while democracy did not use to be a generally accepted value at the time IPU was founded in 1889, recent generations tend to take it for granted. She warned that they are wrong: preserving democracy requires a day-to-day fight. Cuevas Barron highlighted the crucial importance of human rights, and said that its institutions should be renewed so that they can meet challenges of the 21st century. Those institutions should be transparent and capable of representing the voters, she added. The IPU chief spoke highly of the Hungarian parliament’s contribution to IPU activities. She said that the Hungarian delegation participates in debates on sensitive issues, humanitarian issues, and climate change. The Hungarian IPU group was formed in May 1895 by 131 members of the upper and lower houses, headed by author Mór Jókai, a popular MP at the time.
Later in the day, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó discussed the growing role and significance of parliamentary diplomacy Cuevas Barron, the ministry said. They agreed that in a continually changing global political and economic situation, the role and significance of parliamentary diplomacy is ever more important. There are numerous tensions around the world that parliamentary diplomacy can tackle with a wide range of tools, the ministry said in a statement. Szijjártó told Cuevas Barron that in the fast-changing world, the stable parliamentary background of the Hungarian government is crucial to the country’s competitiveness, helping fast and sensible decision-making.