Without peace, efforts to advance sustainable development could be imperilled or remain ineffective, President Katalin Novák told the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York on Monday. Novák co-moderated the leaders’ discussion with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Brokering peace in all conflict-hit areas in the world must be a priority because without peace, the level of threat rises, an arms race can ensue, and international ties are disrupted, Novák said. She said she wanted to strengthen the voice of those suffering from wars around the world, and said she had brought “the message of the people living in Ukraine to New York” after her visit to the war-torn country in August.
Another message regarding the threats to societies, was that if families were destroyed, schools neglected, and the church discredited, then “we lose the moral compass of our lives and humanity,” she said, adding this would be “a fatal mistake”.
She also urged responsible childbearing and parenting, saying this was in line with the principles of sustainability. “We must nurture children for the world, because there is no point in fighting for a world of empty cradles,” she said. Hungary is committed to sustainable development and ranks 22nd of the 166 countries in the UN’s 2023 Sustainable Development Report, she said.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, Novák held bilateral talks with Tokayev, where they discussed bilateral ties, cultural cooperation and opportunities offered by Hungary’s EU membership. Novák also attended a working lunch on the rights of women in view of sustainable development, hosted by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group. She attended a reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of Germany’s UN membership, and the gala dinner of the Jewish organisation Appeal for Conscience.