Szijjártó: Hungary Committed to Combatting Terrorism


Inaugurating new offices of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in Budapest, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said Hungary was committed to helping the fight against terrorism succeed.


“Early detection and pre-emption are more important today in fighting terrorism than ever before,” he said. UNOCT is a main player in the fight against international terrorism and greatly contributes to maintaining security and peace around the world, Szijjártó said. By opening a regional centre in Budapest, UNOCT has given Hungary an important role in the global fight against terrorism, he said. Meanwhile, the largest UN organisation, the UNHCR is expanding in Budapest, he said. Seven UN organisations employ some 1,500 people in Hungary, Szijjártó said.

At the same time, Szijjártó said it was in Hungary’s interest that the UN’s operations became “more flexible and effective”. He called a structural and operational reform “inevitable”, and called for the UNOCT to be fully integrated into the organisation’s budget as part of that process. UNOCT is bringing high value-added processes to Hungary which require high levels of expertise, and also present an opportunity for serious developments, Szijjártó said. He pledged the Hungarian government’s support for the new functions.

He said the UN faced its greatest challenge six years ago, at the start of the migration crisis, which among other problems also presented serious security risks, Szijjártó said. European Union member states “have been living under the shadow of growing terrorism threat since 2015,” he said. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many to work and study online, making cyberspace “the new target for extremist and terrorist ideologies,” he said.

Lorenzo Pasquali, the head of the UNHCR’s global service centre in Budapest, thanked the Hungarian government for its support. The office opened with 100 employees in 2007, and now surpassed 500, with 350 Hungarians working there, he said. UNOCT head Peter Smith said the Hungarian government has supported opening the office from throughout the planning process. By setting it up in Hungary, UNOCT is closer to the countries that have requested their help in the global fight against terrorism, he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *