United NationsDepartamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales Desarrollo Sostenible

H.E. Mrs. Katalin Annamária Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary

Group of Friends of Water High Level Event: “Accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda through water, sanitation and climate action”
Co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Canada, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Tajikistan and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs with the support of UN-Water
29 May 2020.
Statement by
H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay
Permanent Representative
Ladies and Gentleman,
Your Excellencies, Dear colleagues,
first of all, I would like to highlight the Budapest Water Summit 2019 and its outcome entitled “Budapest Appeal” which highlighted that water is not only the source of life, it is an opportunity and our responsibility. Without good water management, all investments in fighting poverty, improving health, education, ensuring economic development and prosperity, protecting our planet and its ecosystems will be in vain.
It is a pleasure and honour to take part at our high-level event in the frame of Water Action Decade, addressing the most relevant global challenges of our planet: sustainability, sanitation and climate change. I am happy to say that, even if we are hosting 800 participants, this event is in fact a Family Gathering, all engaged in this issue.
Clean water and adequate sanitation is vital to combatting the spread of viruses and infections, such as COVID-19; moreover, we must also ensure that the negative economic effects of the pandemic do not deter important investments in the water and sanitation infrastructures of developing countries. In this respect, Hungary will continue prioritising SDG 6 in terms of its development cooperation.
Today, as an extraordinary pressure, security implications of climate change are even further exacerbated by the current global COVID-19 crisis. As extreme climate trends continue to evolve even in these difficult times, the climate-security nexus has more increased relevance then ever, in particular in the most climate-vulnerable parts of the world. Therefore, it is essential to maintain and if possible raise the already existing attention of climate-related implications in the development of foreign and security policies of individual countries, as well as in the UN and in the EU context.
Hungary recently adopted its International Development Cooperation Strategy for the period 2020-2025, which places a marked emphasis on the need to increase our development assistance pertaining to SDG 6.
Providing adequate water and sanitation to those in need is, therefore, one of Hungary’s key development priorities in the coming years.
According to the Hungarian approach, these activities are the most effective when they are based on the principle of local assistance. In other words, help must be taken where the need arises. We believe that Climate Finance and International Development Cooperation instruments are essential tools in this regard.
We have launched several substantial development projects focusing on the provision of clean water and sanitation. In 2019, Hungary initiated a comprehensive development programme in Uganda, within the framework of which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, in partnership with Hungarian private sector actors, is providing 3 rural schools located near the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement access to clean water.
Excellencies, the Hungarian Climate and Nature Conservation Action Plan aims to protect all our rivers from waste coming from outside of the borders. Waterborne waste coming into the country from outside of Hungary's borders as a result of environmentally irresponsible practices will not be allowed to further damage our natural treasures, our rivers and waters and their ecosystems. We will focus on ridding our rivers – particularly the Tisza and the Danube – of plastics. This measure shall support, nature conservation objectives, as well: we will be working on reviving habitats and creating conditions for conservation across 150,000 hectares of protected natural areas by 2021.
Dear All, Hungary remains committed to maintaining its active and leading role on the international level in the field of water management, in particular as regards:
We are dedicated for the implementation of the Integrated Water Resource Management in Hungary and in the Danube Region on a coordinated way.
We would like to highlight the extremisation of the hydrological events (floods and droughts) as one of the biggest challenges of the Climate Change. We promote the application of natural water retention which can help to mitigate both issue.
In our bilateral cooperation we look forward to harmonised measures with the neighbouring countries.
During the Hungarian ICPDR Presidency we promoted to include Climate Change (including floods and droughts) as a Significant Water Management Issue in the 3rd Danube River Basin Management Plan.
In the frame of the UNECE Water Convention Hungary leads the elaboration of the guidance „Handbook on Transboundary Water Allocation”.
Last but not least I would like to reiterate that building on the success of the events held in 2013 and 2016, Hungary hosted on 15-17 October 2019 the third Budapest Water Summit under the motto ‘Preventing Water Crises’. The event had more than 2,400 registered participants from 118 countries.