Hungary has long been committed to the protection and promotion of human rights. While the international community is far too often facing serious challenges in ensuring civil, political as well as economic, social and cultural rights, Hungary wishes to actively and constructively contribute to the full realization of the first, second and third generation of human rights.
In doing so, we offer to share our experience and good practices with other countries facing and coping with similar challenges in their democratic transition. The International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT) established and operating in Budapest takes its part in the implementation of various projects in this field. The Institution is responsible for doing research and preparing analysis in the field of democratic transitions. We are pleased to regularly hold bilateral human rights dialogue with China on current human rights issues, institution-building and best practices.
Hungary’s engagement in the field of human rights is marked by its membership in the UN Human Rights Council since 2009. Hungary participates in the work of the body – among others – with two national initiatives dealing with the independence of the judiciary and with the cooperation with the UN system. Hungary serves as one of the Vice Presidents of the Human Rights Council representing the Eastern European Group.
Hungary attaches great importance to the international protection of minorities, with special regard to the rights of Roma people. We acknowledge the key role of the UN Forum on Minority in that regard. We are pleased to note that the first chairperson thereof was a Hungarian expert, and another Hungarian candidate has been nominated to the position of the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues in July 2011. A major contribution and achievement by Hungary was the elaboration and adoption of the European Roma Strategy under the Hungarian EU presidency in the first semester of 2011. Within this framework, we strive to attain the improvement of the educational, social, health and housing circumstances of the Roma community at European level. We are also determined to take actions for the elimination of discrimination against members of the community.
Election of Hungary to the UN Women Executive Board represents another endorsement of our engagement. We are committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, as well as to ensure that respect of their rights and interests shall be better represented. It is also noteworthy that Hungarian experts have been elected to such important bodies of the UN as the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Hungary has been annually organizing an international human rights conference entitled as the Budapest Human Rights Forum. The fourth conference, to be held later this year, will be focusing on the human rights aspects of the recent political changes in the Northern African region, as well as on gender equality and the role and status of women.
One of our key initiatives in the field of human rights is the promotion of the prospective establishment of an International Centre for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities . A Foundation was established last year aiming at contributing to a more effective international cooperation in this field. The potential establishment of a Centre to that end, to be seated in Budapest, could provide an institutional background for the international struggle against genocide.
The establishment of the Tom Lantos Institute inaugurated at the end of June 2011 is also considered as a major contribution to the cause of human rights. The institute aims at preserving the heritage of Tom Lantos, the Hungarian-born late American Congressman, by facilitating the peaceful coexistence of majority and minority communities, regional cooperation and stability. The institute will realize its goals through researches, conferences and scholarships.
Second Budapest Human Rights Forum on the 25th-26th of June 2009