Opening event

NEFE means in Hungary international development cooperation. Why do we have to help to poorer countries? What role Hungary may have in this?

The HAND Association has started the European Year for Development civil initiatives and presented the first event in 30 January. For 2015 the EU have chosen a topic first, what is not concentrated on the politics and affairs inside its territory, but focuses on foreign affairs, especially helping to poorer countries and the importance of relief.

2015 is also important from another point of view because in September the UN General Assembly will accept the new Sustainable Development Goals. These will determine the global international development cooperation until 2030, and these will change the Millennium Development Goals what were introduced in 2000. This year is a huge opportunity for those civil organisations who work with international development and humanitarian assistance, because they can popularize this topic, intensify the social support related to these questions and make their work more transparent.

HAND and its member states prepare a large project for this year, what was also presented at the opening event. The most important features are the following:

  • initiation of a dialogue with youth about the importance of development
  • reaching the decision-makers to take responsibility in development
  • intensive communication campaign for the public about global problems, challenges, and solution possibilities
  • exhibitions, workshops, conferences, student competitions and initiations of debate about the above mentioned goals

The presentation of the project can be seen here.

There will be other numerous programs and events during this year, realized by civil organizations and the government. These events and initiations can be checked at the official EYD webpage.

Lajos Győri-Dani, executive vice president of Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, István Perger, communication director of Hungarian Representation of European Committee and Zoltán Ádám Kovács, Deputy Under Secretary of International Cooperation opened the event.

While István Perger squarely emphasized the commitment of the EU and the importance of cooperation between member states, Lajos Győri-Dani underlined that it needs to have common action and thinking in the development field among the participatant organizations, so it is necessary to maintain a strong and common platform. He also talked about Hungary’s role in development andabout how important is to involve local stakeholders, because they will not feel themselves excluded. All in all the international cooperation has to be inclusive, real and respectful and it has to be built on the policy coherence for development principle.

After Zoltán Ádám talked about the importance of this year, and highlighted that the government participate actively to popularize these issues. Their aim is to show the results and the goals of the future to the civil and broader society related to development.

Moreover Tímea Huber, Head of the Department of International Development in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade presented the program of the Ministry for EYD and emphasized that during the year the relevant questions would not just be only about standpoints and governmental speeches.

Other section of the event tried to discover the connection between migration and international development cooperation in the frame of a roundtable, where Diána Szántó (Head of Artemisszió Foundation), Tímea Huber, Ernő Simon (spokesman of Hungarian Office of UNHCR)  and Lajos Győri-Dani participated. At the roundtable there were some personal stories behind the statistics, policy and international law knowledge too.

A migrant can not be illegal, because some international contract gives right to go through boarders without paper. 86% of migrants live in developing countries, so only a few of them comes to EU or North-America or to other developed countries. In Hungary the migrants amount to 1,4% regarding the whole population. There are 140576 migrants in Hungary. This rate is 12% in Ireland and Austria, and the average is 4% in EU according to Helsinki Committee’s study.

From this we can also know that from 140 thousands (72%), namely 101 thousand people came from Europe to us, great mass of them are Hungarians from the neighbouring countries, and 20% is from Asia, (they are normally Chinese) and only 3% is from Africa. Because of these data it is seen that the problem of migration is not as huge as it seems. According to experts this issue with all its features is not so good for development of closed societies similar to the Hungarian, but it is especially suitable to draw off the public attention from other fields that have problems too.

The height of the roundtable talk was when the UN High Commissioner for Refugees declared that the issue of migration policy needs a new basis including a greater role and involvement of the private sector. This engagement can't be just a financial contribution. It has to make it sustainable in solutions, in management and ellimination of root causes so this is why companies has to get on board. Not just for profit but mostly for their own stake in a transparent way. The increased engagement of private sector in international development cooperation is also important. But nor they, neither the civil and governmental stakeholders are prepared for these challenges yet. 



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