From the podium

From the podium

His Excellency Tibor Szanyi (Political Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Development of the Republic of Hungary)

Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Of course, it is always the privilege of the last speakers to be able to sum up a little bit some of the ideas that have been expressed throughout this deliberation. I would like to quote a challenge, which was dealt with quite early some days ago, namely, how we should understand this five years period as from the last Summit.

The challenge is whether or not it is a failure, or if our programme was too ambitious, so that we could not really reach the targets we had set ahead of us. I think it is a little bit of both. I must express that if we talk about failure, we still should keep, at least, a little fragment of our optimism. If we have only one man less suffering from hunger, it is already a result.

Consequently, I believe that at least the continuing trend of millions less people every year being less hungry, should be considered as a kind of result. Still, I believe that we do need much more courage to combat all those challenges that have been listed during this Conference. If so, what are the reasons for our dealing with in this kind of challenge? I really cannot enlist all of them, but maybe I could mention three.

First of all, we have slightly underestimated the role of rural development in combating our difficulties. In the case of Hungary, I can confirm that in recent years rural development programmes that provide an income to the people and investments in the field of agriculture in rural areas have been considered key elements in the fight to overcome the difficulties faced by our country.

Secondly, we have underestimated the devastating effect of prevailing export subsidy policies of many countries. Export subsidies on the one hand provides us with cheap food, which is correct, but on the other hand, it really abolishes the revenue of those needy people.

Third, we have underestimated the stealth manner of corruption in all the countries of this planet.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Chairman.

We have this really ambitious and brilliant anti-hunger programme in front of us on the table. I think that Hungary, as a very small country, cannot really make an overall contribution to all the objectives of this anti-hunger programme. However, I am confirming that Hungary is ready to join in two of the true objectives in this programme, namely: expanding rural infrastructure and market access, and the second pillar strengthening capacity for knowledge generation and dissemination.

May be many of you have some information about the Hungarian agricultural high school system. I think that assistance could be offered to utilize the experiences gained in the field of transformation of the educational system, especially taking into consideration the requirements of the market economy.

Mr Chairman. Referring to some other experiences, namely what we have gained throughout the cooperation programmes in Europe, I think Europe's novelty of these past five years is really that of joining the various aspects of food safety and food security.

The European programmes, including the European Subregional programmes are having really a very special technical exchange character. Consequently, I think that the success of these programmes is really something that we could offer to the rest of the world.

Mr Chairman. Finally, I would like to confirm that my country, Hungary, is of course happily joining this newly formed international alliance against hunger.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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