There has been some good Hungarian international development related news lately. But…
At the end of 2014 the first ever law on international development cooperation was accepted in Hungary! Great. Now there is the new law but it lacks nearly all of the progressive elements lobbied for by NGDOs and academic experts over a long period of time.
It was officially proposed to have 380 million HUF as the MFA’s own bilateral budget for development and humanitarian issues for 2015, a more than doubling of the 2013 sum. But in the national budget for 2015, only 23,7 million HUF (approx. 75.000 EUR) was secured for this purpose, and additionally many verbal promises for much more money if need.
ODA is still growing, hopefully, but it is yet to be seen how the decided move for more bilateral aid is to be achieved – in 2013 it was 26,5% bilateral, the rest multilateral, quite the opposite to OECD average.
On 5th of January 2015 Hungary’s president, Mr Ader, announced that a new Directorate for Environmental Sustainability is opened at the Office of the President and is going to be led by H.E. Kőrösi, who is probably the most successful Hungarian diplomat lately. He was Co-chair of the UN Open Working Group on SDGs conducting an exemplary work. But Mr Ader also signed a new law taxing solar panels (more anti-renewable energy taxes are foreseen), and this Directorate’s work is said to be for international affairs, whilst national environmental governance (and with it, sustainability practices), has been demoted several times during the recent and the previous governments. From a separate Ministry of Environment and Water until 2010, today Hungary only has a State Secretariat responsible for the agricultural developments and the “hungaricums” and the environment at the same time.
From 1st of February, there will be a Hungarian, Mr Juhász in a top UN role, as Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, but… well, there is no „but” here, hurray!
Hungarian Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change here.
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Information provided by Peter Rohonyi, HAND