report 2016

Can the National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development Advance the SDGs?

Hungary has played a significant role in drafting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Before co-chairing, with Kenya, the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (2013-2015), in 2013 Hungary organized the Budapest Water Summit, the final document of which called for the development of a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal on Water and contained almost the same elements as those in SDG 6 on water and sanitation: namely improving sanitation and hygiene services, reducing pollution and increasing the re-use of untreated wastewater (e.g., for irrigation or industrial use), integrated water resources management and the protection of the environment. As a result, Hungary will convene the Budapest Water Summit in November 2016, designed to facilitate the implementation of the goals and targets connected to water as well as to identify technologies that combine traditional water management solutions with efforts to adapt to climate change, ensure energy security, sustainable food production, protect biodiversity, and improve public health. Despite this, Hungary faces a number of challenges with regard to the SDGs, primarily how to address the European migration crisis by taking measures to reduce one of its root causes—poverty-- and how to finance this work with the help of the private sector and financial institutions. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without economic growth, equality, inclusion, justice and without the engagement of women and young people in education and business.

BCI & GEI 2011

The contradictions between economic growth and a sustainable development approaches appear in National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development (NFSSD) 2012-2024. The first approach identifies classic economic growth as a priority goal; while the second emphasizes environmental preservation and, accordingly, a shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns. The ”decoupling” of economic growth and environmental destruction is envisaged, but it has so far not led to a reduction of the global environmental load in absolute terms, although it has contributed to a modest reduction in its rate of growth.

Whether the 2030 Agenda can live up to its promise to advance the sustainable development process and further international cooperation in this regard will only be seen in the implementation process: provided that it creates a precise and transparent monitoring system, argues the Hungarian civil society report.

Roma in Hungary. (Photo: OHCHR).

In Hungary a system has developed that is disrespectful to both the rule of law and constitutionalism. Hungary has turned against the democratic ideals of the world, civil liberties are restricted and today it is on a declining economic path. Political life is characterized by a murderous policy divergence, confrontation and a dangerous ideology-based polarization. The majority of the society is struggling with unjust and unequal relationships without even the hope offered by mutual solidarity. Hungary's international prestige, integrity and credibility are now at its lowest point.

In terms of gender equity Hungary matches the European average, but is slightly below some of its neighbours.