Hungarian President János Áder’s opening speech at the Budapest Water Summit
Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,
The last time such a summit was held, was 36 years ago. The first – and so far the last – summit held under the auspices of the UN was in 1977 in Argentina.
We, who live here today and take responsibility for the future, do not have another 36 years to find a solution for the challenges facing us. We are well aware by now of the social, economic, international and ecological significance of the problem.
We know the causes and know what needs to be changed and how. We know the paths that lead to the solutions. We also have the technologies available, which could help us save our water resources and water reserves.
Thus we only have one thing left to do. To get down to work together. This requires four things. Awareness of our individual and common responsibilities. Joint willingness and a joint plan to act together. Common faith and hope in achieving our common objectives. And we need every person who can lead with personal example to also motivate others for work.
I sincerely believe that you who are sitting here today, are just such people. You are the people who can set new directions; you are the people that the world needs. And together with you, all those people who can be our allies in this common cause of ours.
Therefore I would like to express my gratitude to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for his active support that helped this summit become reality.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome in Budapest!
I am proud and honoured to welcome you on behalf of Hungary in the capital of the magnificent Danube-bridges and healing waters. I hope that we have managed to create suitable conditions for the work of this summit. Beside our sense of hospitality, our centuries-old hydrology culture with all its knowledge, the innovative approach and creativity of Hungarian professionals will also try and contribute to the success of our common work.
For our success, let me offer for your attention the thoughts of our famous Hungarian poet, whose poems have already been translated into almost all the languages of the world.
Sándor Petőfi writes in the closing lines of one of his poems:
„Eternal heaven bear witness / Before all heaven’s fools:
Though ships bob on the surface / And oceans run beneath us
It is the water rules.”