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Statement on Hungarian Anti-immigration Campaign

I am deeply concerned by the recent anti-immigration poster campaign launched in Hungary. Rather than addressing migration’s very real challenges, the campaign plays on xenophobic sentiments and direct personal attacks against the founder of the Open Society Foundations, George Soros.

I urge Prime Minister Orban and the Hungarian Government to listen to the numerous Hungarian citizens voicing concerns with its latest campaign and with the many anti-Semitic slurs that have appeared following the display of the posters. Beyond stopping the campaign, it is essential to have an open debate on xenophobia, antisemitism and above all on the indispensable role of independent civil society organisations in a democratic State.

Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were welcomed as immigrants after the 1956 revolution. In 1956 as today, Hungary and Hungarians are part of the European family and the international community and will, I hope, find a way out of their current isolation and back to the values enshrined in the UN Refugee Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Kofi Annan
Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation