Budapest Forum 2023 - Opening speeches
- Shalini Randeira, President and Rector, Central European University
- János Kendernay, Senior Adviser on City Diplomacy, Budapest City Hall
- Péter Krekó, Executive Director, Political Capital Institute
- Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest
- The central theme of the conference is building sustainable democracies. The aim is to connect many different voices from the academia, policymaking, civil society and media representatives to forge ties and, besides analysing democracy, also think about innovative ways to protect and deepen liberal democratic values in our societies.
- The dilemmas that democracies face today all around the globe are not specific to Europe but have worldwide significance. With the enhanced geopolitical focus this year, the conference dwells on the social, economic and environmental underpinnings of democracy and peace.
- Sustainable peace is a particularly important topic this year in the world. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and the war in Israel, it is important to recognise the profound connection between democracy and peace.
- When authoritarian populism is rising, core democratic values are declining. Non-democratic states and organisations pose grave threats to global peace. Therefore, keeping and creating democratic institutions, norms, and practices also seem essential in preventing wars.
- The world faces a dual crisis: a looming climate disaster and a decline in the belief that every person is equally important. Saving the planet and maintaining a social order where we treat each other with dignity and respect might unite us all, but for that, we must connect outside our own groups.
- Authoritarian populism is crucially dependent on avoiding meaningful dialogues and deeper reflection involving multiple perspectives. Hence, to save the planet and keep up a social order in which we treat each other with dignity and respect, we must resist hatred and polarisation and forge connections outside our own groups.
- Even though cities with progressive leadership in countries led by authoritarian populists are attacked by legal and financial measures by the governments, we have to pull down walls and build bridges to protect ourselves.
- We all are responsible for creating a sustainable world, not just ecologically but also regarding democratic structures within and across borders.
Shalini Randeira, President and Rector, Central European University
János Kendernay, Senior Adviser on City Diplomacy, Budapest City Hall
Péter Krekó, Director, Political Capital
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest