(English) Message from Vilmos Hanti, President of FIR, on the present epidemic situation

30. März 2020


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Today, amid a volatile and unpredictable global situation, our vulnerable world is facing an unprecedented new challenge, the coronavirus pandemic that is spreading accross the world uncontained and has a deep impact on the everyday life of ordinary citizens.

This time, joining forces at a global level against this invisible enemy of our civilization has become a fundamental requirement for all the inhabitants of  Mother Earth, for nothing else but to save our future and that of the next generations. Without this inevitable effort by all of us, we will fail, and that will entail unforeseeable consequences for our physical existence.

Inevitably, these probing times are bringing back to our memories the darkest chapters of our recent history, when certain forces looking for scape-goats, resorting to narratives of intolerance, discrimination, xenophobia, extremism and demagogy,  were able to poison peoples’s minds and, as history has repeatedly shown, to bring to the surface the worst features of human behaviour. And, unfortunately, the preceding decades have demonstrated that even at the end of the last century, the bloodiest of all, such phenomena have reemerged,  confirming that we still continue to be vulnerable to such rhetoric.

That is why, in the midst of the present pandemic, I believe that it is of utmost importance for every citizen on our planet to engage in this common and vital undertaking of cooperation, with the aim of minimizing the destructive aspects of the coronavirus and eliminating them as soon as possible. In doing so, we should also bear in mind the importance of solidarity and mutual aid between all countries, rich and poor. And in this critical period, we should keep an open eye on those elements of our societies that engage in a rhetoric that seeks not to unite, but to divide us. The upcoming anniversary of the 1945 victory can also help us recall, among others, the lessons of how manipulating people led to indescribable sufferings.

As President of FIR, I take this opportunity to wish you, in these turbulent times, good health in the months ahead. You should take all the necessary measures to preserve your vitality and to help us stay away from the fake news that seek to undermine the resistance capability of our societies. And I want to see all our member federations go through these difficult times with a strengthened resolve and a firm commitment to stand up against attacks that aim to undermine the values of our human civilization, and to be prepared to combat this unprecedented invisible pandemic as bold resistance fighters of our times, the 21st century, who stand ready to continue our common struggle in defence of the goals of FIR.

Budapest, March 30, 2020