“Articulated and committed to defending life, strengthening the family and promoting freedom through a concrete agenda of public policies, legislative changes and cultural initiatives” – this is the summary of the nearly 200 leaders and political representatives from three continents who participated in the IV Transatlantic Summit of the Political Network for Values (PNfV) held in Budapest, Hungary.
José Antonio Kast, president of the PNfV, closed the Summit with a call to action: to fight the political, social and cultural battle “with the conviction that it is our principles that generate progress and social welfare”.
“We have talked about the challenges we face and the changes we can achieve. Today is a good day, it is the best day, it is the day we all turn to action,” he said.
Kast pointed out that we live in times of “ideological colonization”–a real threat to the most essential values–which spreads through new technologies, imposes a dangerous “culture of cancellation” on those who think differently and coerces their action. Lastly, he warned, “It’s time for this to change.”
The IV Transatlantic Summit of the PNfV was held in Budapest on May 26 and 27, at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, with the participation of senior government officials, legislators, leaders of political and civil organizations and intellectuals from more than 30 countries of America, Africa and Europe, including: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Uruguay.
Hungary is the country where an openly conservative political and social force has been growing for a decade, leading to a broad transformation, including a cultural one. This political force recently won its fourth term in government with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the helm, and former minister of the family, Katalin Novák, as they country’s President.
Building an agenda
According to PNfV website, Lola Velarde, executive director of the PNfV, said that the summits organized by the PNfV are a privileged space for establishing contacts, fostering personal encounters, strengthening ties, exchanging experiences, establishing strategies and articulating initiatives among politicians who share the same values. In addition, they allow political representatives to have contact with intellectuals and leaders of serious civil organizations working for the promotion and defense of human dignity.
Seven round tables were held during the two-day event. At these meetings, senior officials presented the successful public policies implemented by the governments of Hungary, Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador in favor of human dignity and freedom; and senators and deputies from three continents shared the high-impact legislative initiatives they have promoted in their parliaments to defend life, strengthen the family and guarantee freedoms.
A select group of intellectuals discussed the threats to human dignity emerging in the current changing times; legislators, diplomats and activists presented a map of regional and global challenges to human rights; and members of national governments and activists underscored the key role of religious freedom at the present time and the need to defend it.
Businessmen, economic specialists and government officials debated the extraordinary contribution that family businesses make to their countries; and a group of European parliamentarians, together with Jaime Mayor Oreja, Honorary President of the PNfV, reflected on the keys for the renewal of Europe, which include a return to its roots.
Eduardo Verastégui and Mel Gibson presented an extraordinary film Sound of Freedom, produced by the Mexican actor, which denounces the sexual trafficking of minors and made a strong call to action to those present.
Finally, a group of young leaders from Europe and the Americas launched the Budapest Declaration for Life, Family and Freedoms. The Network’s Executive Directorate presented an Agenda for the Common Good that establishes seven priorities for the next two years, focusing on the defense of human life at the key moments of its beginning and end; the implementation of public family policies; the protection of children and maternity; religious freedom; and freedom of expression.
Call to action
“I ask you, on your return home, when you have recovered and resumed your daily routines, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, to think about what you have experienced in this place and to perceive how important it was to meet here. This should not be just another meeting or just another reunion. It should be a compass, a guide for your life and for your political action in the coming years”, said Kast.
“We have talked about human dignity, human freedom, freedom of religion and expression, freedom of enterprise, the indispensable protection of life, the strengthening of families. We have talked about the changes we can achieve in these areas. Let us be action-oriented,” he concluded.
At least three countries have expressed their wish to host the next Transatlantic Summit which could be held next year. The first Transatlantic Summit was held at the UN New York headquarters in 2014; it was followed by others at the European Parliament, Brussels, in 2017; and at the Colombian Capitol, Bogota, in 2019, in addition to other regional meetings.