Hungary became a member of the United Nations on 14 December 1955. As international tensions were easing, 15 other states have joined the UN at the same time: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Finland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.
The first years of Hungary’s membership in the UN were fundamentally determined by the armed intervention of the Soviet Union as a response to the revolution in October 1956. The issue was immediately put on the agenda of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, and on 10 January 1957, the UN General Assembly has established a Special Committee for the examination of the events. In the following years, the so called “Hungarian Problem” was permanently on the agenda of different UN fora up until 1962, when the Special Committee concluded its work after the consolidation of the Kádár regime.
In the following years, Hungary has gradually integrated into the work of the UN system: it began to participate in the activities of inter alia the International Trade Centre (ITC, 1964), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, 1966), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 1968), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, 1970), the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT, 1973), the International Monetary Fund (IMF, 1982), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 1982), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, 1989).
It should be noted here, that Hungary had already been a member of several UN organizations before it became a member of the UN itself: the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, 1865), the Universal Postal Union (1874), the International Labour Organization (ILO, 1922), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 1946), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 1948), and the World Health Organization (WHO, 1948).
Hungary was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the first time for the term 1968-1969. During the 37th session of the UN General Assembly a Hungarian diplomat, Mr. Imre Hollai served as President of the General Assembly.
Mr. Imre Hollai, the President of the General Assembly at the 37th session of the UN General Assembly, in his office, on 4 October 1982
Source: UN Photo/Milton Grant
In 1988, Hungary joined the peacekeeping activities of the UN as a member of the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG). In 1992, Hungary became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a second time for the term 1992-1993. Hungary’s participation in the work of the UN Security Council during this term proved to be especially important, given the ongoing Balkan Wars in its immediate neighbourhood.
Numerous Hungarian experts and officers continue to participate in the work of the UN Secretariat, UN bodies and programmes, autonomous and specialized UN agencies, as well as committees and other related bodies of the world organisation.