On March 9, 2009, the Hungarian American Coalition (HAC) participated in the event at the Hungarian Embassy to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hungary’s NATO membership. As part of the event, Ambassador Ferenc Somogyi hosted a reception in honor of Hungary’s Minister of Defense Imre Szekeres. Remarks were delivered by Minister Szekeres, Ambassador Somogyi, Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried and Chairman-Emerita of the Hungarian American Coalition Edith Lauer, who recalled the Coalition’s efforts on behalf of Hungary’s NATO membership. The text of her remarks is attached to this press release. HAC was also represented by Maximilian Teleki, President and Ann Bader, Board Member.
Chair Emerita Edith K. Lauer delivering her speech
A On March, 25, the Central and Eastern European Coalition (CEEC), of which HAC is a founding member, hosted an anniversary reception to commemorate the accession to NATO of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in 1999, and of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in 2004.
The reception featured Ambassador Kurt Volker, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Carter. Senators Mikulski and Voinovich expressed their support for continued NATO enlargement, and stressed that a broadened NATO membership strengthens our collective security. Dr. Brzezinski emphasized that Ukraine and Georgia must eventually become NATO members and contribute to a collective European security. Ambassador Kurt Volker highlighted the importance of the first and second round of NATO’s expansion, stating that the integration of these new democracies into the transatlantic community has made NATO into a stronger alliance.
Mr. Michael Sawkiw, Jr., Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS) was the CEEC’s Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
The CEEC is comprised of 18 national membership organizations representing more than 20 million Americans who trace their heritage to Central and Eastern Europe. The CEEC strongly believes that the long-term national security and economic interests of the United States demand an unwavering commitment to and sustained engagement with the Central and East European countries.