On March 12, 1999, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have become official members of NATO. The joining ceremony took place at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, a historic site where in 1949 President Truman announced the initial creation of NATO.
Secretary of State Madeline Albright hosted the ceremony, which was attended by the Mr. Janos Martonyi, Mr. Bronislaw Geremek, and Mr. Jan Kavan, Foreign Ministers of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, numerous dignitaries and supporters of the expanded NATO.
Representatives of ethnic organizations in the United States attended the historic ceremony. The Hungarian American Coalition was represented by the Hon. Peter S. Ujvagi, President of the Hungarian American Coalition, Mr. Eugene Megyesy, Jr. of the Hungarian Club of Colorado, and Mr. Laszlo Hamos, President of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation.
In her remarks at the accession ceremony Mrs. Albright made reference to the origins and critical role of NATO in protecting Western democracies and welcomed the three new member countries. The Secretary of State noted that “The lands of King St. Stephen and Cardinal Mindeszenty…reside fully and irrevocably in the Western community of nations…”
The Hungarian American Coalition is pleased that our work contributed to this truly historic accomplishment of integrating Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into the North Atlantic Alliance.