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Statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative by Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the UNGA High-level Special Event entitled Time to Act Together: Coordinating Policy Responses to the Global Food Crisis

2022-07-18 23:05

Mr. President:

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the sixty member states of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative.

At the outset, the Group expresses gratitude to H.E. President Shahid and Ambassador Ferreo for convening this meeting. This timely event offers an important opportunity for us, to exchange views on the pressing food insecurity challenges, and enhance policy coordination to address the global food crisis. 

We are meeting at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is eroding decades of development gains, including in eradicating poverty and hunger. The global economic recovery is sluggish and uneven, impact of climate change and disruption of global supply chain triggered the volatility of the price for food and agriculture commodities, and implementation of the 2030 Agenda is encountering severe difficulties.

We appreciate the GA resolution on State of Global Food Insecurity and the FAO 2022 SOFI report. According to FAO, around 2.3 billion people in the world were moderately or severely food insecure in 2021.The FAO food price index is at a near-record level, 20.8% higher than at this time last year. We are deeply concerned of the current state of global food insecurity, especially in developing countries. 

Multidimensional shocks have seriously weakened the ability of developing countries to deal with current crisis, even more so for SIDS, LDCs, LLDCs and African countries. As the theme of today’s meeting states, this is the time for us to act together, not only to solve the food crisis in the short term, but also to improve global food and agriculture cooperation in the long run.

In this regard, firstly, we call on the international community to urgently support countries affected by the food crisis, including through coordinated actions and enhanced partnership among countries and other relevant stakeholders, in such areas as food production, storage, transport, food loss and waste reduction, increasing public and private investments in the agriculture sector, and improving food self-sufficiency.

Secondly, we urge all stakeholders, including developed countries, to strengthen cooperation and keep a strong focus on the transformation of the global agrifood system towards its fairness and sustainability. The international community should support farmers, especially small-scale and family farmers, with STI means and capacity building assistance, including traditional knowledge and farming techniques, to help them produce crops and livestock sustainably to generate income, eradicate poverty, promote social equity, facilitate sustainable use and conservation of agricultural and dietary diversity, and protect the environment.

Thirdly, we reaffirm the importance of keeping food and agriculture supply chains functioning, and ensuring trade channels and markets open for food, fuel, fertilizer and other agricultural products, by promoting a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory, and equitable multilateral trading system under the WTO. We must eliminate any unilateral and protectionist measures that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO.

Mr. President,

Food security is one of the key areas of the GDI. The Group is determined to work with UN member states and relevant stakeholders to address the global food crisis on the basis of unity, solidarity, multilateralism, and people-centered approach.

We therefore welcome the High-level Dialogue on Global Development hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the 14th BRICS Summit with participation of relevant emerging markets and developing countries, as well as the Chair’s Statement and deliverables of the Dialogue. The Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, Global Development Promotion Center, and other food and agriculture-related initiatives are encouraging steps for GDI cooperation.

We also welcome the initiative by Secretary-General Guterres, to establish a Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance. We are committed to supporting the fundamental role the UN system in catalyzing and coordinating a comprehensive global response, as well as the role of FAO, IFAD, WFP and the Committee on World Food Security, in global food and agricultural cooperation.

In closing, I would like to stress that the Group of Friends of GDI will spare no efforts, to continue to work with UN member states, to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, and make sure that no country and no one is left behind. We also strongly encourage more member states to join our Group.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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