|Ambassador Zhang Jun Delivered the Joint Statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative|
On 18 July, the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly held a High-level Special Event entitled “Time to Act Together: Coordinating Policy Responses to the Global Food Crisis”. Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, delivered a joint statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), stating the common position of Group members on food security.
Ambassador Zhang Jun said that COVID-19 pandemic is eroding decades of development gains. 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. 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. 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.
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, and support farmers with STI means and capacity building assistance so as to help them generate income, eradicate poverty, 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, ensuring trade channels and markets open for food, fuel, fertilizer and other agricultural products, and promoting multilateral trading system. We must eliminate any unilateral and protectionist measures that run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO.
Ambassador Zhang Jun pointed out that food security is a key area of the GDI. The Group is determined to work with all parties to address the global food crisis on the basis of unity, solidarity, multilateralism, and people-centered approach. We welcome the High-level Dialogue on Global Development hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and appreciated its Chair’s Statement and deliverables, especially the encouraging measures such as the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, the Global Development Promotion Center, and other food and agriculture-related initiatives.
Ambassador Zhang Jun stressed that the Group will spare no efforts, to continue to work with UN member states, to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and make sure that no country and no one is left behind. We strongly encourage more member states to join our Group.
China launched the Group of Friends of the GDI at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this year. Now 60 countries have joined the Group to jointly promote and enhance international cooperation, implement the 2030 Agenda, and address global challenges. This is the first time for the Group to deliver a joint statement since its establishment, which marks a new and significant step in the implementation of the GDI and the cooperation of the Group.