|Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on Food Security|
I thank Under-Secretary-General SG Martin Griffiths, Executive Director David Beasley and Chief Economist Maximo Torero for their briefings.
Food security is both a key element for realizing lasting peace and security and a long-standing challenge facing the international community. We should stay calm and pragmatic, focus both on the present to resolve urgent matters and on the long-term to achieve the goal of eradicating hunger. In this connection, China wishes to stress the following three points.
First, promoting a political settlement of hotspot issues. Armed conflicts undermine agricultural production,, destroy agricultural infrastructure, disrupt trade and food, cause displacement, and directly worsen the local food security situations. So long as conflicts and wars are not resolved completely, the local populations will continue to suffer from hunger. The international community should vigorously promote the political settlement of hotspot issues, and foster a peaceful and secure environment for ensuring food security.
Second, ensuring stable and smooth industrial and supply chains. Secretary-General Guterres has articulated that there is enough food in our world for everyone, and the issue is about distribution. Major food exporters and countries with major grain companies should join efforts to curb acts of artificially inflating food prices. So far, over 700,000 tons of grains have been shipped to destinations across the world under the Black Sea grain initiative. At present, due to many obstacles in bank settlement, insurance and shipping, millions of tonnes of Russian fertilizers are stranded in ports in Europe, and failed to be exported in time. It is imperative to remove such barriers to ensure the free and steady flow of key agricultural resources.
Third, helping people in conflict areas tide over difficulties. Last year, 53 countries and regions were food insecure. At present, around 7.7 million people in South Sudan are facing food shortages. 4.1 million people in Nigeria do not have their rations secured. Yemen is mired in the most severe food crisis in recent years. In Somalia, millions are struggling for living amidst the major drought that is in its seventh year. Many Afghan families find their basic needs unmet. In achieving food security, no one and no country should be left behind. The assistance to regions and countries in conflict can only go up, not down. Developed Countries should earnestly fulfill the commitment of spending 0.7% of their national income on ODA. International financial institutions and developed economies should step up their policy and financing support for developing countries facing special difficulties.
Fourth, comprehensively strengthening food security capacity. At present, the world’s food supply and demand pattern is characterized by food production highly concentrated in a few countries, and consumption highly dispersed geographically. Helping more countries enhance their self-sustained capacity in food is the most direct and effective means for improving food security. We should help the relevant countries increase agricultural investment, support the early recovery and reconstruction of agricultural infrastructure, and strengthen support in agricultural technologies. Developed countries should reduce trade and technical barriers and offer more support to developing countries in funding, technology, market, and capacity-building.
As the most populous country in the world, China has managed to feed around 1/5 of the world’s population with less than 9% of the world’s arable land. This in itself is a major contribution to food security in the world. China has provided more funding, sent more experts, and undertaken more projects under the FAO framework of South-South cooperation than any other developing countries. We have set up the FAO-China South-South cooperation trust fund to help developing countries enhance their capacity in poverty alleviation, agricultural production and food security. China has carried out agricultural cooperation with more than 140 countries and regions, and provided more than 1,000 agricultural technologies to other developing countries, increasing their crop yield by 30 to 60% on average, benefiting more than 1.5 million small agricultural households. China will continue to work with all countries in the world to contribute even more to maintaining food security.
Thank you, Madam President.