Home Meetings & Statements Events & Activities China & UN Documents About China 中文
  Home > China & UN > Highlights of the Security Council > Thematic Issues
Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open VTC on Food Security

2021-03-11 06:50

Madam President,

At the outset, I thank the US delegation for its initiative to convene this high-level meeting on food security. I also thank Secretary-General Guterres, Executive Director Beasley and Ms. Bucher for their briefings.

The briefers showed us a disturbing picture of reality. Food security, rather than improved, has become a more serious problem. We still have a long way to go to accomplish the goal of Zero Hunger set in the 2030 Agenda. As the Secretary-General pointed out, food crisis, in particular, is acute in armed conflict- affected countries and regions in the Middle East and Africa, warranting high attention. We appreciate relevant countries' efforts in responding to the crisis. At the same time, with regard to the famine threat faced by some Middle East countries and African countries, the international community must take emergency actions, scale up humanitarian efforts, ensure adequate resources, and make sure that humanitarian assistance could enter the affected countries unhindered. Tailored actions need to be taken to alleviate the difficulties faced by women and children.

China supports the UN agencies, in accordance with UN guiding principles for humanitarian assistance, to engage and consult with the affected countries, strengthen early warning, coordinate among international agencies for the use of humanitarian resources, and make a greater effort to address the threat of famine in the affected countries. China has provided and will continue to provide emergency food aid, among other related assistance, to the relevant countries through various channels to help them out, and contribute to alleviation of the sufferings of the affected people.

Madam President,

Food security is nothing new. Armed conflicts, terrorist activities, natural disasters, extreme weather, global trade and supply chains and commodity prices... all these factors could be the major triggers of food crisis. Meanwhile, fundamentally speaking, food insecurity is a result of global development deficits and a reflection of inadequate and uneven development. Some countries and regions, facing a constant and recurrent risk of famine, are trapped in a vicious circle of non-development and armed conflict. Therefore, while focusing our attention on some pressing issues, we need to approach food security from a broader perspective. We must address both the symptoms and its root causes and take integrated measures within the framework of international peace and development.

First, pushing for political solutions to hotspot issues to create a conducive security environment for alleviating food crisis in relevant countries and regions. Food security needs to be ensured throughout the cycle of production, storage, transportation, marketing and distribution. Disruption in any of these stages, by armed conflict violence and terrorism, can lead to food security crisis. As long as conflicts and wars remain unresolved, people in conflict zones will continue to face food shortages. The international community should intensify efforts to facilitate political settlement of hotspot issues and create an environment of peace and security. It is necessary to urge all the parties to the conflict to respond to the Secretary-General's call for a global ceasefire and implement Security Council resolution 2532. All parties concerned should adhere to the principles of international law, such as respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, non interference in internal affairs and non use of force, and commit themselves to peaceful settlement of disputes.

Second, holding sustainable development as the master key and helping the affected countries stand on their own in solving their food security problems. Emergency humanitarian aid can provide an immediate relief, but is not a fundamental solution. In the final analysis, to achieve food security, it is crucial to address the affected countries' development problems related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers according to local conditions, eliminate poverty and revitalize rural areas. Humanitarian aid is very important, but not a substitute for development assistance. Developed countries should honor their commitment on development assistance in a timely manner, help developing countries build up their rural infrastructure, promote green and high-tech agriculture and build up their capacity, meet the challenges posed by climate change and continuously enhance the resilience and tenacity of their food systems. Farmers are the main actors in food production. All countries should heed their concerns, address their difficulties and help them become a backbone of economic development and social stability.

Over the years, China has consistently promoted South-South cooperation bilaterally and multilaterally. By the end of 2019, with assistance from China, 24 agriculture demonstrations centers have been established in Africa to pass onto African farmers and agricultural technicians agro management expertise to improve their comprehensive agricultural production capacity, benefiting half a million local people. The FAO-China South-South cooperation program has achieved substantive results in several countries, directly benefiting over 70,000 farmers in 10 years. China will continue to share its experience and practice and work with other parties to help developing countries eradicate poverty and solve food security problems.

Third, strengthening international macroeconomic policy coordination and forming a strong synergy to ensure food security. The international community must strengthen coordination at the policy and operational levels to focus on and address the deep-rooted problems that have triggered food security crisis. First, the speculation of international capital on agriculture commodities, especially food, has triggered panic in the global market, driving up food prices across the board. Second, the agricultural subsidy policy of developed countries has seriously distorted the international market, which has in turn impacted on the market of developing countries and dampened enthusiasm of farmers in developing countries to produce food. Third, unilateral coercive measures and economic blockade have curbed agricultural development and trade cooperation. Only by solving these problems can the global food industry and supply chain be kept open and stable, and food shortages, price distortion and abnormal fluctuation caused by human factors be prevented.

The UN needs to play a better role in coordinating and promoting multilateral cooperation. The G20 should accord higher priority to the promotion of agriculture development. The FAO, WFP and other UN agencies should continue to play a major role in strengthening coordination with the resident coordinators, among others, effectively allocating resources and helping the countries concerned strengthen capacity building in the food industry.

Madam President,

Eradication of poverty and hunger bears on the basic rights of the people. We have made significant progress, but we still have a long way to go. Under the impact of COVID-19, global food security is facing new challenges. According to the UN report, COVID-19 may cause an increase of 83 million to 132 million underfed people in the world. In November last year, President Xi Jinping made it clear when attending the 15th G20 Summit that China supports the UN in holding the World Food Summit, and that China proposes to convene an international conference on food loss and waste in due course. China has achieved the goal of lifting all its rural poor out of poverty under current standards. China looks forward to joining hands with the international community in solidarity and cooperation, forging a strong synergy of global food security and making new contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to the achievement of common development.

Thank you, Madam President.

Suggest to a friend