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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open VTC on Conflict-Induced Food Insecurity

2020-09-17 05:21

Mr. President,

I thank USG Lowcock, Director-General QU, and Executive Director Beasley for their briefings. I thank the Secretariat for the update they provided on food security risks with reference to resolution 2417.

According to the update, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, northeast Nigeria and South Sudan, food crisis remains serious, affecting millions of people. The grave humanitarian situation in these countries deserves great international attention.

As a matter of fact, the situation in those countries is only a tip of the conflict-induced food insecurity problems in the world. Armed conflicts and violence pose serious threats to food production infrastructure, force people to leave their homes, and cause shortages of labor. Obstruction and damages to humanitarian operations and facilities result in food crisis, and large numbers of civilians suffer malnutrition and famine. Meanwhile, food crisis always leads to rising discontent among the people and provides breeding grounds for violence and extremism, exacerbating volatilities and conflicts.

Food security in conflict areas not only concerns international and regional peace and security, but also impacts national development and people’s livelihood of relevant countries. The Security Council should continue to play an important role in finding a solution to the problems and breaking the vicious cycle of conflict and violence and food insecurity.

We should promote political settlement of conflicts, and try our best to reduce food security risks in conflict areas. China supports SG’s appeal for a global ceasefire, and calls for the full implementation of Resolution 2532, compliance with international humanitarian laws, ceasefire and cessation of violence by all relevant parties. The Council should undertake its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. It should work for the political settlement of disputes through peaceful and diplomatic means to maintain peace and stability in relevant regions. It should make every effort to guarantee humanitarian access and strive to mitigate humanitarian disasters including conflict-induced food insecurity.

We should promote sustainable development and food security so as to address conflicts at the root. This year kicks off the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Efforts should be focused on areas of common concern for developing countries, including food, agriculture and poverty reduction. More resources should be mobilized to give developing countries support of funding, technology and capacity building to achieve better economic and social development and provide necessary conditions for food security. Development should always be placed at the center of international cooperation and taken as the fundamental solution for the settlement of relevant conflict.

Mr. President,

COVID-19 continues to spread across the world. The trade restrictions during the pandemic are impeding food transportation and interfering with global food industrial and supply chains. Food prices are pushed up by instability of supply and market panic. Cross-border travel restrictions result in labor shortages in some areas, disrupting seasonal production cycle. Combination of all these challenges could aggravate food insecurity and humanitarian crisis in relevant countries and regions.

Under such circumstances, the international community should strengthen its cooperation in fighting COVID-19, build back the economy, and minimize the impact of the pandemic on food security. We should ensure stability of global food industrial and supply chains through resuming production while taking all necessary epidemic preventive measures. We should give special attention to developing countries, especially African countries, and provide them with targeted humanitarian assistance. In this process, FAO, WFP and other international agencies should be supported in playing their indispensable roles.

As the largest developing country, China takes food security as a priority of governance. Facing the challenges brought by COVID-19, China has advocated a nationwide campaign against waste of food. We also work closely with the FAO and is actively engaged in international cooperation, contributing to the stability of global food supply. We also help other developing countries through information-sharing and technical assistance, to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and locust infestations.

China is ready to work with all parties to end armed conflicts, maintain food security, and make unremitting efforts for peace and development in the world.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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