Bangladesh aligns itself with the statements of the LDC group and the Group of G-77 and China.
The world is facing a grave food crisis. The recently released State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report 2022 painted a gloomy picture of how nearly a billion people went hungry in 2021, with hunger and malnutrition sharply rising globally.
Many complex but interconnected factors drive the crisis- from climate change-induced extreme weather patterns ravaging crop production to pandemic-led supply-chain disruptions to conflicts in Ukraine.
World Bank estimates suggest that as of June this year, the global Agricultural Price Index is 34% higher than in January 2021. Maize and wheat prices are 47% and 42% higher, respectively, compared to January 2021. With the cost of living and food prices soaring, the goal of achieving SDG 2, a world of zero hunger, by 2030 looks increasingly bleak.
Food and nutrition are intimately connected to many other SDG goals. Food insecurity, for example, affects the attainment of SDG one -poverty alleviation and goal three- good health and well-being.
And we know that women and girls suffer disproportionately when poverty and hunger linger. UNDP and UN Women have projected that, globally, 388 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty in 2022. This will seriously undermine global efforts to achieve gender equality, another important SDG goal.
We must see hunger as a global problem urgently requiring a global solution. The UN must be at the forefront of global actions seeking to address the crisis. Bangladesh fully supports the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance launched by the Secretary-General. As one of the champions of this group, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh is advocating and facilitating global consensus on actions to prevent, mitigate and respond to the crisis.
As a way forward, allow me to make a few specific points:
Global food insecurity must be addressed at all levels through collective action. It’s crucial to mobilize all stakeholders, including major donors, international financial institutions, UN systems and other global and regional blocs, including G20, G7, EU, AU, to coordinate international and domestic financial, fiscal, industrial, agricultural policies and action to address this crisis.
We must prioritize food security in countries in special situations, particularly the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS which are disproportionately affected by the shocks of the pandemic, climate crisis and conflicts. We must support them in implementing the outcomes of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit to achieve sustainable transformation of their food systems.
The interconnectedness and complexity of the crisis require us to address, in tandem, conflicts, climate extremes, economic downturns, growing inequalities and debt burden and an unsustainable relationship between humanity and the planet. Transforming the global food systems must be at the top of our agendas. We need to rethink how we produce and consume food; and working in harmony with nature, not against it, is imperative if we are to deliver on our shared pledges by 2030.
Finally, Madam Chair,
It is important to keep markets open to ensure a smooth flow of trade by avoiding the use of trade restrictions and further digitalizing trade procedures and supply chain operations. Fostering regional joint partnerships and investments to enhance food production and supporting the adoption, adaptation and broadening of innovative good practices through South-South and triangular cooperation would help us address the crisis and achieve a world of zero hunger.
I thank you.