The Chinese recipe for food security and essential services » Capital News

On May 23, Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), addressed the United Nations Security Council’s open debate on ensuring the safety and dignity of civilians in conflict: combat food insecurity and protect essential services.

He reiterated China’s position on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. He called on all parties in conflict to respect international law, including international humanitarian law, and to fulfill their obligation to protect civilians. Food safety is one of the main responsibilities.

Civilians are the main victims of armed conflicts. The food crisis is worsening the humanitarian situation, further worsening the plight of civilians. According to the latest UN report on the global food crisis, approximately 250 million people are currently food insecure. Of the acutely food insecure people, about two-thirds live in conflict-affected areas. Food security is a very basic human right and, therefore, Zhang urged the UNSC and the international community to give it top priority.

First, Zhang called for political settlement of hot spot issues. As long as conflicts persist, there is no reason to talk about civil safety and security, which makes hunger more entrenched and more difficult to fight. He called on the parties to the conflict to respect Council resolutions 2417 and 2573, to effectively implement their obligation under international law, including humanitarian law, to protect civilians, to give priority attention to vulnerable groups , including women and children, and to ensure safe and unimpeded humanitarian assistance. .

All countries should respect the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, advocate cooperation and reject confrontation, in order to create an environment conducive to peace. It is imperative to persevere in resolving disputes through peaceful means, including dialogue, negotiation and mediation, and to assist countries in conflict to achieve peace and stability without delay in order to create conditions conducive to the protection of civilians and ensuring food security.

Second, the increase in emergency aid. The food crisis is the result of complex factors. The priority is to take effective measures to alleviate the needs faced by certain countries. Zhang called on traditional donors to step up aid and provide more emergency humanitarian aid in terms of food and funding to countries in need. However, assistance should not be seen as political leverage.

No additional conditions should be attached and there should be no selectivity in assistance. The humanitarian needs of all host countries must be treated on an equal footing. For example, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan requires our full attention. The United States has long seized foreign assets from Afghanistan, which has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Third, maintaining the overall stability of the international food supply chain and prices. The Black Sea Grain Initiative was recently renewed. This will help secure the international food supply.

It should be emphasized that food, as a major international commodity, has been heavily financialized and monetized. The main driver of this cycle of massive food price hikes is the recent adoption of extraordinary monetary policies characterized by quantitative easing by the various countries. China urges these countries to pay serious attention to the spillover effects of their policies when designing their monetary policies and to be more mindful of the interests of developing countries to avoid distortions and abnormal fluctuations in food prices. .

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Fourth, create favorable conditions for developing countries to solve their food problem. Many developing countries are endowed with rich agricultural resources, and therefore have the potential to feed themselves. However, as long-time victims of colonialism, these countries are plagued by single-structure economies.

Agricultural subsidies practiced by developed countries have seriously distorted the international market for agricultural products and discouraged agricultural populations in developing countries. Big international food companies should also honor their social responsibility by reducing their monopoly power over agricultural resources, including seeds and the pricing of agricultural products.

Fifth, increase international coordination to create synergy. United Nations food and agriculture institutions, United Nations development agencies and international financial institutions should leverage their advantage and mobilize vast international resources, and deepen cooperation, to provide more support to emerging countries. conflict and to developing countries in terms of finance, technology, training and management to help them develop agriculture.

Climate change is a major factor in reducing food production. The UN should play its role as the main convener to promote and deepen international action on climate governance. Developed countries must honor their historical responsibility and financial commitments to respond to climate change and help developing countries increase their resilience in terms of climate change and food security.

China is a long-time promoter and contributor to international food security. In recent years, China has provided emergency food aid to more than 50 countries, relieving the needs of millions of people.

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