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Food security called key part of UN initiative

By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-07-19 11:01

China's ambassador to the United Nations on Monday reiterated that the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) will work with countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure that "no country and no one is left behind". He called for more countries to join the group.

"Food security is a key area of the GDI. The group is committed to strengthening cooperation with all parties, adhering to the principles of solidarity and cooperation, multilateralism and people-oriented approach, to jointly address the global food crisis," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN said at a General Assembly high-level special event with the theme of  "Time to Act Together: Coordinating Policy Responses to the Global Food Crisis".

"The COVID-19 pandemic has currently swallowed up the development achievements of countries, the world economic recovery is difficult, and climate change and the disruption of global supply chains have caused price fluctuations of food and agricultural products. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda faces severe challenges," said Zhang.

Zhang pointed out that multiple challenges such as the global food crisis have seriously weakened the coping capabilities of developing countries, especially small island developing states, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and African countries.

"In times of crisis, it is even more necessary to strengthen long-term cooperation in the field of global food and agriculture," Zhang said.

The international community should provide emergency support to countries affected by the food crisis, especially developing countries, the envoy said.

Zhang added that the international community should coordinate actions in areas such as food production, storage and transportation, food loss and waste reduction, increase investment, enhance self-sufficiency and strengthen partnerships between countries and relevant stakeholders .

"We should urge developed countries and other parties to strengthen cooperation, focus on the transformation of the food and agricultural system, strengthen support for farmers in scientific and technological innovation and capacity building.

"We should help farmers to increase their employment opportunities, eliminate poverty, strengthen the sustainable use and protection of food and agriculture and protect the ecological environment," said Zhang.

It is necessary to maintain the effective operation of the global food and agricultural supply chain, ensure smooth trade and open markets for agricultural products such as food, fuel and fertilizers, maintain the multilateral trading system, and remove the unilateral and protectionist measures that violate the spirit and rules of the World Trade Organization, said Zhang.

This year, China launched the Group of Friends of the GDI at the UN Headquarters in New York. At present, 60 countries have joined the group to jointly promote international cooperation, implement the UN 2030 Agenda, and address global challenges.

Monday's speech was the first joint speech since the establishment of the group. It marks a new important step in the implementation of the initiative and the cooperation of the group.

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