China, The United Nations And Horn Of Africa Ambassadors Forge New Partnership To Accelerate Food Security
22 September 2022
The Greater HoA Region continues to face a dire food security crisis driven by several evolving factors, including conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. The number of people at risk of starvation in the region has increased to 22 million, according to the UN’s World Food Programme. Insufficient rainfall across countries such as Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia has caused the worst drought in 40 years and famine-like conditions in the hardest-hit areas.
The dialogue sets out to convene, connect and catalyze action from relevant stakeholders to address this dire humanitarian situation, the catastrophic levels of hunger and starvation, and to be an inflection point that encourages the needed political will, public policies, and new partnerships, including Public-Private partnerships, to leapfrog the green revolution in Africa. The dialogue serves as an important pillar of the UN in China’s South-South Cooperation and learning efforts.
The dialogue brought together diverse stakeholders to explore concrete areas for project-based cooperation toward greater food security in HoA countries. Participants in the dialogue included Ambassadors to China from the HoA region and beyond, the African Union, Chinese ministries and departments, academia, UN representatives from China and Africa, research institutes, Multilateral Development Banks, foundations, American and British Chambers of Commerce, as well as businesses.
The dialogue is the first in a series of targeted activities through which the UN in China will promote technical assistance in support of South-South Cooperation efforts, with the aim of achieving a strong and balanced partnership between China and Africa, one that places African countries’ needs at the centre and adopts the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the blueprint for cooperation.
Abdallah Abdillahi Miguil, Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti to the People’s Republic of China, expressed his deep interest in ongoing collaboration with the UN in China to address some of the most pressing issues facing African countries today, including the food security issues discussed at length during today’s dialogue, as well as climate change. His Excellency said, “The question is how can we embrace cooperation and compromise, rather than maintain the old narrative of conflicts, large-scale displacement, and humanitarian catastrophe. We have to flip the orthodoxies, and in this spirit, the reason of our discussion today must be the transformation of the Horn of Africa, through a transformative partnership. In view of the growing importance of agricultural development and food security, we have appropriately identified the theme of today’s dialogue."
Wu Peng, Director-General of the Department of African Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offered his sincere thanks to the African Ambassadors Group for its partnership in his address during the dialogue. In also thanking the UN in China for its ongoing support, he said, “China, while upholding the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, is always ready to strengthen cooperation with regional countries, the UN development agencies and all international partners who truly care about Africa’s development, and make joint contributions to regional development.”
Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, in his welcoming remarks, also thanked the African and Chinese Chairs for their leadership in promoting sustained engagement on these critical issues. In reiterating the UN in China’s commitment to providing ongoing support for this work, he said, “At this critical juncture in history for the countries and people of the Horn of Africa, the Sustainable Development Goals remain an essential blueprint for achieving a more sustainable and just future that leaves no one behind, and international cooperation remains key to implementing that blueprint.”
At the dialogue, both the African and Chinese Chairs took part in the launch of the Joint Summary publication, titled “Towards a Greener, More Prosperous, and Healthier Future Together- A Joint Summary of the Symposium Following the 8th FOCAC Ministerial Conference held in Dakar in November of 2021.” The Joint Summary, the development of which was supported by the UN in China with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation, takes stock of the work done on this thus far and provides important guidance on the way forward.
The Joint Summary also aims to capture the efforts of the UN in China as a strategic partner that is able to bring knowledge and technical expertise and fuel momentum towards the attainment of the SDGs, in line with international norms and standards.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Louise Xi LI, Head of Communications, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in China
Tel: +8610-85320725, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org