Global Actors Add to Growing Calls for Global Action on Food Security
29 September 2022
BEIJING, 29 September – As part of a joint initiative, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in China (in its role as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union) and the United Nations (UN) in China held an event titled, “Roundtable on Food Security: Call for Global, Regional and Country Level Actions”. The roundtable sought to maintain the momentum of different streams of work towards achieving global food security, including recent efforts made at the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, through a substantive, expert-level discussion to enhance dialogue and cooperation in this area.
With less than eight years left to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the combined impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, new and existing conflicts, and rising inequalities have reversed and jeopardized global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a result, as many as 828 million people may have suffered hunger last year, with countries in regions such as Africa still bearing the heaviest burden, as highlighted by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed at this month’s Meeting of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition.
These tragic outcomes put a further strain on the global economy, triggering poverty that threatens to place people in more vulnerable situations, especially women, who were already 27 per cent more at risk of severe food insecurity than men before the pandemic. Given these circumstances, instability in global food and energy markets, and tightened financing, the roundtable set out to collectively map the needs and gaps in food security, while cataloguing relevant global, regional and Member State initiatives, in order to identify overlaps, gaps and opportunities for further joint efforts.
The roundtable brought together a diverse range of stakeholders to call for further action on global food security, while highlighting possible avenues for enhanced collaboration, including through established mechanisms such as South-South and triangular cooperation, North-South partnerships, and the potential of Public-Private partnerships. Participants in the roundtable included diplomatic representatives to China, notably comprising those representing Member States of the European Union, the United States, and the African Union, relevant Chinese ministries, international organizations, development partners, global foundations, academia, the private sector and UN representatives.
His Excellency Vladimír Tomšík, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the People’s Republic of China, said, “The Czech Republic, and its predecessor Czechoslovakia, has never been a colonial power; rather, it was occupied several times. It was a highly developed industrial economy before World War II and in the 1990s it proudly transformed back to a free market and rules-based economy. … In 1996, before becoming an EU member, it joined the OECD and, despite not being as rich as other countries, it became an Official Development Assistance donor. We have experience with dozens of development projects in Africa, Central Asia, other Asian regions as well as the Balkans. Those are not big projects, but they fit local conditions. Many were later replicated by UN agencies or by the EU as they reflected local conditions, prevented typical problems, such as lack of expertise, and were not expensive to implement... We need to all to come to one table, lay down our cards (i.e. existing initiatives, projects and funds) and see how we can utilize them to help people from suffering, in an efficient and timely manner.”
Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, also thanked his Czech counterpart for their initiative and leadership in promoting more engagement on this critical global challenge. Reiterating the UN in China’s priorities in providing ongoing support for this work, he said, “We know that the world is moving backwards in efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. The global community must rally behind efforts to address these profound needs. At the regional and Member State-level, several initiatives are aimed at enhancing global and regional food security, including those undertaken by the European Union and those led by China and the United States. Here, the UN in China stands ready to provide technical assistance, facilitate partnerships and coordination, and amplify these efforts.”
The roundtable continues a series of strategic activities held throughout the year in which the UN in China has provided its technical assistance in support of South-South and North-South cooperation efforts, to offer best practices while ensuring alignment with recognized international norms and standards to allow for accelerating global progress on the SDGs. The UN in China will carry on offering a platform to convene, connect and catalyze ideas and action, including to advance food security and further efforts to end hunger and malnutrition.
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