General Explanation of Position in the Committee on World Food Security on the Major Drivers of Global Food Insecurity

Delivered by Rodney M. Hunter,  Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States

December 19, 2022

I have the honor of delivering this Explanation of Position on behalf of Albania, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Principality of Monaco, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, European Union, United Kingdom, and my own country, the United States of America.

The international community stands at an important inflection point as we grapple with multiple and intersecting crises that are severely impacting global food security and undermining hard-won development gains. This is precisely the kind of moment that forums such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) were meant to address. The CFS plays a vital role in urgently advancing the crucially important work to accelerate action in delivering on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2 ending hunger.

We deliver this statement together to highlight the need for this Committee and the international community to identify clearly all major drivers of food insecurity if we are to address them effectively, including conflicts, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. We condemn the circumstance that one Member State is responsible for further global deterioration in a world already grappling with life-changing global challenges.

We would like to extend our thanks to Ambassador Gabriel Ferrero as chair of the Committee on World Food Security, whose hard work facilitated the successful conclusion of the 50th session of this committee (CFS50) amid a global food crisis, which Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated. Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine is of immediate relevance to matters before this Committee — namely global food security and nutrition. Russia’s prolonged attack against Ukraine, which is one of the world most important providers of grain, food, and feed, has worldwide repercussions that Russia consciously hazards.

We engaged fully, constructively, and in good faith to address the most pressing food security challenges, with the aim of sending a strong message of shared commitment to multilateralism and international solidarity.

Russia’s brutal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and attempt to change its borders by force are blatant violations of the UN Charter and among the main drivers behind a deteriorating global outlook, for which some of the world’s most vulnerable countries and people are paying the highest price. It has disrupted supply chains and contributed to a surge in food, fertilizer, and energy prices.

As the 2022 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report unequivocally states, Russia’s war of aggression will “have multiple implications for global agricultural markets,” “casting a shadow over the state of food security and nutrition for many countries, in particular those that are already facing hunger and food crisis situations.”

The CFS50 report does not specifically name the Russian Federation to hold it to account, but instead includes a broad reference to the “war in Ukraine.” We understand “war in Ukraine” to refer specifically to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine that has unraveled years of progress on the SDGs, especially posing additional challenges for achieving SDG 2 targets of ending hunger, ensuring access to adequate food for all, and eliminating all forms of malnutrition.

We once again demand Russia cease hostilities, withdraw its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. This action, while not sufficient, is essential to ending the multiple and interconnected crises the world is facing right now and is necessary for us to refocus our global action to get back on track to progressing towards achieving the SDGs and supporting the most vulnerable countries.

Thank you.