UNITED NATIONS, October 17 — The President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, called for technologies to be made available that enable sustainable agriculture for farmers in developing countries at ‘advantageous’ conditions. enables them to deal with the coronavirus crisis that threatens food security and access to it.
“The global economic slowdown, caused by the pandemic, is affecting all four pillars of food security – availability, access, utilization and stability,” he said at a global meeting.
To overcome these challenges, Ambassador Akram, as Head of ECOSOC, made a five-point proposal:
1. We must ensure that food supply chains are not disrupted during a crisis, with reference to the ‘green jobs’ ?? created by the Chinese government to facilitate transportation, production and distribution of agricultural inputs and food products.
2. We must invest in sustainable agriculture-related infrastructure to ensure access to the market for remote and small-scale farmers in developing countries.
3. Trade is an important component for the availability of food and stability in its prices, and to avoid disruptive policies to keep them in line with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in the interests of the poor in developing countries agreed.
4. Sustainable agricultural technologies must be made available to the developing countries on conditional and preferential terms.
5. Billions of dollars of agricultural subsidies by the industrialized countries in the agricultural sector have led to chronic overproduction, dumping surpluses and distortion in the world markets.
In this regard, the ECOSOC Head emphasized the need for agricultural reform to make these trade practices fair and equitable.
Ambassador Akram said he intended to examine how the mandate and mechanisms of the ECOSOC could be used to promote such reforms.
The food system summit next year will also be an important opening to ensure that our ambition to turn no hunger into action by 2030, he said.
“Promoting a robust multilateral response led by global solidarity remains at the heart of our response to the current pandemic,” he said.
“On this World Food Day, I encourage you all to work together and scale up collective solutions to promote sustainable development.”
In his remarks, he particularly highlights the loss of income that many have suffered since the COVID-19 pandemic, which mostly affected the poor, who spend most of their income on food.
“The cutbacks have affected food security and jeopardized access to food,” Ambassador Akram said, adding, “The poor and vulnerable are most affected, as they spend on average 70% of their total income on food.”
The current trend indicates that the number of people affected by hunger would exceed 840 million by 2030, he said.
The COVID-19 will further contribute to 83 to 132 million in the total number of malnutrition around the world in 2020, Ambassador Akram said it will also lead to a more slow growth in children which currently affects 144 million.
“Only by working together can we better rebuild, get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reduce the vulnerability to future shocks and disasters.”