Security Council Open Briefing
Food insecurity due to conflicts and violence under the agenda item “Protection of Civilians in Armed conflict”-
(Thursday September 14, 2022, 3:00 p.m.)
Statement by the Permanent Representative of Italy
Thank you very much, Madame President, and I thank Brazil and Ireland for convening this timely meeting and the three briefers for their insightful and sobering accounts.
The state of global food insecurity is of great concern to Italy. It is crucial that food security remains at the top of the international agenda.
In the context of a pre-existing, deteriorating situation, the illegal Russian war against Ukraine further jeopardized global food chains, exposing the most vulnerable Countries of the Global South to even more dire consequences, especially in terms of limited access to food and bringing food price inflation at record level.
The dramatic situation in fragile areas such as the Horn of Africa is deeply disturbing, particularly Somalia, and I would like also to thank Martin Griffiths for his personal engagement and his recent mission there. We are thus hosting, along with the US, Qatar and the UK, and in collaboration with OCHA, a High Level Side Event on the humanitarian situation in the Region of Horn of Africa during the High-Level Week. We hope this event might help in raising awareness about the alarming situation on the ground.
Against this bleak background, the key “Black Sea Initiative” brokered by the good offices of the UN Secretary-General with the relevant parties, has become a “beacon of hope”. We applaud the initiative and call on all parties involved to fully comply with it. Time is of the essence.
The EU “Solidarity Lanes” are efficiently adding to this effort, accelerating exports to the Global South via much needed alternative routes.
Ensuring access to food, starting from those most in need, is an international and moral obligation we must fulfill, also in line with Security Council Resolution 2417.
As Food Security has been a longstanding priority for Italy, we have increased our political, financial and technical support for the UN, in particular through and in partnership with the UN Rome-based Agencies. We call on all Member States to increase their support as well. It is our mission to keep the attention high and efforts proactive also as Chair of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition.
To avert the worst scenarios, a drastic shift in attitude and commitment is needed. The current cross-cutting crisis touches us all, and thus requires a cross-cutting response from us all.
These challenges include the maintenance of open food chains, the resilience of both the value chains and the food systems, new investments for localization and a full transition towards sustainable, climate-smart and resilient food systems.
Rural people and local actors must be put back at the center of these processes.
Food diplomacy is crucial to mitigating the effects of the food crisis. And at the same time, effective political diplomacy is needed to prevent and resolve conflict.
We must build on both of them, Food Security and Political Diplomacy, with every urgency, and avert famine and food insecurity globally.
Italy stands ready to actively engage in these efforts, here in New York, in Rome, and on the frontline where humanitarian crises are unfolding.
I thank you.
(Join the Governments of Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the State of Qatar, in collaboration with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia on Wednesday, 21 September 2022 from 9.30 to 11.30 a.m. for the High-Level side event on the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly : Responding to the Urgent Humanitarian Needs in the Horn of Africa)