Statement by Ambassador Leendertse in the United Nations Security Council Arria Formula Meeting on Hunger and Conflict, April 21st, 2022.

21.04.2022 - Speech

This informal meeting of the Council on Conflict and Food Security is indeed very timely.

2022 is forecasted to be the most food insecure year on record. The first victims will be, like always, the vulnerable ones: women, children.

And as we have heard from numerous speakers: Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine already has a devastating impact on global food security. This conflict-driven rise in food prices and break of important delivery chains comes on top of the already existing dire situation in many developing countries.

Let us be clear: armed conflict and violence is in general the main driver of food insecurity worldwide, further accelerated by climate change, economic hardships and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These interlinkages between hunger and conflict are also recognized by Security Council resolution 2417. As Security Council members in 2019-2020, Germany together with the Dominican Republic, consistently put the issue of conflict and hunger high on the Council's agenda and called for more decisive action on this topic.

Building on SC resolution 2417, we must become better at preventing conflict and addressing the alarming global food insecurity:

First, we have to increase humanitarian assistance for WFP and other humanitarian actors with flexible funding. Germany has already provided additional funding this year, inter alia, for the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa and Syria.

At the same time we must also help to increase the long-term resilience of vulnerable countries and thus strive for a coordinated nexus approach between the different pillars peace and security, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

Secondly, we must also strengthen the resilience of populations and food systems to climate-induced shocks in conflict-affected areas, including through early and anticipatory action. This is also a key priority during Germany’s G7 presidency. We have ample evidence that it is possible to predict at least 20% of climate induced crisis, so it is our moral obligation to act before a storm, drought or floods hit a country.

Thirdly, we must all step up our commitment to help counter the devastating impact of the war in Ukraine. In our sustained efforts to support Ukraine and its neighboring countries, we have inter alia substantially increasing our humanitarian assistance with additional funds up to 370 million EUR.

Furthermore, it is necessary to pool all our resources and come up with innovative ideas. That is why we applaud the Secretary General for having set up the “Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance” and we are proud that German Chancellor Scholz is invited to be one of the six champions of that group. We are looking forward to actively contribute to this process.

In closing, this Council has a decisive role to play in ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law and respect for the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence by the parties involved in armed conflicts.

Hunger is manmade, so it is also our choice to prevent it. Together we can achieve this goal: we must do better and take concrete steps to collectively tackle the root causes of conflict.

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