German Statement in the UN Security Council “High-Level Open Debate on Famine and Conflict-Induced Global Food Insecurity”, 3 August 2023

03.08.2023 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse.

Resolution 2417 of this Council has been a real landmark decision. In 2018, all of its Members have condemned starving of civilians as a means of warfare.

Five years later, a permanent member of the Security Council is using food as a weapon. Russia has unilaterally withdrawn from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and is destroying grain warehouses and port infrastructure in Ukraine with missiles.

The Kremlin is doing so in order to recklessly fill its war chest. As a consequence, global food prices are rising, and access to food is getting much harder for millions in need, worldwide.

Germany urges Russia to immediately stop these attacks, to stop blocking Ukrainian ports and to re-join the Black Sea Grain Initiative. We strongly support the UN’s and Türkiye’s efforts to reinvigorate this initiative. Ultimately, Germany calls on Russia to immediately withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders. This will not only allow for grain exports to resume but will return peace to Ukraine.

Germany is strongly committed to combatting global food insecurity and malnutrition. Food security and nutrition was high on our agenda as G7 Presidency in 2022. Germany is the second largest donor to the WFP with a contribution of 1.7 billion Euro in 2022. We support farmers and countries worldwide to produce their own food. And we will continue our efforts to export agricultural goods from Ukraine through the EU Solidarity Lanes and other alternative routes.

Our joint efforts towards sustainable solutions need to be comprehensive and creative. Allow me to touch upon a few specific issues:

First, climate change. The global community needs to drastically lower its emissions to fight the climate crisis and its negative repercussions on food security and malnutrition in many parts of the world. This is part of the nexus between climate change and peace and security; we believe that the Security Council should discuss the issue systematically and regularly.

Second, we also believe that the Peacebuilding Commission can play a more systematic role in addressing these interconnected issues. It could, for example, give advice to the Security Council on country-specific situations where armed conflict and climate change exacerbate food insecurity.

Last, but not least, we need to be creative and specific and find tailored solutions. One example: locally produced green nitrogen fertilizer has a lot of potential to support food security. It can increase resilience to price volatility and supply chain disruptions while also contributing to reducing carbon emissions from the agricultural sector. We hope to develop this technology in innovative partnerships that enable more green growth.

Conflicts are among the main contributors to man-made global food insecurity, locally, but also globally. Security Council resolution 2417 is crystal-clear in its obligations for all Member States. We call upon all Member States to respect them, and start by stopping using food as a weapon of war.

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