Joint Statement by Germany and the Dominican Republic in the Security Council VTC Open Debate on Conflict and Food Security, March 11

11.03.2021 - Speech

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We would like to thank the United States for convening this meeting and our distinguished briefers for their presentations.

As Security Council members 2019-2020, Germany and the Dominican Republic have consistently strived to put the issue of hunger and conflict high on the Council's agenda. We aim at further advancing this tremendously relevant topic.

This open debate on Conflict and Food Security is very timely, since hunger crises and the risk of famine around the world, such as in Yemen and in South Sudan, are increasing in number and severity.

Already last year, the situation was alarming with WFP warning that due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic 270 million people were expected to be acutely food insecure by the end of the year. In 2021, the situation has not improved: WFP warns that over 34 million people are currently in emergency and famine condition.

While climate change, economic hardships and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic play a devastating role, we want to emphasize that the most significant driver for humanitarian needs and thus for food insecurity is conflict and violence. Famine in a new dimension, driven by conflict, could soon become a reality for millions of people. Without immediate action, innocent civilians will starve. And they will die.

Madame President, hunger is a recurrent, persistent threat for conflict-affected countries. It is shameful for humanity that we have not been able to draw the right lessons. Instead, we are once again trying to solve a problem that could have been prevented in the first place. Conflicts must be solved before they lead to famine.

With growing evidence pointing at conflict as the primary driver of hunger that significantly increases the risk of famine, the interlinkages between hunger and conflict have been recognized in Security Council resolution 2417. As a consequence, we need to act more decisively on this topic and the interlinkages behind it.

The Security Council must, in accordance with its mandate, become much better at conflict prevention:

First, by making use of the tools at its disposal to monitor conflict-affected countries when the risk of food insecurity is still preventable.

Second, by ensuring safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need. All actors must take measures to allow and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Third, 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. Only that will allow humanitarian organisations to reach affected people - wherever and whoever they are. However, the most effective measure to address conflicts as drivers of hunger is to end and prevent these conflicts, which remains the key task of this Council.

We also call for a scale up of humanitarian operations. Joined-up efforts between the humanitarian, development and peace pillars must be developed and implemented in a coordinated manner in order to end conflict-driven food insecurity and hunger.

And finally, the persisting funding gap for the humanitarian response to this crisis remains alarming. We must ALL step up our commitment to ensure that the most vulnerable continue to receive the assistance they need.

Madame President, colleagues,

We must do better. We can prevent hunger. We need to take concrete steps together to collectively avert the risk of millions of people facing the tragedy of hunger and famine - forever.

We thank you

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