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We would like to thank the United States for convening this important meeting and our distinguished briefers for their excellent presentations.
Let me be clear – and I refer to Foreign Minister Baerbock’s statement at the ministerial meeting on global food security the US hosted yesterday: “By blocking Ukrainian ports, by destroying silos, streets and railroads, and especially farmers’ fields Russia has launched a grain war, stoking a global food crisis.” The estimates are very clear: at least 8 to 13 million people will – due to the war – suffer from hunger, in addition to 890 million already affected worldwide (FAO).
The aggravated global food crisis is not, as Russia wants to make us believe, the consequence of sanctions that target those responsible for Russia’s war of aggression. The responsibility lies exclusively with Russia, whose military actions destroys parts of the Ukrainian agriculture, and whose government deliberately blocks the export of grain much needed in other parts of the world. Germany, together with its partners, will support Ukraine in exploring alternative ways of exporting its grain to where it is so badly needed, for example via railroad and shipments through the Baltic and North Seas.
Russia’s war of aggression exacerbates an already dire situation. Even before the Russia started its war against Ukraine on 24 February, 2022 had been forecast to be the most food insecure year on record. The first victims are, like always, the most vulnerable ones: women, children, the elderly, especially in less developed countries, in particular in the global South. These people have our full solidarity and support.
The interlinkage between hunger and conflict are clearly recognized by Security Council resolution 2417 (2018). As members of the Security Council in 2019/2020, Germany and the Dominican Republic consistently put this topic high on the Council's agenda and called for more decisive action. In our view, the Security Council should use the means of its resolution 2417 (2018) more often.
Building on resolution 2417, we must become better at preventing conflict on the one side, and at addressing the alarming incidents of hunger and global food insecurity on the other. Three points to stress:
First, we have to increase humanitarian assistance for WFP and other humanitarian organizations, particularly with flexible funding, in line with the Grand Bargain commitments. Germany has already announced substantial additional funding for this year, inter alia to support the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and Syria.
At the same time, we must also help to increase the long-term resilience of vulnerable countries. Also, we must strive for a coordinated triple nexus approach between the different pillars of peace and security, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.
Secondly, we have to 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 our G7 presidency, as the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement of 13 May underlines.
Thirdly, we all have to step up our commitment to help counter the devastating global repercussions of the war in Ukraine. In total, the German budget plan foresees providing more than 4 billion Euros on food security-related activities in 2022. Our “Global Alliance for Food Security” launched at the meeting of the G7 development ministers on 18/19 May is open to participation of further actors. It reflects the need to redouble efforts for resilient, sustainable and diversified food systems in the medium and long term.
Hunger is manmade – so it is our choice to prevent it! We are convinced, that, together, we can achieve this goal: for this, we must do better and take concrete steps to collectively tackle the root causes of conflict.
On January 20, 2022 the General Assembly of the UN in New York adopted by consenus a new resolution which calls an States and non-state actors to take active measures against Holocaust denial.