Pakistan says it backs UN agency in ensuring food security

NEW YORK: Pakistan has told the just-concluded UN Economic and Social (ECOSOC) Youth Forum that it supports the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in creating a facility with broader and people-centric criteria to further strengthen it’s efforts to defeat hunger, improve nutrition and food security in the developing countries.

“We have considerable potential in the agriculture sector and could play an important role in building the global food supply chains,” Ambassador Usman Jadoon, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan, said at the forum attended by over 1,000 youth leaders and activists from around the world.

At the same time, he extended Pakistan’s support to the UN Secretary-General’s call for urgent reform of the global financial system, notably how to approach debt relief on behalf of the billions of distressed citizens living in the developing world, saying it was critical for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2) to end world hunger.

Ambassador Jadoon also underscored the need for concerted international efforts to establish resilient and sustainable food systems that can withstand shocks and disruptions in light of the increasing vulnerability of global food systems to a multitude of challenges.

He warned that the world was facing a convergence of crises, from conflicts to climate change, and from supply chain disruptions to economic contractions, which posed significant threats to the ability of existing food systems to provide nutritious, safe, and affordable diets for all.

The Pakistani envoy said that as the fifth most populous country in the world with a significant youthful population, Pakistan recognized the critical importance of safeguarding food systems for future generations. Agriculture, he said, was the backbone of the country’s economy, contributing substantially to its GDP and employing a significant portion of its labour force.

Ambassador Usman Jadoon referred to Pakistan’s 2022 devastating floods, which destroyed 4.4 million acres of standing crops, and said that the catastrophe led to a stark realization of the extreme vulnerability of food systems and the pressing challenges that climate-vulnerable countries faced.

He said that despite its considerable potential in the agriculture sector, Pakistan was grappling with the repercussions of cascading crises, including soaring food prices in the international market.

Ambassador Jadoon said that Pakistan advocated for international assistance that not only addressed immediate emergencies but also prioritized the long-term sustain-ability and resilience of food systems in the vulnerable nations. He said that a holistic approach that considered both short-term challenges and long-term prospects was essential to ensure food security, particularly for the youth who represent the future.

As a nation committed to the well-being of its people and the global community, he said Pakistan calls on all stake-holders to join hands in building resilient food systems that can withstand the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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