Voice of the Global South Summit: Global food system needed to end hunger amid alarming food insecurity – Pres Ali
– says advancements in agriculture make India a leader in food security efforts
In decrying the grave impact of food insecurity within Latin America and the Caribbean, as he participated in the Voice of the Global South Summit in India, President Irfaan Ali has called for the mobilisation of a global food system to end hunger.
Currently in India, President Irfaan Ali has addressed leaders at the Voice of the Global South Summit on Thursday, a two-day initiative being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders. The Guyanese Head of State shared that India has demonstrated its ability to respond to global challenges and global needs, and its initiative to host the Summit is a demonstration of its noble intention of becoming a voice for the South.
He used the platform to highlight the plight of small island developing and low-lying coastal states and the mounting threats they face.
“Small island developing and low-lying coastal states, who face the threat of physical extinction as a result of the climate crisis, and whose populations have been encumbered by high debt burdens, imported inflation, and increasing energy costs, India’s presidency of the G20 and its proclaimed commitment of being the advocate of the South, offers hope that within the global governance architecture, the concerns of the South will enjoy greater traction,” the Head of State vocalised.
The President shared that the international community’s confrontation with interconnected challenges – such as the global pandemic, climate, energy, and good crisis – and inter-state conflicts has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of small island developing and low-lying coastal states.
He reiterated that fending from the grasp of climate change will require increased and faster access to concessional financing for climate adaptation, as well as tangible efforts to achieve food security.
India’s experience in agricultural production and technology allows it to lead on this front.
“The climate crisis has imperiled food security in many parts of the world. It is intolerable that in a world of so much, so many have to subsist on so little. Sustainable development is unachievable without food security. The South therefore must act collectively to guarantee its food security. It can do so by dismantling artificial and unwarranted barriers to trade in agricultural commodities, attracting greater investments in food production, and promoting the wider dissemination of agricultural technologies.”
He asserted that multilateral organisations have not brought the results needed in addressing hunger, as Latin America and the Caribbean take the title for the most food insecure region in the world. As a result, calls were made for the global food system to be introduced, which India can lead with its resources.
“I also propose a global food system that will incorporate a tax and financial system that would go directly to ending hunger. With India’s strength in technology, research, and development, agro-processing, and human and technical capacity, I strongly suggest that India must put together a team of experts to help in the production of food in low-lying and small island developing states,” he said.
Small island developing and low-lying coastal states, he added, would like matters of energy security, climate security, social justice, human dignity, and food security addressed.
Calls were made for the conversation to move outside of the Voice of the Global South Summit to organizations such as the Commonwealth; Non-Aligned Movement; Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States; and the Group of 77 and China.
He added, “As India continues to forge pathways to find solutions to global concerns while highlighting the plight of developing and less developed countries, I assure you of Guyana’s unwavering support. Guyana pledges our unflinching support in the areas of food security, energy security, climate security, human dignity, and prosperity. Our future is built on these pillars, essentially as outlined in our Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030.”
Guyana currently holds lead responsibility for agriculture, agricultural diversification, and food security in Caricom, and is spearheading the regional body’s quest to reduce its US$5 billion food import bill. This is in keeping with a commitment by Caricom Member States to achieve the target of reducing food importation by 25 per cent by the year 2025.