BRIEF REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR NEIL PIERRE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE COOPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA AT THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON "TARGETING HUNGER: SOUTH-SOUTH AND TRIANGULAR COOPERATION FOR TRANSFORMING AGRICULTURE" (New York, 12 February 2020)
Panel 1: Evidence-based policy making for sustainable agriculture and food systems to combat hunger
- Hunger and food insecurity remain concentrated in developing countries, where the populations are predominantly rural despite rapid urbanization. About 70 percent of the extreme poor live in rural areas and most of them are farmers. And 63 percent of the population depends on agriculture in low income countries.
- Our current agricultural and food systems are failing us. Business as usual is not a solution; such systems need to work differently and better. Transforming food and agricultural systems is critical to win the fight against poverty, hunger and malnutrition. We must address the impacts of climate change and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.
- In fact, the Global Sustainable Development Report recognized food systems and nutrition as critical entry points in order to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- We note also that the "zero hunger" vision of SDG Target 2.3 focuses on small-scale food producers, particularly women, indigenous peoples and family farmers. The world's 475 million small family farms account for up to 80 percent of the global food supply in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
- The Group calls for the full implementation of the Global Action Plan of the United Nations Decade on Family Farming 2019-2028, particularly its first pillar on an enabling policy environment to strengthen family farming.
- We know that agriculture is an important source of much needed jobs for the youth. In Africa alone, about 10 million youths enter the job market each year. This both a challenge and an opportunity to explore the demographic dividend.
- The youth can greatly contribute to leveraging digitalization to support our development efforts. We must harness their knowledge in new technologies and engage them in agribusiness, as well as in agricultural information gathering and dissemination.
Panel 2: The role of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in facilitating knowledge-sharing and knowledge-building and leveraging investments in agriculture and food systems to combat hunger
- Hunger has been on the rise over the past three years, returning to levels from a decade ago. This is a clear warning that more must be done urgently if the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger is to be achieved by 2030. We need a more sustainable food security solution.
- Toward this end, new farming techniques, especially to take account of the impacts of climate change on food production, are already being pioneered in many parts of the global South, including new crop varieties.
- The Group of 77 and China believe that sustained and inclusive economic growth is essential for eradicating poverty and hunger. National efforts in this regard should be complemented by an enabling international environment, aimed at expanding the development opportunities for developing countries.
- In a 2014 policy paper, FAO has emphasized that given the limitations of alternative financing sources, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can play a major role in bridging the agriculture sector investment gap in developing countries. FDI can generate employment, technology transfer and easier access to capital markets to benefit the agriculture sector of the host country.
- Agricultural investment projects are more likely to benefit local economic and social development when local farmers and landholders play an active role at the design and planning phase. More effective partnerships should be pursued between local farmers' organizations, the private sector and civil society, to assist developing countries.
- The challenge of hunger is driven by interconnected and systemic issues; nothing short of collective action and commitment will enable us to be equal to this challenge. South-South and Triangular Cooperation, as well as the targeted use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are even more crucial as developing countries have valuable experiences to share and can help scale up their reach.
- It is evident therefore that zero hunger can only be achieved when we begin to leverage the benefits of partnerships and Information and Communication Technologies.