I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*, and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
At the outset, I would like to thank the facilitator, Ms. Dalia Salkauskiene from Lithuania, who steered the negotiations with great professionalism and spirit.
The EU welcomes the adoption by consensus of this important resolution on Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, that is a cornerstone not only for the promotion and implementation of SDG 2, “Zero Hunger”, but which directly encompasses and touches upon all the other Sustainable Development Goals.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact in many Countries of the world, proving to be more than just a health crisis. It has negatively impacted food systems, triggered food crises, increased food insecurity, and further imperilled the health and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, in particular those in fragile contexts.
With the number of food insecure people on the rise, it is of the highest importance to address the topics of food security and nutrition. In that regard we welcome the highlighting of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit and the Secretary Generals Chair’s Summary and Statement of Action, which brought together governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, producers, farmers, and local constituencies in an unprecedented fashion to transform food systems, and address food security and nutrition issues. We look forward to continuing working with all actors and stakeholders and with the UN system as a whole to advance the follow-up process of the Food Systems Summit.
Unsustainable agricultural practices are a major driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. If we are to achieve the urgently needed transformation to sustainable and resilient food systems and to achieve our climate change and biodiversity goals, we must look at these issues together and promote sustainable agricultural systems that provide food security, access to healthy diets and the basis for rural livelihoods but do not harm our ecosystems and ensure climate resilience. In this regard, we are pleased to see agro-ecological methods and innovations emphasized within the text.
We are, however, disappointed that the reference to the “One Health Approach” was not retained in the final text. This integrated approach to environmental, human, animal and plant health, which has already been fully acknowledged by the General Assembly and the international community at large, will be crucial to prevent future health threats, and in particular zoonotic diseases, and make us more resilient for future global shocks.
Mr. Chairman, we count that this Resolution will continue to provide key guidance to the UN and Member States to achieve the key objective to provide food for all through sustainable food systems and leave no one behind.
I thank you.