Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU General Statement – United Nations 2nd Committee: Adoption of Agriculture development, food security and nutrition

New York, 26/11/2020 - 01:04, UNIQUE ID: 201125_59
Statements on behalf of the EU

24 November 2020, New York - General Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Ms. Helge Elisabeth Zeitler, Counsellor, EU Delegation to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee Agenda Item 26: Adoption of Agriculture development, food security and nutrition

Mr Chairman,

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 Ms. Dalia Salkauskiene from Lithuania for her work as facilitator during these negotiations in unprecedented times. I would also like to thank the G77 and China, and particularly Ms. Sharon Juarez from Guatemala and Mr. Anthony Manurung from Indonesia for their work.

Mr. Chairman,

The EU welcomes the adoption by consensus of this important resolution on Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, that is a cornerstone of the promotion of SDG 2 at large. SDG 2 is an “existential" SDG.

As the Covid-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact in many Countries of the world, the pandemic has proven to be more than just a health crisis. It is a global crisis that could trigger food crises in many regions of the world, and further imperil the health and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, in particular in fragile contexts.

While the number of food insecure people has increased in the past months, food security and nutrition remains an urgent topic to address. This resolution should therefore provide us with a blueprint on how to transform food systems, especially in the lead up to the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

Allow me to reiterate that, the EU and its MS would have preferred stronger language on climate change and environment to be included in the final draft.

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, improved nutrition and the basis for rural livelihoods but do not harm our ecosystems and ensure climate resilience.  “Building back better” must also mean “building back greener”.  In this regard, we also regret 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 will be crucial to prevent future health threats, and in particular zoonotic diseases, and make us more resilient for future global shocks.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, we would like to highlight that the reference to “healthy diets” should not preclude any negotiations that are currently taking place in Rome on the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, where the EU common position is in support of the formulation “sustainable healthy diets” aiming to incorporate a focus on the environmental dimension of agricultural practices.

I thank you.

* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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