China: Weaponizing economic interdependence creates man-made difficulties, local risks
A UN Security Council meeting on food security and conflict at the UN headquarters in New York, U.S., May 19, 2022. /CFP

A UN Security Council meeting on food security and conflict at the UN headquarters in New York, U.S., May 19, 2022. /CFP

"Weaponizing economic interdependence will only create man-made difficulties, and amplify local risks" in a globalized era when any slight disruption in the supply chain is quickly transmitted and generates a ripple effect, Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), said Thursday. 

The international community should work together to stabilize the global food market, ensure diverse food supplies, and ease agricultural trade globally, Zhang told a UN Security Council meeting on food security and conflict.

"It is important to bring back to the international market agricultural products and fertilizers from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. We welcome the efforts of the UN secretary-general to this end," he said.

"We call for speedy removal of the restrictions on food production and exports imposed by unilateral sanctions so as to allow for a steady flow of food production and supply." 

Zhang also stressed the importance of providing emergency food supplies and assistance with timely and targeted help to vulnerable groups such as women and children.

On the restructuring and reform of the global food system, Zhang said that "we need to promote deep transformation and enhance the resilience of the global food system."

"Like many food crises we faced since the 20th century, the current crisis once again brings to light the structural problems of the global food system," he said. 

"The world food supply and demand pattern is characterized by food production highly concentrated in a few countries, while consumer countries are geographically well dispersed. This makes the balance of food supply and demand highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, pandemics, armed conflicts, and other emergency and unforeseen factors."

Zhang said that to strengthen the resilience of the global food system to withstand risks, it is important to help developing countries enhance their self-sustaining capacity, increase agriculture and rural inputs, accelerate progress in agricultural science and technology, improve agriculture infrastructure and expand food availability.

"The three UN agricultural agencies and international financial institutions should leverage their respective strengths and play an active role in situational analysis, policy advice and aid coordination, and provide more support to developing countries," he said.

Zhang called on developed countries to reduce trade and technical barriers and give more help to developing countries in terms of funding, technology, market access, and capacity building, thus playing their due role in building an efficient, open, and fair global food supply system.

(With input from Xinhua)

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