|An online meeting of the UN Security Council — Photo baoquocte.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý underscored the need for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to double efforts to resolve conflict-driven hunger while speaking at a high-level open debate of the council on the issue on Thursday (US time).
In his remarks at the teleconference debate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Famine and hunger are no longer about lack of food. They are now largely man-made — and I use the term deliberately. They are concentrated in countries affected by large-scale, protracted conflict. And they are rising.”
Climate shocks and the COVID-19 pandemic were adding fuel to the flames, he said, citing data showing that at the end of 2020, more than 88 million people were suffering from acute hunger due to conflict and instability, a 20 per cent increase in one year.
Guterres appealed to all UNSC members to take urgent action and increase humanitarian aid.
The Secretary-General also voiced concern over the targeting of aid workers, including the killing of the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio.
He said he decided to establish a high-level task force on preventing famine, and the transformation of food systems to make them more inclusive, resilient and sustainable would be one of the key issues of the Food Systems Summit to be held later this year.
David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, warned about a hunger pandemic besides the COVID-19 pandemic, describing children as the most vulnerable in these disasters.
At the debate, UNSC member states called on parties involved in conflicts to comply with the International Humanitarian Law, create conditions for humanitarian organisations’ unimpeded access to civilians, and increase sponsorship commitments to food and humanitarian assistance programmes.
They said sustainable development and conflict settlement and eradication would form comprehensive and long-term solutions.
For his part, Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, said the UNSC needed to enhance efforts to address conflict-driven hunger.
He called on countries, international and regional organisations, as well as sponsors, to maintain contributions to humanitarian aid programmes while assisting countries to boost the capacity of protecting and meeting the needs of people and build sustainable food systems to enable people’s access to safe and nutritious food.
The UN should have all-round solutions that focus on preventing and ending conflict and building sustainable peace, solve root causes of conflict, and promote regional organisations’ role in maintaining peace and settling conflicts in their regions, the diplomat suggested.
Since the beginning of 2020, the council has held two meetings on the risks of conflict-driven hunger in such countries as Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Afghanistan. — VNS