Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari participated in the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on “Conflict and Food Security” in New York today.

Addressing the Security Council, the Foreign Minister noted that although the world had made progress in promoting prosperity, the systematic causes of conflict and poverty had yet to be overcome. He stressed that a series of crises – the COVID pandemic, economic recession, spiralling prices, and the escalating impacts of climate change – had reversed global growth and, for the first time in 30 years, increased poverty and hunger. The Foreign Minister underscored that while old conflicts had festered, new conflicts had emerged, eroding the edifice of the world order established 76 years ago by the principles of the UN Charter.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that eighty percent of the 800 million undernourished, and the 40 million facing famine, inhabited countries riven by conflict or emerging from conflict.

Lauding the Ministerial Meeting on “Global Food Security Call to Action”, held on 18 May 2022 in New York, the Foreign Minister stated that the initiative would go a long way in addressing the immediate crisis of food security. Pakistan looked forward to play its part in line with this bold call to action.

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan also looked towards the United Nations to provide the leadership to address the root causes of food insecurity and conflict. He recalled that people of Ukraine went hungry due to the ongoing conflict; 95% of the people of Afghanistan were under the threat of poverty as a direct result of conflict; the people of occupied territories in Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) were constantly imprisoned and oppressed by perpetual conflict.

The Foreign Minister underlined that even those not directly involved in a conflict paid the price of war. The conflict in Ukraine meant that many across the world, including in Pakistan, would become food insecure.

The Foreign Minister emphasized that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute continued to fester for over seven decades. Illegal and unilateral actions were being taken to alter the demographic composition of the occupied territory in contravention of international law, the 4th Geneva Convention and the UNSC resolutions. He stressed that, in order to promote durable peace and security in South Asia, it was essential to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. He reminded the Security Council of its responsibilities in that regard.

The Foreign Minister appealed to the international community to deploy dialogue and diplomacy in pursuit of peace, to save another generation of humanity from the misery of conflict. He underscored that the new generation can rise to the challenges of our time, and be the generation that ends hunger and saves this planet.

The Open Debate was convened by the United States, in its capacity as President of the UN Security Council for this month. Chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the focus of the meeting was on food insecurity and exacerbating hunger caused by armed conflicts around the world.

19 May 2022

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