Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Shawwal 3, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

India calls for collective action on food security

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MINISTER
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@patkaushal -


In the wake of global concern over the Russia-Ukraine war and subsequent disturbance in the supply chain of food materials, India has called for a "global collective action" to address the issues of food security and economic decline at an international meet.


Media reports cited Indian Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan’s statement at the United Nations Security Council's (UNSC), in which the minister explained India’s position on suspension of wheat export and suggestions that can make the supply chain sustainable. The crux of his statement revolved around global cooperation to ensure food security and eradicate hunger in the run-up to 2030.


"The Global South has been adversely impacted both by the conflict itself, as well as by various measures put in place in response. If the conflict does not give way to a meaningful path of dialogue and diplomacy immediately, there can be severe repercussions in the global economy which will derail the efforts of the Global South to secure food security and eradicate hunger in the run-up to 2030'', news agency ANI quoted Muraleedharan as saying.


The minister expressed his views at the UNSC's open debate on 'Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Conflict and Food Security'.


Suggesting a solution to the current supply chain imbalance, he said, "The solution to these challenges lies in global collective action. No single country can, on its own, handle such complex collateral ramifications. We need to work collectively, and we need to work together. In this context, let me submit the following eight points for this Council's consideration."


The minister directly referenced the export of wheat and India's recent decision to impose export restrictions. "The Indian government recognised the sudden spike in global prices of wheat which put our food security and those of our neighbours and other vulnerable countries at risk."


He spoke about India's domestic initiatives to ensure access to food and put emphasis on the fact that "India is running the world's largest food-based safety net programme.


"Let me reaffirm that these measures allow for export on the basis of approvals to those countries who are required to meet their food security demands. This will be done at the request of the concerned governments. Such a policy will ensure that we will truly respond to those who are most in need'', the minister said.


He put emphasis on the affordability and accessibility of food grains and said, "It is necessary for all of us to adequately appreciate the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains. We have already seen how these principles were disregarded in the case of Covid-19 vaccines. Open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity and promote discrimination."


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