Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey LAVROV, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation at the United Nations Food Systems Summit
The Russian Federation has been consistently advocating for addressing the problem of hunger and eliminating all forms of malnutrition. We consider it unacceptable that amid the explosion in technologies and science development, millions of people in the world continue to suffer and die from hunger and diseases. Unfortunately, the already difficult situation in this area is further aggravated by the increase in the number and scale of natural disasters and conflicts, the spread of restrictive measures in trade, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all countries without exception.
This Summit provides a unique opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing food systems and identify key areas for transforming them to build a world without hunger. The result of these changes should be not only the production of a sufficient amount of quality food without causing further damage to the environment and biodiversity, but also ensuring its preservation and availability for all categories of the population. It is this comprehensive approach that forms the basis of the Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation, approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2020.
As one of the top food producers and a major participant in the global agricultural market, Russia makes a significant contribution to improving the level of global food security.
Our country supports the efforts of the world community in the field of humanitarian response and international development assistance. We consistently participate in the provision of food aid both through bilateral channels and via UN system organizations.
We consider the implementation of school feeding projects to be one of the most effective forms of assistance. Located at the intersection of humanitarian and development assistance, they provide a large cumulative effect. Together with WFP, we are implementing a series of such projects worth more than USD 120 million.
Our national dialogue in preparation for the current Summit brought together representatives of government authorities, science, business and NGOs and made it possible to systematize domestic sectoral achievements of recent years and update the related targets, including in the field of international cooperation. All these elements are reflected in our national report, which is entitled “Towards the United Nations Food Systems Summit” and posted on the Summit website.
We believe that at the country level it would be useful to retain the mechanism of national dialogues to continue the work after the Summit. That is just what we intend to do in Russia.
It should be noted that even the most ambitious recommendations of the Summit run the risk of remaining only on paper if decisions are not taken to coordinate the follow-up activities. We proceed from the fact that the leading role in this process should belong to governments with the support of the Rome-based international agencies – FAO, WFP and IFAD – and in cooperation with other UN system organizations. It is intergovernmental organizations that have the appropriate mandate, the necessary expertise and tools to develop solutions that meet international consensus, as well as the potential to provide the necessary assistance to countries in need.
Thank you for your attention.