UN officials back Guyana’s focus on tackling food insecurity


Guyana hopes more countries will recognise the existing threat climate change and conflict pose to food security.

That’s why it organised a debate at the level of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday and brought together top UN officials, leaders and other representatives to discuss this issue.

Conflicts are ongoing in several places including in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan and Haiti. The country’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali provided figure after figure demonstrating how climate change, be it through droughts or floods, is affecting food security.

He also said conflicts affect food security because of the land destroyed, the food systems disrupted and the harmful emissions from militaries. So he said greater global action is needed to guarantee that people have enough food.

UN Secretary General António Guterres and Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Simon Stiell were among those who backed Guyana’s calls.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali (right) at the debate on conflict, climate change and food security with UN Secretary General António Guterres (Photo: Office of the President/ February 13, 2024)

“I thank the Government of Guyana for bringing us together to focus on the impact of the climate crisis and food insecurity on global peace and security.

“Climate chaos and food crises are serious and mounting threats to global peace and security. It is only right that they are addressed by this Council,” Mr. Guterres said.

Not only that, but the UN Secretary General also pointed out that climate change and conflicts are the main drivers of the global food crisis. In fact, he noted that climate and conflict were the main causes of acute food insecurity for almost 174 million people in 2022.

So he urged countries to act and build a livable, sustainable future, free from hunger, and free from the scourge of war.

Meanwhile, Mr. Stiell pointed out the combined effect of the crises is “devastating.”

“There is no national security without food security. And there will be no food security without enhanced action to stop climate change,” Mr. Stiell said.

Like others, he called for action to be taken but he said the UNFCCC can help.

According to him, the UNFCCC can provide updates on climate issues to inform decision making in the Security Council should the body decide to pay much keener attention to those matters.

Guyana, for February, holds the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council. The country is serving a two-year term on the Council which is one of the six principal organs of the UN and it is tasked with maintaining international peace and security.

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