At UN, India highlights its climate change, food security efforts

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj addressing the UNSC Open Debate on February 13, 2024, in New York. PHOTO: @IndiaUNNewYork

Member States of the United Nations, including India, came together to discuss intensifying effects of food insecurity over recent years due to various crises at a United Nations Security Council High-Level Open Debate on “The Impact of Climate Change and Food Insecurity on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security” February 13, 2024, in New York.

Addressing the Open Debate, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj noted that amidst the global challenges of lagging progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the setback in SDG2, specifically addressing zero hunger, has become pronounced, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that India adhering to its strong conviction in the enduring principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” has helped Member States proactively in times of crises. During the pandemic, India supplied food assistance to a number of countries with the aim of bolstering food security. Those nations include Africa, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Palestine.

“Food insecurity has been a major part of our global agendas in the recent past and rightly so. Climate change is also amongst the drivers of food insecurity,” said Kamboj. Referring to India, she said “Countries such as ours where farmers are the backbone of our agricultural and rural economy, know very well the impact on crop yields and food prices caused by changing weather patterns.”

Underscoring India’s leadership efforts in “supporting action-oriented steps” globally in addressing climate change challenges, Kamboj expressed, “While India will always be a champion for climate action and climate justice, I would also like to emphasize that climate change is interlinked with development matters and needs discussion in forums with universal participation.”

Kambo warned that examining “international peace and security” in the context of climate change might lead to misconceptions, and oversimplifying the root causes of conflicts will not contribute to their effective resolution.

“Choosing to place the issue of climate change in forums other than the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change especially those where all members do not sit on an equal footing, may undermine the larger cause of securing equity and climate justice,” she added.

She went on to say that efforts to alleviate worldwide food insecurity should commence with “peace, cooperation, and multilateralism” and seeking shared solutions by way of “dialogue and diplomacy.”

Stressing on the significance of “resilient and viable options” in addressing challenges related to the global food security, Kamboj further said “India has been championing the cultivation, production and marketing of millets, which are climate resilient and climate friendly crop for bolstering food security.”

She recalled that during India’s G20 Presidency, G20 members pledged “ambitious commitments” to improve global food security and nutrition for everyone aligning with the G20 Deccan High-Level Principles on Food Security and Nutrition 2023. She also reminded the Council that India’s G20 Presidency achieved consensus on a Green Development Pact for a sustainable future.

Addressing the Council, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres cautioned “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,” while noting the worldwide food emergency is giving rise to a distressing situation of widespread hunger for numerous individuals around the globe, and pointed to the “devastating relationship between hunger and conflict” such as those happening in Syria, Gaza, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Haiti, and Sudan. While reiterating efforts to “renew global peace and security frameworks” Guterres emphasized that it is crucial to make the most of the upcoming Summit of the Future in September later this year, during which Member States will deliberate on the proposed New Agenda for Peace.



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