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President Ali proposes new global food system to combat hunger


Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali proposed a new global food system that incorporates a tax and financial system to directly combat hunger, in his address at the inaugural Voice of Global South Summit that began on Thursday.

He emphasized India’s strengths in technology, research and development, agro-processing, and human and technical capacity, and called for the formation of a team of experts to assist in food production in low-light and small island developing states.

“I suggest India because, in our honest reflection, it is clear that the multilateral organizations have not brought the required results in addressing hunger,” the president told those attending the two-day event which is the first summit of developing countries from Asia, Africa, and South America. “Today, Latin America and the Caribbean have more top position as the most food insecure region in the world. We must arrest the situation now.”

The Guyanese head of state highlighted that India has demonstrated that it has the ability to respond to global challenges and global needs whenever the need arises.

Within this context, President Ali commended the South Asian state on hosting the special virtual summit, noting that it is a demonstration of its noble intention of becoming a voice for the South.

“India’s presidency of the G20 and its proclaimed commitment of being the advocate of the South offers hope that within the global governance architecture, the concerns of the South will enjoy greater traction,” he pointed out.

The president further highlighted the threats of physical extinction facing small islands and low-lying coastal states due to climate change, energy and food crises, the global pandemic, and interstate conflicts.

He underscored the need for increased, improved, and fast access to concessional financing for climate adaptation to ensure greater resilience against the adverse effects of climate change.

President Ali stated that sustainable development is unachievable without food security, and therefore, the south must act collectively to guarantee its full security.

“It can do so by dismantling artificial and unwarranted barriers to trade in agricultural commodities, attracting great investments in food production, and promoting the wider dissemination of agricultural technologies, especially climate-smart technologies,” he said.

The president also expressed support for India’s proposal to the United Nations to designate 2023 as the Year of Millets, small, round whole grains grown in India, and congratulated India on the recognition.

Source : Caribbean National Weekly