Bilawal calls for united response to tackle hunger, climate change
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged global powers to build a collective response to address existential crises such as poverty, the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity.
Addressing the Ministerial Meeting on the “Global Food Security Call to Action” at the UN Headquarters, the External Affairs Minister emphasized the need for a global food security road map to address the impending crises.
He called on UN member states to keep food and agriculture markets open, avoid unjust sanctions, increase fertilizer production, support small farmers and invest in climate smart agricultural innovations.
The External Affairs Minister said global food security challenges cannot be tackled without a plan to address “existential crises” such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and global conflict.
He said the new generation is looking to world leaders to unite to meet these challenges, but lamented the divided reaction of world powers to address these issues.
He said that these challenges are beyond boundaries, castes and do not differentiate between rich and poor.
“Early on we saw the politicization of science, propaganda campaigns and domestic and international political rivalry poisoning the debate around our global response.”
Talking about Pakistan, the minister said that it has the potential to meet not only its food security needs, but that of the world as well.
But the country “has been unable to unlock its agricultural and economic potential,” he said.
He outlined the many causes of Pakistan’s food insecurity, including colonialism, turbulent history, geopolitical challenges, poverty and climate change.
We are suffering from the remnants of colonialism[,] Our own turbulent history and the constant quest to reform our democracy. We are caught in the cross hairs of global geopolitics… while our own context offers a unique set of challenges. ,
“Like the rest of the developing countries, we” [Pakistan] It also faces the same existential threats as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and poverty. All these factors make a country like Pakistan not only food insecure but also water and energy insecure.
The External Affairs Minister said that despite limited resources, Pakistan never shied away from helping other countries in times of need.
“Pakistan is taking a leadership role in advocating for humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan. We have provided humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and Ukraine despite our limited resources.”
Bilawal also talked about the severe water shortage and record-breaking heatwave in Pakistan, which has engulfed most of the country for more than a month.
He said last month, Jacobabad had recorded the highest temperature on the planet with 50 degrees centigrade, before adding that such temperatures are reached during the peak summer season and not in the spring.
“We are facing severe water shortage and our entire country is currently suffering from drought. Agriculture and food security are in danger but we are also facing water insecurity due to climate crisis.
He emphasized the need for dialogue and diplomacy to address issues such as hunger, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.