Uniting for Global Food Security
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) looks at the German G7 Presidency as an opportunity for development cooperation. Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze on the agenda and the goals of the G7 development ministers.
The world is facing major challenges: The droughts in West and East Africa caused by climate change, the consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic or local and regional conflicts. Now the effects of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine are added. The worst hunger crisis since the Second World War is looming. The immediate consequences for the global food situation require a united response by the leading economies in close coordination with the affected partner countries of the Global South as well as international organisations.
To jointly provide a rapid, effective, and sustainable response to the worsening food situation, the G7 development ministers initiated a Global Alliance on Food Security (GAFS) at our meeting on 18/19 May in Berlin. The objective of the alliance is to ensure close coordination of food security measures. In recent weeks, we have been able to win numerous governments and international organisations as well as activists from civil society and the private sector to this alliance. Together with my colleagues from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Food and Agriculture, I have invited to Berlin, tommorrow (Friday, 24 June) for the International Conference ‘Uniting for Global Food Security’. It is important for us to jointly work with our partners to find answers to the multiple challenges of the multidimensional crisis situation.
In doing so, we must not only ensure an effective crisis response, but ensure that our actions do not undermine efforts to achieve the necessary transformation of global agri-food systems towards resilience and sustainability. These must be strengthened to improve the foundation for global food security and healthy nutrition, especially in our partner countries. This also means that the agri-food systems must neither contribute to deforestation and forest degradation nor counteract global action on climate protection and climate adaptation.
We have also reaffirmed our full commitment to achieving the 2015 G7 Elmau target. To lift 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, we as G7 will maintain a strong focus on a sustainable and inclusive transformation of global agri-food systems.
Climate protection, biodiversity conservation and food security must be considered as a nexus. Science will be key to adapting agricultural and trade policies in line with the transformation. In support of this ‘Beyond Elmau’ agenda, we are coordinating with initiatives to expand a knowledge network on transforming agricultural policies. Moreover, we are advocating for a focus on agri-food systems at the next UN Climate Change Conference, COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), we as the G7 continue to encourage all relevant stakeholders to engage in the Zero Hunger Coalition.
Above all, for a successful transformation of the agri-food sector with the goal of true sustainability, we must succeed in eliminating all forms of discrimination. For example, the rights of women and girls must be strengthened. Differences in access to land rights, property, finances, inheritance rights or the professional practice must be eliminated for sustainable and equitable agri-food systems. It is a central concern of mine to contribute to more gender justice with a feminist development policy during the G7 Presidency. Strengthening the role of women and girls in agriculture is an extremely important service to society as a whole – especially in countries of the Global South. I am particularly pleased that the G7 ministers at our meeting in Berlin jointly committed to this approach at our meeting.
After this year's summit in Elmau, it is important to take a close look at the decisions of the final communiqué. I am counting on results that can work in the sense of a just and humane world and must therefore be implemented as quickly as possible with united forces – so that we as a global community do not fail in the face of increasing challenges.