UNITED NATIONS, May 20 (APP): Pakistan Thursday urged the United Nations to provide leadership to deal with the root causes of food insecurity that has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, and conflict, as old disputes, like Kashmir, fester and new ones emerge.
“It is indeed the United Nations which has been founded for this very purpose – to resolve conflicts; to end wars; to make peace; to battle hunger, poverty and desperation,” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told the UN Security Council.
Speaking in the open debate on “Conflict and Food Security”, he roundly criticized India’s annexation of Jammu and Kashmir, in violation of UN resolutions, and its atrocities against the oppressed Kashmiri people.
“The actions of the 05 of August 2019 and the 05 of May 2022 by India in Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is not only an assault on the people of Kashmir, but is an assault on the United Nations, it is an assault on the Security Council and its resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the foreign minister said.
“The inaction of this body as the internationally recognized disputed status of the region is undermined. The inaction of this forum while the Muslim majority of Kashmiris are being turned into a minority in their own land, in their own home, leads the youth of Kashmir to question that who will resolve this conflict? Who will deliver the peace they were promised?
“We challenge those that worry about food security, resolve the Kashmir dispute. Open the doors to peace in South Asia and watch how the farmers of Pakistan and India can feed the world,” FM Bilawal added.
With rising great power rivalries, political dialogue has frequently frozen, and often, this Security Council, has been paralyzed, he said. “Old conflicts have festered; and new conflicts have emerged – eroding the edifice of the world order established 76 years ago by the principles of the UN charter.”
In the debate, which was convened by the United States, FM Bilawal underscored the need for deploying dialogue and diplomacy in pursuit of peace.
Highlighting the grim situation resulting from food insecurity, he said that eighty percent of the 800 million are undernourished, and the 40 million facing famine, inhabit countries riven by conflict or emerging from conflict.
In this “decade of action” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he said, the international community instead confronted a series of disasters — the covid pandemic, economic recession, spiraling prices, and the escalating impacts of climate change. These have reversed global growth, and for the first time in 30 years, increased poverty and hunger.
FM Bilawal said Wednesday’s ministerial meeting on global food security call to action would go a long way in addressing the immediate crisis of food security, and appreciated the leadership — the U.S. — behind such humanitarian efforts.
“The call to action will help ramping up food production, help keep supply chains open and address blockages, mobilize financial and agricultural resources to where they are needed, help poor farmers expand local production and much more,” he said adding that Pakistan looks forward to play its part in line with this bold call to action.
Pointing out that he people of Ukraine go hungry due to the ongoing conflict, the foreign minister said 95% of the people of Afghanistan are under the threat of poverty as a direct result of conflict.
“The people of occupied territories in Palestine and IOJK and are constantly imprisoned by perpetual conflict. They are arbitrarily and inhumanely suffering from immense misery – including hunger,” FM Bilawal said.
“Even those not directly involved in a conflict pay the price of war,” he said, adding that the conflict in Ukraine means that Pakistanis are at risk of going hungry, having relied heavily on wheat and fertilizer from the region.
“Our farmers are suffering and so are our people. We pay the price of this conflict at the petrol pump and at the grocery store. For everyone who finds it difficult to make ends meet, things just got a lot more difficult.”
At the end of the last “cold war”, the foreign minister said, the world saw the beginning of what would become the new war.
“Afghanistan was abandoned and out of the wreckage emerged the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the war against extremism and terrorism. Today, Afghanistan runs the risk of being abandoned yet again. We find ourselves at the precipice of what many fear can be a new era of great power conflict.”
Pakistan, he said, has seen the cost of war up close.
“We are exhausted by conflict. We just witnessed how after decades of conflict, ultimately dialogue and diplomacy were the path to a conclusion,” the foreign minister said.
“From our own experience, we humbly appeal to you, to deploy dialogue and diplomacy in pursuit of peace before and not after the next Great War,” he added
FM Bilawal called for saving another generation of humanity from the misery of conflict. “Then watch as a new generation unlocks its true potential. We can rise to the challenges of our time. We can be the generation that ends hunger.
“We can be the generation that saves this planet. We can be the generation that breaks the cycle. If you let us.”