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Statement by Dr. Liu Yuyin, Chinese Delegate, at the Second Committee of the 64th Session of the UNGA, on Agriculture Development and Food Security

2009/10/23

New York, 23 October 2009

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation endorses the statement made by the representative of the Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. It also expresses appreciation for the report submitted by the Secretary General under this item.

Mr. Chairman,

Food is a fundamental condition for human survival. It bears not only on the national economy and the people's livelihood of every country, but also on global development and security. Right now, the global food situation is faced with daunting challenges. The report of the Secretary General pointed out that, in 2008, the world's undernourished people reached 1.02 billion, equivalent to one sixth of the world's total population. Today, the prevalence rate of hunger exceeds 35% in 16 countries in Africa, and external assistance is needed routinely by 30 countries. Moreover, progress in attaining hunger and poverty reduction targets has been uneven among countries, with some regions suffering severe setbacks. The prospect of realizing the MDGs by 2015 is indeed worrisome. All these directly affect global economic recovery and stabilization, and are not conducive to sustaining world peace and achieving common prosperity.

It is noteworthy that, today with the deepening of economic globalization and the unprecedented development of science and technology, the international community does not lack the means for solving the food issue. The key is to effectively coordinate policies and actions based on the concept of common development. We believe the following is necessary:

First, high attention should be paid to agricultural development and the food issue, which should be treated from a strategic point of view. In the context of pushing for global economic recovery, countries should accord top priority to food security in their national development policies. It is necessary to pay attention to agricultural production, take active measures to strengthen policy support to agriculture and increase financial and technical input, so as to raise food production and increase food stock. Major food producing countries should make more efforts to this end, while the developing countries should work continuously to enhance their level of food production, with the necessary financial and technical support from the developed countries.

Secondly, integrated measures should be taken to tackle the food issue in a comprehensive manner. The issue of food security has complex root causes and involves multifaceted factors. Countries should take integrated measures in the fields of finance, trade, assistance, environment, intellectual property rights and the transfer of technology, in order to create enabling conditions and a favorable environment for promoting agricultural development and maintaining food security. Joint efforts are needed to stabilize world food prices and strike a proper balance between the development of biofuel and the need to ensure food security.

Thirdly, international cooperation should be strengthened. The international community should create a favorable environment for international trade in agricultural products and establish a fair and reasonable international trade order for these products. The developed countries should demonstrate more good will in the Doha Round of agricultural negotiations, eliminate trade barriers and show more flexibility in such areas as reducing agricultural subsidies, and give full consideration to the special concerns of the developing countries. The international community should provide stable and predictable financial support, make the world market and supply chain more accessible to farmers in the developing countries, and transfer technology to the developing countries, all with a view to helping them enhance their capacity for sustainable agricultural development.

Mr. Chairman,

China attaches great importance to agriculture, particularly the food issue. It has kept firmly to the policy of self-reliance to ensure basic food self-sufficiency. In the last decade, China has maintained a rate of food self-sufficiency of above 95%, with average annual net export of major grains such as wheat, rice and corn reaching eight million tons. At present, the average tariff for agricultural products in China is only one quarter of the world's average. While ensuring domestic food supply, China has also provided assistance within its capacity to other developing countries, particularly African countries, under the framework of South-South cooperation, as part of its contribution to promoting the development of food and agricultural in the world. Since 2003, China has provided nearly 300,000 tons of food assistance to other countries, helped to complete 14 agricultural project packages, and established more than 20 overseas centers for demonstrating agricultural technologies. We have already decided to increase the number of such centers to 30 this year. China has trained more than 4,000 managerial and technical personnel in the agricultural field for other developing countries. We have also contributed $30 million to the FAO for the establishment of a trust fund with the specific purpose of helping the agricultural development of developing countries. Within the framework of South-South cooperation, we stand ready to continue to share our agricultural development experience with other developing countries and try our best to provide various kinds of help.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

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