Mr. Zhang Wufeng, Administrator, National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration,
Mr. Yang Jinbai, Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipality,
Mr. Ke Yongguo, Director General, Beijing Municipal Grain and Reserves Bureau,
Mr. Richeng Luan, Chairman of COFCO International,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Beijing Municipal Food and Strategic Reserves Administration for co-hosting this important forum with the UN, as we discuss the critical theme of “Strengthening the Resilience of Supply Chain, Building International Food Security Together”.
There was a dramatic worsening of world hunger in 2020, much of it related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is estimated that around a tenth of the global population were undernourished last year. The majority of the world’s undernourished – 381 million – are found in Asia, and more than 250 million live in Africa, where the number of undernourished people is growing faster than in any other region of the world.
At the global level, the prevalence of food insecurity is also higher among women than men. In many parts of the world, the pandemic has triggered brutal recessions and jeopardized access to food. Yet even before the pandemic, hunger was spreading, and progress on malnutrition stalled.
The world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. In fact, if trends continue, the number of people affected by hunger will surpass 840 million by 2030. This is unacceptable.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and set the stage for global food systems transformation during the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2021. As UN Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said during the Food Systems Pre-Summit, “Just as food brings us together as cultures and communities, it can also bring us together around solutions.”
The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems, which the Government of China is also supporting. We appreciate China’s active involvement in the Food Systems Summit process.
Malnutrition remains a global threat. Even if current food systems globally have been successful in producing low-cost calories, healthy diets remain costly and unaffordable for billions of people in the world.
To reduce the cost of nutritious food, we have to tackle the hidden costs associated with food production as well as consumption, that relate to health and climate and integrate sustainability considerations.
Ensuring the affordability of healthy diets for everyone requires transformations of existing food systems, including strengthening their resilience to face shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food systems are diverse and complex, and this transformation will require public and private sector investments, improved planning and coordination across sectors and actors.
Here, China has a significant role to play in the community of nations, sharing its experiences and rich expertise with other developing countries and helping them achieve the SDGs, particularly through South-South Cooperation on Agriculture.
As highlighted by its successful efforts in the fight against extreme poverty, China's impressive social and economic gains over past decades, including in food security and nutrition, provide a source of inspiration for all to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. With China now striving towards rural revitalization, climate action, and realizing common prosperity, we hope the same strong political will, bold public policy, and new partnerships carry forward to achieve the SDGs and leave no one behind.
The UN Country Team in China is fully committed and stands ready to provide support and facilitate sharing China’s experience through South-South Cooperation.
As President Xi Jinping said in his opening remarks for CIFTIS, “Using peace, development and win-win cooperation as the ‘golden key’, we will be able to address the challenges facing the world economy and create a brighter future for all.”
Thank you, China, for your vital support of the UN and the principles of multilateralism. I look forward to fruitful discussions and the insights of all participants today.
Mr. Zhang Wufeng, Administrator, National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration delivers a remark at the Forum
Mr. Yang Jinbai, Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipality delivers a remark at the Forum