The Honourable Hugh Hilton Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the invitation of His Excellency, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States of America, earlier today, May 18, attended a high-level Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers at the United Nations Headquarters on “Global Food Security Call to Action."
The High-level meeting was convened to address the accelerating rises in food prices and the shortages of fertilizer, both of which threaten to destabilize fragile societies, deepen extreme poverty, increase hunger, expand already record-high humanitarian needs, increase migration, and cause further economic dislocation.
Minister Todd in his address to the Meeting, which included the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, underscored the Government of Guyana’s commitment to finding solutions to address the global food security concerns.
He emphasized the fact that agriculture is a major anchor of Guyana’s non-oil economy and informed that the government’s priority is to increase domestic production as well as agro-processing capabilities while focusing on both traditional and non-traditional crops.
Minister Todd highlighted the threats posed by food insecurity to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs. In this regard, Minister Todd outlined Guyana’s ambitious food security agenda in relation to the priorities at the national level and at the level of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to improve food security and resilience. He further noted that His Excellency President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the lead Head of Government responsible for Agriculture, Agriculture Diversification and Food Security is currently advancing CARICOM’s strategy on the Agri-Food Systems Agenda: Prioritising Regional Food and Nutrition Security. The agenda aims to commercialize the agri-food sector, boost food supplies and enhance food and nutrition security in the region and reduce the food imports by 25% by 2025.
Minister Todd further stated that Guyana will be hosting the 38th Session of the Food and Agriculture Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2024 (LARC38). The LARC offers a vital space for deliberation among countries of the region on priorities for the agri-food sector with a view to promoting alignment with global policy frameworks, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Guyana’s hosting of LARC38 is founded on the longstanding priority attached to efforts for the continuous development and modernization of the agri-food sector both locally and in the Caribbean sub-region.
Minister Todd also alluded to the vulnerabilities SIDS face – including food security concerns – and called for the finalization of the Multidimensional vulnerability Index.
At the conclusion of the high-level meeting, Guyana endorsed the chair’s Roadmap for Global Food Security—Call to Action which outlines approaches to be taken for curbing the ongoing food crisis.
May 19 2022