Belarus criticizes FAO approaches to global food security

MINSK, 26 April (BelTA) — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) should offer all countries methods to minimize harm from unilateral coercive measures, Belarus’ representative to the FAO Kirill Petrovsky said during a session of the FAO Council on global food security, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“There is a saying: A lie has a short life. I am confident that 2022 year was enough for the FAO Council to clearly understand that sanctions or unilateral coercive measures against fertilizers and food exist, that their lion’s share has nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine for the simple reason that they were introduced much earlier, and that the existence of sanctions is at least one of the reasons of multiple price increases,” the diplomat said.

In this regard, he suggested leaving this part of the discussion in the past. Especially since the last meeting of the Committee on World Food Security made it clear: it will not be possible to agree on anything with the countries that imposed these sanctions. “They are even prepared to vote to remove, erase, delete from the committee’s report the very mention of the sanctions discussion, despite the fact that it actually took place. They should not be expected to acknowledge the effect of sanctions on hunger,” Kirill Petrovsky added.

He stressed that the rest of the world exists. In addition to one billion people living in countries that impose sanctions, there are seven billion others. The 800-plus million hungry people are among the remaining seven billion.

“These 7 billion people also see that the FAO, talking about the causes of hunger, ‘forgets’ about unilateral coercive measures. This is what my letter to the chief economist of the FAO was about,” the Belarusian diplomat said. “Since we can’t persuade some countries to stop hurting others, the FAO should at least identify this factor of influence on the food security and propose us all methods of minimizing the damage from unilateral coercive measures.”

Kirill Petrovsky explained his position on the Belarusian examples: “Since the U.S. and the EU imposed sanctions on the Belarusian producer of nitrogen fertilizers, it means we need to offer the world a wider use of currencies other than U.S. dollars and euros in settlements for nitrogen fertilizers. Lithuania closed access to the sea for Belarusian fertilizers. Hence, we need to create stable routes to deliver fertilizers and food, not subject to the political will of individual countries. And so on.”

“That is exactly the kind of work we expect FAO to do. This is what seven billion people that are now paying for someone else’s ambitions are counting on,” the diplomat concluded.


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