Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s video address to the UN Food Systems Summit, September 24, 2021
The Russian Federation has consistently advocated addressing hunger and eliminating all forms of malnutrition. We consider it unacceptable that, amid the explosive development of science and technology, millions of people around the world continue to suffer and die from hunger and disease. Unfortunately, this already severe situation is further aggravated by the growing number and scale of natural disasters and conflicts, the spread of restrictive measures in trade, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all countries without exception.
This Food Systems Summit provides a unique opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing food systems and identify the key ways to change them to build a world without hunger. As a result of these changes, society should be able to produce a sufficient amount of high-quality food without causing further damage to the environment and biological diversity, as well as ensure food safety and availability for all groups of the population. This comprehensive approach lies at the core of the Russian Federation’s Food Security Doctrine approved by President of Russia Vladimir Putin in January 2020.
As one of the largest food producers and a major participant in the global agricultural market, Russia makes a significant contribution to raising the level of global food security.
Our country supports the international community’s efforts when it comes to humanitarian response and promotion of international development. Russia consistently participates in the provision of food aid, both through bilateral channels and through the relevant UN agencies.
We believe that school nutrition projects are among the most effective forms of assistance because they are at the intersection of humanitarian aid and promotion of development. These projects have a significant cumulative effect. Russia is implementing a series of such projects worth more than $120 million with the World Food Programme.
The National Food Systems Summit Dialogues, organised in preparation for the current summit, brought together representatives of government agencies, science, business and NGOs who systematise the Russian industry achievements of recent years and updated the relevant goals, including international cooperation. All these matters have been reflected in the national report, Towards the UN Food Systems Summit, published on the Summit website.
We believe the national dialogue mechanism at country level should be continued after the Summit. This is exactly how we plan to proceed in Russia.
I would like to note that even the most ambitious recommendations of the Summit might remain on paper if no decisions are taken to coordinate the follow-up activities. We believe that governments need to play the leading role in this process, supported by the international organisations in Rome – the FAO, WFP and IFAD – as well as in cooperation with other UN agencies. Intergovernmental organisations have the appropriate mandate, the necessary expertise and tools to develop internationally consensual solutions, and the potential to provide the necessary assistance to countries in need.