Delivered by H.E. Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the UN
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark.
This year has seen devastating effects of conflict in many regions, further compounded by the destructive consequences of climate change. The combined effects have upended the lives of millions of people. Hunger is on the march.
In this context, we deplore Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and condemn the subsequent Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports and grain facilities that are key to food security in many parts of the world. The Black Sea Grain Initiative has been critical for avoiding a further deterioration of the global food crisis; and it has helped stabilise global food prices which have already shown signs of an increase following Russia’s withdrawal.
Resolution 2417 – which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council 5 years ago – strongly condemns the use of starvation as a method of warfare. It urges parties to armed conflict to protect civilian infrastructure and ensure the proper functioning of food systems and markets. And in this vein, The Nordic countries have joined the cross-regional group of countries who have co-signed the Joint Communique Condemning the Use of Food as Weapon of War, presented by the United States.
In line with resolution 2417, we urge all parties to armed conflicts to fully comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and to ensure safe, rapid, unrestricted humanitarian access and to not deprive civilians of objects indispensable for their survival.
Hunger leads to conflict. However, by developing long-term sustainable and effective global food systems, we can contribute to ending hunger and preventing conflict. We need to adopt policies and financial instruments to support robust, sustainable and scalable agriculture and food production.
In order to address the issue of hunger and conflict effectively, we need to work closely and efficiently together across the humanitarian - development – peace nexus, and to include climate action in this equation. Likewise, collaboration across the public and private sector as well as collaboration with affected populations are crucial to deliver the results we need. To this end, we must ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation, as well as protection and access to assistance, in particular for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by hunger worldwide.
The Nordic Countries consider Anticipatory Action an important tool for taking action ahead of climate shocks to mitigate, reduce and sometimes even avert humanitarian needs and safeguard long-term development investments. Anticipatory Action is a cost-effective tool, saving more lives and livelihoods against climate-induced hunger through pre-positioning of supplies, including food items and items for food production.
In the end, nothing is achieved without adequate, flexible, and predictable financial support to humanitarian and development assistance. The Nordic countries are and will continue to be reliable contributors of this type of funding.
Let me reiterate that the Nordic countries will always stand firm on the side of International Humanitarian Law. In this context, we call for universal ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC, as well as the two 1977 additional protocols to the Geneva Conventions. This would further strengthen international cooperation in the fight to end the use of starvation as a method of warfare.