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UN Security Council Unanimously Condemns Use of Food as a Weapon of War

BY ALEX BALUKU

In a historic move, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a Presidential Statement condemning the use of food as a weapon of war. The statement, which garnered widespread support from member states, represents a significant step towards addressing global famine and food insecurity.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President of the UN Security Council, highlighted the importance of the Council’s focus on this critical issue during her press conference marking the conclusion of the U.S. presidency. “We brought global famine and food insecurity to the top of the Council’s agenda – as I have done during all three of my presidencies,” she noted, emphasizing the significance of combating this pressing humanitarian concern.

During the month-long presidency, the Security Council held a meeting chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, centered on the link between conflict and hunger. This session led to the unanimous agreement on the Presidential Statement that condemns the use of food as a weapon of war. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield expressed her pride in this achievement, stating, “This is the first Council product on combatting food insecurity in years. And it really was a big deal.”

The Presidential Statement is accompanied by a communique signed by 91 member states, signaling a global commitment to ending the use of food as a tool of warfare. This joint effort underlines the shared determination to alleviate the suffering of those impacted by food-related conflicts. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield praised the significance of this achievement, as it underscores the global community’s recognition of the profound humanitarian implications of using food as a weapon.

During her press conference, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also addressed questions from the press. When asked about Russia’s behavior and attitude as potential obstacles to fulfilling the agenda, she responded firmly, “They did their best. They failed. We had an extraordinarily successful month.” Despite attempts at obstruction, the Ambassador highlighted the Council’s united stance against such actions.

Another question revolved around the upcoming High-Level Week, which will feature discussions on Ukraine and the Black Sea Initiative. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield emphasized the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit, with a focus on achieving the 17 SDGs. She acknowledged that Ukraine would be a significant part of the discussions, particularly given the situation in the region. “None of us want anything – we want – there’s nothing we want more than peace for the people of Ukraine,” she stated.

The press conference also touched on the situation in Gabon and Mali. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield condemned the overthrow of the Gabonese government, echoing the State Department’s stance. Regarding the Mali sanctions resolution, she expressed disappointment in Russia’s obstructionism, emphasizing that the interests of the Malian people should be the primary concern.

In response to a question about the next steps for the Mali situation, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield candidly answered, “Ask the Russians.” She highlighted the need to find a path forward that supports peace in Mali and urged continued efforts to address the country’s needs.

As Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s presidency of the UN Security Council comes to an end, the unanimous condemnation of using food as a weapon of war stands as a significant achievement.

The commitment of member states to address this issue, coupled with ongoing discussions on global challenges, reflects the international community’s determination to work together towards a more peaceful and secure world.

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