President Irfaan Ali addressed the UN General Assembly today and called for an immediate re-examination of the financing gap and the debt portfolio of developing countries.
The President made the call as he spoke about the hardships being faced by many developing states as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said a reopening of the financial gap and examination of the debt being faced by developing states could open fiscal space and create an opportunity for recovery and bridging of the gap and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals that were set out by the United Nations.
“Guyana welcomes the global initiatives around pandemic preparedness. It is imperative that we collectively discuss how to address any potential pandemics and health threats so that we are better equipped in the future to avoid the inequalities that exist”.
On the issue of the global food security problem, President Ali admitted that Guyana has been affected. He noted the prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity trending upwards since 2014, with the estimated increase in 2020 equalling that of the previous five years combined.
“In 2020, 2.37 billion of the world’s population were food insecure. Additionally, the World Food Program and FAO warned that acute food insecurity would worsen in 20 hunger hotspots from June – Sept 2022. Since the start of the pandemic, global food prices have surged by 65% and are expected to remain high in the medium term, as a result of supply chain constraints, a hike in energy costs, higher shipping costs, climate issues and the war in Ukraine. Further, since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, global food prices increased sharply reaching an all-time high in February 2022. The FAO projects that the production of cereals – a crop relied on the most in the world, would decline by 40 million tonnes or 1.4% when compared to the preceding year”, the President told the UN.
He said world leaders need to work together and find the balance now.
“In honouring our commitment to promote peace, stability, respect for territorial integrity and democracy, and the human rights of all, we must work collectively to prevent situations that can widen inequality and create social and economic havoc. Now is the timefor us to decide if a new approach is needed to guarantee food security, access to health care and quality education, and security from conflict and wars.”
President Ali also touched on the climate change crisis and the energy crisis that have gripped the world.
He said Guyana remains committed to addressing the issues of food security, climate change, energy security and inequalities within the country and the region.
The President told the United Nations that his Government has embarked on a number of initiatives to help bridge the gaps of inequality and access.
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