We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, discussed the implications of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on global food security and welcomed the UN Secretary General’s initiative to convene a “Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance” (GCRG).
The geopolitical landscape has fundamentally changed. Russia’s unprovoked and pre-meditated war of aggression has exacerbated the global economic outlook with sharply rising food, fuel and energy prices. Combined with Russia blocking the exit routes for Ukraine’s grain, the world is now facing a worsening state of food insecurity and malnutrition. This is having devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable people and rising costs also make it harder for humanitarian and development agencies to deliver assistance to those in greatest need. This is at a time when 43 million people were already one-step away from famine.
The G7 and the wider international community must stand united against Russia and help those most vulnerable in the global south. Calling on Russia for an immediate cessation of its war of aggression and to end its blockade (and all other activities) that further impede Ukrainian food production and exports is only the first step. Collective global action now and in the future will be vital: looking ahead, the G7 with its allies around the world need to ensure that this situation can never happen again.
We will address, including in support of the United Nations Global Crises Response Group, the causes and consequences of the global food crisis through a Global Alliance for Food Security, as our joint initiative to ensure momentum and coordination that will be launched by G7 Development Ministers at their meeting, and other efforts. We will closely cooperate with international partners and organisations beyond the G7, with the aim of transforming political commitments into concrete actions as planned by various international initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) and key regional outreach initiatives, including towards African and Mediterranean countries with the upcoming Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Security Crisis. We welcome the May 18 Global Food Security Call to Action Ministerial.
We took note of the report by the GCRG’s Task Team of 14 April 2022 and look forward to the upcoming second report. We also fully support the commitments taken by the G7 Agriculture Ministers at their meeting on 13-14 May 2022 in Stuttgart, Germany.
We, the G7 Foreign Ministers, while acknowledging that this crisis goes beyond food insecurity and requires a comprehensive response, committed to the following principles for action on global food security:
- To support Ukraine in keeping up its agricultural production, storage, transport and processing; as well as support Ukraine and its regional partners in restarting exports. To call on the international community to establish agricultural solidarity lanes, with the aim to support Ukraine’s capacity to export its agricultural production.
- To support the humanitarian system in providing urgent assistance in accordance with the humanitarian principles to people threatened by food crises, particularly those facing famine, notably by reinforcing our contributions to the World Food Programme and other relief actors, with approaches prioritizing local purchases.
- To continue our work on the necessary transformation towards sustainable agriculture and food systems and to support strengthening global governance in order to achieve resilient agricultural and food systems. Relevant UN and other organizations for food security and nutrition, such as the Committee on World Food Security among others, can play a pivotal role.
- To foster sustainable practices, to reduce food waste and loss, and where this is possible, sustainably increase our own production of agricultural products in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, while protecting climate, biodiversity and the environment, in particular tackling climate and biodiversity challenges.
- To provide food producers with adequate access to seeds, fertilizers, fuel, and other agricultural inputs and overcoming challenges of access to agricultural lands and transportation routes given the impact of the conflict on security and safety. We also support knowledge generation and sharing for sustainable agricultural practices, including agroecological and other innovative approaches, in order to achieve sustainable and resilient food systems.
- To mitigate the consequences of the current food crisis by avoiding signals and undue measures that restrict exports and lead to further increases in food and agricultural input prices. We further commit to promote rules-based international trade for the mutual benefits of exporting and importing countries and by supporting innovations in the transport, storage and processing sector in order to increase resilience to future crises. Further strengthening market transparency in this regard is key. The 12th WTO ministerial conference to be held mid of June should deliver on this issue.
- To also support working together to track and share information including early warning information on worsening global humanitarian risks, assisting countries in humanitarian crisis facing rising food insecurity, through increased and prioritised support to anticipate and respond to the crisis.
- To welcome the resilience package announced by the World Bank Group as well as the crisis response proposals from the other multilateral development banks. We look forward to seeing their firm proposals in June to support critical priorities in countries/regions hardest hit by the economic spillovers, including initiatives to address urgent short and medium term food insecurity and promote timely disbursements.