World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Lauds G-20 Leaders’ Decision To Exempt Food Aid

UN Lauds G-20 Leaders’ Decision To Exempt Food Aid From Export Restrictions

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the decision by leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20) major economies to exempt food aid from export restrictions and extra taxation, saying the move would ensure food assistance continues to reach people affected by hunger as a result of high prices and humanitarian crises.

“High and volatile food prices and financial crises compound the impact of disasters on hungry populations, in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, and we commend G-20 leaders for taking crucial decisions to support humanitarian food supply systems and food security for the most vulnerable people,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

“WFP moves the vast majority of multilateral food assistance and now we will have secure access to food from G-20 nations that provide the biggest share of global food exports, enabling us to reach the needy rapidly and efficiently,” she said.

The decision was taken during the two-day summit of G-20 leaders in Cannes, France, which ended today.

During the 2008 food price crisis, export restrictions threatened WFP’s ability to provide a lifeline of support to hundreds of thousands of people who were struggling to access food for their families, the agency said.

Participating in the G-20 summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the leaders to remain united and steer the world towards a stable global economy and help developing countries achieve their poverty reduction and social development goals.

He stressed the need to raise development funding and urged the G-20 nations to explore all possible options – public, private and innovative sources of financing – to help poor countries achieve their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.

Sustainable energy is the key to addressing three great challenges – poverty, climate change and re-invigorating economies, Mr. Ban emphasized, calling on leaders to facilitate the attainment of universal energy access, improve energy efficiency, and double the use of renewable energy by 2030.

Mr. Ban welcomed the discussion on climate change by the G-20 leaders and called for the launch of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, next month.

Separately, the Secretary-General met yesterday with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, to discuss issues covered at the summit, with the UN chief highlighting the importance of unity of purpose on development and finding innovative sources of financing to fund it.

They also discussed the Middle East peace process and the Palestinian membership issue following the decision by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) earlier this week to admit Palestine as a full member of the agency.

Mr. Ban urged both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to exercise restraint and expressed his intention to continue working with both sides and other interested parties to find a solution for their dispute.

He reiterated his deep concern at the recent decision by the Israeli Government to accelerate the building of new apartments in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He also underlined his support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians to have a viable sovereign State.

While noting that the admission of Palestine into UN specialized agencies was a decision for Member States, Mr. Ban expressed his concern over the potential impact that it would have on the work of those organizations for millions of people around the world.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Al Nahyan also discussed the situation in Yemen and Syria, with the Secretary-General voicing his appreciation of the efforts of Arab countries to find solutions to crises in the two countries. Their discussions also touched on the situation in Iran.

At another meeting earlier today, the Secretary-General and the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, discussed the Cyprus issue and progress in the UN-facilitated reunification talks, as well as the remaining challenges.

Their discussions also touched on Syria and efforts to resolve the crisis there, with Mr. Ban stressing the need for the international community to speak with one voice on the issue.

Mr. Ban also briefed Mr. Erdogan on his recent visit to Libya, and discussed UN support for the recent elections in Tunisia. Among other issues discussed were Turkey’s relations with Israel, the Middle East peace process, Palestinian membership in UNESCO, and the regional conference on Afghanistan held in Istanbul earlier this week.

On the margins of the G-20 summit, Mr. Ban also attended working sessions on financial regulation; agriculture, energy and commodity price volatility; and climate change and corruption. He also participated in a session on global governance and priorities of the Mexican G-20 presidency next year.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>