Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition

Jason Lawrence
U.S. Adviser to the Second Committee
New York, New York
November 23, 2022


The United States is pleased to join consensus on this resolution.

The world is facing a food insecurity crisis, and our priorities are clear: We must get emergency food aid to the people who need it, and we must strengthen global food systems. At the same time, we must also help countries develop the capacity to produce their own food so we can prevent new crises and build resilience to further shocks. Since February, the United States has provided more than $10.5 billion to combat hunger and strengthen food security worldwide. I’m proud to say that we’re consistently the largest donor to the World Food Program, providing more than half of all contributions. But the current crisis is one that no individual country or even group of countries can solve alone.

At the outset of 2022, conflicts, COVID-19, and the effects of the climate crisis had already driven more than 190 million people into acute food insecurity. According to the World Food Program, President Putin’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine may add an additional 70 million people to this statistic. Russia’s actions, which include weaponizing food in its war against Ukraine and dramatically reducing grain and food production and exports, have exacerbated these trends and resulted in a dramatic additional rise in global food insecurity. We are disappointed that this resolution does not recognize Russia as one of the major drivers of global food insecurity, decreased agriculture production, and declines in nutrition. We once again demand Russia cease hostilities, withdraw its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. This action is essential to achieving the SDGs and ending global hunger.

We also would like to underscore our position that trade language, negotiated or adopted by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council or under their auspices, has no relevance for U.S. trade policy, for our trade obligations or commitments, or for the agenda at the World Trade Organization, including discussions or negotiations in that forum. While the UN and WTO share common interests, they have different roles, rules, and memberships. Similarly, this includes calls to adopt approaches that may undermine incentives for innovation, such as technology transfer that is not both voluntary and on mutually agreed terms.

We refer you to our general statement, delivered on November 21, which further addresses our position regarding the characterizations of trade, the WTO, and the transfer of technology, and our joint explanation of position which addresses the Russian Federation’s war on Ukraine and its impact on agriculture development, food security, and nutrition.

Thank you.