‘Conflict and climate change’ are increasing world hunger, says UN Secretary-General

‘Conflict and climate change’ are increasing world hunger, says UN Secretary-General

Speaking at the 30th African Union Summit on Satuday, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted climate change as one of the leading causes of world hunger.

He commented:

“Climatic shocks, environmental degradation, crop and livestock price collapse and conflict are all interlinked.   Climate change adaptation should be promoted as an integral part of conflict prevention, with special attention to sustainable agriculture and pastoralist and semi-pastoralist livelihoods”

The Summit, taking place in the Ethiopian capital of Addis-Abba, has primarily focussed on tackling corruption as a way of aiding development plans. The UN chief was speaking at an event on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He went on to say that national agricultural policies needed to focus more on building resilience to climate change, adding:

“Sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth is vital to achieve both SDG1 on poverty and SDG2 on hunger, and also influences many other Goals”.

In addition, he spoke about the need to “break the link” between food insecurity and conflict by protecting vulnerable people against price shocks and providing better social protection measures. He added that only by providing the tools for households to cope with conflict now can they meet future crises without the danger of facing malnutrition.

The Summit also saw the Secretary-General sign a joint framework agreement with the African Union (AU) to help further progress to both the Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s own Agenda 2063 socio-economic plans.

The framework outlines how both plans are to be monitored and integrated to ensure they can be achieved effectively, and without duplication. The AU’s Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the partnership should help bring about the respective goals quicker.

The Secretary-General highlighted how poverty elimination is a shared priority across the two agendas, but gaps remained across sectors such as water, energy, infrastructure, and the environment.


Image Credit: African Union

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