Joint media release of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the United States on the occasion of the APEC Food Security Ministers meeting

Statement

August 29, 2022

We express our unwavering support for APEC and our deep appreciation of Thailand, as APEC Chair in 2022, for delivering a successful host year. 

We are united in our resolve to ensure peace and stability in our region. These are preconditions for a thriving, dynamic, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community for which we strive. A well-functioning food system is critical to our people's health and wellbeing and to the success of our economies. 

We condemn in the strongest terms, the war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine. A rise in global food insecurity – exacerbated by Russia's invasion, deliberate limiting of Ukraine's exports, destruction of vital agricultural infrastructure, and seizing of equipment and vital food staples – is being felt around the world, and disproportionately by the most vulnerable.

We express our grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the threat to global food and energy security caused by Russia's aggression, which has further destabilized the global economy and supply chains, as well as undermined our collective ability to recover from shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We express our concern regarding volatility in energy markets and its impact on food production and distribution, and underscore the need to promote energy resilience, access, and food security in the region.

We strongly urge Russia to immediately cease its use of force and completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces and equipment from Ukraine. In doing so, we reaffirm the importance of the rules-based international order that underpins an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific region. 

Further, we emphasize the importance of avoiding the imposition of export prohibitions or restrictions in a manner inconsistent with relevant World Trade Organization provisions, including the WTO's decision to exempt the non-commercial, humanitarian purchase of foodstuffs by the United Nations World Food Programme as part of the emergency response to food insecurity.

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