The Honourable Ms. Emanuela Claudia Del Re, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, as Chair of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition in New York, the Honourable Ms. Karina Gould, Minister of International Development of Canada, the Honourable Mr. Orlando Leite Ribeiro, Vice Minister for Trade and International Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food Supply, and the High Level Representative of Egypt, Ambassador Mohamed Edrees Permanent Representative to the UN, today issued the following statement: “On Friday April 17th, we convened an extraordinary virtual video conference bringing together Ambassadors from across the entire membership of the United Nations with the participation of the President of the General Assembly, the Deputy Secretary General, the President of IFAD, the Executive Director of WFP, the Chief Economist and Assistant Director General of FAO and the Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit to exchange views and experiences on actions that may be taken to mitigate the potential socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on food availability and supply and to attain food security. We thank the more than 270 participants who attended.
Global Affairs Canada and its employees were saddened to learn of the death of Allan Gotlieb, an exceptional public servant and diplomat whose influential work has left a lasting impression on Canada’s foreign policy.
During the call, they agreed that a global crisis like this has the potential to exacerbate inequalities and reverse development gains. In particular, it may have devastating health outcomes for the world’s most marginalized populations.
Canada is concerned by the arrests of political figures in Hong Kong on April 18 in relation to popular demonstrations that took place last year and believes that this extraordinary measure calls for close scrutiny.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and counterparts from Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom, today took part in the sixth call of the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 (MCGC) to reiterate the need to maintain essential global links as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.
As the world manages the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we work together to save lives and livelihoods. Global cooperation is necessary to mitigate the unprecedented disruption to the global economy, trade, and travel. We must endeavour to deliver a strong and coordinated global health response including developing a vaccine and relevant treatments and to identify best practices to emerge from the crisis as a stronger, more interconnected world.
The meeting, convened by Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Egypt, is an opportunity for UN member states and international organizations to discuss measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on food availability and supply, especially in developing countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for multilateralism. Trying to cope with the immediate devastating effects of the virus, nations have turned toward imposing unprecedented executive measures, including closing borders. However, a virus knows no borders. All countries are affected. We must remain united in our shared humanity. The fight against this global pandemic, which is taking so many lives and challenging our societies, requires more and enhanced international cooperation and worldwide solidarity.