Preventing and ending famine

Statement by State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte at the virtual high-level event 'Action in Support of Preventing and Ending Famine Now', 4 October, 2021. The event was organized by OCHA, FAO and WFP in collaboration with the Group of Friends on Action on Conflict and Hunger.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Through UN Sustainable Development Goal number 2, we share a commitment to work towards the goal of eradicating hunger within 2030.

We will not be able to reach this goal without building a more peaceful world. War and conflict are the main contributing factors to acute food insecurity. The direct effects of conflicts on food insecurity are devastating – and of increasing concern. Only from 2019 to 2020, the number of people affected increased with more than 22 million people. The pockets of famine unfolding as we speak in several countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Yemen, remind us of the alarming increase in acute food insecurity worldwide and of the need to do more.

In its resolution 2417, the Security Council recognised the link between armed conflict and hunger. As part of the Group of Friends of Action on Conflict and Hunger, Norway wants to move from recognition to action.

Safe and unhindered humanitarian access is crucial in order to protect and assist people in need. Norway also strongly condemns the targeting of humanitarian workers and infrastructure. We call on all actors to ensure unhindered humanitarian access.

We urge States Parties to the Rome Statute to ratify or accept the recent amendment concerning the war crime of starvation in non-international armed conflict.

We must call on all parties to armed conflicts to spare infrastructure needed for food production and distribution. The intentional use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is a war crime and should not be tolerated.

Thank you.