Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today addressed the Food Systems Summit, convened by the UN Secretary-General on the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

In his address, the prime minister said that one in every ten people on earth was under-nourished, and the COVID-19 pandemic had further worsened food insecurity. He also highlighted the disruptions in supply chains and rising food prices caused by COVID-19 in least developed countries and landlocked developing countries.

While underlining the hardships posed by climate change and COVID-19, he highlighted that the Government of Nepal under his leadership had adopted pro-poor and inclusive policies to tackle poverty and hunger, to save people's lives, and to rebuild the economy better and stronger.

Prime Minister Deuba further said that the transformative investment in agriculture would be crucial to ensure food security for all. "We must translate our commitment to building a resilient and sustainable food system in order to achieve zero hunger by 2030," he emphasised. According to Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, a total of 120 speakers, including 45 Heads of State/Government, are scheduled to address the Summit.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal addressed the 20th Annual Ministerial Meeting of landlocked developing countries held virtually on the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly today.

In his address, he highlighted the pre-existing challenges of LLDCs such as excessive reliance on transit countries, low productive capacity, and poor connectivity compounded by the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 and climate change and called for an enhanced level of international support measures in the form of official development assistance and foreign direct investment, aid for trade and technology transfer.

While highlighting Nepal's vision to transform the country from a 'landlocked' to a 'land-linked country,' Paudyal stressed the need for a scaledup and renewed partnership among LLDCs, transit countries and development partners. He said that greater efforts would be necessary to recover from the pandemic and rally on a growth path. "We must enhance productive capacity, diversify the economy, build sustainable and resilient infrastructures, and upgrade connectivity to regional and global markets," he said.

"We can change our destiny of being 'prisoners of geography' to 'pioneers of prosperity', all we need is a strong solidarity and cooperation among ourselves and greater support from our transit countries and development partners," he emphasised. The meeting adopted a Ministerial Declaration at its conclusion.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 25 2021, of The Himalayan Times.