General Assembly Security Council

Annual Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

“Ensuring the security and dignity of civilians in conflict: Addressing food insecurity and protecting essential services”; [May 23, 2023]


Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Mr. President,


I thank you for convening today’s meeting on an important topic. I take this opportunity to convey best wishes from my Prime Minister to the President of the Swiss Federation.


We have heard insightful remarks from the Secretary General and other briefers this morning.


The level of food insecurity has indeed reached alarming proportions. It is projected that the number of people who will be food-insecure this year would be double the number in 2020. The ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world, including in Ukraine and Afghanistan in our neighborhood, have only exacerbated the crisis.


The lives of ordinary people have been affected adversely, with its impact being felt disproportionately amongst the countries of the Global South, derailing their efforts to secure food security and eradicate poverty by 2030.


Mr. President,


With food insecurity challenges rising to global proportions, the steps we need to take are clear.


One, collective and common solutions through dialogue and diplomacy is the need of the hour. We support the efforts of the Secretary General to find ways to address the challenge of global food insecurity. We also welcome the extension of the Black Sea Grain initiative.


As the Chair of the G-20 this year, India’s efforts are also aimed to address the current challenges to food and energy security and ensure that humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities are served without delay.


Two, quick humanitarian access to people in need in all areas affected by conflict and violence is critical. We also need to avoid linking humanitarian assistance with political issues.


India has provided critical humanitarian assistance, in particular supply of food grains to countries facing conflicts. These include Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen and Myanmar.


Three, armed conflict and terrorism combined with extreme weather, crop pests, food price volatility, exclusion, and economic shocks can devastate any fragile economy, leading to food insecurity and an increased threat of famine. Capacity building support to countries facing such threats, in designing, implementing, and monitoring policies and programs related to food security, is therefore extremely critical.


Four, it is imperative for all of us to adequately appreciate the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains. “Open markets” should not become an argument to perpetuate inequity which would only discriminate against the Global South.


Finally, confronted with growing challenges throughout the world, India will never be found wanting in extending a helping hand to those who may be in distress. We will continue to walk the talk when it comes to assisting our partners in need.


Thank you, Mr. President!