Egypt submits draft resolution to WTO for enhancing response to food security challenges

Ahram Online , MENA , Friday 10 Jun 2022

Egypt submitted on Thursday a draft resolution to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to strengthen its response to food security challenges in net food-importing developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs).

Ahmed Ihab Gamaleddin
Ahmed Ihab Gamaleddin, the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN Office at Geneva. File photo


The draft resolution is set to be discussed during the 12th ministerial conference (MC12) of the WTO that will be convened at the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva 12-15 June, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Ahmed Ihab Gamaleddin, the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN Office at Geneva, said Egypt submitted the resolution on behalf of the Arab and African groups and the LDCs after intensive consultations with member states.

The draft resolution is part of the Egyptian government’s efforts to deal with the global economic crisis and its impact on food security in developing countries, in general, and Egypt, in particular, the statement read.

Such efforts aim at securing practical solutions for farmers and food producers and boosting the production of grain in these countries during the crisis in accordance with the relevant rules of the WTO, Gamal Eddin added.

The draft resolution calls for spreading awareness about the severe harms caused to developing countries’ economies by the record rise in food and energy prices, Gamaleddin said.

The current global food crisis is part of a greater crisis the world economy has been facing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a decline in economic growth, high inflation rates, disruption of global supply chains and huge debts, Gamaleddin said.

This requires enhancing international solidarity through the relevant international organisations, chief among which is the WTO, Gamaleddin said.

This solidarity should grant the net food-importing developing countries and LDCs the required flexibility to deal with exceptional circumstances that impact their food security, he added.

Egypt’s draft resolution comes as developing countries, especially in Africa, have fallen victims to the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, which has disrupted global food supplies and driven up prices, compounding the losses caused by the pandemic.

The disruption in wheat supplies has negatively impacted Egypt, which relies on Ukraine and Russia for 80 percent of its wheat needs.

To deal with this crisis, Egypt has embarked on a strategy to diversify sources for its wheat imports and provide significant monetary incentives to local farmers to increase wheat production.

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