On Tuesday, September 26th, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Stanley Kakubo, took the floor at the United Nations General Assembly to shed light on the concerning interplay of war, economic uncertainty, climate change, and food insecurity. Mr. Kakubo voiced his concern that, while these issues have global ramifications, they disproportionately affect nations in the Global South.
“In Africa, we are grappling with the severe consequences of instability in global food prices, with over 150 million people on the continent suffering from hunger,” stated Mr. Kakubo. He attributed this crisis to a convergence of factors, including inflation, climate change, and conflict, all contributing to the rising costs of food and fertilizers. Furthermore, the Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupted global supply chains, causing shortages as agricultural produce could no longer reach international markets.
Mr. Kakubo emphasized that these challenges have had a direct impact on food prices within Zambia. Import-dependent countries have turned to Zambia to secure their own food stocks, leading to domestic price increases. He stressed the delicate balance Zambia faces in meeting its own needs while recognizing its responsibility to assist neighboring nations, as their stability is closely linked to Zambia’s prosperity.
Addressing these global challenges, Mr. Kakubo underscored the importance of international cooperation. He urged all parties to engage in thoughtful decision-making, taking into account the concerns of Africa and the Global South. As an initial step, Zambia called upon the Russian Federation to rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a UN-led effort facilitating the transfer of Ukrainian agricultural produce to global markets and helping stabilize food markets worldwide.
Mr. Kakubo reiterated Zambia’s unwavering commitment to advancing peace, security, and stability globally. He highlighted President Hakainde Hichilema’s visits to Kyiv and St. Petersburg in June, where he advocated for negotiations. The President continues to collaborate with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to restore peace in the region. Mr. Kakubo concluded by affirming Zambia’s dedication to playing a vital role in securing peaceful coexistence for all.