BIZweek n°287 24 avr 2020
BIZweek n°287 24 avr 2020
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  • Parution : n°287 de 24 avr 2020

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 9

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 7,4 Mo

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VENDREDI 24 AVRIL 2020 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 287 In his remarks to the G20 Extraordinary Virtual G20 Agriculture Ministers’Meeting organized by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization pointed out that deep shocks to supply and demand along with tightened border controls and travel restrictions have dealt a serious blow to international trade, not least the food and agriculture sector. Despite the currently abundant stocks of key staples, he warned that «we must avoid measures that could change the current outlook and lead to supply shortages in the future». Roberto Azevêdo stressed the importance of ensuring that food continues to flow from countries with a food surplus to countries in deficit, underlining that «three billion people depend on international trade for their food security». DG Azevêdo said that G20 leaders and trade ministers have highlighted the importance of keeping international markets open for vital medical products and food and stressed that any COVID-related trade measures should be «targeted, proportionate, temporary, and transparent». He referred to the WTO’s monitoring of such measures and urged G20 governments to «lead by example on transparency». The Director-General ended his remarks by calling for enhanced cooperation to ensure that «international markets continue to be seen as a reliable source of food supply». «The COVID-19 health crisis is already a major economic and social crisis. Let’s not add a food security crisis.» Below is the full declaration made by the G20 Ministers of Agriculture : We, the G20 Agriculture Ministers, are deeply saddened by the devastating human losses and suffering caused by the spread of COVID-19. We commit to cooperating closely and taking concrete actions to safeguard global food security and nutrition. We reaffirmthe importance of working to ensure the continued flow of food, products, and inputs essential for agricultural and food production across borders in line with our Leaders’Statement on COVID-19 of March 26, 2020. We acknowledge the challenges of minimizing the risk of COVID-19 while keeping food supply chains functioning. We will continue to work to ensure the health, safety, welfare, and mobility of workers in agriculture and throughout the food supply chain. We will guard against any unjustified restrictive measures that could lead to excessive food price volatility in international markets and threaten the food security and nutrition of large proportions of the world population, especially the most vulnerable living in environments of low food security. We agree that emergency measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global food supply chains and are consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. We recognise the importance of transparency and commend the Trade and Investment Ministers’commitment to notify the WTO of any trade-related measures taken, including those related to agriculture and essential foodstuffs. We reaffirmour agreement not to impose export restrictions or extraordinary taxes on food and agricultural products purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes by the World Food Programme (WFP) and other humanitarian agencies. We emphasize the work of the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and take note BIZ ALERT WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION Azevêdo : «Let’s not add a food security crisis» of AMIS’assessment that at present global food supplies are adequate and food markets remain well balanced. As members, we commit and call on other members to continue providing timely and reliable information on global food market fundamentals to help markets, countries, and consumers make informedchoices. Where appropriate, we will coordinate policy responses, supported by the AMIS Global Food Market Information Group and the AMIS Rapid Response Forum. We call for continued support for AMIS, including through voluntary financial contributions. We will work together to help ensure that sufficient, safe, affordable, and nutritious food continues to be available and accessible to all people, including the poorest, the most vulnerable, and displaced people in a timely, safe, and organized manner, consistent with national requirements. Acknowledging the critical role of the private sector in food systems, we call for enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors to help mobilize rapid and innovative responses to impacts of this pandemic on the agriculture and food sectors. Under the current challenging circumstances, we stress the importance of avoiding food losses and waste caused by disruptions throughout food supply chains, which could exacerbate food insecurity and nutrition risks and economic loss. We stress the need to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of food systems globally, including to future shocks from disease and pest outbreaks, and to the global challenges that drive these shocks. In line with the One Health approach, we call for strengthened mechanisms for monitoring, early warning, preparedness, prevention, detection, response, and control of zoonotic diseases, and developing science-based international guidelines on stricter safety and hygienic measures for zoonosis control. We deeply 3 thank farmers and workers, and small, medium and large scale agri-food businesses for their continuous efforts to ensure our food supply. We will intensify our efforts, in line with WTO rules and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to support them to sustain their activities and livelihoods during the crisis and to assist their recovery afterwards. Our efforts will support rural communities, especially small-scale farmers and family farms, to be more economically prosperous, resilient and sustainable, and to have improved food security and nutrition, giving special attention to the needs of developing and low-income countries. We will continue our cooperation with relevant international organizations and within their mandates work to : reinforce international cooperation ; identify additional actions to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition ; share best practices and lessons learned, such as addressing barriers to supply chains ; promote evidence and science-based information and combat misinformation ; provide capacity building and technical assistance ; and promote research, responsible investments, innovations and reforms that will improve the sustainability and resilience of agriculture and food systems. This work could build on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) evolving response to COVID-19, the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD’s) evolving efforts to support a strong recovery from the effects of COVID-19, policy monitoring and analysis by the OECD, and other relevant initiatives, such as the preparation for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. We will continue our close cooperation and as necessaryupdate our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our broader G20 agriculture and food agenda. We stand ready to reconvene as required.

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