Statement by H.E. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia
Permanent Observer of the Holy See
United Nations Security Council
Open Debate on “Famine and Conflict-Induced Global Food Insecurity”
New York, 3 August 2023
The Delegation of the Holy See thanks the United States of America for convening this open debate on famine and food insecurity, an issue that has tragically become more prominent since the escalation of the war in Ukraine.
From the outset, it is important to recall that every human person has the right to “the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food”. Despite this, over a quarter of a billion people currently face high levels of acute food insecurity and depend on assistance in nearly a third of States.
The present situation necessitates responsible multilateral cooperation that generates proactive solidarity with our brothers and sisters who face hunger. This requires all States to place efforts to meet basic human needs above partisan interests and to avoid treating foodstuffs as mere commodities to be awarded to the highest bidder.
In this regard, my Delegation would like to stress three points.
First: the Holy See urges all parties to return to dialogue regarding the renewal of the Black Sea Initiative in the interest of all persons who rely upon food imports. Furthermore, my Delegation calls for the cessation of attacks upon the means of transportation, essential to the supply of agricultural products, food and other basic necessities crucial to the survival of civilian populations.
Second: the Holy See stresses the need to ensure that economic sanctions avoid any negative effects they might have on both local and global food security or on the distribution of humanitarian aid.
Third: the Holy See calls all States to protect our common home created and entrusted to us by God and to take urgent action to fight climate change whose ravages, such as extreme weather events, have an impact on local food systems and can increase the risk of conflicts.
In closing, my Delegation reiterates the need for all States to adopt an integral approach to security as a means to alleviate global food insecurity, which constitutes “a serious affront to human dignity”.
I thank you, Mr. President.
 Pope John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, 11 April 1963, 11.
 Cf. Food Security Information Network, Global Report of Food Crises, May 2023.
 Cf. Pope Francis, After the Angelus, 30 July 2023.
 Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See, 9 January 1995.
 Pope Francis, Message to Participants in the 43rd Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization Conference, 1 July 2023.