ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is slated to travel to New York this week to lead Pakistan’s delegation to a ministerial-level meeting on global food security, which will address the rise in global food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to diplomatic sources, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arranged the meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, will preside over the meeting with foreign ministers on May 18 to “assess the urgent humanitarian needs and identify strategies to build future resilience.”
Since the February 24th standoff between Russia and Ukraine, world wheat prices have risen by around 21%, barley by 33%, and some fertilisers by as much as 40%.
“The upcoming food security ministerial in New York is a great opportunity to discuss immediate solutions as well as long-term initiatives,” the source added.
Read more: Won’t let ‘propaganda, disinformation – lies’ get in way of Pak-US bilateral ties: USSD
According to a State Department official, the world is facing the “most serious food crisis in over 70 years, the worst since World War II.” As a result, the US has called for two “Days of Action” on the food crisis “to rally the world to take steps to bolster food supply chains and strengthen food resilience.”
The ministerial conference will be followed the next day by a UN Security Council debate on “Conflict and Food Security.”
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and President of the United Nations General Assembly Abdullah Shahid, and hold bilateral discussions with his counterparts during his visit. His programme is now being finalised.