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On food security issues in the context of global geopolitical turbulence

The threat of a food crisis is one of the key causes of global instability in the world

The growing problems in the field of food security are a logical response to the processes unfolding in the global economy and politics. And although most countries continue to work as part of mechanisms that make up the international food security system, it must be recognized that it has almost completely lost its effectiveness. The issues of food security are dissociated from the reality of global development. If we address the key declarations, for example, the 1996 Rome Declaration on World Food Security, we will see that they have turned into a mockery of the world community. Almost all the provisions are non-working.

The reality we are dealing with has been shaped by two events — the pandemic and sanctions. The first one revealed many drawbacks and errors in the world's food supply system. Those include disruptions in supply chains, higher food prices, lower incomes, increased social inequality, and restrictions on the right to food. The reports of international organizations directly indicated that despite the efforts of the UN structures, no adequate solutions have been found.

The threat of a food crisis today is one of the key reasons for global instability in the world. Drought in many regions, the effects of the pandemic, and instability in the supply of fertilizers and energy resources contribute to an increase in production and other costs.

At the same time, in the process of transforming the world order, complex geopolitical conflicts have escalated, within which there is a struggle not only for control over territory, but also over the movement or the ability to build communication networks in their interests across political borders. These conflicts, coupled with climate change and other factors, have begun to increase food insecurity in the medium term.

This topic has become an urgent international trend. Publications about global hunger and increased competition in world food markets as a consequence of geopolitical conflicts are increasingly appearing in the media sphere. Moreover, these publications often become the object of politicization.

It can be concluded that under the current conditions, the West's efforts are not aimed at solving global food problems, but primarily at destabilizing relations between Russia and China, hindering Belarus and Russia's plans to diversify food supply chains and supply potash fertilizers to world markets.

A new major economic and socio-political crisis (for example, the deepening of the Afghan problem or the escalation of the Middle East conflict) may result in additional waves of migration, which can affect not only countries, but also destabilize regions, dragging them into the vortex of geopolitical turbulence.

Similarly, Western restrictions on Belarusian and Russian fertilizer producers, including the closure of a number of traditional trade and transport routes, reduce the supply of potash products to world markets, and artificially created shortages automatically contribute to an increase in its value and provoke instability.

The sanctions web fastens the knot on the issue of food security. Apart from the political map of the world, a sanctions map has been formed — Iran, Venezuela, Myanmar, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Belarus, Russia. We are about to get a global sanctions package for China. The number of sanctions imposed against these countries runs into the thousands. As a result, almost a third of the world is under sanctions, which are actually unilateral restrictive measures. These countries are excluded from the global dialogue, and the existing food security system in fact has been turned into a "miserable Quell." Therefore, the enormous work of the UN Charter developers has also been called into question.

The main question of our time is how to cope with these challenges?

We have come to the point that requires tough and drastic measures. As a first step, it is necessary to abolish geopolitics and clearly separate it from the global and regional food security issues. It is important to stop the Western practice of selling indulgences and try to answer the question: how did a limited number of countries receive premium opportunities in the field of regulating the global economy?

The fight against threats in modern conditions should to a greater extent affect the socio-economic plane. It should include strengthening mutual confidence, developing regional relationships, and restoring trade and transport infrastructure. An important priority is also the focus on food security issues in relevant policy and conceptual documents, especially in the field of national security.

Our country, for its part, never follows the path of criticism and declaration of decisions. Evidently, the updated food security system implies, first of all, the abolition of all unilateral restrictive measures against all countries, especially in the field of food production and delivery, appropriate technologies and fertilizers. Yes, we have no illusions about the possibility of launching a full-scale and substantive dialogue aimed at ensuring food security at the global level, but this is a good basis for starting a conversation. It is not an easy task in modern conditions, which, nevertheless, requires deep study and a truly strategic view. After all, the fate of future generations depends on its decision.