Climate change, food security twin concerns of dev world
Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told the Ministers of the Group of 77 and China Sunday that climate change and food security were the twin concerns that confront the developing world today in crisis proportions, reports agency.

He was addressing a Ministerial Meeting of G-77 taking place in Accra during the UNCTAD XII Conference, according to a message received in Dhaka from Accra (Ghana).

Speaking as Chairman of the Least Developed Countries, Iftekhar underscored the close relationship between LDCs and G-77 both of whom represent the developing world.

“The LDCs are part of G-77. For decades they have had shared empathy and aspirations. They have been supportive of each other. They have championed similar causes. They stand together in firm solidarity,” he said.

On the issue of food security, he said, it is most critical for the developing world.

“We have asked the UN Secretary General to take the initiative himself to set up a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons to examine all related issues for consideration of an international conference for addressing the crisis,” he said.

He was referring to a specific proposal he had made the previous day to the LDC Ministers, which was incorporated in the LDC Ministerial Declaration issued in Accra, the message added.

On climate change, he said this global phenomenon is affecting most of the LDCs severely. “Many face extinction. For small island developing states and those with long vulnerable coast-lines it is a life and death question.”

Adaptation and mitigation measures must be adopted to counter these negative effects, said the foreign adviser.

In today’s world, he said, the aspirations of the developing countries can only become a reality “if we recognize that ameliorating the pains of some is the responsibility of all.”

Dr Iftekhar later gave a UN radio interview and was the key- note speaker at a side event called “LDC Watch”, which took place on the margins of UNCTAD Conference XII.

He attended the inaugural ceremony of the UNCTAD XII in the afternoon. He is expected to return home Monday night.
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