Madam President,

Switzerland thanks the United States for organizing this debate, which is part of a week dedicated to this topic, and also the speakers for their contributions.

"Conflict, the climate crisis, COVID-19 and surging food and fuel costs have created a perfect storm." These were the words used by the World Food Programme as a warning at the launch of the Global Report on Food Crisis. This crisis will impact us all. The number of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance could reach 323 million this year. Switzerland is particularly concerned about the populations living in the most fragile contexts and exposed to global market shocks.

Armed conflicts remain one of the main factors of hunger and malnutrition. Thus, the global projections of food insecurity resulting from the Russian military aggression against Ukraine should give us a greater incentive to put an end to this conflict and to the other armed conflicts in the world. They all bring death, destruction, forced displacement and hunger. We fully support the Secretary-General and his good offices to silence the weapons.

To this end, Switzerland would like to highlight three areas for action:

Firstly, it is urgent to intensify efforts, including within this Council, to guarantee unhindered and timely humanitarian access, to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to prevent armed conflicts.

Second, the international community must speak with one voice on food security. The Security Council has been united on the fundamental humanitarian norms and principles contained in resolutions 2417 and 2573. These must be implemented in all situations on the Council's agenda and all States should translate them into their legislations. We hope that the General Assembly will adopt next week the resolution on the State of global food insecurity that Switzerland co-sponsored. Switzerland also welcomes the recommendations of the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, launched by the Secretary-General for a coherent and coordinated response to the consequences of the aggression against Ukraine on the most vulnerable countries. We will listen with interest to the second briefing on local actors. Valuing their skills - especially those of women and youth - is key to addressing the causes of food crises.

Third, accountability is key to deterring potential perpetrators and providing justice to the victims. The Council can now refer situations of internal or international armed conflict to the International Criminal Court when the crime of famine appears to have been committed. Switzerland encourages the States Parties to the Court to ratify this amendment and the Member States to criminalize these acts in their national legislation.

Madam President,

While the amount of food produced would be sufficient to feed everyone, there is unequal access to it, exacerbated by hostilities and violations of international humanitarian law. Finding political solutions to armed conflict must be part of our global approach to ending hunger, to ensuring all people have access to sufficient and adequate food, and to promoting resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems.

As a candidate to the Security Council, Switzerland remains committed to preventing and resolving conflicts in order to break the vicious cycle between hunger and armed conflict.

Thank you.