The Agriculture and Water Ministers of the G20 nations have released a communique committing to strengthening their policy cooperation on food security and nutrition as well as their intent to work towards sustainable and resilient water management.
The 22 November communique, reporting on a 12 September meeting, describes the ministers' recognition that these issues have “profound implications for people's wellbeing, economic growth and ability to cope with environmental and health challenges, including natural disasters, biodiversity loss and diseases, for a fast-growing, urbanised and interconnected world population”.
They discussed the devastating human losses and suffering caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they recognise the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene services – and the need for good water management to address this.
“We remain committed to strengthening the resilience and sustainability of food systems at all levels,” ministers said about the meeting. We also recognise the critical importance of adequate access to safe and sufficient water for human life, health and food security, and therefore the need for sustainable and integrated water resources management".
Ministers also discussed the challenges to food security and water management, and acknowledged how they are the result of a multitude of factors, including climate change, extreme weather events and natural disasters.
“We highlight the importance of open, transparent and predictable trade, consistent with World Trade Organisation rules, to enhance market predictability, increase business confidence, and allow agri-food trade to flow so as to contribute to food security and nutrition,” they stated.
They committed to continuing to guard against any unjustified restrictive measures that could lead to excessive food price volatility in international markets, which could threaten the continued recovery of all facets of the global food supply chain and more broadly food security and nutrition.