ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will arrive in New York on Tuesday, May 17, to lead Pakistan’s delegation to a ministerial-level meeting on global food security aimed at responding to the escalating food prices across the world in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who convened the meeting at UN Headquarters in New York, will preside over the meeting with the foreign ministers on May 18 to review the urgent humanitarian needs and identify steps to build resilience for the future
Foreign Minister Bilawal will reach New York on May 17 and address the first session of the food security conference on May 18 at the UN headquarters. He will also address the second session, on May 19, at the UN Security Council.
Since Russia’s February 24 military offensive, world wheat prices have increased by roughly 21 percent, barley by 33 percent, and some fertilizers by as much as 40 percent.
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”, according to a State Department official. The ministerial meeting will be followed by a UN Security Council debate on “Conflict and Food Security” the following day.
During his visit, Bilawal will also be meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of UN General Assembly, Abdullah Shahid, and will also hold some bilateral meetings with his counterparts. His programme is in the process of being finalized.
The Pakistan mission at the UN is facilitating the foreign minister’s engagement at the food security conference while the embassy in Washington is working on the expected bilateral meeting.