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Kuwaiti lawmakers to Arab parliament conf.: Achieving food security “vital”

CAIRO: Kuwait lawmakers affirmed, Saturday, the importance of achieving food security in the Arab world, saying that it was one of the most vital issues in the ever-shifting global affairs. Speaking at the Fifth Congress for Speakers of Arab Councils and Parliaments, organized by the Arab Parliament, Kuwaiti MP Khaled Al-Otaibi stressed that achieving food security was one of the major issues facing Arab countries.

Al-Otaibi told the conference-focusing on the Arab parliamentary document outlying a vision for enhancing food security-the lack of strategic stockpile of food in the last few years must push Arab parliamentarians to seek means to bolster food security. The welfare of future generations are at stake, he indicated, stressing the need to formulate a plan and seek investments that would provide food security for the region regardless of the shifting developments globally. He said that food supplies were weaponized to pressure other countries into obedience.

The solution must come through cooperation and boosting commercial exchange amongst Arab countries in addition to finding sustainable resources for food, he affirmed. Providing his input to the event, Kuwaiti MP Dr Mohammad Al-Huwaila hoped that the approved document to enhance Arab food security would serve the need of Arabs. He revealed that Kuwait had contributed immensely to the document especially in the importance of finding an Arab food security coalition that would address the needs of regionally countries.

Al-Huwaila also pointed out that the document also called for establishing a fund backed by Arab development and sovereignty funds to find a suitable environment for Arab food security integration. The Kuwaiti delegation to the conference is headed by MP Al-Otaibi, and the delegation includes MP Al-Huwaila, and Kuwait’s Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative at the Arab League Ambassador Ghanim Al-Ghanim.

Meanwhile, the speaker of the Arab Parliament Adel Al-Asoomi said that the problem of Arab food security has become a pivotal pillar of national security and constitutes a challenge that cannot wait. This was in a speech by Al-Asoomi at the opening of the Fifth Congress of Speakers of Arab Councils and Parliaments entitled “Parliamentary Vision for Enhancing Arab Food Security.”

This conference is taking place while the nation is facing many crises, he said, pointing out that as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative repercussions passed, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis came and caused damage to the global economy which imposed many challenges on Arab economies. One of these challenges that cannot afford the luxury of waiting is the problem of Arab food security, which is a matter of life or death, he explained.

He mentioned they are keen for Arab parliamentarians to contribute to this problem, as the Arab Parliament prepared a document on the problem of food security, noting that the document was discussed through a committee that included representatives of Arab parliaments and councils. The document presented the most prominent challenges facing food security, and it also includes some proposals that help in one way or another to solve the problem of food security, he indicated, underlining the need to achieve self-sufficiency.

In another context, Al-Asoomi referred to the growing challenges facing the Arab nation, especially the Palestinian issue, and it is firmly rooted in the conscience of every Arab. He also referred to the recent escalation of the Zionist occupation’s practices of killing civilians, desecrating sanctities, and destroying homes, which exacerbates the political and humanitarian situation, underscoring the need for a real move by the international community to confront the blatant violations against Palestinians and reach a just and comprehensive solution that restores the rights to their owners.

He warned against repeating the crimes of burning copies of the Quran with the knowledge and under the eyes of the official authorities in many European countries, stressing that this violates international laws and calls for a serious stance that is greater than mere denunciation, but rather calls for an international criminalization of insulting religions and sanctities. He urged for collective action from Arabs, Africans and Islamic parliaments to issue a recommendation to the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, to be held in Bahrain next March, to set a binding legal framework criminalizing these practices.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Fortune Charumbira called in his speech on the Arabs to invest in Africa, especially in the fields of infrastructure and agriculture, pointing out that the continent is rich in natural resources and investors come from the West, but there is a need for Arab investments to enter. There should be room for coordination between the Arab Parliament and PAP to enhance economic cooperation between both sides, Charumbira pointed out.

He underlined the need for Arabs and Africa to cooperate together against insulting religions, emphasizing the freedoms of belief and rejecting racism, as well as confronting attempts to impose some orientations that contradict Arab and African values. The Kuwaiti delegation to the conference is headed by MP Khaled Al-Otaibi, and the delegation includes MP Dr Mohammad Al-Huwaila, and Kuwait’s Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative at the League of Arab States Ambassador Ghanim Al-Ghanim. – KUNA

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