Haim Waxman, Deputy Permanent Representative
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of the 102 co-sponsors, I wish to sincerely thank all the delegations who co-sponsored and supported the resolution “Agricultural technology for development”. I would also like to express my deep appreciation for the dedication and good-spirit shown by the delegations who participated actively in the informal negotiations.
There is a broad spectrum of co-sponsors and supporters of this resolution –– countries that are developing and developed; both North and South; from across cultures and climates. It is a testament to the central importance of this issue and the vast potential of agricultural technology. Today this Committee is saying loud and clear that agricultural technology can build more resilient communities, stronger nations and a more prosperous planet.
Agricultural technology can lift people out of poverty. It can empower rural women, who constitute up to 90% of farmers in rural regions. It can help to feed the nearly one billion people who suffer from chronic hunger around the world. It can mitigate the effects of climate change and bolster sustainable development- issues that are central to the approaching Rio+20 conference.
This resolution reaffirms our commitment to enact the policies necessary to support agricultural research. It promotes the dissemination of agricultural technologies to the developing world.
An old African proverb teaches us that, “knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.” This principle is firmly embedded in today’s resolution, which makes clear that it is not enough to assist developing nations in acquiring new technologies.
We must also ensure that they develop their own capabilities for technology and innovation. For this reason, today’s resolution has a particular focus on capacity building, education and skills transfer.
Central to the Jewish tradition is a principle known in Hebrew as Tikkun Olam, which calls on us to mend the world and make it a better place. The diverse support behind this resolution reveals that this aspiration is universal. It shows that the drive to improve our surroundings transcends borders, cultures and politics.
Although we had hoped for consensus on this apolitical resolution, there are some Member States who never miss an opportunity to politicize every issue – even those like agricultural technology – which falls well outside the realm of politics.
The sad truth is that the countries who have called for a vote on this resolution are among those that need it the most. The need for agricultural technology in the Middle East is undeniable. Agriculture is an issue that should bring all in our region together. By calling for a vote, these member states have shown again that they are more concerned with scoring political points, than with their own citizens, and so many people in other regions who could benefit tremendously from agricultural technology.
Our work does not end with the adoption of this resolution today. We need to take the words from the printed page and breathe life into them. It is now time to ensure that our collective efforts in negotiations will yield a fruitful harvest in the world.