Wednesday September 18, 2019
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India strengthens relations with Caribbean, Latin American nations

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New York: With External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj holding separate dialogues with leaders of the Caribbean and Latin American nations on Wednesday, India looks to have bolstered its relations  with the two major blocs of the region.

Sushma Swaraj attended the India-CELAC quartet ministerial meeting and hosted the India-CARICOM foreign ministers’ meeting here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies to promote economic integration and cooperation among the members.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is a regional bloc of 33 Latin American and Caribbean states.

Quite a few of the nations in both groups, including Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, have a substantial Indian-origin population, of Indians who migrated here in the 19th and early 20th century to work in the sugarcane fields.

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“India’s ties with the Caribbean region are historic,” Sushma Swaraj said in her address at the India-CARICOM ministerial meeting, according to tweets posted by external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

“India and Caricom share similar concerns & common aspirations for accelerated economic development and eradication of poverty,” she said at the meeting.

“India offers assistance to Caribbean countries in capacity building, IT, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, SMEs, and many other areas,” she said.

She also called for partnership with CARICOM on text-based negotiations for UN Security Council reform.

She then attended the India-CELAC Quartet Ministerial Meeting.

“Our two-way trade with CELAC is $46 billion. We should boost cooperation in energy, Science & Technology, health care, agro chemicals,” she said at the meeting.

She also called for India-CELAC coordination on global issues like international terrorism, climate change and UN Security Council reform.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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39 Million People Suffering from Hunger in Latin America and The Caribbean

(Hunger) is a really worrying trend because, after undernourishment and hunger had declined for decades in that region and around the world

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People, Hunger, Latin America
Eve Crowley, who is in Montevideo to present a book commemorating FAO's 68 years in Uruguay, described the current situation in the region in an interview with EFE on Saturday. Pixabay

An increase in the number of people suffering from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, now totaling 39 million, is a cause of concern for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), according to its deputy representative for that region.

Eve Crowley, who is in Montevideo to present a book commemorating FAO’s 68 years in Uruguay, described the current situation in the region in an interview with EFE on Saturday.

“(Hunger) is a really worrying trend because, after undernourishment and hunger had declined for decades in that region and around the world, we’re now seeing an increase,” she said. “In the Latin American and the Caribbean region there are now 39 million people suffering from hunger.”

On the other end of the spectrum levels of obesity and overweight also are elevated in the region and ascend to as high as 65 per cent of the population in Uruguay, compared to 60 per cent for the region as a whole.

People, Hunger, Latin America
An increase in the number of people suffering from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, now totaling 39 million, is a cause of concern for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), according to its deputy representative. Pixabay

“We have a target of … eradicating malnutrition in all of its forms, and currently one of its expressions is that in many countries there’s a combination of simultaneous problems – not only in the country, (but) at times in the home and at times in the same person,” she said, noting that undernourishment occasionally goes hand in hand with overweight and obesity and micronutrient deficiency.

Regarding the high level of meat consumption in the region, although the FAO promotes and recognizes the importance of that food group, the expert expressed concern that animal protein is being consumed in excess at the expense of fruit and vegetables.

“The use of antibiotics in the production chain of meat and fish is a very big source of concern for the FAO, Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health because we know that in 2050 antimicrobial resistance will be the biggest cause of death in the world, ahead of cancer and noncommunicable diseases,” Crowley added.

She said it is very important for governments to levy taxes on unhealthy foods and to incentivize the consumption of fruits, vegetables and fish, as well as to promote family farming and educational campaigns such as the latest nutritional guide released by Uruguay’s Health Ministry.

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“If governments don’t take action now, they’re going to pay with (heavy burdens on) their public health systems, something that’s already happening with the spending of millions of dollars to alleviate noncommunicable diseases,” Crowley said. (IANS)