UN chief wants continuation of Black Sea grain deal
The secretary-general noted the indispensable role food and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine continue to play in support of global food security.
UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the continuation of the agreements that allow food and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine.
The secretary-general noted the indispensable role food and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine continue to play in support of global food security, Xinhua news agency reported.
He reiterated the importance of full and continued implementation of the agreements signed in Istanbul in July 2022 to help ensure that these products can reach global markets smoothly, efficiently and at scale, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for Guterres, in a statement.
"These agreements are an all-too-rare demonstration of what the world can do when it puts its mind to the great challenges of our time. Together, the agreements are contributing to sustained reductions in global food prices, which are now more than 23 per cent below the record highs reached in March last year," said the statement.
The secretary-general and his team remain fully committed to building on the progress already made and are in constant contact with a wide range of stakeholders in this regard. The secretary-general called on all concerned to prioritize global food security, it said.
Russia and Ukraine signed separately with Turkey and the United Nations the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul in July 2022, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from Black Sea ports.
As a parallel agreement, Russia and the United Nations signed a memorandum of understanding on the facilitation of Russian food and fertilizer exports. However, little progress has been made on this part of the deal, prompting dissatisfaction from Russia.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, initially in effect for 120 days, was extended in mid-November 2022 for another 120 days till March 18, 2023. At that point, Russia only agreed to extend the deal for 60 days. On May 17, Russia agreed to extend the deal for another 60 days.