Заява делегації України Пункт 23. Розвиток сільського господарства, продовольча безпека та харчування

Заява делегації України Пункт 23. Розвиток сільського господарства, продовольча безпека та харчування

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, let me express Ukraine’s solidarity with innocent victims of the large-scale terrorist attack against Israel that began on October 7, 2023. The horrifying images from Israel remind us of the cities of Bucha, Irpin or Mariupol in April 2022: same crimes, same inhumanity. This footage serves us yet another reminder that terror must be stopped, and perpetrators must be held accountable.

Mr. Chairman,

As correctly reflected in the UN SG report under the item “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition” (A/78/218), progress toward sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition,already lagging, faces unprecedented global challenges. The fragile recovery from COVID-19 pandemic was disrupted by the war in Ukraine, which amplified multidimensional crises in food, energy and finance, slowing down progress in human and sustainable development.

Food security was among the key issues raised by the President of Ukraine in his statements on September 19, 2023 both at the UNGA General debate and at the SDG Summit. As it was clearly stated, Ukraine will not give up its role as a guarantor of global food security, even under the current extraordinary circumstances. We are ready to continue food export to global market. Since the start of the full-scale war, the Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have been blocked by Russia.

On July 17, 2023 this country withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and started attacking Ukrainian ports storing grain intended for export. Let me remind you that in one year of the Grain Initiative work, Ukraine exported ~33 mln tons of agricultural products to 45 countries, sixty percent of the volumes went to the countries of Africa and Asia. These figures would have been much higher if not for Russia’s systematic obstruction of the normal functioning of the Initiative. Until now, our ports on the Danube River remain the target for missiles and drones. And it is a clear Russia’s attempt to weaponize the food shortage on the global market in exchange for recognition of the captured Ukrainian territories.

Furthermore, the port infrastructure targeted by Russia is located in close proximity to the neighboring states, and these countries are at immediate risk of being targeted. On September 18, 2023, the G7 members strongly condemned Russia’s unjustified and intensified attacks on Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure in the Black Sea and the Danube River. They urged Russia to stop threatening global food security and to return to the international framework associated with the UN to resume grain export from Ukraine. Earlier, on July 20, 2023, the UN Secretary-General strongly condemned the Russian Federation attacks against port facilities in Odesa and other Ukrainian Black Sea ports. It was recalled that “the destruction of civilian infrastructure may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law”.

The UN SG further recalled that “these attacks are also having an impact well beyond Ukraine. We are already seeing the negative effect on global wheat and corn prices, which hurts everyone, but especially vulnerable people in the Global South.” Even now when Moscow left the Black Sea Grain Initiative, we are working to ensure food stability. On August 8, 2023, temporary routes for civilian vessels to/from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine came into effect. 5 ships have already passed through the new, alternative sea corridor from our southern seaports. Other civilian ships also confirmed their readiness to use the route to load wheat for the countries of Africa and Asia. We are also working to preserve the land routes for grain exports.

In conclusion let me reiterate that Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine is among the causes of the global food crisis, which may bring serious social, economic and political consequences for many countries of the world. Ukraine is most interested in ending this war. The sooner this war ends and respect for international law is restored, the sooner the international community will be able to address food security problems more effectively.

Ukraine is fully aware of its role as a key player at the global food market and is fully committed to prevent food insecurity and hunger in different regions of the world.

Thank you.

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