Ukraine’s Immediate Fate Important to World, Delegate Tells Security Council, Calling for Cessation of War,

Despite positive progress in exporting grain and other food products from Ukraine’s ports, the people of that country and beyond urgently need peace, the Secretary-General of the United Nations told the Security Council today, as Council members took stock of the now six-month-old conflict on the thirty-first anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.[…]

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, briefing the Council on his recent visit to Ukraine, said that the Black Sea Grain Initiative is progressing well.  Dozens of ships have sailed in and out of Ukrainian ports — loaded with over 720,000 metric tons of grains and other food products — and he recalled seeing wheat pouring into the holds of cargo ships and the United Nations flag flying on vessels bound for the Horn of Africa where millions of people are at risk of famine.  He said that the Initiative is a powerful demonstration of what can be achieved “when we put people first”, also spotlighting the other part of the deal that allows Russian food and fertilizer unimpeded access to global markets.  All Governments and the private sector must cooperate to bring these goods to market, as there will not be enough food in 2023 if the fertilizer market is not stabilized in 2022.  He also stressed that, while getting more food and fertilizer out of Ukraine and the Russian Federation at reasonable costs is vital to calm commodity markets, the shipment of grain and other foodstuffs “won’t mean much if countries cannot afford them”.  He therefore called for a massive scaling-up of support to developing countries “getting hammered by the global food crisis”.

He went on to express grave concern over the situation in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, underscoring that “the warning lights are flashing”.  Any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the plant are unacceptable, and any further escalation of the situation could lead to self-destruction.  He called for the security of the plant to be ensured, for the facility to be re-established as purely civilian infrastructure and for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conduct a mission to the site as soon as possible.  Also expressing concern over alleged violations of international humanitarian law, he stressed that such law protects prisoners of war and that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) must have access to such prisoners wherever they are held.  Further, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine must be able to freely conduct its work to find the facts through safe, secure and unfettered access to all relevant places, persons and evidence.  Noting the thirty-first anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, he underscored that “the people of Ukraine and beyond need peace, and they need peace now”. Läs referatet