Commento alla stampa da Odessa – Segretario Generale il 19 Agosto 2022



Odesa, Ukraine 

 19 August 2022 

First of all I want to salute Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.  

His wisdom, his competence and his determination were vital for an agreement in the end to be reached involving the UN, Turkey and Ukraine and, on the other hand, UN, Turkey and the Russian Federation 

 It is very emotional for me to be here in today in Odesa. 

I just saw wheat being loaded into a ship again.  

 It’s obviously a reason for joy. But it is also emotional because of the sadness I feel looking into this wonderful harbor and looking into these terminals practically empty with the possibility that this harbor has to develop that Ukraine and the whole region being cut off because of the war. 

 As I said it is moving to be here in Odessa and it is especially meaningful to be here on World Humanitarian Day.  

 For months, the port was paralyzed.  

 Ships like those here were within minutes of sailing fully loaded with grains and other cargo.  

 A critical transportation line from a global breadbasket was cut.  

 The Black Sea Grain Initiative is changing that. 

 In less than a month, 25 ships have departed from Odesa and other Ukrainian ports loaded with grain and other food supplies.  With more on their way, as the minister has explained.   

 They have carried well over 600,000 tonnes of food products and counting.   

 Wheat. Corn. Sunflower oil. Soya beans.   

 But each ship is also a vessel of hope.   

 Hope for Ukrainian farmers finally rewarded for their harvest – with storage being freed up for more. 

 Hope for seafarers and the larger shipping community, knowing that it is once again possible to sail through the Black Sea safely and efficiently.  

 And, most of all, hope for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries.  

 Here from Odesa on World Humanitarian Day, I want to make a special appeal to the wealthier world for those bearing the brunt of the global food crisis. 

 As these ports open, I appeal for wealthier countries to also open their wallets and their hearts.   

 After all, the movement of grains doesn’t mean much to countries that cannot afford it.   

 Lower prices on the global food markets don’t mean much if those prices aren’t reflected in local food markets. 

 A country cannot feed itself if it is starved for resources.   

 It is time for massive and generous support so developing countries can purchase the food from this and other ports – and people can buy it.   

 Developing countries need access to financing — now.

  They need debt relief — now.

  They need resources to invest in their people – now.

 And all of us must do more to ensure full global access to Ukraine’s food products and Russian food and fertilizers.   

 That is not easy – but nothing about this initiative is easy.   

 No one ever expected smooth sailing.   

 This is an agreement between two parties locked in bitter war. 

 It is unprecedented in scope and scale.   

 But there is still a long way to go on many fronts. 

 Getting more food and fertilizer out of Ukraine and Russia is crucial to further calm commodity markets and lower prices.

But let’s not forget that what we see here in Odesa is only the more visible part of the solution.

The other part that is also important, that we have been defending, relate to the unimpeded access to the global markets of Russian food and fertilizer, which are not subject to sanctions.

It is important that all governments and the private sector cooperate to bring them to market.

Without fertilizer in 2022, there may not be enough food in 2023.

I am deeply committed to those objectives, but it will only happen if all parties cooperate.

I am here in Odesa to salute the work being done – and to urge that those efforts continue. 

 Continue to help bring much-needed relief to global food security. 

 Continue to improve global food supply and stabilize markets.

 And continue to improve the welfare of the most vulnerable, especially those trapped in the most fragile humanitarian contexts.   

 Let us spare no effort to keep this life-saving effort going and to work for peace.

Peace in line with the United Nations Charter and international law.

Let us take inspiration from Odesa.   

 Today, Odesa is more than just a shipping centre.   

 This port is a symbol of what the world can do when we commit to working together for the common good.  

 The Ukrainian people has been suffering so much. They have witnessed so many deaths, so much destruction that it is legitimate to aspire for peace. 

 But again, I repeat peace in line with UN Charter, peace in line with international law.  

 That is the best way to mark World Humanitarian Day and help set the course for a more just and peaceful world for all.