Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UN Security Council open debate on Food Security

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine  at the UN Security Council open debate on Food Security

As prepared

Madam President, distinguished members of the Security Council,

I also recognize the representative of Putin’s regime in the permanent seat of the Soviet Union.

First of all, I would like to thank the US for organizing this important debate as well as all briefers for their presentations.

Dear colleagues,

The looming food crisis was in the focus of Ministerial meeting “Global Food Security Call to Action”, held yesterday in the UN. Ukraine joined the Chair Statement on Roadmap for Global Food Security, prepared for the Ministerial meeting.

As a reliable contributor to the global food security and one of the main food suppliers Ukraine fully shares the commitment to act with urgency, at scale, and in concert to respond to the urgent food security and nutrition needs of millions of people worldwide.

Over the past years the food security situation has aggravated for the most vulnerable, in particular due to the impact of the COVID-19. Regrettably, instead of recovery the world emerging from the pandemic has faced a new threat of unprecedented nature – a full-fledged war of aggression unleashed by russia against Ukraine.

Along with international law and rule-based order, russia has also hit the global food security as about 400 million people throughout the world, mostly in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, depend on grain and oil supplies from Ukraine.

Now, due to blockade of Ukrainian seaports, the export of Ukrainian grain has almost stopped. In pre-invasion times Ukraine exported 5 million tons of grain per month. In March the export decreased to only about 200 thousand tons, in April – about 1.1 million tons.

As follows from the decision by the Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Conference for Europe, held in Poland on 10-13 May, the russian aggression against Ukraine has a devastating impact on global food security as well as rising food, fertilizers and energy prices, in particular in Least developed Countries.

Large areas in the East and South of Ukraine remain a place of combat actions or under occupation. That is the reason why we expect in 2022 a harvest to be just 50% of the last year yields.

Another threat is russian actions to seize Ukrainian grain for their own consumption or in attempt to illegally sell it on international markets. The plunder of food supplies from the territory of an independent sovereign state is one of the aspects of looting.

The russian occupiers have already stolen at least 400-500 thousand tons of grain. Almost all grain-laden ships departing from Sevastopol are loaded with stolen Ukrainian commodities.

Ukraine has already warned consumer countries that grain consignments exported by russia could contain stolen Ukrainian grain. Any country that knowingly purchases this grain will be considered to be complicit in the crime.

We demand that russia stop illicit grain stealing, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation, and allow trade ships to pass.

Dear colleagues,

As it was already said here more than once, this war is a war of choice. Choice of president putin. It will be his choice as well to opt either for resolution or for aggravation of this food crisis.

And there should be no doubts of who will be responsible for starvation that millions of people could suffer in Asia, Africa, other parts of the world and in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

We strongly reject any manipulative narrative that sanctions against russia would make it impossible to effectively address the issue of agricultural export. As stated by many participants of yesterday’s Ministerial meeting, all required exclusions have been already made.

As soon as russia is compelled to stop the war the looming threat of hunger will be over, in particular for the most vulnerable. Otherwise, the famine and sufferings of millions will be putin’s total guilt.

I thank you.