Suspension of Black Sea Grain initiative to worsen food security, fuel, fertiliser supply challenges: India


PTI, Nov 1, 2022, 8:14 AM IST

Image credit: Twitter / @IndiaUNNewYork/ Video screengrab

India said the suspension of the Black Sea Grain initiative, an UN-brokered deal that allowed food exports from Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict, is expected to further exacerbate food security, fuel and fertiliser supply challenges faced by the world, particularly the global South.

R. Madhu Sudan, Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, said the grain initiative, a result of the UN Secretary-General’s efforts, had aimed to avert a global food crisis and ensure food security.

The initiative resulted in the export of more than nine million tonnes of grains and other food products out of Ukraine.

“The Black Sea Grain initiative and cooperation by the parties so far had provided a glimmer of hope for peace in Ukraine… The suspension of the Black Sea Grain initiative, we believe is expected to further exacerbate the food security, fuel and fertilizer supply challenges faced by the world, particularly the global South,” Madhu Sudan said Monday at the Security Council briefing on the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

He said India supports the engagement of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with the parties on “renewal and full implementation of the initiative, including facilitation of exports of food and fertilizer from Ukraine and Russia.” Russia on Saturday announced it was suspending its involvement in the deal, citing an attack on ships in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula.

Guterres had said he is deeply concerned about the ongoing situation regarding the Black Sea Grain initiative. A statement issued by his spokesperson had said the UN chief continues to engage in “intense contacts” aiming at the end of the Russian suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain initiative.

“The same engagement also aims at the renewal and full implementation of the initiative to facilitate exports of food and fertiliser from Ukraine, as well as removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertiliser,” the UN statement said.

He said India believed the exports had contributed to the lowering of the price of wheat and other commodities, evident from the drop in the FAO Price Index.

“The Black Sea Grain initiative and its successful implementation over the last four months is consistent with our long-standing position that diplomacy and dialogue is the only solution to end this ongoing conflict that has resulted in serious consequences for the region and beyond,” Madhu Sudan said.

He said India continues to support all efforts, including that of the Secretary-General, to end the conflict and reiterated that the global order is anchored on principles of the UN Charter, international law and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

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