United Nations (United States) (Times Of Ocean)- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the world must act to prevent a “hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The secretary-general addressed correspondents outside the Security Council in New York that Russia-Ukraine war risks sparking far-reaching consequences for the global food supply that will have a devastating impact on the poorest.
“This war goes far beyond Ukraine. It is also an assault on the world’s most vulnerable people and countries,” Guterres declared.
Even before the war, Guterres said, developing countries were “struggling to recover from the pandemic — with record inflation, rising interest rates and looming debt burdens.”
“Now their breadbasket is being bombed,” Guterres said, noting that Ukraine provides more than half of the World Food Programme’s wheat supply.
UN’s global food price index is at its highest level in history, and the world’s 45 least developed countries import at least one-third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia. Burkina Faso, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen are among them.
“We must do everything possible to avert a hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system,” Guterres implored, calling for an immediate end to hostilities.
The UN chief was speaking on the sidelines of a briefing by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to the Security Council.
The foreign minister of Poland, which holds the rotating presidency of the OSCE for 2022, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had been “a strategic and tactical failure.”
Zbigniew Rau says Moscow changed its tactics and began targeting civilians.
“This is deplorable and shameful and amounts to state terrorism,” he added.
Rau said that Russia’s aggression ‘threatens the very existence of the OSCE.’ However, he added he will soon travel to Moldova and the Balkans to “demonstrate the OSCE’s commitment” to ending the conflict.