Food security is an increasingly pressing concern for people everywhere, but most of all in developing countries of the Global South. It is crucial to ensure safe, nutritious food is available, accessible, and affordable for everyone.
A year ago, the first International Summit on Food Security was held in Kyiv, marking the start of the «Grain from Ukraine» humanitarian program. In its first year, 34 countries and international organizations joined this program.
Ukraine is one of the top global food suppliers. It is also a reliable partner of the UN World Food Programme. Through the «Grain from Ukraine» initiative, more than 170,000 tons of Ukrainian grain was delivered to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Yemen. More than 25 countries have pledged about 220 million USD to support this humanitarian program.
However, Russia's unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine has worsened existing food security challenges worldwide, and exacerbated the global food crisis. Russia is not only waging war on the battlefield but is also aiming to inflict a global food crisis by destroying Ukrainian civil port infrastructure and grain storage facilities, blocking the Black Sea coast of Ukraine, and disrupting lawful transit in Ukraine’s territorial seas.
We strongly believe that threatening global food supplies should not be used as a weapon of war and recall that the starvation of civilians as a tactic of warfare is prohibited. Countries compromising food security should face immediate international repercussions.
The Ukrainian initiative «Grain from Ukraine» can serve as an effective tool to help respond to acute hunger. We highlight the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, emphasizing the right of innocent passage for ships of all states, [including commercial vessels,] which is crucial for global food stability.
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their or his/her health and wellbeing, including food, as reflected in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The disruption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which helped mitigate global food security pressures, is a cause for deep concern.
Russia's attempt to use the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative as a bargaining chip for relieving the sanctions regime established in response to Russia’s aggression and violations of international law is unacceptable.
Ukraine is proactively establishing alternative routes with its partners, such as the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes, including the Danube corridor and the Baltic Sea, to maintain grain exports to the global market, which helps all countries.
We welcome Ukraine's efforts to achieve a just and sustainable peace. We support the purposes and principles of the Peace Formula by President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and believe that achieving a just and lasting peace will contribute to global food security.
We also highly appreciate the efforts of the international community to provide a lifeline for the Ukrainian economy, which is essential for global food security. We are confident that, by working together, we will overcome the negative humanitarian and economic impacts of the worldwide food crisis exacerbated by Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
We commend and encourage continuous joint efforts of the international community to increase pressure on Russia to unburden Ukraine's Black Sea ports and to prioritize global food security.