India expressed worry about the UN-mediated Black Sea Grain initiative’s suspension on Monday in the Security Council, stating that this action is likely to make the global problems with food security, fuel supply, and fertiliser supply even worse.
The Black Sea Grain agreement, according to Indian ambassador R Madhu Sudan, helped bring down the price of wheat and other commodities while offering a glimpse of hope for peace in Ukraine.
“The initiative had resulted in export of more than nine million tonnes of grains and other food products out of Ukraine. We believe the exports had contributed to lowering prices of wheat and other commodities, evident from the drop in the FAO Food Price Index,” said Madhu Sudan, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, at the UNSC briefing debate on Ukraine.
“The suspension of the Black Sea Grain initiative is expected to further exacerbate the food security, fuel and fertilizer supply challenges faced by the world, particularly the Global South,” he added.
A signing ceremony for the UN-mediated Black Sea Grain Initiative took place in Istanbul in July. According to the agreement, ships bringing grain from three ports in Ukraine transit through a designated corridor to markets around the world.
This UNSC discussion came about as a result of Russia’s request for a meeting following its announcement this past weekend that it would cease participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative “for an indefinite length of time” in reaction to claimed Ukrainian attacks against Russian ships.
India, according to Counselor Madhu Sudan, supports the Secretary-discussions General’s with the parties about the initiative’s renewal and full implementation, including the facilitation of exports of food and fertiliser from Russia and Ukraine.
“The Black Sea Grain initiative and its successful implementation over the last four months is consistent with India’s 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,” he said while adding that India continues to support all efforts, including that of the Secretary-General, to end the conflict.
The historic agreement to export grain and associated goods from Ukraine must be maintained in the face of the continued conflict and the rising cost of living issue, UN officials urged the Security Council on Monday.
“Ukraine’s grain exports are not a food aid operation. They do operate as a huge lever on price, with positive ripple effects throughout the world. New security allegations are a cause of grave concern to the Secretary-General and many Member States are worried now that the deal is in trouble,” said UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths.
According to UN News, Ukraine and Russia produce around 30% of the wheat and barley, one-fifth of the maize, and more than half of the sunflower oil that is shipped globally. With 15% of all worldwide exports, Russia is also the world’s top exporter of fertilisers.