Its actions were an unequivocal violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity, rendering stark the challenge to international law and the principles of the UN Charter. Aside from the terrible damage and loss of life the conflict has wrought in Ukraine, it has intensified the global food security crisis. The UN and Turkey brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2022 to help protect the world from the worst of the ensuing crisis precipitated by Russia’s war, allowing shipments of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuff to exit ports in the Black Sea.
Since its establishment, the Black Sea Grain Initiative has enabled more than 32 million tonnes of grain to be exported from three Black Sea ports in Ukraine to 45 countries across three continents. It has supported the stabilization of global food prices, preventing over 100 million people worldwide from falling into extreme poverty and hunger. The Initiative has been crucial in addressing global food insecurity and for ensuring predictable supplies of food reach the most vulnerable countries. The leaders of our and other countries agreed in Hiroshima in May to work together and respond to the worsening global food security crisis, calling on all participants to fully implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Despite this call, and the efforts of the UN and Turkey to salvage this initiative, Russia withdrew unilaterally from the deal last month, effectively ending the Black Sea Grain Initiative. With this decision, the world has lost a key instrument of addressing global food security, leading to a further increase in food prices. Russia’s withdrawal shows that it does not regard the increase in food prices and the threat of hunger and famine as collateral damage of the war, but as tools to maximize its own exports of cereals and revenues. It is crucial that all countries reject this attempt. The consequences of Russia’s withdrawal will be felt everywhere, but most acutely by those most vulnerable countries.
For these reasons, we call on Russia to immediately re-join the Black Sea Grain Initiative to avoid any further shocks to global food systems. Russia must stop weaponizing food and take steps in good faith to support the resumption of the Initiative.
As a consequence of the war, Kuwait has also experienced a sharp increase in food prices in the last year. Thanks to its wealth and its well-developed trade relations, the Government of Kuwait has limited the negative impact on the general population. Many countries do not enjoy such favorable conditions and rely on the Black Sea Grain Initiative to avoid widespread hunger.
We respect Kuwait’s consistent support for international law and the principles of the UN Charter. As Kuwait recently marked the 33rd anniversary of its own invasion, we are proud that we stood with Kuwait shoulder to shoulder against aggression. Let’s stand together now in support of Ukraine’s legitimate demand that Russian forces withdraw completely and unconditionally - this is vital for global peace and security, on which our collective prosperity and futures depend.
Ambassador of Australia
Aliya Mawani Ambassador of Canada
Irina Gusacenko Chargé d’Affaires - European Union Delegation
Claire Le Flecher Ambassador of the French Republic
Hans-Christian Freiherr von Reibnitz Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
Carlo Baldocci Ambassador of Italy
Morino Yasunari Ambassador of Japan
Belinda Lewis Ambassador of the United Kingdom
James Holtsnider Chargé d’Affaires - United States of America