UN chief ends Europe trip with visit to ‘vessels of hope’ |

Mr. Guterres flew to Istanbul on Saturday morning from Chisinau, Moldova – where he was held a working dinner with President Maia Sandu the previous evening – and boarded a pilot boat in the Sea of ​​Marmara, where he sailed beside next to M/V Brave Commander, World Food Program (WFP) the ship loaded more than 23,000 wheat at the port of Yuzhny / Pivdennyi, before setting off to deliver the precious cargo to the Horn of Africa, to help those on the verge of starvation.

Minister Genera, together with a group of inspectors from the United Nations Black Sea Grains Initiative Joint Coordination Center for the Initiative (JCC), also boarded the SSI INVINCIBLE II. The ship was en route to Chornomorsk in Ukraine to load nearly 50,000 tonnes of grain – the largest shipment to leave Ukraine since the war began.

Together with the Minister of Defense of Turkey, Hulusi Akar, the Secretary General had a tour of the Joint Coordination Center. He met privately with the Russian and Ukrainian delegations to the JCC, then attended an official session of the JCC, where he thanked all participants for their professionalism and humanity in ensuring that the morning This ant is successful for everyone in the world.

The important role of Türkiye

During a press conference with Minister Akar, the Secretary-General thanked the Türkiye government for their pivotal role in the Black Sea Grains Initiative.

The collaborative work of the teams sitting around the table at JCC embodies what we can achieve with political will, top operational expertise and collective effort, Mr. Guterres told journalists.

He described the ships he had just seen in the Sea of ​​Marmara and Istanbul as just the more conspicuous part of the solution. Another part of the package deal, he said, is unfettered access to the global markets of Russian food and fertilizers, which are not subject to sanctions.

“If there is no fertilizer by 2022, there may not be enough food by 2023,” said Mr. Guterres. “Getting more food and fertilizer out of Ukraine and Russia is important to continue to calm the commodity market. and lower prices for consumers.”

The United Nations Secretary-General delivers a speech at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

UN photo / Mark Garten

The United Nations Secretary-General delivers a speech at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ukraine’s contribution to human rights

The Secretary-General’s trip begins on Wednesday, August 17, when he arrives in Lviv, Ukraine, after traveling from New York via Warsaw, Poland.

Before the tripartite meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye, the Secretary-General paid a quick visit to Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

Volodymyr Melnyk, the rector of the university, which is considered a center for the study of human rights, welcomed him and gave him a tour.

Mr. Melnyk explains the important contributions to world science, international law and diplomacy by the school and its scholars. One of the graduates of the International Law School, Louis Son, is a co-author of uncharted and Raphael Lemkin, another graduate student, coined the term genocide.

Students from this University later became judges in International Criminal Court or Nobel Prize nominees, including Jan Karski, the famous Polish diplomat who alerted the world to the carnage taking place during the Second World War.

Speaking to reporters afterward, the Secretary-General noted the link between the United Nations and the university and added that today “there is an increasing contribution of civil society and the contribution of Academia is essential in the development of modern democracies.”

‘Full solidarity with the Ukrainian people’

In his address to the press after the tripartite meeting, the Secretary-General reiterated that the United Nations will continue to stand in full solidarity with the Ukrainian people to mobilize all its capabilities and resources – together with our partners. country – to continue providing humanitarian operations. assist those in need wherever required.

He also stressed that the positive momentum on the food front reflects a victory of diplomacy and multilateralism. Getting food and fertilizer out of Ukraine and Russia in larger quantities is important to further calm commodity markets and lower prices. He added: “It is essential to provide relief to the most vulnerable people and countries.

The Secretary-General said he discussed the investigation of the tragic incident that occurred at a detention facility in Olenivka, eastern Ukraine, on July 29, in which more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed. in an explosion.

Guterres announced that he would appoint Brazilian General Carlos dos Santos Cruz to lead a fact-finding mission into the murders. For the mission to work, he told the press, necessary guarantees were needed to ensure secure access to the site and any other associated sites. Simply put, the Secretary-General said, a fact-finding mission must be free to seek the truth.

The head of the UN is on his way back to New York.

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