This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN chief welcomes first grain ship to leave Ukraine under landmark deal
Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the departure on Monday of the first ship transporting grain from Ukraine to the rest of the world, in line with a landmark UN-brokered agreement signed by the country, Russia and Türkiye.
The cargo ship Razoni left Odessa with more than 26,000 tonnes of corn – the first commercial vessel to leave a Ukrainian Black Sea port since 26 February, or just days after the start of the Russian invasion.
The ship is bound for the Mediterranean port of Tripoli, in Lebanon.
The UN chief said ensuring “existing grain and foodstuffs can move to global markets is a humanitarian imperative”, according to a statement issued by his Spokesperson.
He hoped this will be the first of many commercial ships moving in accordance with the agreement, and that this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian situations.
Guterres: Non-proliferation treaty needed ‘as much as ever’
At a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War, countries must urgently reinforce the nearly 80-year-old norm against the use of nuclear weapons, the Secretary-General said in New York on Monday.
Mr. Guterres was addressing the opening of the latest meeting to review progress on implementing the non-proliferation treaty, the NPT, being held at UN Headquarters through 26 August.
He said it is taking place at a critical juncture, with the climate crisis, stark inequalities, conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges putting the world under great stress.
With geopolitical tensions reaching new highs, and countries spending billions on “doomsday weapons”, the UN chief warned that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away, from nuclear annihilation.”
“We need the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as much as ever. That is why this Review Conference is so important. It’s an opportunity to hammer-out the measures that will help avoid certain disaster. And to put humanity on a new path towards a world free of nuclear weapons. It’s also a chance to strengthen this Treaty and make it fit for the worrying world around us.”
Step up support for breastfeeding, especially in crises: UNICEF and WHO
Governments must allocate greater resources to protect, promote and support breastfeeding policies and programmes, particularly in emergency settings.
That’s the message from the heads of the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO), in a statement on Monday to mark the start of World Breastfeeding Week.
They said during emergencies – such as the situations in Afghanistan, Yemen, Ukraine, and the Horn of Africa - breastfeeding guarantees a safe, nutritious and accessible food source for babies and young children.
However, factors that affect mothers in crisis settings - including emotional distress, exhaustion, as well as lack of space and privacy – means that their babies often miss out on the benefits of breastfeeding.
The UN agencies are calling for measures that include prioritizing investment in breastfeeding in fragile contexts, and equipping health workers with the necessary skills to provide quality counselling and practical support to mothers so they can successfully breastfeed.
Dianne Penn, UN News.