First UN chartered ship carrying wheat for Africa leaves Ukraine
The first humanitarian ship chartered by the UN to transport wheat from Ukraine left the southern port of Yuzhne on Tuesday.
The 23,000-ton shipment will go to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa, where famine threatens the drought-hit region.
According to WFP, a record 345 million people in 82 countries are facing acute food insecurity while up to 50 million in 45 countries will confront famine without humanitarian support.
WFP chief David Beasley acknowledged that although it will take more than Ukrainian grain to stop world hunger, with it back on global markets there is a chance to “stop this global food crisis from spiralling even further”.
Resumed maritime traffic in Black Sea Port will ease some global supply disruptions and allow Ukraine to empty its grain storage silos ahead of the summer season harvest.
UN envoy travels to Myanmar for the first time
The UN special envoy for Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, has travelled to the country for the first time since her appointment last October.
Ms. Heyzer, a Singaporean women’s rights activist, will focus attention on the country’s deteriorating situation.
Early last year, the military overthrew the elected government, launched a bloody crackdown on protesters and has been in chaos ever since.
Efforts by Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbours to restore peace have been hampered by the country’s recent execution of four political activists.
Her visit comes a day after the country’s imprisoned former leader, Suu Kyi was convicted on additional corruption charges, adding six years to her earlier 11-year prison sentence.
Despite that Myanmar’s military rulers agreed to a plan to restore peace and stability in April 2021, little progress has been made as the State has slipped into a situation that some have characterized as a civil war.
New UN climate chief appointed
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced the appointment of Simon Stiell as the new UN climate chief (UNFCCC).
Mr. Guterres hailed the Grenadian national as “a true champion” of creative approaches to tackling the global climate crisis.
Mr. Stiell had previously served as his country’s minister for climate resilience and the environment and has been among a handful of prominent figures from vulnerable nations demanding that rich countries step up their efforts to combat the climate crisis.
Reacting to a recent scientific report outlining how climate change is already affecting more than three billion people worldwide, Stiell warned that inaction would be “catastrophic”.
“Nothing less than the most extreme measures to cut emissions and adapt to this crisis can be justified,” he said.
Amidst rising geopolitical tensions and a global energy price crisis, the new UN official will face the task of putting countries back on track to meet international climate goals.
Katy Dartford, UN News - Geneva