UN chief pays second call on Ukraine, will visit grain-exporting Black Sea Port
Secretary-General António Guterres arrived on Wednesday to Lviv, the largest city in Western Ukraine.
“Tomorrow, he will join President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a meeting hosted by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine,” UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told a regular press briefing in New York.
“He will go on to visit Odesa and then Istanbul in the following days,” he added.
Checking the grain
During his visit, the UN chief will stop by one of the three Ukrainian ports involved in the framework of the Black Sea Initiative to export wheat grain.
Prior to the start of the conflict in February, Ukraine was exporting up to six million tonnes of grain a month.
However, the war triggered grain shortages that have left African countries among the most heavily impacted.
Yesterday as the first humanitarian boat under the Initiative left for the Horn of Africa, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, had said that getting the Black Sea Ports open is “the single most important thing we can do right now”.
“It will take more than grain ships out of Ukraine to stop world hunger, but with Ukrainian grain back on global markets we have a chance to stop this global food crisis from spiraling even further,” he stated.
Prior to returning to New York, Mr. Guterres will make a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, to visit the Joint Coordinating Centre, the mechanism that supports implementation of the UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative on grain exports.
This is the second call that Mr. Guterres has made on Ukraine after the Russian invasion that began on 24 February.
The Secretary General first flew to the country at the end of April when he visited the devastated outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, and met with President Zelensky and other high-ranking officials of the country.