Food and fertilizers from Ukraine Russia must return to world markets as soon as possible to avoid a famine, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, warned on Wednesday in Vienna, after admitting that at the moment a peace agreement or halt is not in sight. fire in war
I am deeply concerned about the risks of hunger that can spread to various regions of the world”, Guterres stressed at a press conference after meeting with the Austrian Federal President, Alexander van der Bellen, and with the Federal Chancellor, the Conservative Karl Nehammer .
The top United Nations official recalled that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not only causing “massive devastation, destruction and suffering” in the attacked country, but it also “sends shock waves throughout the region and the world.”
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“This senseless war must stop. It has unleashed a three-dimensional crisis – of food, energy, and finance – with devastating effects for the most vulnerable people, countries, and economies,” Guterres insisted.
No peace in sight
The UN Secretary-General arrived in the Austrian capital from Moldova, a few days after visiting Moscow and Kyiv, where he called for peace negotiations even though he knows they are unlikely in the immediate future.
It was clear to us that, at the current moment, there is no immediate chance of a peace agreement or a global ceasefire,” Guterres acknowledged.
He explained that as a result, his team is concentrating on improving conditions to evacuate civilians and deliver aid, as well as seeking solutions to the growing food crisis, a source of “deep concern” for the secretary-general.
Guterres called on European countries to help economically Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, which has nevertheless hosted tens of thousands of refugees.
The danger of hunger
“But let’s be clear: a meaningful solution to global food insecurity requires reintegrating Ukraine’s agricultural production and Russian and Belarusian food and fertilizer production into world markets, war notwithstanding,” Guterres insisted.
To achieve this, he called for “swift and decisive action”, including the lifting of all export restrictions “lifting export restrictions”, and thus also addressing the increase in food prices “to calm the volatility From the market”.
Restore international law
In the medium and long term, Guterres expressed hope that the rules that govern the UN will be respected again, mainly that of not attacking other countries.
For Guterres, the Russian aggression against Ukraine is “in reality an attack on the Charter of the United Nations”, but “this war will not last forever (…) the time for peace negotiations will come”, he said.
The weather continues to press
On the other hand, Guterres warned of the risk that the war could overshadow or even slow down efforts to combat global warming and called for “accelerating the end of our addiction to fossil fuels.”
“There is a serious risk that the sense of urgency, which is essential to fight climate change, will diminish, which could be devastating,” he said.
To reach the goal agreed in Paris, to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, global CO2 emissions must be reduced by 45 percent this decade, Guterres said.
“However, current climate commitments would see a 14 percent increase in emissions,” he added.
“We are approaching the tipping point. This is a catastrophe,” said Guterres, who is also in Vienna to attend an internal meeting on administrative matters of the different United Nations agencies.