Ethiopia’s agreement to end war demonstrates power of multilateralism – UN chief

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

Secretary-General António Guterres says Ethiopia’s agreement to end the war in Tigray and Russia’s decision to re-join the Black Sea Grain Initiative demonstrate the power of multilateralism.

Guterres told correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday that with Russia’s announcement, the deal to free-up vital foodstuffs from Ukraine had hit a new milestone.

He said it showed not only multilateralism at work, but the value of discrete and determined diplomacy.

He said it reached a milestone with 10 million metric tonnes now shipped through the Black Sea humanitarian corridor, in just three months.

“Despite all the obstacles we have seen, the beacon of hope in the Black Sea is still shining and the initiative is working,’’ he said.

Guterres said he had two priorities going forward with Russia back in the fold and ships on the move again from three Ukrainian ports.

“Renewal and full implementation of the deal, followed by the removal of the remaining obstacles to the export of food and much-needed fertiliser, from Russia are of priority,’’ he said.

He added that he and the UN were fully committed to both objectives, stressing the need to urgently address the “global fertiliser market crunch”.

“We cannot allow global fertiliser accessibility problems to morph into a global food shortage,’’ he noted.

He noted the grain deal and the signing of a binding agreement by Ethiopian authorities and Tigrayan rebels to end fighting and allow aid back into war-ravaged Tigray.

Speaking on the UN climate conference beginning in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this weekend, he said it had to be the moment to “rebuild trust and re-establish the ambition needed to avoid driving our planet over the climate cliff.”

Emissions are on course to rise by as much as 2.8C by the end of this century – far from the necessary and agreed 1.5 degrees, or lower.

“And that means our planet is on course for reaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible, and forever bake in, catastrophic temperature rise,’’ he noted.

Guterres called for a “historic pact’’ between the developing and developed world where the onus is on the richer economies to deliver on their promises to reach the 1.5 degree goal, laid out in the Paris Agreement.

“COP27 must be the place to close the ambition gap, the credibility gap, and the solidarity gap,’’ the UN chief stressed. (NAN)

Leave a Reply