Secretary General António Guterres external address reporters Security Council in New York, and said that with every passing hour in Ukraine, death and devastation grew more severe: “Regardless of the outcome, this war will not have a winner or a loser. ”
Roads, airports, schools, ruined by the Russian invasion, with at least 24 medical facilities attacked, while hundreds of thousands of people are currently without water or electricity.
Guterres said the United Nations and its humanitarian partners were working “to secure safe passage from besieged areas and deliver aid when security permits, allowing around 600,000 people to receive a some form of aid since the bombardment began.
He announced the release of an additional $40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to bolster critical support, but noted that “roads in and out of besieged cities, increasingly precarious.”
The nearly two million people currently internally displaced, he warned, and the nearly three million who have become refugees in the past two weeks – mostly women and children – are becoming increasingly vulnerable.
“For predators and traffickers, war is not a tragedy. It’s an opportunity. And women and children are the target. They need safety and support every step of the way. I will continue to highlight the desperate plight of the Ukrainian people as I am doing again today.”
Attack on the world’s most vulnerable
Besides hours of destruction inside Ukraine, the head of the United Nations said the war was reaching far beyond its borders, with a sword of Damocles now hanging over the global economy – “especially the developing world“.
For months now, developing countries have struggled to recover from the pandemic – with record inflation, rising interest rates and mounting debt burdens, while their ability to cope has been “erased”. eliminated by the exponential increase in financing costs.
“Now their breadbasket is being bombed“, I said.
Russia and Ukraine represent more than half of the world’s supplies of sunflower oil and about 30% of wheat, he added, noting that Ukraine alone provides more than half of the Wage Program supplies. Real World (WFP) provides wheat.
“The prices of food, fuel and fertilizers are skyrocketing. Supply chains are disrupted. And import freight costs and delays – when they do – are at record levels.
“All of this is hitting the poorest and sowing the seeds of political instability and instability around the globe.. ”
Preventing ‘hunger storm’
He said 45 African and least developed countries import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, with 18 of them importing at least 50 per cent.
“We must do everything we can to prevent the storm of hunger and the disintegration of the global food system. In addition, we are seeing clear evidence that this war is draining resources and attention from other trouble spots that are desperately needed.
Mr. Guterres called on countries to find innovative ways to finance the increased development and humanitarian recovery needs worldwide, providing generously and immediately releasing the pledged funds.
“In a word, developing countries are being battered. They face a series of crises – apart from the Ukraine war, we cannot forget COVID and the effects of climate change – especially drought.
New Crisis Response Team
In direct response, he announced the creation of a new United Nations Global Crisis Response Team on Food, Energy and Finance, based at the Secretariat in New York, under the supervision of Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed.
He said the fight also showed “how The global addiction to fossil fuels is putting energy security, climate action and the entire global economy in the face of geopolitics.. ”
And with Russian President Vladimir Putin raising the alert level of his country’s nuclear forces, the United Nations chief described it as a “bone-chilling development”.
The The prospect of a nuclear war, “once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”. The security and safety of nuclear facilities must also be preserved.” He added.
“It’s time to stop the horror from falling on the people of Ukraine and walk the path of diplomacy and peace,” he said, noting that he was in close contact with countries including China and France. , Germany, India, Israel and Turkey. – about the reconciliation effort to end the Russian invasion.
“Calls for peace must be heard. This tragedy must stop. It is never too late for diplomacy and dialogue. We need an immediate end to hostile acts and serious negotiations based on the principles of uncharted and international law. ”
We need peace now,” he added. “Peace for the people of Ukraine. Peace for our world. ”