"Starvation of civilians as a tactic of warfare is prohibited" - Grain from Ukraine summit’s statement

Participants of the second Grain from Ukraine International Summit adopted a Joint Statement, supported by 23 countries.

The text of the document was published on the website of the President of Ukraine, reports Ukrinform.

"Food security is an increasingly pressing concern for people everywhere, but most of all in developing countries of the Global South.  It is crucial to ensure safe, nutritious food is available, accessible, and affordable for everyone," the statement said.

The document mentions that a year ago, the first International Summit on Food Security was held in Kyiv, which marked the beginning of the Grain from Ukraine humanitarian program. In the first year, 34 countries and international organizations joined the initiative.

Read also: Only 25% of crops enough to cover Ukraine’s own demand - PM Shmyhal

It is noted that Ukraine is one of the world's leading suppliers of food. It is also a reliable partner of the United Nations World Food Program. As part of the Grain from Ukraine initiative, more than 170,000 tons of Ukrainian grain were delivered to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Yemen. More than 25 countries have pledged about $220 million to support the humanitarian program.

However, Russia's unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine has exacerbated existing food security challenges around the world and escalated the global food crisis. Russia is not only waging war on the battlefield, but also seeks to cause a global food crisis by destroying Ukraine's civilian port infrastructure and granaries, blocking Ukraine's Black Sea coast, and preventing legal transit in Ukraine's territorial waters.

"We strongly believe that threatening global food supplies should not be used as a weapon of war and recall that the starvation of civilians as a tactic of warfare is prohibited.  Countries compromising food security should face immediate international repercussions," the statement stressed.

Read also: Despite war, Ukraine “keeps feeding the world” - von der Leyen

The participants noted that the Ukrainian initiative, Grain from Ukraine, can serve as an effective tool for responding to acute famine, and highlighted the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, emphasizing the right of innocent passage for ships of all states, [including commercial vessels,] which is crucial for global food stability.

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their or his/her health and wellbeing, including food, as reflected in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The disruption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which helped mitigate global food security pressures, is a cause for deep concern.

Russia's attempt to use the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative as a bargaining chip for relieving the sanctions regime established in response to Russia’s aggression and violations of international law is unacceptable," the document states.

The Joint Statement notes that Ukraine is actively creating along with its partners the alternative routes, such as the Ukraine-EU Solidarity Lanes, including the Danube Corridor and the Baltic Sea, to support grain exports to the global market, which helps all countries in need.

"We welcome Ukraine's efforts to achieve a just and sustainable peace. We support the purposes and principles of the Peace Formula by President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and believe that achieving a just and lasting peace will contribute to global food security,” the statement reads.

The parties also highly appreciate the efforts of the international community aimed at supporting the Ukrainian economy, which is important for global food security. “We are confident that, by working together, we will overcome the negative humanitarian and economic impacts of the worldwide food crisis exacerbated by Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. We commend and encourage continuous joint efforts of the international community to increase pressure on Russia to unburden Ukraine's Black Sea ports and to prioritize global food security," the statement concluded.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the second summit of the Ukrainian humanitarian initiative Grain from Ukraine took place in Kyiv on November 25 under the auspices of the Ukrainian President.

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