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Thursday, August, 11, 2022

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine created a three-dimensional crisis

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New York / TEH: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had created a three-dimensional crisis, calling for “silencing the guns and accelerating negotiations towards peace now.”

This came in a joint press conference held by Guterres at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with his Deputy, Amina Mohammed, and Rebecca Greenspan, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), on the occasion of the release of a UN report entitled “Global impact of war in Ukraine on food, energy and finance systems”. Official UNCTAD.

“War exacerbates a three-dimensional crisis – food, energy and finance – that has hit the world’s most vulnerable people, countries and economies,” Guterres said.

He added, “All this comes at a time when developing countries are still struggling with a list of challenges that include the Corona pandemic, climate change, and the scarcity of access to sufficient resources to finance recovery.”

And Guterres added: “We are now facing a severe storm that threatens to destroy the economies of developing countries.”

He added: “For this reason, in the early days of this war, I established the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, which in turn submitted its reports to the Steering Committee, which included all United Nations agencies and international financial institutions… Today we launch the first report of the working group.”

The report revealed that “up to 1.7 billion people – a third of whom are already living in poverty – are now extremely vulnerable to disruptions in food, energy and financing systems that lead to increased poverty and hunger.”

According to the report, “36 countries depend on Russia and Ukraine for more than half of their wheat imports – including some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.”

Guterres warned, “The war has made the situation much worse, as the prices of wheat and corn have become 30 percent higher, oil prices have risen by more than 60 percent, natural gas has increased by 50 percent, and fertilizer prices have more than doubled.”

He said: “With rising prices, hunger and malnutrition increase, in addition to rising inflation, eroding purchasing power, shrinking growth prospects and halting development.”

Guterres noted, “Many developing economies have sunk into debt, and with bond yields already rising since last September, exchange rate pressures have increased, and we have started a vicious cycle of inflation and stagnation.”

The UN report, seen by one of the magazines online, The Eastern Herald, calls for 3 main things: “ensure the continuous flow of food and energy through open markets, which means lifting all unnecessary export restrictions.”

The second point is “phasing out coal and other fossil fuels”, while the third point relates to “rescuing developing countries from the financial brink”.

The report also calls for “financing and assistance to developing countries now so that governments can avoid loan defaults, and provide social safety nets for the poorest and most vulnerable.”

“This is not a crisis that can be partially resolved, country by country, but rather a global and systemic emergency,” the Secretary-General said.

He also said in a statement that there is currently no possibility of a ceasefire in Ukraine.

He continued, “Above all else, this war must end. We need to silence the guns and accelerate negotiations toward peace now for the sake of the people of Ukraine and for the people of the region and the world.”

On February 24, Russia launched a military attack on its neighbor Ukraine, which prompted capitals and regional and international organizations to impose sanctions on Moscow that included multiple sectors, including diplomatic, economic, financial and sports.

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Policy Desk
Policy Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Editorial Board writes and publishes the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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