THE SECRETARY-GENERAL -- REMARKS AT PRESS STAKEOUT
03 November 2022
Ladies and gentlemen of the media. Thank you very much for your presence.
I come today bearing a measure of good news – hopeful news in a world churning in turmoil.
It has been said that one might not always appreciate something until it is at risk or gone altogether.
Over the past few days, I believe the world has come to understand and appreciate the importance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
For stemming the food crisis. For easing prices and pressures on people around the world. For reducing the risks of hunger, poverty and instability.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is making a difference.
I am pleased to announce that, today, the Initiative has hit a new milestone.
As of today, ten million metric tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs have been shipped through the Black Sea corridor.
It has taken just three months to reach this milestone.
Despite all the obstacles we have seen, the beacon of hope in the Black Sea is still shining. The initiative is working.
It is our collective responsibility to keep it working smoothly.
I thank President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and the Government of Türkiye for their crucial contribution for that to happen.
Now that the initiative has fully resumed, I appeal to all parties to concentrate efforts in two areas.
First, to renewal and full implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Second, to removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer.
I am fully committed – along with the entire United Nations system – to the achievement of both these essential objectives.
The world needs safe and unimpeded navigation for exports of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
And the world needs concerted efforts to urgently address the global fertilizer market crunch and make full use of Russian export capacity essential for that purpose.
High fertilizer prices are already affecting farmers around the world.
We cannot allow global fertilizer accessibility problems to morph into a global food shortage.
As we have been reminded in the last few days, all of this is crucial for people everywhere.
We have also some encouraging news from Ethiopia.
Two weeks ago, I stood before you and raised the alarm about the spiraling conflict.
Today, I am pleased to commend the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigrayan People’s
Liberation Front for yesterday’s signing of a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities.
I salute the African Union’s High-Level Panel - President [Olusegun] Obasanjo, President [Uhuru] Kenyatta, and our former colleague Phumzile [Mlambo-Ngcuka] - for their work in facilitating this agreement.
It is a critical first step that paves the way for the unimpeded delivery of lifesaving humanitarian aid and the resumption of public services.
The human cost of this conflict has been devastating.
I urge all Ethiopians to seize this opportunity for peace and I pledge the full support of the United Nations.
From the Black Sea Initiative and the Ethiopian agreement, we can see that they are demonstrations of the power of multilateralism in action and the value of discrete – but determined – diplomacy.
We must never give up in the cause of peace and advancing the values of the United Nations.
That is the spirit that every country must bring to the UN Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
COP27 must be the place to rebuild trust and re-establish the ambition needed to avoid driving our planet over the climate cliff.
In the last few weeks, report after report has painted a clear and bleak picture.
Emissions are still growing at record levels.
Instead of going down 45 per cent by 2030 as scientists tell us must happen -- greenhouse gas emissions are now on course to rise by 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, temperatures are on course to rise by as much as 2.8 degrees, with the present policies in place, by the end of the century.
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.
We need to move from tipping points to turning points for hope.
That means urgently increasing ambition and trust – especially between North and South.
Specifically, it is time for an historic pact between developed and emerging economies.
A pact in which developed countries deliver on the commitment made in Paris and make an additional effort to reduce emissions in line with the 1.5-degree goal.
And a pact in which wealthier countries provide financial and technical assistance – along with support from Multilateral Development Banks and technology companies – to help emerging economies speed their renewable energy transition, as it is also necessary for us all.
COP27 must be the place to close the ambition gap, the credibility gap and the solidarity gap.
It must put us back on track to cutting emissions, boosting climate resilience and adaptation, keeping the promise on climate finance and addressing loss and damage from climate change.
Getting concrete results on loss and damage is the litmus test of the commitment of governments to help close all these gaps.
I travelled to Pakistan and witnessed one-third of the country under water – with lost lives, lost crops, lost hope.
There is no way anyone can argue there is no loss and no damage.
The world must come together to support developing countries and vulnerable communities.
At COP27, I look forward to launching an initiative to ensure every person on earth is protected by an early warning system within five years.
In short, COP27 must lay the foundations for much faster, bolder climate action now and in this crucial decade, when the global climate fight will be won or lost.
We need all nations and all people on board in these make-or-break next years, starting at COP27.