Calling Grain Delivery ‘a Humanitarian Imperative’, Secretary-General Welcomes Departure of First Commercial Ship to Leave Odesa since 26 February

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the departure of the M/V Razoni, the first commercial ship leaving Ukraine’s port of Odesa since 26 February.  The ship is bound for the port of Tripoli, Lebanon, carrying a cargo of 26,527 tons of corn, and is the first vessel to depart under the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in Istanbul on 22 July.  Ensuring that existing grain and foodstuffs can move to global markets is a humanitarian imperative.

The first departure is a collective achievement of the Joint Coordination Centre set up in Istanbul under the auspices of the United Nations, and comprised of representatives of Ukraine, Russian Federation and Türkiye.  Since then, the parties, with the assistance of the United Nations, have been working tirelessly to implement the agreements reached in that Initiative.  The Secretary-General salutes their efforts and he is grateful to Türkiye for its leadership.

The Secretary-General is pleased that, thanks to the tireless efforts, general oversight and coordination of the Joint Coordination Centre, the ship departed safely from the port of Odesa.

The Secretary-General hopes that this will be the first of many commercial ships moving in accordance with the Initiative signed, and that this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts.

In line with the humanitarian spirit of the Initiative, the World Food Programme (WFP) is also planning to purchase, load and ship an initial 30,000 metric tons of wheat out of Ukraine on a United Nations-chartered vessel.  WFP will have more details in the coming days.

For information media. Not an official record.