Latest World News: UN chief urges Russia to return to Black Sea deal – Reuters

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on Russia on Monday July 24 to return to an agreement allowing the safe export of Ukrainian grain to the Black Sea, in accordance with a proposal he made to President Vladimir Putin.

Russia denounced the deal a week ago, saying demands for improvements in its own food and fertilizer exports had not been met and that too little Ukrainian grain had reached the poorest countries under the Black Sea deal.

“With the end of the Black Sea Initiative, the most vulnerable will pay the highest price,” António Guterres said at the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome on Monday. “When food prices rise, everyone pays the price.”

Since Russia backed out of the deal and began attacking Ukraine’s food export ports on the Black Sea and Danube, global wheat and corn futures have risen sharply.

“It is particularly devastating for vulnerable countries struggling to feed their people,” said António Guterres.

Guterres had written to Putin on July 11 in a last-ditch effort to salvage the deal. He offered Russia to expand it – with a daily limit of four ships traveling to Ukraine and four ships departing – in exchange for connecting a subsidiary of Russia’s Agricultural Bank, Rosselkhozbank, to the SWIFT global payment system.

A key request from Moscow has been to reconnect Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT. The European Union cut it in June 2022.

“I call on the Russian Federation to return to the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative, in accordance with my latest proposal,” said António Guterres. “I urge the global community to come together to find effective solutions in this vital effort.”

The Black Sea Grains Agreement was brokered by the UN and Turkey a year ago to tackle a global food crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Ukraine and Russia are the two major grain exporters.

Russia’s grain exports have increased since the war, but its ammonia and potassium fertilizers have fallen sharply.

“I remain committed to facilitating unhindered access to global markets for food and fertilizer products from Ukraine and the Russian Federation and to ensuring the food security that every person deserves,” António Guterres said on Monday.

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An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.