20 September 2022UN Affairs
The landmark agreement to export grain out of war-torn Ukraine is among the UN’s greatest accomplishments in recent decades, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the General Assembly on Tuesday.
His wide-ranging speech covered issues such as Türkiye’s humanitarian support to other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and diplomatic efforts on Ukraine, as well as the need for greater collective action to address global challenges including the ripple effects of the war.
The pandemic sparked supply chain problems which had a heavy impact on the global economy. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to these woes, causing a spike in food and fuel prices worldwide that is putting efforts to end hunger and poverty at risk.
Appeal for solidarity
Mr. Erdoğan called for international cooperation and solidarity. “Against the challenges that identify our common fate, we need to move together,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
On the war in Ukraine, he noted that the conflict has now passed the seven-month threshold.
“We think that the war will never have a triumph, and a fair peace process will not have a loser,” he stated.
‘A critical agreement’
The Turkish President said the initiative to export Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea was the result of diplomatic efforts together with the UN Secretary-General.
The deal for the Black Sea Grain Initiative was signed in Istanbul in July.
“This is a critical agreement that was undertaken jointly with the United Nations, and this is one of the greatest accomplishments of the United Nations in the recent decades,” said Mr. Erdoğan.
“And I think the international community revived its confidence in the United Nations as a result of the Istanbul Convention, because the Istanbul Convention proves once again that negotiations can yield results, especially in issues which are vital to all the parties involved.”
He added that “a similar approach has been assumed by us when it comes to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant that is threatening the security of the entire globe.”
Support Turkish initiatives
As the conflict escalates, Mr. Erdoğan said Türkiye is investing tremendous efforts towards ensuring “that the war will be finalized by protecting the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine once and for all.”
He appealed to the international community to support his country’s peaceful initiatives to this end.
“We need a dignified way out of this crisis. And that can only be possible through a diplomatic solution which is rational, which is fair, and which is applicable.”
Mr. Erdogan spoke for nearly a half-hour, addressing other aspects of Türkiye’s foreign policy which has “mediation for peace” as its theme.
He underlined the need for a peaceful and permanent settlement to the Syrian conflict, warning that the fighting threatens both the country and the region.