UN chief hails opening of Ukraine grain coordination center in Istanbul

Antonio Guterres grateful to Türkiye for providing platform to help start Black Sea Grain Initiative, says spokesperson.

UN chief hails opening of Ukraine grain coordination center in Istanbul

UN chief Antonio Guterres has welcomed the inauguration of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) established in Istanbul as part of a historic deal to restart Ukrainian grain exports to the world.

“The Secretary-General is grateful to Türkiye for providing the Parties and the United Nations with a platform to help operationalize the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” Farhan Haq, Guterres’ deputy spokesperson, said in a statement.

The UN chief also thanked Russia and Ukraine “for nominating and quickly sending their senior representatives to Istanbul,” where the center was officially opened on Wednesday.

“He underscores the importance of the Parties working in partnership directly to effectively implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative, with a view to reducing global food insecurity,” Haq said.

“The work of the JCC will enable the safe transportation, by merchant ships, of grain and related foodstuffs and fertilizers from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea to the rest of the world.”

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal last week to reopen three Ukrainian ports – Odesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny – for grain that had been stuck for months due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.

Hüseyin Demir