IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim was this week updated on the Black Sea Grain Initiative, during a meeting with Mr Abdullah Abdul Samad Dashti of Kuwait, United Nations Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
The Initiative, originally signed in Istanbul on 22 July 2022, has recently been extended for the second time. During the first two terms of the Initiative, some 25 million metric tonnes of grain and foodstuffs have been moved to 45 countries, helping to bring down global food prices.
During the meeting, Mr Dashti thanked the IMO Secretary-General for the technical and legal advice provided during the negotiations to establish the Initiative, and for the secondment of senior officials from the IMO Secretariat to the Joint Coordination Centre, based in Istanbul, Türkiye. The seconded IMO experts are providing ongoing technical maritime, legal and operational advice to the UN Group of Experts at JCC, enabling significant progress and continuing to shape the operational elements of the Initiative.
Secretary-General Lim raised the concerns of the IMO Membership, with regard to some 60 vessels – not covered under the Initiative – which are blocked in Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov since the start of the conflict, unable to leave.
The two confirmed their desire to see the Black Sea Grain Initiative continue as long as it is needed.