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The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has called for cautious optimism following the publication of the third report of the UN Secretary General’s Global Crisis Response Group examining the global impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The findings of the third report of the UN Secretary General’s Global Crisis Response Group call for cautious optimism. Markets for key commodities are beginning to stabilise – helped significantly by the departure of the first grain shipment from Odesa this week.

This is certainly cause for hope. But that must not breed complacency as to the nature of the situation we face.

The evidence set out clearly in the third report shows that the rising cost of food and energy now threatens social, political and economic stability in all regions of the world. Current fertiliser shortages risk precipitating an unprecedented global hunger crisis in 2023, millions risk being pushed into extreme poverty in the coming months and more than 20 countries are at high risk of sliding into default.

As the representative of the global private sector in the UN Global Crisis Response Group, ICC calls on the international community to recognise and rise to the urgency of this situation.

World leaders must use the upcoming meetings of the UN General Assembly in September, the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in October and G20 summit in November to come up with the right policy mix needed to face the current emergency.

First and foremost, the international community must ensure that all governments have the necessary fiscal space and liquidity to help families and businesses weather the cost-of-living crisis. That means suspending debt service obligations for countries in need, ensuring that the international architecture to restructure debts works and issuing at least $650 billion in new international liquidity through the IMF.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said: “The Black Sea Initiative shows what can be done with the right leadership – we need that same bold spirit and vision to be applied to tackle every facet of the unprecedented crisis precipitated by the war in Ukraine.

The Global Crisis Response Group report can be found here.