United Nations Security Council Briefing and Consultations on Yemen
Let me begin by thanking Special Envoy Hans Grunberg and USG Martin Griffiths, for their briefings. At the outset, we note with regret the continuing inability of the parties to reach an agreement to extend the Truce in spite of the mediation efforts of the Special Envoy and other stakeholders. Ahead of a new Truce Agreement, it is imperative that the parties stave off any
action that has a potential to threaten the fragile security situation in the country and escalate violence, with its attendant consequences for the civilian population. We therefore implore the parties to exercise restraint and to continue to observe the elements of the Truce as negotiations proceed to find a common ground for its renewal.
We underscore the need for the parties to treasure and guard the benefits that have accrued to the people of Yemen following the initial implementation of the Truce Agreement and the continuing tacit observance of its tenets, including the significant reduction in human casualties and resumption of international commercial flights to and from Sanaa. The international community, particularly, regional stakeholders with influence over the parties must leverage that relationship to prevail on them to choose peace over violence, consensus building over confrontation, flexibility over rigidity; and above all, return to the negotiation table with an open mind, guided solely by the supreme interest of the people of Yemen. Attempts at rearming would not serve the cause of peace.
After nearly a decade of fighting, it is high time the parties to the conflict worked assiduously towards a long-term cease fire that will create the needed condition for a negotiated political solution to the conflict. It is our firm belief that the proposal of the Special Envoy before them for a six-month extension of the Truce offers a propitious opportunity that could ultimately lead to such an outcome.
Addressing the humanitarian crisis that has bedeviled the country remains of utmost importance and must continue to engage the attention of the international community. Recent revelation by UNICEF that as many as 11,000 children may have been killed or injured in Yemen since 2015, with many more at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation, is deeply distressing. We make an urgent appeal to the donor community to shore up support to the Humanitarian Response Plan for the country to help alleviate the suffering of the affected populations. The risk posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war in Yemen, remains high and, unfortunately, is now the leading cause of human tragedy in Yemen. Even more troubling is the disclosure that of the 164 deaths or injuries occasioned by landmines and unexploded ordnance in the country between July and September 2022 alone, 74 were children. As we call for increased international action to deal with the issue, we appeal for immediate lifting of bureaucratic and administrative bottlenecks impeding UN de-mining efforts in the country to curb the menace.
It is regrettable that impediments continued to be put on impartial humanitarian organization’s access to people in need of support in Yemen. Imposition of administrative and bureaucratic restrictions on movements of humanitarian staff, particularly, female staff, affect delivery of critical humanitarian aid to segments of the Yemeni society. Such interference in the delivery of aid violates international humanitarian law. We remind the partiesof their obligation to grant unimpeded access for delivery of humanitarian aid to all those in need. Unfortunately, the deteriorating economic condition including the depreciation in the value of the Yemeni Riyal, high inflation and rising food prices, continue to put essential and basic supplies, including food, out of the reach of many Yemenis. We call for support for Yemeni’s economy as part of the collective efforts to improve the humanitarian needs of the country.
In conclusion, we reiterate our call on the parties to put the interest of the people of Yemen above any other interest and to make the needed concessions as they strive to find common ground on the sticky issues to renew the Truce Agreement.
I thank you for your attention.