Explanation of Vote on Yemen Sanctions
Statement28 February 2022
Thank you Mr. President. My thanks to the UK for its work as penholder.
Ireland fully supports the work of the 2140 Committee and regards the sanctions regime as a critical tool of this Council to contribute to a solution of the conflict, and to restore long-overdue peace, security and stability in Yemen.
For the past seven years, the devastating crisis in Yemen has taken an immense toll on the Yemeni people.
The escalation since the beginning of 2022, with daily civilian casualties, demonstrates why a politically negotiated solution is the only path forward. This is vital for the Yemeni people, on the brink of famine and facing extreme food insecurity.
The escalation of recent months also poses a serious threat to regional security. We strongly and unequivocally condemn cross-border attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by the Houthis, targeting civilian infrastructure in blatant violation of international humanitarian law.
These attacks are totally unacceptable. We offer sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and solidarity to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The persistent Houthi offensive on Marib, home to one million displaced people, is reprehensible, and we call again for its immediate cessation.
Mr. President, Ireland abstained on this resolution today.
Our concern is not about the Houthi leadership, whose behavior we utterly condemn. Our concern lies with the millions of innocent people living under their control.
Ireland has a principled position across all Security Council files that we must avoid impediments to humanitarian aid reaching all people in need..
The resolution adopted today, designates the Houthis as a group under the targeted arms embargo, as provided for in Resolution 2216. We fully support the implementation of the arms embargo to halt the illicit flow of weapons into Yemen.
We wish to underline that humanitarian and commercial activities should not be impacted by this designation. We have worked throughout negotiations on this aspect and we welcome constructive engagement on the inclusion of language in the resolution to that end.
However, Ireland remains nonetheless concerned that this designation may result in unintended negative humanitarian and political consequences. It will be vital to ensure clear messaging around this point for humanitarian and commercial actors.
Mr. President, there is no internationally agreed definition of “terrorism” or “terrorist group”. There was no consensus on the use of this language in the context of the negotiation.
We remain concerned that the use of this term in a Security Council resolution dealing with sanctions in Yemen may have unintended negative consequences for the millions of Yemeni people living under Houthi control. This is against the backdrop of severe humanitarian funding shortfalls and an already fragile economy.
Though counter terrorism efforts and the provision of humanitarian assistance are mutually inclusive objectives, we must continue to protect the humanitarian space. More time for due consideration of this language, and its implications, would have been very valuable. We urge States to continue to ensure that all measures taken by them to implement this resolution comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Moreover, we must do all we can to ensure that attempts towards constructive dialogue between all parties to the conflict, and the UN-led process under the auspices of the Special Envoy, are not adversely affected.
Special Envoy Grundberg has our full support in his tireless efforts, and we call on all parties to de-escalate and engage in good faith with him to this end.
Thank you Mr. President.