Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Yemen
Statement13 October 2022
Thank you President,
And I want to also thank Special Envoy Grundberg and ASG Msuya for your briefings, and really to acknowledge and commend Hans and Joyce for your work in difficult circumstance and for your continued focus on the Yemeni people. It is much appreciated.
We share in the deep disappointment which has been expressed around this table that the UN-mediated truce in Yemen was not extended or expanded before its expiration on the 2nd of October.
The truce had brought significant relief to the Yemeni people. It represented the longest break in hostilities since the conflict began more than seven years ago.
Over the past months we have witnessed a significant decrease in civilian casualties and in the displacement of vulnerable Yemenis. Steady flows of fuel into Hodeidah port and commercial flights through Sana’a airport have brought tangible benefits and improved everyday lives.
We fully support the continued efforts of the Special Envoy, including through the comprehensive proposal submitted to the parties on the 1st of October.
We know that this has not been straightforward and that the context is challenging. It is deeply regrettable that this latest proposal by the Special Envoy was rejected by the Houthis.
We call on all sides, in particular on the Houthis, to immediately re-engage with the negotiation process, in good faith. We reiterate that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Yemen.
A commitment to genuine, inclusive dialogue, and to compromise, is required and is past due. We urge regional actors to use their influence to this end.
It is welcome that there has been no significant military escalation on the ground since the lapse in the truce.
It is also positive to see the humanitarian elements of the truce mostly continue to hold. We implore all actors to avoid any escalatory or provocative words or actions at this sensitive juncture.
We welcome too that the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM), which plays a vital role in facilitating life-saving commercial imports, can continue to operate following the receipt of additional funding, including €2.2 million from the European Union.
In another positive development, the long-awaited salvage mission for the Safer oil tanker looks likely to begin next month. This will hopefully averted a serious environmental, humanitarian and maritime catastrophe for Yemen and for the region.
We pay tribute to the leadership of the Netherlands on this matter. Donor assistance, which includes funding from the European Union has been critical in enabling this work.
OCHA’s recent White Noteon conflict and food insecurity – in accordance with Resolution 2417 - was unequivocal about the dire humanitarian situation facing Yemen. We welcome the ASG’s updates on the improvements in the situation.
We urge continued funding by the international community, and implementation of the urgent steps needed to tackle the country’s economic crisis, as elaborated by the ASG today.
Wider economic issues, including basic public services, formed an important part of the Special Envoy’s revised truce proposal. We support his efforts to tackle this issue as part of a comprehensive plan going forward.
To conclude Mr. President,
Yemenis had been living without the possibility of peace for too many years. The truce represented a window of hope that an end to this conflict was in sight. We continue to believe that the truce presents such an opportunity.
This Council was clear and united in its statement last week that the truce should be reinstated and that the truce represents the best way to permanently end this war. We reiterate that message today. Thank you.