Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Yemen
Statement14 April 2022
Thank you President, and my thanks also to Special Envoy Grundberg and Under Secretary General Griffiths.
It has been rare that we have had opportunities at this Council to hear positive news on the situation in Yemen, so we very much welcome what we heard in your briefings this morning.
I join others in welcoming the UN-brokered, two-month truce, which presents a precious opportunity to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of Yemenis and to improve regional stability. We sincerely hope that the parties will seize this opportunity, to build trust, and to move forward towards resuming an inclusive political process.
We also strongly welcome the commitment to allow the entry of fuel ships into Hodeidah Port, and to resume commercial flights in and out of Sana’a, as well as opening important roads in several governorates. Now more than ever, as we grapple with increased food insecurity across the globe, the free movement of life-saving commodities and fuel into Yemen is essential.
The significant reduction in violence, as reported by the Special Envoy, is long overdue and will be welcomed by the many innocent Yemenis who have lost loved ones or whose lives have been uprooted by conflict.
However, we share the concern expressed by the Special Envoy about reports of some hostile military activities, even if at a lower intensity.
We urge all parties to continue to respect in full their commitments to the truce and to engage with the Special Envoy, and his UN-led consultations process. The Special Envoy’s first meeting with the Houthis in Sana’a earlier this week was another significant development, which we hope signals the beginning of a period of increased engagement.
It is important that these de-escalation efforts are coupled with the pursuit of accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Ireland also welcomes the Yemeni-Yemeni talks hosted by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which began in Riyadh at the end of March and ended last week, in support of UN efforts. We welcome the participation of women in the talks, and hope future dialogues will have a minimum of 30% participation by women.
We hope that the Presidential Leadership Council brings a new focus to collective efforts towards finding a truly inclusive solution to the conflict, and building a peaceful, prosperous Yemen for future generations. It is, however, deeply regrettable that no women were included in this eight- member Council – another missed opportunity to ensure Yemeni women have their rightful place at the negotiating table.
While we welcome the generosity of many donors at the Yemen High Level Pledging Conference last month, where Ireland was pleased to participate, and additional pledges since, the total amount pledged falls short of what is needed. Against the backdrop of the most recent IPC hunger projection, this shortfall is troubling.
The economic assistance announced by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is a welcome measure to stabilize the Yemeni economy. We hope that it will bolster efforts to implement the UN’s Economic Framework Plan. We encourage all parties, as well as International Financial Institutions, to engage constructively with this Plan.
The Safer oil tanker has been a disaster waiting to happen for far too long. Ireland welcomes progress in efforts to address the grave humanitarian and ecological threat, which it poses. A sustainable, long-term solution appears to finally be within reach. With the committed engagement of the parties, the support of member states and the private sector, and the efforts of the UN on the ground, we have an opportunity to avert a catastrophe.
To conclude, President,
The developments of recent weeks have marked a moment of hope and expectation for Yemenis, who have suffered more than seven years of grueling conflict. While this deserves recognition, it is crucial, as our briefers have said this morning, that momentum is sustained and the parties continue their engagement towards the realization of inclusive and sustainable peace in Yemen.