Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Yemen
Statement22 November 2022
Thank you President, And my thanks also to Special Envoy Grundberg, and OCHA Director Ghelani, for your sobering briefings this afternoon
Last month we expressed our disappointment that the truce in Yemen was not renewed. This is a disappointment carried for the international community, but much more particularly for Yemenis, who had hoped that the truce would create further momentum for progress towards an enduring political solution.
And while we do not have positive news today on a renewal, we continue to believe that the truce represents the best opportunity for a sustainable peace in Yemen and stability in the region.
We reiterate our wholehearted support for the Special Envoy in his ongoing efforts. The progress achieved in the past months, on the humanitarian, political and economic fronts, no matter how modest, should not be overlooked.
It is essential that all parties refrain from reckless, risky actions. Last month, the Council spoke with one voice to condemn the 21 October Houthi drone attacks on Al-Dubba oil terminal.
We re-emphasize that condemnation today, particularly in light of the fresh strike yesterday. Such attacks, including on the port of Qena on the 9 November are totally unacceptable. They constitute a serious threat to maritime security in the region. And they are not the actions of a credible interlocutor.
We urge all parties and the Houthis in particular, to refrain from military action and to engage constructively and urgently with the UN process. We once again stress that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Yemen. And we acknowledge the role of regional actors in facilitating genuine dialogue.
As we continue in our collective efforts towards a negotiated, inclusive, and Yemeni-led settlement, we cannot sideline half of the population.
As we know, women in Yemen play crucial mediation and leadership roles, including at local and community levels. We must work to support women leaders, and elevate a broad range of women’s voices, and protect those who are targeted by harassment, threats, and violence.
We are extremely concerned at the impact of the lapsed truce on Yemeni women, including the imposition of travel restrictions.
Women and children are also disproportionately victims of unexploded ordnance and remnants of war.
We therefore support the Special Envoy’s inclusive approach, including his commitment to reserve non-transferable seats for women representatives in talks. We welcome his convening of a consultative meeting on Gender Inclusion on the margins of an EU event earlier this month.
We remind all parties that the participation of women is not-negotiable, and should never be used as a bargaining chip. Diverse Yemeni women must have a say in the shaping of their own futures.
With the already formidable threat of food and economic insecurity, it is crucial that the elements of the truce, which have brought marked relief to the Yemeni people, are preserved. This includes steady flows of fuel into Hodeidah port and commercial flights through Sana’a airport.
We encourage all parties to continue to implement these measures, in good faith, for the benefit of the Yemeni people.
This is particularly important during the trying winter months, and for Yemen’s millions of IDPs, including in Marib. We must work to address funding gaps for the humanitarian response, including critical shelter programmes, and to protect humanitarian space.
We call on all actors to fully respect international humanitarian law, and international human rights law. We cannot lose sight of the need to pursue accountability for alleged violations and abuses perpetrated against Yemenis, with impunity, throughout the course of this conflict.