Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the UNSC Briefing on the situation in Yemen
Statement14 December 2021
Thank you Mr. President and I want to say thank you to our briefers this morning – even if the news we received is far from good.And as the Council convenes now for the final time this year to consider Yemen, I wish to make four points.
First, on the military situation I deeply regret that despite all efforts to secure peace, this year has seen a further deadly deterioration on the ground.
The truth is Yemenis want to wake up from this nightmare. Just last week, more than 40 tribal leaders convened and called for a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire. Each month in this Chamber, Ireland calls for the same. We will continue to do so until the parties to this conflict finally bring the unconscionable violence to an end.
We call on the Houthis to immediately halt their offensive on Marib. The International Organization for Migration estimates that since September, 46,000 people have been displaced in Marib, many for the fourth or fifth time. Vulnerable civilians, especially women and children, continued to bear the brunt of the hostilities. Just last week, we saw further deplorable attacks against the IDP camps where the most vulnerable seek refuge.
We are also deeply concerned about the recent deterioration in and around Hodeidah, and in particular the humanitarian consequences of the further displacement of 25,000 people. We call on all parties to respect the Stockholm Agreement and we reiterate our full support to the UN Mission there.
We strongly condemn cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia, such as the missile attack targeting Riyadh last week. All parties must respect international humanitarian law and protect civilian lives.
Secondly, Mr. President, I turn to the political process. Special Envoy Grundberg, we deeply appreciate your ongoing efforts to consult with actors in Yemen and beyond, and the priority you afford to inclusivity which we see as really important. However, we know that these efforts must be matched by decisive political will from the parties to engage seriously with you as you go about your work. More than six years of the crisis in Yemen have shown that no one party can hold a monopoly on governance. All parties must accept this reality in order to move towards an inclusive and diverse political landscape.
As we have repeatedly stated, and others before me this morning have said, women and young people must be an integral part of this. We have heard from Yemeni women peacebuilders at this Council table, and their messages are clear and consistent: all aspects of Yemen’s peace negotiations must be gender mainstreamed and women’s participation must happen in all diplomatic tracks and at all stages of the peace process. We stand with the women of Yemen in seeking their places in these for a.
Thirdly, Mr. President, I want to address the humanitarian situation in Yemen. It is abundantly clear that the economic impact of the conflict is one of the most significant drivers of the humanitarian crisis, with truly severe consequences for levels of hunger right across the country.
Ireland welcomes the Yemen Economic Framework that was proposed by the UN, and we want to encourage all parties, including International Financial Institutions, to constructively engage with those proposals. We really cannot condemn Yemen’s population to yet another year of catastrophic food insecurity and poverty. We have an obligation here to do everything we can to avert that.
We also appeal for the immediate release of the three UN agency staff detained in Yemen. Such actions are totally unjustifiable here as everywhere else. And we look forward to hearing positive movement on this soon.
Finally, Mr. President,
Let me conclude with a message to the people of Yemen: Ireland will not tire in its efforts to strive for the accountability you deserve, and to address impunity for violations, which have been widely documented throughout the conflict years. We believe that evidence-based monitoring and independent, international, impartial capacity to follow the deteriorating human rights situation are absolutely essential. The people of Yemen deserve nothing less in our view.
Looking to 2022, all actors bear a heavy responsibility to ensure that next year finally, finally marks the end of this deadly conflict. The international community, including this Council, bears its own responsibility to stand firmly united behind such efforts. Ireland is certainly committed to playing its part.