Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the UNSC Briefing on Yemen
Statement14 October 2021
Thank you Madame President, and my thanks also to our briefers, Special Envoy Grundberg, Acting Assistant-Secretary-General Rajashingham, and Ms. Maysaa Shuja Al-Deen from the Sana Centre for Strategic Studies.
I want to begin today by strongly condemning the heinous attack carried out in Aden on Sunday last, allegedly targeting a Government Minister and Aden’s Governor. I want to express my deepest condolences to all those affected by this cowardly act.
The political and security situation in the south of Yemen remains a cause for growing concern.
A full resumption of dialogue between the internationally-recognised government and the STC, within the framework of the Riyadh Agreement, is urgently needed, to avoid further deterioration of what is an already fragile and clearly volatile situation. We welcome the return of several members of the government, including the Prime Minister to Aden.
We deplore the continuation of hostilities and call once again for a nationwide ceasefire, and in particular for an end to the Houthi offensive on Marib, including its civilian neighbourhoods.
Ongoing violence across the country continues to cause deaths and threaten lives right across Yemen, as well as driving displacement for thousands, especially women and children. This violence is curtailing the crucial work of local and international peacebuilders, who really must be supported in their continued efforts to pursue peace.
We are deeply disturbed by countless accounts of grave violations against children in Yemen in the most recent report on Children in Armed Conflict. As Henrietta Fore recently told this Council: Being a child in Yemen is the stuff of nightmares.
The recent Houthi execution of nine Yemenis, reportedly including one individual who was a minor at the time of his detention, is deplorable. It is in stark violation of Yemeni legislation and human rights norms.
Ireland unequivocally opposes the use of the death penalty in all cases and circumstances. We once again stress the need for all parties to fulfil their obligations under international law.
We also unreservedly condemn the most recent attacks by the Houthis on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These attacks must cease.
Humanitarian assistance remains a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, and Ireland calls for full, unfettered and safe access for humanitarian workers to all parts of Yemen.
The dire humanitarian situation has also been greatly exacerbated by the economic realities. We know that unblocking restrictions on fuel and food imports and payment of civil servant salaries would greatly increase the purchasing power and wellbeing of many in Yemen, and we fully support action on such measures.
We all know the Safer oil tanker continues to pose an immediate humanitarian and environmental threat to the people of Yemen and the region. Ireland renews our calls for all parties to engage constructively in discussions so that the UN teams can access the tanker as soon as possible to carry out the necessary repairs.
Finally, Madame President,
I want to express our profound disappointment at the outcome at the Human Rights Council last week, whereby the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen was not renewed. This Group was the only independent, international and impartial mechanism monitoring the dire human rights situation in Yemen. In our view, in failing to renew its mandate, we have collectively failed the Yemeni people.
Ireland has always emphatically supported the Group, and we thank them for their exemplary work in challenging circumstances.
To the people of Yemen, who have suffered immensely, I assure you that Ireland will not cease in its efforts to ensure accountability and justice for victims. You deserve nothing less.