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Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the USNC Briefing on Yemen

Mr. President,


Firstly, I wish to thank our briefers today, Special Envoy Grundberg, Under Secretary General Griffiths, and Ambassador Hoxha. I very much look forward to hearing a bit later from Major General Beary. We support your vital work in trying to forge pathways for peace, and to improve the lives of Yemenis.


As we have heard in stark and horrifying terms today, January 2022 marks the deadliest month on record for civilians in Yemen in this bloody conflict. It is estimated that more than 650 civilians have lost their lives or were injured over the past month alone – that’s one every hour.


From Marib to Taiz, Shabwah to Hodeidah, the people of Yemen continue to pay a dreadful price while warring parties wreak havoc and destruction on their country.


We reiterate the Secretary General’s condemnation and share his deep concern at Coalition airstrikes across the country in recent weeks, including those in in Saa’da, which struck a detention centre where migrants were held – amongst the worst civilian casualty incidents in Yemen in three years. Victims included women and children.


Vital civilian infrastructure has also been disabled or destroyed, and essential services disrupted. As Radhya Al-Mutawakel briefed this Council last month, “all aspects of life are devastated” by the ongoing conflict and military escalation.


We repeat that cross-border attacks claimed by the Houthis on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are totally unacceptable. Ireland strongly condemns all such attacks, including January’s attack on Abu Dhabi’s International Airport and the Musaffah industrial area which killed three civilians.



All parties must fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law in relation to the protection of civilians and civilian objects, and adhere to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.


The path forward must also include an end to impunity and the pursuit of accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. 


The message which we have relayed time and time again at this Council still stands - there can be no military solution to this conflict. We call for an immediate de-escalation in violence, and for all parties to engage in good faith with Special Envoy Grundberg towards an inclusive politically negotiated solution, including on the framework outlined today. We call for women, youth, and civil society to take their rightful places at the tables where those solutions will be shaped.


Mr. President,


The current escalation seriously undermines peace efforts and worsens an already dire humanitarian situation.




As we heard today, more than two thirds of the population are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance following seven years of war and economic collapse. The most vulnerable are increasingly unable to cope, and hunger remains alarmingly high.



 We welcome the timely allocation via the Central Emergency Response Fund to support those who have been displaced and forced to flee their homes in recent months. However, the severe funding shortfalls faced by the aid operation, as described by USG Griffiths this afternoon, are deeply concerning. It is clear that Yemenis need the strong support of the international donor community, to allow aid agencies on the ground to continue their vital lifesaving work. The need to strengthen and rebuild the fragile Yemeni economy is also clear. In this regard, we look forward to further progress towards realising the proposed UN Economic Framework.



Mr. President,



To conclude on a slightly more hopeful note – we welcome recent progress on the Safer oil tanker. The UN-coordinated proposal to shift the oil onboard the vessel to another ship represents a potential first step towards mitigating the grave environmental and humanitarian threat posed by the vessel. We encourage all parties to continue to engage constructively with the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator on concrete action towards a sustainable solution.


Thank you Mr. President.


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