I would like to thank Special Envoy Griffiths and Under Secretary-General Lowcock for their briefings, and for their tireless efforts to make progress in Yemen. Thanks also to Nirvana Shawky for sharing important experiences from the ground. We fully support the efforts by the UN in bringing this conflict to an end, and alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people.
For far too long, we have witnessed vicious cycles of violence in Yemen which persist today, and as we have heard today, even deteriorating.
We are alarmed by the ongoing Houthi-offensive in Marib, and the increasing number of missile and drone attacks against Saudi-Arabia. We are also following developments in Taiz, Hodeidah, and Sana’a with concern. These developments will only contribute to an escalation of the conflict.
We call on all parties to deescalate, and seize this opportunity for a nationwide ceasefire linked to political talks.
An easing of the ongoing embargo would also be an important measure - to allow sufficient import of fuel and other basic goods to cover the needs of the population.
There is no military solution to this conflict. It is high time to end the cycle of violence and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis. Only an inclusive political process can lead to sustainable peace and stability in Yemen.
We stress the need to consult a wide range of actors, and ensure that negotiations reflect the population and the situation on the ground. It is important to ensure the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women. Experience shows that inclusive peace processes - which bring those most affected by the conflict to the negotiating table - are more durable. Furthermore, regional and international actors that are involved in the conflict must also do their part in ensuring political talks get started.
The humanitarian situation is dire. The pledging conference in Geneva was important, but we cannot be satisfied with the outcome.
As we have heard so many times: Increased donor-support, humanitarian access, and an end to violence, are all vital if we want to avert a large-scale famine and contribute to peace in Yemen.
The grim truth is that millions of Yemenis are at risk of death of starvation. We cannot let this happen.
The condition of the Safer oil tanker continues to be of grave concern. We call again on the Houthis to provide immediate and unconditional access, and contribute constructively toward a solution. There is no time for further delays. The environmental and humanitarian consequences of a possible leakage will be tremendous. And the impact will be felt for decades. It would also lead to a closure of the port in Hodeida, and be detrimental to the Houthis own interest.
President, to conclude,
I want to stress that protection of civilians is a core obligation of international humanitarian law. Recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is unacceptable. The same is true for air attacks on camps for internally displaced people. We are shocked by the recent fire in a migrant holding facility in Sana’a, as well as the military use of - and attacks on - schools.
Humanitarian access to people in need must be granted immediately. Any violations of international humanitarian law must be investigated, and those responsible held accountable.