President, Norway is greatly concerned by the serious military escalation of the conflict in Yemen. The conflict has grave consequences for the civilian population and civilian infrastructure and we remain alarmed by the ever-worsening humanitarian situation. Reduction of food rations for 8 million people, and the announced disruption of critical humanitarian programs is unacceptable.
Norway reiterates its condemnation of the cross-border attacks in the region against the UAE and Saudi-Arabia.
Norway supports the imposition of targeted sanctions that can help support a path towards a political settlement and contribute to the protections of civilians. Joint Council action to limit the Houthis capability to carry out attacks that harms civilians is therefore welcome.
We also commend the important work done by the Panel of Experts and fully support to extend their mandate.
However, throughout the negotiations on this resolution we have voiced our concern towards the introduction of terrorist labelling and designation. We remain worried that using such terminology, absent a clear definition, may have negative impact on UN efforts to facilitate a political solution in Yemen. Furthermore, we worry about the precedence into other conflicts on the Council’s agenda, as well as potential legal ramifications.
Norway is also worried about unintended humanitarian consequences of this new language and that it could negatively affect UN efforts to address large-scale humanitarian needs throughout Yemen.
The draft resolution does acknowledge the need for all parties to engage towards a political solution, and includes language aimed at safeguarding humanitarian action and not exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation. However, it stops short of addressing our key concerns. That is why we decided to abstain.
There is no military solution to this conflict, and we call upon all parties to prioritize the needs and interests of the Yemeni people by fully cooperating with the Special Envoy, without delay.