I would like to thank Special Envoy Griffiths, USG Lowcock, and Ambassador King, as Chair of the 2140 Committee, for their introductory remarks.
We are alarmed by the recent escalation of violence. Including the offensive against Marib, and the repeated missile and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia. These attacks underline the need for a truce, and an inclusive political process to end the conflict.
In this respect we also urge the parties not to escalate the conflict in Hodeida, but rather revitalize the joint observation mechanism.
We are dismayed by the lack of progress related to the FSO Safer. The Houthis must provide the UN team with immediate, and unconditional, access to the tanker to assess its condition and conduct initial repairs. This is vital to avert a potential environmental and humanitarian disaster. There is no time for further delays.
I would also like to stress the importance of full cooperation with the International Organization of Migration and all UN agencies.
As we have heard, tens of thousands of Yemenis are at risk of starving to death if needed funds are not made available. This is alarming and should spur urgent action from all of us.
The High-Level Donor Conference in Geneva on 1 March, co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland, is very timely and will be crucial to ensure sufficient funding for the humanitarian response plan. We urge all donors to make generous contributions - and hope to see previous donors from the Gulf countries return with significant contributions.
However, Norway would like to stress that the only way to truly resolve the humanitarian crisis is to find a political solution.
With reference to the briefing from Ambassador King, Chair of the 2140 Committee, Norway welcomes the recent report from the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, and its trip to Aden. Their reporting on continuous, and widespread, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by all parties to the conflict, is distressing.
All parties must respect international humanitarian and human rights law and ensure the full protection of civilians affected by hostilities- in particular children. And; those responsible for violations must be held accountable.
Norway participated in the delegation of European countries visiting Aden in February, led by the EU. We welcome the establishment of the new Government in Aden and its joint work to address the multiple challenges facing the country.
Full implementation of the Riyadh Agreement is key. It will be crucial to focus on stabilization of the South, and to ensure delivery of much needed services to the population.
In closing, Norway welcomes renewed diplomatic efforts and dialogue with regional partners to end the war in Yemen. Regional actors must play a role in any political solution, while the process must remain Yemeni-owned.
We urge all parties to renounce violence and focus on the UN-led process. Martin, you have our full support.