We are encouraged by the Special Envoy’s continued efforts in close collaboration with US Envoy Lenderking, and the engagement from regional actors such as Oman and Saudi Arabia. Hopefully, this could lead to more positive developments in Yemen.
We believe in inclusive political processes- where all regions and parties to the conflict are represented. This is important to build a durable peace. This of course includes women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation, and taking a gender-sensitive approach to conflict resolution. The need for inclusivity should be kept in mind during the current UN-led consultations, and also when the parties are deciding on the members of the two negotiation teams.
Norway remains very concerned by the offensive in Marib, and continuing cross-border attacks into Saudi-Arabia. This threats stability not only in Yemen, but in the region. We also see the emergence of new frontlines. These actions could lead to a serious escalation of the conflict.
The humanitarian situation continues to be extremely troubling; where the prospect of widespread hunger and the shortage of fuel is added to by a reported second wave of COVID-19 now spreading through the country.
We welcome recent announcements by the government allowing a number of fuel vessels into the port to ease the humanitarian crisis, and we encourage more steps. All parties must facilitate humanitarian access and avoid using these issues politically. The many reports of violations of international humanitarian law- and of human rights violations and abuses- are of grave concern. Recent attacks on IDP camps in Marib are appalling.
I also find it especially difficult to find words to describe and respond to the continued violations and abuses against children in Yemen. They have been subjected to:
the denial of humanitarian access leading to malnutrition and starvation,
killing and maiming,
as well as recruitment and use in armed conflict.
Such acts are completely unacceptable and must immediately come to an end. Those responsible must be held accountable.
The Riyadh Agreement, and the establishment of the new government, were important steps toward peace. The parties to the agreement should now work constructively to ensure its implementation. Those who have supported the government, including in the South and on the West Coast, should cooperate and combine efforts. Fragmentation will only serve to undermine the prospects for peace.
It is important for the Council to keep its attention on the situation in the South. And it will be important to support the government’s ability to ensure good governance, and the delivery of basic services to the population. This could be a beacon of hope, and enhance prospects for a peaceful solution. We also remain concerned by the oil tanker Safer. We continue to encourage the Houthis to act constructively in this regard.
We have just entered the month of Ramadan. We call on all parties –especially the Houthis –to show mercy and compassion by engaging in an unconditional nationwide ceasefire and political talks. All parties should enter into such arrangements without preconditions. And there is a need for all parties to make difficult compromises. It is their duty to prevent the onset of widespread hunger, and put a final stop to the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis.