Thank you President, Mr. Rajasingham from OCHA, and particularly Ms. Al Deen for your timely recommendations. The role of independent Yemeni researchers and journalists is essential.
Also to Special Representative Hans Grundberg, thank you for sharing frank updates from your visit to Yemen and discussions with regional actors and other stakeholders. We are encouraged by your efforts in promoting a more inclusive process, and we were pleased to see your direct engagement with the Yemeni Women’s Technical Advisory Group. Norway fully supports you, and your efforts, as Special Envoy –we stress the need for the parties to engage constructively, without preconditions, going forward.
The return of Prime Minister Abdulmalik Saeed to Aden last month was a welcome development. The security situation remains concerning, however, as exemplified by the recent car bomb incident that followed clashes in Aden. Such attacks undermine the security in Aden, and impede the prospects for peace. All parties must create a conducive environment for the Government to fully function, and we urge the parties to fully implement the Riyadh agreement.
The daily life of the Yemeni people continues to deteriorate. The humanitarian situation remains dire; the economic situation is not improving; there has been flooding in the south affecting many; and the pandemic is still ongoing with very few vaccinated. On top of all this is the armed conflict. These conditions are truly unsustainable.
We are alarmed by the continued cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia and the Houthi offensive in Marib and Shabwa continues to intensify. We again stress the urgent need for de-escalation and a nation-wide ceasefire. The humanitarian situation in Al-Abdiya draws particular alarm.
We are deeply concerned by UNICEF reporting of increased number of children killed and injured in the Marib area in recent months. The recent Secretary-General report on Children and Armed Conflict in Yemen also details a “significant increase”, and prevalence of incidents of denial of humanitarian access to children throughout Yemen.
It is vital that all Yemeni children have immediate access to humanitarian assistance and protection. Norway calls on those fighting in Marib, and across Yemen, to respect their IHL obligations, including to protect children.
Norway regrets the recent inability of the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent experts on Yemen. By ending this UN mechanism, we are failing to acknowledge the Yemeni victims and failing to pursue accountability and justice.
Finally President, on the SAFER oil tanker; we are concerned by the lack of progress, as the risk of disaster is growing day by day. We welcome the appointment of David Gressly as the UN coordinator, and we hope this will give the necessary impetus to move forward in the process of finding a solution.