Thank you, Special Envoy Grundberg, Director Mudawi, and Ms. Azal Al-Salafi, for your briefings and updates.
Let me extend our deep appreciation to the Special Envoy and his team, but also regional and international actors for their efforts over these past few weeks to secure a
two-month renewal of the truce in Yemen.
Indeed, because of the truce: civilian casualties have reduced dramatically, fuel deliveries have increased, and commercial flights through Sana’a airport have resumed. These are tangible and most welcome developments that have been achieved through de-escalation and dialogue. And we commend the priority placed on alleviating civilian and humanitarian hardships.
However, the work must continue. We welcome the UNs proposal on a phased re-opening of roads in Taiz city. It is positive that it takes into account feedback from Yemeni civil society and the protection needs of civilians.
We urge Ansar Allah to show flexibility, and consider the UN proposal- opening the roads in and out of Taiz city is a critical next step.
The Special Envoy’s continued consultations towards a Framework for a multi-track peace process are crucial. It is important to seize the humanitarian gains from the truce to facilitate progress towards a comprehensive political settlement. The Special Envoy’s recent second visit to Sana’a; his meetings in Aden; and the parties meeting in Amman have been important.
We commend the Envoy’s dialogue with the parties and a diverse group of Yemeni people, leaders, and experts. It is vital to design a process that will receive local credibility and legitimacy – which means including diverse voices and interests, especially those most impacted by conflict, namely women and youth.
Next, on security, we welcome the first and second meeting of the military coordination committee and the establishment of a joint coordination room for more regular communication. This is the first time that the parties have met face-to-face under UN auspices – and is a vital step towards building the trust required for a political settlement.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is acute. We remain deeply concerned about growing food insecurity in the country and the dire risk of famine.
And, as we have heard from the briefers, mines are increasingly a concern. Injuries and deaths from Landmines, Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) now count for a large part of civilian casualties. And children are particularly vulnerable. Much more must be done to address this issue.
Finally, on the Safer tanker emergency, we remain deeply concerned about the humanitarian, environmental and ecological danger it presents. We urge for even greater support for and implementation of the UN plan as soon as possible.