Thank you President, and thank you to Special Envoy Grundberg and ASG Msuya for your briefings and updates. Let me start by welcoming the parties’ continued commitment to the current truce, and also the third meeting of the military coordination comittee. At this very fragile moment, it is crucial to continue the efforts towards building trust.
All achievements gained so far should be utilized to create further results for the Yemeni people, including on the question of re-opening the roads in and around Taiz city. Thank you, Hans, for your update in these matters.
The Yemeni people and civil society have made clear what their needs are. We urge both sides to show flexibility and to turn their commitments to concrete action. We also support all efforts of SE on the multir track process. We also commend the Envoy’s continued dialogue with the parties as well as with diverse groups of Yemeni people, leaders and experts, including women.
It will also be important to seize the humanitarian gains from the truce to facilitate progress towards a comprehensive political settlement.
President, today I want to focus on Yemens’s most vulnerable: its children. We have seen that the truce has had an immense impact on the everyday lives of civilians. Child casualties have dropped significantly, allowing a sense of hope for the future.
However, we must not become complacent. We remain worried about the continuing humanitarian crisis, especially its impact on children. The World Food Programme reports that over two million Yemeni children under five require treatment for acute malnutrition, with over half a million are at risk of dying without treatment.
Food insecurity continues to drives negative coping strategies that fuel conflict in Yemen, such as recruitment of children into armed conflict and other forms of child labour.
The action plan signed between Ansar Allah and the UN - to end and prevent the recruitment or using children in armed conflict, killing or maiming children, and attacking schools and hospitals - was an encouraging step. It must be urgently implemented. We underline the importance of identification and release of children from within their ranks.
Children are also particularly vulnerable to mines and explosive remnants of war. Further efforts towards all aspects of mine action operations are needed.
Dedicated attention to the unique needs of Yemeni children is an imperative to reaching sustainable solutions to conflict. Norway therefore also calls on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations and conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
Norway is increasingly alarmed by the reports of security incidents, (as described by the ASG Msyua). We are worried about the increasing attacks and harmful rhetoric against humanitarian organizations and NGO workers.
Safe and unhindered access for humanitarian aid is crucial. We also condemn the killing of journalist Saber al-Haidari that took place in June. Such attacks are unacceptable and prohibited under international humanitarian law. A safe, inclusive political space must be part of Yemen’s future.