Thank you President,
And thank you, Special Envoy Grundberg, and ASG Msuya for your briefings- as well as for all the hard work and efforts in the last weeks, and months, to bring the parties together on a path towards peace.
Norway regrets that the parties have not yet succeed in extending the truce. In this crucial moment the Security Council has a responsibility to do its utmost to secure a return to the truce. We urge the parties, especially the Houthis to restrain their maximalistic demands and commit to the terms of the truce. We cannot risk that the lack of a truce, opens for incidents on the ground spiralling out of control, and the Yemeni-people waking up to full-fledged conflict. While we recognise the truce has had its limitations, we must acknowledge the gains for the civilian population.
During the six months of the truce, there has been a significant reduction in violence and civilian causalities. NGOs report that child casualties decreased by 34 percent. The truce has also allowed for direct dialogue between the parties for the first time in years. Only through dialogue can the parties build the necessary trust. And Norway encourages them to engage constructively in dialogue with the Special Envoy.
It is vital that the parties now commit to an extension of the truce. One which can lead to an expanded ceasefire, and the start of a political process. Only this will give the Yemeni people hope for a more peaceful future.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen remains dire. The calls for more funding are clear. And we continue to be concerned by all acts of hindering full and safe humanitarian access- especially in the north- as well as an increasing number of threats against humanitarian workers.
Norway would like to commend the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator David Gressly, the Netherlands, and other donors, for bringing in sufficient pledges to the UN plan for the FSO Safer. We are glad to hear that enough funding has been secured to begin the first phase of the operation to prevent an oil spill in the Red Sea. Norway supports this effort, and we hope the emergency operation will start as soon as possible.