Item 2: Statement on Human Rights Situation in Yemen

STATEMENT by Minister Counselor Anniken Enersen at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council. Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue on the report on the Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014, by the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts (GoEE). Delivered on 10 September 2019.

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Mr. President,

Norway aligns with the statement delivered by Ireland on behalf of the core group. We are deeply worried about the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The sufferings of the civilians – children, women and men – are tremendous. 

I want to thank the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts for its work. We will study the report thoroughly. It is regrettable that the Group has found, yet again, “patterns of continued violations by all parties to the conflict”. Norway supported the establishment of the Group, and will favor a renewal of its mandate. The Group must be provided sufficient resources.

In another report, by Yemen’s National Commission to Investigate Alleged Violations to Human Rights, issued in June, we note that the Commission recommended the Arab Coalition to “adhere to the principles of international humanitarian law” and “complete a review of the rules of engagement, including the prohibition of attacks that target civilians”. Furthermore, the Commission recommended the houthies to stop “the targeting of residential neighborhoods and areas and putting the lives of civilians at risk”, and to stop “the practice of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment against civilians”.

The humanitarian consequences of violence committed by all parties are well established and deeply deplorable. We note with particular concern that starvation may have been used as a weapon and children being enlisted as soldiers.

The only way out of this humanitarian crisis is a lasting political settlement. The UN Special Envoy must be supported in his tireless effort to continue a credible political process. To achieve a lasting peace, the process must be inclusive, including increased participation of women.

The Human Rights Council must continue to maintain Yemen on the agenda as long as the patterns of human rights violations persist.

Thank you.