Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Yemen
Statement15 August 2022
Thanks to our briefers this morning, Special Envoy Grundberg and Director Mudawi.
We warmly welcome the renewal of the UN-mediated, nationwide truce for a further two months. We express our appreciation to you and your team Hans for your continued efforts in this respect.
This extension offers the parties the opportunity to fully implement the truce and allow Yemenis to continue benefitting from reduced civilian casualties and displacement, increased access to fuel, and regular flights to and from Sana’a.
We call on the parties to heed the Special Envoy’s call and to come to agreement on the expanded truce proposal.
It remains regrettable that the Houthis have not yet agreed to the Special Envoy’s various proposals on re-opening of roads in Taiz. All actors must prioritise Taiz residents, and endeavour to make progress on this critical point as soon as possible, an integral element for an expanded truce.
As we have said before, we want to see an expanded truce lead to a durable, nationwide ceasefire, and an inclusive Yemeni-led and –owned political settlement under UN auspices. As elucidated by the many Yemeni women who have briefed this Council, the persistent exclusion of women from national-level peace talks significantly impacts prospects for realizing that peace.
Women’s indispensable role in peacebuilding across the country must be matched by their full, equal and meaningful participation in all stages of the peace process, and at all levels of political representation.
We welcome recent meetings of the Military Coordination Committee, as well as the conclusion of the sixth meeting on the Detainees Exchange Agreement. We strongly urge the parties to finalize their lists and move swiftly to release detainees. This could be a powerful exercise in trust-building.
We remain concerned by reports, including during last month’s session, of both sides sending military reinforcements to frontlines.
It is particularly alarming to have seen accounts that the Houthis continue to use summer camps to recruit and indoctrinate children.
We strongly urge the Houthis to implement their Action Plan to end grave violations against children, and we call on all parties to abide by their commitments in this regard. Far too many Yemeni children have paid the price of a conflict waged by those who should be protecting them.
The 23 July attack on Taiz that injured 10 children, and killed one, was deplorable. We are also concerned by recent clashes in Shabwa. We strongly condemn these violent outbreaks, and remind parties of their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, to protect the life and health of civilians.
As we have heard from OCHA, regrettably the humanitarian situation is getting worse. Yemenis are facing unprecedented levels of hunger, and while fuel imports have increased, the reality is that it is still far too expensive for many ordinary Yemenis.
Over the past month, catastrophic flooding resulting from torrential rains has affected hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, many of them internally displaced, and we express our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
We encourage the Government to redouble its efforts to stabilize the economy, and in particular to engage with the UN Economic Framework. We also call for the immediate release of all detained UN and NGO staff.
To conclude, President,
Reports by the Yemen Panel of Experts find that serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law continue to be committed across Yemen. We must pursue justice and accountability in our ongoing efforts to bring peace to Yemen. Evidence-based monitoring and reporting is crucial. We also implore all actors to ensure that accountability is a central element of peace discussions going forward. Without this, lasting peace will remain out of reach.