Thank you, Mr. President,
I thank Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and Mr Ramesh Rajasingham for their briefings. Estonia fully supports Mr Griffiths in his efforts to find a peaceful solution in Yemen. We also commend the UN agencies for their efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen and welcome the renewal of the UNMHA mandate. I am glad to hear that there are positive developments and reduction of violence.
I am glad to hear that there are positive developments and reduction of violence but in the context of growing regional tensions, it is important that all stakeholders remain committed to de-escalation. Fighting will not bring a solution, it can only be achieved through inclusive dialogue between all relevant regional groups, civil society, including women and youth. I call on the parties to resume discussions on a comprehensive political solution without delay or preconditions.
We welcome all efforts to de-escalate tensions and the confidence building measures such as the recent prisoner exchange in Taiz governorate. However, it is unacceptable that civilian population continues to be harmed by the attacks across the country. We are also concerned about reports of gender-based violence, repression of women, recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, as well as arbitrary detentions. We call on all parties to fulfil the obligations under human rights law and international humanitarian law and to hold all perpetrators of violations accountable.
Even though we heard that has been a considerable improvement in 2019 the scale of humanitarian crisis in Yemen, as stated by the briefers, still remains extremely critical and the human cost of the war is immense. 24 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance. It is therefore crucial that unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance be guaranteed throughout the country.
We commend the Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council for the steps already taken towards implementing the Riyadh Agreement. The next phase involving military and security steps is no doubt challenging but we urge the parties to make efforts to fulfil the agreed obligations. Implementation of the agreement is crucial in order to move towards a comprehensive political settlement in Yemen.
The recent renewal of the mandate of UNMHA (United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement) shows that the Security Council is united in its efforts to help solving the conflict. We call on the authorities in Hodeidah to ensure the freedom of movement for the mission. I would also like to reiterate the importance of full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement in building confidence between the parties.
Finally, concerning the decaying oil tanker Safer, we call on the authorities in Hodeidah to allow the UN assessment team to access the ship in order to prevent an environmental disaster in the Red Sea.
I thank you!