Statement by Ambassador Sven Jürgenson at UN Security Council meeting on Yemen

I thank Special Envoy Grundberg and Acting ASG Rajasingham for your briefings.

Estonia is deeply concerned about the continued hostilities in several parts of Yemen. The situation is particularly worrying around Marib where the Houthis have continued the escalation, resulting in civilian casualties and further displacement.

It is alarming that since September alone, 45,000 additional people have been displaced in the Marib area. Special focus should be placed on the protection of women and children, who make up 80 percent of the million IDP’s currently in Marib.

It is also worrying that after the withdrawal of pro-government forces from Hodeidah, the fighting has intensified also on the Red Sea coast leading to the displacement of more than 25,000 people.

We reiterate our strong condemnation of the Houthis’ cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia. All parties should refrain from escalating the hostilities and from indiscriminate attacks against civilian objects.

We fully support the Special Envoy Grundberg and urge all parties to engage without preconditions in the UN-led efforts for achieving peace. Only an inclusive political process can bring a lasting solution to the conflict. In this context, we welcome the Yemeni Tribal Forum which took place last week in Amman. It is also essential to increase the meaningful participation of women and youth in the peace negotiations, as well as to involve them more widely in politics.

Mr President, Estonia calls for placing more focus on the issue of human rights, including through better co-ordination between different UN agencies. While the UN Human Rights Council failed to extend the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts, it is even more vital for the Security Council to intensify its calls for monitoring the human rights situation in Yemen, in order to promote accountability and the fight against impunity.

Furthermore, additional efforts are needed for improving the humanitarian situation. We repeat our call upon the parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and to agree on the import of fuel and commercial imports through Hodeidah port. We also commend the UN’s efforts in developing a strategic approach for improving Yemen’s economic situation and urge all parties to engage with these efforts constructively.