I would like to thank Special Envoy Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General Lowcock for their briefings.
The ongoing hostilities in Yemen, which show no signs of de-escalation, are deeply worrying, as they result in the growing number of civilian casualties and the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis. The people of Yemen have been suffering for far too long; it is unacceptable to seek territorial gains and engage in economic warfare in their expense.
Maximum international efforts must be made for the parties to cease fighting and engage constructively with the UN Special Envoy. We call on the parties to agree to the Joint Declaration without further delay. This will make way for the start of the next phase of the comprehensive political process, which is the only means to finding sustainable peace.
We are also concerned about the continuous tensions in the South. We urge the Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council to continue implementing the provisions of the Riyadh Agreement. This includes forming a joint government, which is crucial for moving towards a broader political solution in Yemen.
We note the recently published report by the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen. It is appalling to read the report’s finding of all parties to the conflict being responsible for human rights violations, as well as violations of international humanitarian law.
In this context, we remind all parties of their obligation to take all necessary measures to protect civilians, especially the vulnerable groups, such as women and children. We also stress the importance of taking all measures to protect against sexual and gender-based violence and violations of other fundamental freedoms. Accountability for all violations and crimes must be guaranteed.
We fully support the report’s recommendation to the Security Council to integrate the human rights dimensions of the conflict in Yemen more fully into its agenda.
Regarding the humanitarian situation, we are deeply concerned about the need to scale down humanitarian operations due to a lack of funding, especially considering the reported risk of famine. We call for intensified efforts to find a long-term solution to ensure the import of fuel and commercial items through Hodeidah port, which is foremost essential from the humanitarian perspective.
Finally, we reiterate our call to the Houthi authorities to take immediate and concrete steps without preconditions to allow the UN mission to access the SAFER oil tanker in order to prevent a large-scale catastrophe.