Security Council calls on all parties to Yemen conflict to take urgent steps towards resuming ceasefire

In many areas of Yemen, devastated by conflict, ongoing insecurity hampers WFP’s efforts to get food to the people in need. Photo: WFP/Ammar Bamatraf

18 February 2016 – Seriously concerned at the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the dire humanitarian conflict it has produced, the United Nations Security Council today urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take urgent steps towards resuming a ceasefire.

In a statement to the press, the Council underlined its full support to relief workers delivering aid “in very difficult conditions across Yemen.” Council members expressed concern at all reports of obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Yemen. They welcomed the establishment of the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM), and called upon all States to adhere to its provisions.

Urging all parties to fulfil their commitments to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including measures to further ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, the Council further underlined the importance of the delivery of commercial goods and fuel for civilian purposes to all parts of Yemen.

Further to the statement, the Security Council called upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law, including to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects, to end the recruitment and use of children in violation of applicable international law, and to work urgently with the UN and humanitarian aid organizations to bring assistance to those in need throughout the country.

“The members of the Security Council urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take urgent steps towards resuming a ceasefire,” said the statement, emphasizing that cessation of hostilities and compliance with related Council resolutions should lead to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. The members of the Security Council further emphasized the importance of establishing fully the "De-escalation and Coordination Committee.”

The members of the Security Council also urged the Yemeni parties to fulfil their commitments made during the last round of talks between 15-20 December 2015 and further urged the parties to participate in a new round of talks, building on the progress that has been achieved so far on ending the conflict.

Calling on all Yemeni parties to engage in political talks “without preconditions and in good faith, including by resolving their differences through dialogue and consultations in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism,” the Council underlined its strong support for the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in facilitating these talks.

In a briefing to the Council yesterday, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said a “deep divide” between the warring parties in Yemen, following the collapse of a truce, is forestalling the next round of peace talks. As such, he called on Council members to support efforts towards a cessation of hostilities.

“The parties are divided over whether a new round of talks should be convened with or without a new cessation of hostilities,” he explained, adding that: “I have not, unfortunately, received sufficient assurances that a new cessation of hostilities, should I call for one, would be respected.”

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