The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea):
The members of the Security Council reiterated their endorsement of the agreements reached by the Government of Yemen and the Houthis in December 2018 on the city and governorate of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; an executive mechanism on the prisoner exchange agreement; and a statement of understanding on Taiz, as set out in the Stockholm Agreement, circulated as S/2018/1134. They stressed the critical importance of the parties fulfilling the commitments they made in Sweden, for the sake of the Yemeni people.
The members of the Security Council stressed the vital importance of making progress towards a political agreement to end the conflict and to relieve the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people. In this regard, they welcomed the fact that the ceasefire in Hodeidah remains in place and commended the parties’ continued political commitment to uphold the Stockholm Agreement.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern at allegations of violations of the ceasefire. They strongly condemned actions that jeopardize the progress achieved by the parties in the Stockholm Agreement. They underlined that military escalation and hostilities could damage trust between the parties and risk undermining the prospects for peace. They recalled their request to the Secretary-General to report on non-compliance, by any party, with resolutions 2451 (2018) and 2452 (2019).
The members of the Security Council called on the parties to seize this opportunity to move towards sustainable peace by exercising restraint, de-escalating tensions, honouring their commitment to the Stockholm Agreement and moving forward with swift implementation. They welcomed, in this regard, the release of prisoners by both parties as an encouraging signal. As an immediate next step, the members of the Security Council called on the parties to work urgently with the United Nations Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) in order to implement an agreed plan for the mutual redeployment of forces from the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa in compliance with their obligations and without further delays.
The members of the Security Council also called on the parties in their areas of control, in particular the Houthis controlling the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Isa, to ensure the security and safety of UNMHA personnel, and to facilitate the unhindered and expeditious movement into and within Yemen of personnel, equipment, provisions and essential supplies in accordance with resolution 2452 (2019), particularly those required to establish, commence and sustain full operations of UNMHA.
The members of the Security Council also called upon the parties to redouble their efforts to finalise arrangements for the prisoner-exchange agreement and for the establishment of the Taiz Joint Coordination Committee.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to make progress towards a comprehensive political settlement to the conflict, as called for by relevant Security Council resolutions and statements, as well as by the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. The members of the Security Council also underlined the importance of the full participation of women and the meaningful engagement of youth in the political process.
The members of the Security Council also reiterated the importance of all parties to the conflict ensuring the protection of civilians and reiterated their call on all parties to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law, including to respect the principles of proportionality and distinction. They further reiterated their grave concern at the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation and called on the parties to facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies and personnel into and across the country.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the tireless efforts of both the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and the RCC Chair and called on all parties to engage in good faith with the Special Envoy and RCC Chair. In this regard, the members of the Security Council asked the Special Envoy to continue to keep them closely informed of developments so that they may consider further action as necessary in support of a political settlement.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their calls for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions and statements, including resolution 2216 (2015), resolution 2451 (2018) and resolution 2452 (2019), and reiterated their intention to consider further measures, as necessary, to support implementation of all relevant resolutions. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.