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 as set out in the Stockholm Agreement, circulated as document S/2018/1134. They stressed the critical importance of the parties implementing those commitments without delay for the sake of the Yemeni people. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and called on all parties to continue to engage in good faith with them both.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress made by the parties in the RCC meeting of 16-17 February 2019 on planning for the redeployment of forces as envisaged in the Hodeidah Agreement reached in Stockholm. They welcomed the agreement reached on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces from the ports of Saleef, Ras Issa and Hodeidah, as well as from critical parts of the city associated with humanitarian infrastructure. They called for the immediate implementation of Phase 1. They also welcomed agreement by the parties in principle to Phase 2 of the mutual redeployment of forces, and called on them to continue their constructive engagement with the Chair of the RCC and to redouble efforts during the next RCC meeting in the coming days to urgently finalize agreement on Phase 2.
The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of urgent access to humanitarian facilities, including the Red Sea Mills, and welcomed the arrangements agreed by the parties in the RCC meeting on 16-17 February in that regard. They noted with concern the operational constraints being faced by humanitarian actors in Yemen, reiterated their grave concern about the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation across Yemen, with 80 per cent of the population (24 million people) now in need of humanitarian assistance, 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. They called on the international community to consider additional funding for the 2019 UN Humanitarian Response Plan.
The Members of the Security Council expressed concern at continued reports of violations of the ceasefire. They 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 its swift implementation. They recalled their request to the Secretary-General to report on non-compliance, by any party, with resolution 2451 (2018) and 2452 (2019) and noted their readiness to consider further measures against those obstructing implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of all parties to the conflict ensuring the protection of civilians, including those most vulnerable such as children, and further reiterated their call on all parties to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law, including to respect the principles of proportionality and distinction, and international human rights law.
The members of the Security Council called on the parties to redouble efforts to finalize arrangements for the prisoner-exchange agreement and for the establishment of the Ta’izz Joint Coordination Committee. They noted that both steps would represent significant confidence-building measures.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the parties’ constructive engagement with the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) and underlined the need for UNMHA to be fully deployed and operational as swiftly as possible. They called on the parties to continue to ensure the security and safety of UNMHA personnel, and to facilitate the unhindered and expeditious movement into and within Yemen of UNMHA personnel, equipment, provisions and essential supplies.
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 presidential statements, as well as by the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. In this regard, they called on the parties to engage constructively with the Special Envoy in fulfilling their obligations agreed in Stockholm. 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 reiterated their calls for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2216 (2015), resolution 2451 (2018) and resolution 2452 (2019), and compliance with their statements, 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.