The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Nicolas de Rivière (France):
The members of the Security Council reiterated their endorsement of the Secretary-General’s call of 25 March for those fighting in Yemen to immediately cease hostilities and condemned the recent unmanned aerial vehicles and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia as well as escalations of aerial and ground violence in the Yemen conflict.
The members of the Security Council emphasized their steadfast support for Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his efforts to reach agreement on a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures, and the resumption of an inclusive Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process as set out in relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 2216 (2015), as well as by the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its implementation mechanism and the outcome of the National Dialogue Conference. They expressed deep concern at the slow pace of negotiations and called on the parties to agree to mediated proposals with haste. They welcomed the announcement, brokered by the “Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen”, of a ceasefire in Abyan between the Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council and the deployment of Coalition ceasefire monitors, and highly appreciated the efforts of the Coalition in this regard. They subsequently called on the parties to rapidly implement the provisions of the Riyadh Agreement. The members of the Security Council called on the parties to commit themselves in good faith to enable a return to peace in Yemen.
The members of the Security Council expressed deep alarm at the growing risk that the Safer oil tanker could rupture or explode, causing an environmental, economic, and humanitarian catastrophe for Yemen and its neighbours. They underscored the need for the Houthis to immediately grant unconditional access for United Nations technical experts to assess the tanker’s condition, conduct any possible urgent repairs, and make recommendations for the safe extraction of the oil, ensuring close cooperation with the United Nations.
The Members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian situation and the multiple humanitarian challenges facing Yemen. They noted that the dual lack of funding for import financing and humanitarian aid operations could devastate Yemen's economy and exacerbate Yemen’s severe food insecurity if there is not swift action to disburse monies already pledged and provide additional funds. They called on all potential donors to step-up, to save lives in Yemen.
They also expressed concern at the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout Yemen and praised the role of humanitarian aid and health-care workers, operating in unprecedented conditions. They called on the local parties to take all possible steps to prevent the spread of the virus among an already vulnerable population — taking into account the disproportionate impact on, and the specific needs of, women and children — to respond to the pandemic with transparency and to facilitate the work of health-care professionals, particularly in northern Yemen. They further called for the local parties to immediately stop obstructing humanitarian assistance to allow for an effective delivery of aid and to facilitate safe and unhindered access for humanitarian personnel and flows of humanitarian and medical supplies, particularly in northern Yemen.
They reiterated that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular their obligations with respect to the protection of civilians and civilian objects, and the protection of humanitarian and health personnel and their facilities. They continued to deplore any loss of civilian life including children.
The members of the Security Council called for constructive engagement with the Special Envoy for the implementation of mutually agreed arrangements to ensure a regular flow of fuel into Hodeidah port and ensure the use of associated revenues for the payment of civil servant salaries, to include providing documentation thereof.
The members of the Security Council also called upon the parties to return to cooperation through the Redeployment Coordination Committee and to work together with the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) for stability in Hodeidah.
They reaffirmed their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.