25 April 2017

Opening remarks at press encounter with Foreign Ministers Margot Wallström of Sweden and Didier Burkhalter of the Swiss Confederation following the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

António Guterres

On behalf of the broad humanitarian community and, I believe also, on behalf of the people of Yemen, I want to express our deep gratitude to all those who today have contributed with their generosity and their solidarity to make this first-ever humanitarian pledging conference for Yemen a remarkable success. 

As you know, we have asked for 2.1 billion dollars to respond to the humanitarian needs of Yemen till the end of 2017.  In the pledging conference, we have been able to achieve more than half of that amount.  The fact that we are only in April represents a very intelligent signal that indeed, we will be able to achieve our target by the end of the year.

And that was only possible thanks to the very clear generosity and solidarity of many Member States and also different organizations of the civil society that made pledges today.  We have reached 1.1 billion dollars in this pledging conference. 

Now, what absolutely matters is the possibility to make sure that the amount that was raised is effectively translated into support for the people of Yemen.  And that is why, [as I said] in the closing session, we basically now need three things: access, access, and access, to make sure that there is an unhindered access for all humanitarian actors to reach all the people in need, everybody in need and everywhere inside Yemen; and that international humanitarian law is fully respected by the parties to the conflict; and that all the necessary infrastructure to import and distribute goods is available and operational.

But, obviously, there is no humanitarian solution for the crisis in Yemen; the solution is political.  And, so, our appeal today is for all diplomatic efforts to be made in order for a cessation of hostilities to be possible, and sooner rather than later for that to lead to a true political process and reconciliation, allowing for Yemeni people to be masters of [their] destiny.  

To all of you for your presence at this session and for your coverage of this event, I express my very deep gratitude.