New York

15 December 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

The Secretary-General welcomes the start of the Yemen peace talks today in Switzerland under the facilitation of his Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. He believes that peaceful and inclusive dialogue is the only way to end the suffering and rebuild confidence, trust and mutual respect amongst the Yemeni people following months of civil war and thousands of lives lost.

The Secretary-General also welcomes the declaration of cessation of hostilities accompanying the opening of the talks. He urges all parties to adhere to this cessation of hostilities and work towards a permanent and lasting end to the conflict.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the letter he received yesterday from the Yemeni Women's Pact for Peace and Security. He joins them in expressing the hope that the talks beginning today will result in the end of the military conflict in Yemen and mark the country’s return to the path of sustainable peace. He reiterates the necessity and value of women’s meaningful participation in the peace process, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 2241 (2015).

The Secretary-General urges the parties at the peace talks to engage constructively and in good faith with each other. He calls on them to safeguard the national interest, agree on practical steps that will end the suffering of the Yemeni people and improve their daily lives. He encourages all countries of the region and other United Nations Member States to create a conducive environment for the talks.