Security Council Press Statement on Situation in Yemen


The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Samantha Power (United States):

The members of the Security Council welcomed the participation of Yemeni parties in peace consultations from 15 to 20 December 2015, held under the auspices of the United Nations. They expressed their appreciation and reiterated their full support for the efforts of the United Nations and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen.

The members of the Security Council recalled Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011), 2051 (2012), 2140 (2014), 2201 (2015) and 2216 (2015), emphasizing the need for a peaceful, orderly, inclusive and Yemeni-led transition process. The members of the Security Council reiterated their demand for the full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions, and reiterated their call from resolution 2216 (2015) on all Yemeni parties to resume and accelerate United Nations-brokered inclusive political consultations.

The members of the Security Council commended the parties and the Special Envoy for a productive round of talks, which provided a foundation for the next phases of the peace process. They welcomed the agreement of the parties to a cessation of hostilities, expressed deep concern at the number of violations of the cessation of hostilities committed during the talks, and emphasised that the cessation of hostilities and compliance with related Security Council resolutions should lead to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. In this regard, the members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the parties to continue the work of the Coordination and De-escalation Committee established at the talks in order to proactively reduce the number of violations, and urged all parties to adhere to the cessation of hostilities and to exercise maximum restraint if violations or reports of violations emerge.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the parties at the talks to ensure safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian aid delivery to all affected governorates, including in particular Taiz, and called on the parties to respect this commitment in the future. They encouraged the parties to urgently finalize agreements on the release of all non-combatant and arbitrary detainees, and to finalize agreement on a package of confidence-building measures.

The members of the Security Council noted with appreciation the progress made during the talks towards a framework for negotiations based firmly on resolution 2216 (2015) and other relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, capable of leading to an end to the conflict. In this respect, the members of the Security Council called on all Member States to support the commitment of the Yemeni parties to the political dialogue.

The members of the Security Council urged the Yemeni parties to fulfil commitments made during the talks and welcomed their commitment to a new round of talks in mid-January 2016, building on the progress that has been achieved so far. They reaffirmed their call on Yemeni parties to engage without preconditions and in good faith, including by resolving their differences through dialogue and consultations, rejecting acts of violence to achieve political goals, and refraining from provocation and all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition. The members of the Security Council strongly condemned all violence, attempts or threats to use violence to intimidate those participating in United Nations-brokered consultations and emphasized that such action is unacceptable.

The members of the Security Council emphasized that the United Nations-brokered inclusive political dialogue must be a Yemeni-led process, with the intention of brokering a consensus-based political solution to Yemen’s crisis, in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and relevant Security Council resolutions.

The members of the Security Council expressed their support and appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, who will continue to engage with all Yemeni stakeholders to take steps towards a durable ceasefire and a mechanism for the withdrawal of forces, relinquishment of all additional arms seized from military and security institutions, release of political prisoners and the resumption of an inclusive political transition process in accordance with Security Council resolution 2216 (2015). The members of the Council recognized the importance of United Nations ceasefire monitoring capacity to support the process.

The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern about the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, which continues to worsen. The members of the Security Council recognized that over 80 per cent of the population — 21 million people — require some form of humanitarian assistance and emphasized that the civilian impact of the conflict has been devastating, particularly for children and the 2.5 million internally displaced persons. The members of the Security Council expressed particular concern at the food security situation, with over 7 million people suffering severe food insecurity and a doubling in the number of children under five who are acutely malnourished. They recognized that functioning markets inside Yemen are essential to address the situation, as humanitarian assistance alone cannot overcome a humanitarian crisis of this scale.

The members of the Security Council noted that the humanitarian appeal for 2015 has been 52 per cent funded and urged the international community to contribute to the humanitarian appeal for 2016.

The members of the Security Council urged all parties to fulfil their commitments to facilitate the delivery of commercial goods, humanitarian assistance and fuel for civilian purposes to all parts of Yemen, as well as urgent measures to further ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access. They also stressed the urgent need for commercially shipped food, medicine, fuel and other vital supplies to continue to enter Yemen through all of Yemen’s ports without delay as a humanitarian imperative because of the heavy dependence of Yemen and its people on imported food and fuel. In that regard, they urged all parties to work with the new United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism. The members of the Security Council called upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law, including to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects, to end the recruitment and use of children in violation of applicable international law, and to urgently work with the United Nations and humanitarian aid organizations to bring assistance to those in need throughout the country.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.