Yemen

Security Council press statement on Yemen, 16 April 2021

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The Members of the Security Council welcomed the announcement of Saudi Arabia on 22 March, supported by the Government of Yemen, to end the conflict in Yemen and reach a comprehensive political solution, which was in line with the UN Special Envoy’s proposal for a nationwide ceasefire, re-opening Sana’a International airport, and allowing free movement of ships for fuel and other commodities into Hudaydah port in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement. They welcomed Oman’s mediation efforts between the key stakeholders and encouraged continued engagement in the region.

The Members of the Security Council called on all parties to engage constructively with the UN Special Envoy and negotiate, without preconditions, an immediate nationwide ceasefire and a Yemeni-owned, inclusive, political settlement, in accordance with relevant provisions of UN Security Council resolutions including 2216 (2015) and 2565 (2021). They called for the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, and the participation of youth, in accordance with past resolutions. They recalled their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Yemen. They reiterated the need to continue implementing the provisions of the Riyadh Agreement.

The Members of the Security Council condemned the ongoing escalation in Marib, which exacerbates Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, places over one million internally displaced persons at grave risk, and threatens efforts to secure a political settlement when the international community is increasingly united to end the conflict. They expressed concern that the military escalation in Marib could be exploited by terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda to expand their presence in Yemen. They called on the Houthis to end their escalation in Marib and condemned the cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia. They expressed concern about military developments elsewhere in Yemen and stressed the need for de-escalation by all parties. They condemned the recruitment and use of children, including in Marib. They called for accountability for human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law. They reiterated the need for all the parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law including those related to humanitarian access and the protection of civilian objects and civilians, and the protection of humanitarian and health personnel and their facilities.

The Members of the Security Council expressed grave concern about the dire economic and humanitarian situation, including prolonged starvation and the growing risk of large-scale famine, and emphasised the importance of facilitating critical commercial imports and humanitarian assistance. They called on the Government of Yemen to facilitate regularly, without delay, the entry of fuel ships into Hudaydah port to ensure the delivery of essential commodities and humanitarian aid, and underscored that fuel that arrives through Hudaydah port should not be used for personal profit or to fund escalation of the conflict. They called on the parties to adhere to their commitments under the Stockholm Agreement to use the revenues from Hudaydah port to pay civil servant salaries.

The Members of the Security Council emphasised the grave threat posed by the Safer oil tanker, whose dire and dilapidated condition risks an environmental, economic, maritime, and humanitarian catastrophe to Yemen and the region. They stressed Houthi responsibility for the situation and called for their urgent facilitation of unconditional and safe access for UN experts to conduct an essential assessment and repair mission, ensuring close cooperation with the UN and stressed the need to finalise outstanding issues and noted recent constructive discussions in this regard.