Yemen

Special Envoy Griffiths’ Remarks at the Closing Session of the Fourth Meeting of the Supervisory Committee

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Switzerland, 27 September 2020

Shaikh Hadi,
Abu Hilal,
Esteemed members of the delegations,
My co-chair Fabrizio,
Our host Mr. Olivier Puchard,

I would like to say thank you to all our Yemeni friends here for your efforts. I personally am extremely pleased to be here to announce that you have reached a very important milestone. Here in Switzerland, during the Fourth Meeting of the Supervisory Committee from 17 to 25 September, you have renewed your commitments to the full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. You have agreed to immediately release 1,081 individuals. And you have agreed to meet again to discuss more releases, as part of your commitments to release all conflict-related prisoners and detainees including those covered by the Security Council resolutions.

I would like to thank you, I would like to thank the Arab coalition, and I would like to thank your leaderships, for your positive and for your constructive and your tireless engagement during these negotiations. We all know that it is essential now to move swiftly and decisively towards implementation. We have no time to waste. Releasing the 1,081 individuals would and indeed will represent the largest release operation during the history of the conflict in Yemen.

Releasing those detainees will bring immense relief and comfort to more than a thousand families who will be reunited with their loved ones because of your acts and your decisions. It will bring reassurance and hope to many more families still waiting the release of their loved ones and their friends.

It will also send an important message about the conflict. It will indicate that when you show good faith and willingness to compromise, as you have, peaceful negotiations can succeed and they will succeed in bringing relief to the Yemeni people and building confidence for the peace process.

I call on you to build on this very important achievement, and to move together towards a negotiated solution to bring lasting peace to Yemen. Today is an important reminder to all of us and all those listening that all this is possible. The United Nations stands ready to support the parties, as well as the Yemeni people, in achieving that.

I would like to thank ICRC and Fabrizio, my co-chair. It is an enormous and rare privilege to work with ICRC, and a learning experience for us. And I would like to thank you Fabrizio and your people for the incredible amount of work that you are doing and will do.

I am grateful, as we all are, to the Swiss Government for your extraordinary efficiency and generous support for facilitating this meeting at a time, when travel as we all know, and face-to-face meetings face so many restrictions. Thank you Switzerland.

We look forward finally very soon to meeting again to hold further discussions about further releases but also of course about making sure that this release happens quickly and effectively and completely. Thank you very much.

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