Thank you very much indeed Mr. President and thank you, to the members of this Council, and thank you for the opportunity you are giving me to brief this Council today. As Council members know, our efforts – and, indeed, the attention of the world – are focused on the momentum generated at the end of last year for the peace process by the consultations in Stockholm and the hope of a tangible improvement in the situation of the Yemeni people.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen mentioned that he is working on convening a new round of consultations between the two Yemeni parties towards the end of January.
The ceasefire in Hudayda shall enter into force at 00:00 on 18 December 2018, local time. The Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), the joint committee in charge of implementing the Hudayda Agreement, is expected to start its work swiftly to translate the momentum built up in Sweden into achievements on the ground.
This is a humanitarian issue and it shall not be subject to any political scores or other matters and the perspective of parties shall be to reunite the bereaved families, as it is endorsed in Islam.
Recognizing the importance of urgently addressing the issue in accordance with the legal processes and provisions, particularly, the conventions, principles and norms of international humanitarian law, human rights and relevant laws of the Republic of Yemen and relevant United Nations resolutions,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Members of this Council,
I come before you today with some good news and a message of hope.
After holding consultations under the auspices of the United Nations from 6-13 December 2018 in the Kingdom of Sweden,
Expressing their gratitude to the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden for hosting the consultations and for the hospitality and support they provided throughout,
Expressing their gratitude also to all states and organizations that have provided the support necessary for the consultations to succeed,
Considering the urgent need to address the dire humanitarian situation and insecure conditions faced by the Yemeni people,
On the sidelines of the Sweden Consultations, the Yemeni Women’s Technical Advisory Group held meetings with the two parties as well as members of the diplomatic community and the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Ms. Margot Wallström.
The Technical Advisory Group discussed possible ways of bringing the voices of Yemeni women to the peace-making process. The Group has also engaged in presenting strategy papers and proposals that guide the Special Envoy in his mediation role to bring the war to an end.
Sweden, 11 December 2018 - The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, held a press conference on the fifth day of the political consultations between the Yemeni parties. Griffiths reported progress on a number of issues, highlighting that the two parties have been discussing the details of re-opening Sanaa airport, the de-escalation measures in both Tae’z and Hudayda, and the implementation of the exchange of prisoners’ agreement, as well as the economic situation.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, commends the positive spirit the two parties are demonstrating in the Sweden Consultations.
“The two parties are engaged in a serious and constructive way in discussing the details of confidence building measures, the reduction of violence, and the framework for negotiations. We hope we will achieve progress during this round of consultations”.
Representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthi movement are sitting down to talk in Sweden and offering us hope for restarting the peace process in their country.
By Martin Griffiths
Dec. 6, 2018 - The people of Yemen have had enough. More than three years of war have killed thousands, displaced more than 500,000, created the worst cholera epidemic and brought about 14 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation.
Sweden, 6 December 2018 -
Thank you very much. Thank you very much indeed. And thank you through Your Excellency and the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, thank you to your government, for your hosting, for your welcome, as you say a very warm welcome in a slightly less warm country, and so thank you for having us here in this remarkable location. I’m very grateful to you for doing this, to want to, and this efforts to make this happen. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
I arrived earlier this morning from Sana’a and have received a very warm welcome from senior representatives here. I am very grateful to them for organizing this visit.
In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths said that he believed it was possible to resolve the conflict in Yemen, but warned of dire consequences if such efforts fail. “If famine takes hold in Yemen then the enormity of the humanitarian task to try and keep people alive is mindboggling.” Griffiths stressed that “we have to act now. If we have the stoppage of the war, if we can resolve that largest conflict, it gives us a chance to start building peace.”
Yemen has long been referred to as the forgotten war. I am grateful that this is no longer the case. Never has so much international attention and energy been given to this crisis, and rightly so. Yemen remains the largest humanitarian disaster in the world as we will hear from Mark Lowcock and David Beasley. The fight against famine is ongoing. Women, children and men are dying from preventable diseases. The economy remains on the verge of collapse.
This requires urgent action from all of us.
“It is the women of Yemen who pay the highest price of the war, the voice of women is crucial to build peace”, says Somaya, a member of the women technical advisory group which convened earlier this month in Amman.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, welcomes reports of a reduction of hostilities in and around Hudaydah city. Griffiths stresses that de-escalation is a crucial step to prevent further humanitarian suffering, and to build a more enabling environment for the political process.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, stressed the importance of ongoing Track II efforts, as complementary to official negotiations in Yemen, indicating that it is crucial to work on peace-building in Yemen, in parallel to official diplomatic efforts, known as Track I, to end the war. He added that “the real work in Yemen starts the day after we reach a political deal. We should all work to prepare for that day.”
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, held a consultative meeting with a group of independent Yemeni figures, who represent a wide spectrum of the Yemeni society, to discuss the current situation in Yemen, and his endeavors to resume the political process. More than 30% of the Yemeni figures taking part in this meeting were women.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths stressed the importance of turning the calls for de-escalation in Yemen into action. Speaking to Becky Anderson, on CNN's Connect the World on Thursday, Griffiths mentioned that there is "a very strong desire to move from war to peace in Yemen", adding that the challenge now is to turn the calls for de-escalation into action.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, welcomes the recent calls for the immediate resumption of the political process and measures to reach a cessation of hostilities in Yemen. The Special Envoy stresses that there can be no military solution to the conflict. The Special Envoy will continue to work with all parties to agree on tangible steps to spare all Yemenis the disastrous consequences of further conflict and to urgently address the political, security and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.