Extract of the Secretary-General Remarks at the Security Council on Yemen

UN Photo / Mark Garten

21 Oct 2020

Extract of the Secretary-General Remarks at the Security Council on Yemen

Extract of the Secretary-General Remarks at the Security Council Meeting on the "maintenance of International Peace and Security: Comprehensive Review of the Situation in the Persian Gulf Region"

20 October 2020

I remain extremely concerned about the situation in Yemen, a local conflict that has become regionalized over time. Nearly six years of war have devastated the lives of millions of Yemenis and undermined confidence-building efforts in the region. Yemen is Exhibit A for the need to realize a ceasefire now. 

Last week brought a ray of hope. The parties took promising steps by releasing more than 1,000 prisoners – the largest prisoner exchange since the start of the conflict. This action not only reunited many Yemeni families with their loved ones, but also demonstrated that the parties are able to reach agreement and follow through on their commitments. 

The United Nations continues to facilitate negotiations between the Yemeni parties on the Joint Declaration, comprised of a nationwide ceasefire, economic and humanitarian confidence building measures and the resumption of the political process.

Meanwhile the security situation remains fragile. Over recent weeks, we have witnessed a further escalation of conflict, concentrated principally in Al Jawf, Ma’rib and Hudaydah governorates, with the latter being of significant concern as it risks undermining the Stockholm Agreement of 2018. Fortunately, for now, hostilities have subsided, but this is not enough. We need an immediate ceasefire and return to the negotiating table to work out a political settlement to end the war. Nothing less will suffice. Our collective ambition is high, but necessarily it must be so after the many years of conflict.

I acknowledge the painstaking compromise being asked of the parties to finalize this set of agreements. I reiterate my call on them to continue their engagement with my Envoy — without preconditions — to finalize the Joint Declaration. Yemeni women and youth must also be part of the process to ensure an inclusive and sustainable solution.

There is no doubt that tensions in the region have complicated our efforts to find a peaceful settlement in Yemen. Yet we know the swift resolution of the Yemen conflict can contribute to building trust and confidence throughout the region.This conflict is a reminder that unless we address the urgent and immediate regional challenges, instability could spread further and wider.

At the same time, Yemen remains the largest humanitarian emergency. Famine is looming — and it is all compounded further by the continued spread of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic respects no borders.

for the full remarks: https://www.un.org/.../secretary-generals-remarks-the...