Special Envoy Hans Grundberg’s statement to the press on the closing of the seventh meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Detainees’ Exchange Agreement
20 March 2023, Palais des Nations, Geneva -- Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for being here today.
I’m pleased to announce that the 10-day meeting of the Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Detainees’ Exchange Agreement concluded today with a positive outcome. The parties have agreed on implementation plans to release 887 conflict-related detainees from all sides. They also agreed to reconvene in mid-May to discuss more releases. They further committed to exchange joint visits to each other’s detention facilities and to enable access to all detainees during these visits.
I would like to thank the parties who are with us here today for engaging in constructive dialogue and negotiating in good faith to make the needed compromises to reach this conclusion. I urge them to facilitate the speedy implementation of the releases, and to build further on today’s outcome and agree on more releases. I also encourage the parties to release additional detainees on a unilateral and ongoing basis. Today’s outcome is a welcome development and positive progress towards the parties’ fulfillment of their obligation under the Stockholm Agreement to release conflict-related detainees on an all-for-all basis.
Today, hundreds of Yemeni families can look forward to reuniting with their loved ones. But it is important to remember that, when the parties committed to the Detainees’ Exchange Agreement, they made a promise, not just to each other, but to thousands of Yemeni families who have been living with the pain of separation from those dearest to them for far too long.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues from the ICRC for the great partnership as co-chairs since the establishment of the Supervisory Committee. I highly appreciate the support and logistical facilitation that ICRC is providing for the implementation of this agreement.
I would also like to thank the Swiss government for its hospitality and generosity and unwavering support to this important file. I wish to extend my gratitude to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for having hosted several meetings of the Supervisory Committee in the past.
For hundreds of Yemeni families, today is a good day. Unfortunately, Yemen doesn’t experience as many good days as it deserves. So, I warmly congratulate all involved for this achievement.
But I also would like to remind all of us that much remains to be done. A comprehensive and sustainable end to the conflict is necessary if Yemen is to recover from the devastating toll the eight-year conflict has had on its men and women.
To this end, I will continue my work with the parties, regional member states and the international community to make progress towards an inclusive Yemeni-led political process that sets the foundations of a better future for Yemen.
Link to the press conference: https://media.un.org/en/asset/k13/k136vmnmw3