United Nations Special Envoy’s press statement following the meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Photo: OSESGY/Franziska Seethaler

12 Apr 2021

United Nations Special Envoy’s press statement following the meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Berlin, 12 April 2021- Heiko thank you very much indeed, thank you very much for those words. And more importantly thank you also, through you, to Germany for your leadership and for the efforts you make on behalf of the Yemeni people. It’s very good to see you here again. I am very grateful to you, and your ministry also for hosting the meeting you referred to this afternoon, but more importantly than that, for the continuous commitment to the aspirations that you there just described. To a fair future for the people of Yemen, which I believe is deliverable, which is achievable, and which is long overdue.

We are here because this is a recognition of the critical moment we find ourselves in, with Tim Lenderking our friend here, in the negotiation process where we need more than ever the unanimous and full support of the UN Security Council but also the international community.

The war in Yemen has lasted over six years. In these six years Yemenis have increasingly and appallingly, lacked access to food and medicine; more than six years with no basic services; with restriction of movement in, around and out of the country; and over six years of the children of Yemen being deprived of schooling, and being deprived of their future. A generation has been lost.

We all agree, and Heiko you just described it, that the only solution to end this tragedy is through a negotiated political settlement that meets the aspirations of Yemen’s women and Yemen’s men. What is the way to get there? I believe we must address first the critical humanitarian needs and build confidence between the parties, as you Heiko just said. The United Nations has put forward a plan that aims to secure a nationwide ceasefire where all forms of fighting would stop, and the main roads connecting the country from north to south, including in Taiz - that city which has been under siege for so long - would open for the free movement of civilians, commercial goods and humanitarian aid. We also aim to secure the opening of Sana’a airport to international and national flights; and to ensure the regular flow of fuel and other commercial commodities into Yemen through the ports of Hudaydah with associated revenues from that entry of fuel ships contributing to the salaries of civil servants. We hope together that an agreement on all those humanitarian measures will create a conducive environment for the parties to move swiftly to inclusive peace talks under the auspices of the UN to sustainably and comprehensively end the conflict.

But I’d like to pay tribute, as you did, to the United States through the person of their envoy who’s with us today, Tim Lenderking, who has redefined the notion of tireless by his activity and his perseverance in trying to help all of us to reach these conclusions, and reach these aspirations.

The parties to the conflict have been negotiating the issues that I have just described for over a year. We are well aware of their opinions, and we are exerting every effort to bridge their differences. And the help of the international community as manifested today in Germany, under your leadership, is crucial for those negotiations to succeed.

I believe this is a moment for decisions. This is a moment for responsible leadership. And I, finally, reiterate my call to the parties to seize the opportunity that exists now, and negotiate in good faith without preconditions; and to listen to the calls of the international community to end this conflict and to return Yemen to the people of Yemen and to its future.

Thank you very much indeed Heiko, Thank you.