Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
I thank Mr. Hans Grundberg, Ms. Joyce Msuya, and Mr. David Gresley for their valuable briefings on the current situation in Yemen. I welcome the participation of His Excellency Jaap Slootmaker, the Vice Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and His Excellency Ambassador Abdullah Al-Saadi, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen, in today’s meeting.
I would also like to welcome today’s unanimous adoption of the resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement. I also express our appreciation for the United Kingdom, as penholder, for presenting the draft resolution.
We demand the Houthis to fully comply with the resolution and remove all obstacles and restrictions to the Mission’s freedom of movement. This includes ensuring unannounced visits to the ports can take place without hindrance. We call on them to direct the revenue from the port of Hudaydah towards the benefit of all Yemeni people, especially the payment of salaries in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement. We also call on them to stop using these funds to finance their war efforts.
We fully recognize the positive developments that the Yemeni file has recently witnessed, and the steps made towards maintaining the calm that emerged over a year ago. However, we must remember that the Yemeni people, worn down by war, deserve a better reality, one that assures them a dignified life where war has no place. The time has come to establish a comprehensive peace that goes beyond transient ceasefires – a peace that achieves national reconciliation and fair distribution of wealth among all Yemenis.
In this context, we reiterate the full support of the United Arab Emirates for the efforts of the United Nations at both the humanitarian and political levels. We also appreciate the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in defusing tensions in Yemen, which has witnessed the longest period of relative calm since the beginning of the conflict. We acknowledge the role of the Sultanate of Oman in mediating and reconciling the viewpoints that the ravages of war have divided.
Despite the restraint shown by the Yemeni government forces, there is an unjustified escalation by the Houthis on various fronts in Taiz, Marib, Shabwa, Al Hudaydah, and Al Dhale’e. This has included artillery attacks, drone strikes, and has resulted in many civilian casualties – including children. Just last week, there was an attack that injured five children in the district of Hays.
This situation requires us to assume our vital role, to firmly demand that the Houthis stop these attacks immediately, and to refrain from any attempts to rekindle the flames of war. Any escalation or step in this direction is a source of great concern, especially given the Houthis’ continued build-up of their military arsenal since the beginning of the truce, including through smuggling operations in flagrant violation of resolution 2216.
Given this situation, it is necessary to accelerate the conclusion of a permanent ceasefire agreement, accompanied by a series of confidence-building measures, such as opening roads, unifying the economy, paying salaries, and exchanging prisoners. Such an agreement would form the necessary basis for starting a political dialogue between the Yemeni parties aimed at reaching a comprehensive and sustainable political solution.
Yemen is facing immense humanitarian challenges. The Houthi group is still imposing severe restrictions on the delivery of aid and the movement of humanitarian personnel, especially women. Furthermore, they continuously meddle in the selection process of aid recipients, employing illegitimate systems they have established.
The Houthis also continue to wage an economic war against the Yemeni people and government that exacerbates human suffering by targeting oil facilities and ports in the governorates of Shabwa and Hadramout, restricting trade movement within the country, threatening companies and banks and forcing them to import goods solely through the port of Hudaydah. In addition, the Houthis continue to arbitrarily confiscate lands, buildings, and private property. They even threatened to destroy the infrastructure for the production and export of oil and gas in the governorate of Ma’rib.
The Houthis are also exploiting summer camps and school curricula to disseminate the seeds of hatred and extremism among children. Such actions are not only a violation of children’s rights –as acknowledged by resolution 2686 which the security Council adoption last month, these forms of extremism also pose a real risk that could lead to the recurrence of conflict.
Finally, we welcome the beginning of the safe transfer of oil from the Safer tanker, within the framework of the United Nations’ efforts. We also acknowledge the commendable efforts of the Netherlands in this regard. We reiterate our continued support for all regional and international efforts aimed at ending the conflict and achieving stability and progress in Yemen. We look forward, with hope and optimism, to the day when Yemen is in a period of recovery, and when peace and prosperity have prevailed.
Thank you, Madam President.