Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation in Yemen
We thank SESG Grundberg and ASG Msuya for the briefings. We also appreciate the efforts of Deputy PR of Albania, Ms. Albana Dautllari, for the briefing as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140.
We can characterize the situation on the ground in Yemen as relatively calm. Even without an official ceasefire, there has been no relapse in a full-scale armed confrontation. We do hope that this quiet period will last and will not be disturbed by another spiral of tension, and that key Yemeni stakeholders will stick to a constructive approach allowing to recover the truce and unlock a path to a full-fledged political process. In these circumstances, due restraint and abstention from provocative steps seem critical. At the same time, while working on de-escalation, we must be mindful that without a broad dialogue on all political issues, no lasting stabilization can be achieved.
We are positive about any efforts that seek to push the settlement in Yemen from a standstill, as well as mitigate tension in the Middle East at large. At the same time, we are convinced that in order to recover truce in Yemen and secure its results through UN mediation and other relevant channels and mechanisms, external approaches need to harmonize. We support efforts of the Special Envoy on consolidation of international assistance to the sides in Yemen. Ultimately, SESG’s efforts should lead to a logical result, namely elaboration of a comprehensive and sustainable plan for political settlement in Yemen under UN auspices. This is not an easy task, and it requires a constructive approach, flexibility, and readiness to compromise. Apart from that, the international legal basis for a settlement in Yemen will need to be updated so it can adequately reflect the reality on the ground.
Our shared ultimate goal must be a lasting and full-fledged resolution of numerous problems that Yemen is faced with and that also have implications for its neighbors. We believe recent positive trends in the region that touch upon Yemen’s neighboring states can contribute to this objective.
On our part, we continue to encourage the official authorities in Yemen, represented by the Presidential Leadership Council, and the Houthi movement to maintain a constructive approach when addressing the current controversies. We are convinced that in this situation, emphasis should be placed on launching a direct inter-Yemeni dialogue with the participation of all parties involved in the conflict, including the Houthis. Such a format could preface Yemen’s return to the rails of a peaceful political process.
We remind that sanctions is a powerful tool of the Security Council that is meant to be used for recovery of peace and security rather than for punishment. Sanctions need to be targeted, flexible, and subjected to regular review until fully lifted. This is absolutely valid for Yemen too.
Therefore UNSC Sanctions Committee 2140 should function in a neutral and depoliticized manner. We believe the main task of the Chairmanship is to facilitate a search for consensual solutions, sometimes amidst irreconcilable positions of Council members. Chairs must act objectively and impartially. Apart from that, we need to see to it that activities of the Panel of Experts meet its mandate. Their engagement should bring us closer to the much-needed relief of tensions in the region and create conditions for further de-escalation.
In conclusion I would like to stress that unfortunately, the dire socio-economic situation in Yemen has not been overcome yet despite numerous efforts of international and regional donors. We consistently advocate for lifting of all restrictions on deliveries of food, medicines, and other basic necessity goods to all parts of Yemen without exception. We call on all stakeholders to stay in contact with international financial organizations on that matter, and also facilitate activities of UN specialized mechanisms. We once again reiterate our support for the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen.