Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Vladimir Safronkov at a UN Security Council briefing on Yemen
We also address our best wishes of success and new professional accomplishments to Ambassador Pierce who has done a lot as a human and as a diplomat to ensure productive work of the Security Council. We will miss you. We thank SESG Martin Griffiths and Director of OCHA Coordination Division Ramesh Rajasingham for their review of the political and humanitarian situation in Yemen.
We highly commend the work of our UN colleagues who are deployed on the ground amidst a severe crisis.
Political settlement in Yemen is faltering. We witness escalation of military action, degradation of humanitarian situation. All these factors bring us closer to the point of no return, upon passing which it will be impossible to put together the puzzle of Yemen’s statehood. The data provided today by the Director of OCHA Coordination Division cannot convey the full scope of humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in Yemen. The conflict has already inflicted irreparable damage on the country’s economy that will take many years and lots of money to recover, and on the population, the major part of which is either starving or in need of aid, and has no access to basic medical services. That is why the situation in Yemen deserves close attention and assistance of the global community.
However, the sides in Yemen should also take steps to improve the humanitarian aspects. What ranks high on the agenda is the question of opening the international airport in Sanaa. Once again, we call to elaborate a negotiated solution to the conflict in Yemen. The sides must stay reserved and refrain from the use of force. The history of Yemeni conflict proves that militaristic approaches do not work here.
Unless there is a formula of reliable all-encompassing settlement to the conflict, the crucial humanitarian investments that the people of Yemen need so badly, will evanesce in the long term prospective. Despite mediator efforts of Mr.Griffiths, full-fledged implementation of the Stockholm Agreement has not been achieved yet. Responsibility for that rests upon the sides in Yemen. The Riyadh Agreement also fail to implement. We need to consolidate around the Special Envoy and help him engage with all the involved stakeholders, drive them at the realization of futility of the forceful approach to Yemen’s problems. Every other day of war immensely increases the cost of Yemen’s post-conflict recovery and plays in the hand of terrorists who benefit from chaos and strengthen positions in the central part of Yemen.
We reiterate our full support for Mr.Griffiths's efforts aimed at making it clear to the conflicting sides that there is no alternative to political settlement. Implementation of confidence-building measures and ubiquitous ceasefire - this is what Yemen needs now. We will provide assistance to UN mediation in Yemen, i.a. through contacts with all political forces of the country and the interested stakeholders.
We are convinced: there still remains a possibility to come up with agreements, in particular those with regard to confidence-building measures, establishing universal ceasefire, and restarting intra-Yemeni negotiations. However, it takes political will to do so. We call upon all sides to join Mr.Griffiths's mediator efforts in most active manner.
In conclusion, we would like to emphasize: the conflict in Yemen, just as any other conflict in the Middle East, cannot be solved by attempts to seek the guilty ones. As historic experience tells us, such methods can only impede the search for solutions.
In this regard, we would like to remind once again of Security Council resolution 598 that tasked the Secretary-General to develop security architecture in the region in collaboration with the regional states. We draw your attention to the Russian well-known Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf region that is designed to lead conflict situations out of deadlock, devise confidence-building measures.
The Government of France has offered some helpful ideas. The Government of Iran has put forward peaceful proposals. Such initiatives build a positive environment that favors improving the situation in the Persian Gulf region.
We are approaching the day that will mark 5 years since the beginning of the bloodthirsty and unneeded war in Yemen; the war that costs hundreds of million dollars daily. Whereas that money could be spent on combating terrorism, boosting economic growth, and responding to pandemic challenges. We call upon all sides in Yemen to abandon recriminations and stand up to the responsibility for the fate of their own state. We call upon Yemenis to start talks under UN auspices that should elaborate on comprehensive settlement and get Yemen back to the tracks of sustainable development. We want to see peaceful and stable Yemen that lives in peace and security in one space with all other countries of the region without exception.