Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in Yemen
We thank today’s briefers Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Martin Griffiths, and Henrietta Fore for their insights.
We are concerned over the continuing escalation in Yemen. According to the incoming reports, the number of casualties among Yemenis is growing in the Marib province, where Houthis try to establish control over the city, and governmental troops take retaliatory measures under massive support of Arab coalition’s aviation. Attacks against civil infrastructure, i.a. on the territory of Saudi Arabia, are particularly worrisome.
Over the six years since the beginning of the conflict, it has become clear that there is simply no alternative to inter-Yemeni talks that should ensure due account for the interests and concerns of the sides. In this regard, we call upon all opposing sides to refrain promptly from all hostilities, strictly observe provisions of international humanitarian law, and seek political and diplomatic solutions to all disputes.
We intend to further support relevant UN-based efforts aimed at a comprehensive and long-term settlement of the conflict, and also encourage all sides to act in a constructive manner and be ready for compromise. In this context, we commend and welcome the mediator efforts of regional states, including Oman.
Cessation of hostilities must go in line with confidence-building measures in the political, military, social and economic domains. This would really help alleviate the plight of the people of Yemen, which the UN characterizes as the “the world's worst humanitarian disaster”. We call upon the donors to enhance the much needed financial support for UN humanitarian assistance. Thereby we emphasize the need to fully lift Yemen’s sea, land, and air blockade, cancel restrictions for deliveries of food, medicines, fuel, and other basic necessity goods. We remind that rendered assistance must be unbiased and non-discriminatory.
We believe that the problem of SAFER tanker can also receive mutually acceptable, politically non-motivated solutions. Unfortunately, we have to say that the talks have not yielded the desired result so far. At the same time, it is of essence that other national ideas of how to resolve this issue have evolved, and that “Ansar Allah” movement demonstrates readiness to engage in a dialogue with the United Nations.
Confidence measures are fundamental to resolving the problem of SAFER tanker. Therefore we count on assistance and efforts of the new Special Envoy, aimed at recovering such measures via contacts with all interested stakeholders, both from Yemen and the region.
We trust that new Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Mr.H.Grundberg will be able to elaborate new approaches to help resume comprehensive negotiations under UN auspices. We are looking forward to his first briefing at the Security Council in September and his proactive steps, oriented at a political settlement. We hope he will act in an unbiased and neutral manner.
On our part, we will provide further assistance to the UN mediation in Yemen in the framework of regular contacts with all interested sides.
It is the task of the Security Council to not side with anybody, but “give a hand” to the Special Envoy, i.a. by creating a constructive environment in relations between the regional powers. We once again call our colleagues to engage in collective international interaction in order to ensure region-wide de-escalation, i.a. based on relevant UNSC resolution 598. In this regard, we would like to draw attention to the renewed Russian concept for collective security in the Persian Gulf, which we recently circulated in the Security Council and the General Assembly.
I thank you.