Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Yemen
We thank our today’s briefers.
The current situation in Yemen gives reason for some reserved optimism. We note the progress in resolving the protracted military and political crisis that the Yemeni sides achieved with the help of the United Nations and regional forces. Speaking of military aspects, the situation remains rather calm. The fact that there are no large-scale hostilities (even in the absence of an effective truce) demonstrates that the protagonists in Yemen are committed to searching for acceptable solutions for termination of the conflict and transition to a full-fledged political dialogue. Another positive indicator was the massive exchange of PoWs and detainees last month that released approximately 900 people on both sides. Overall stabilization in the region is conducive to creating proper environment for the settlement.
This process must not stall. The leaders in Yemen should take more active steps towards compromise solutions, because it will be hard to achieve peace unless the sides are ready to make reciprocal concessions. In this connection, we welcome the continuing mediator efforts of the regional powers, including Saudi Arabia and Oman. They have brought the sides in Yemen closer to resolving a number of important military and political issues that will make the cessation of hostilities last and mitigate the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Russia continues to take part in the international mediation for Yemen by maintaining contacts with all its leading political forces. We try our best to encourage a constructive approach on their part. The shared goal of the global community is to ensure comprehensive settlement rather than pursue own agendas, i.a. in the area of energy. First of all, we need to address numerous essential issues that prevent the Yemeni settlement and influence both Yemen and its neighboring states.
We support the efforts of Special Envoy Grundberg. We hope that his active shuttle diplomacy will help to ensure a sustainable and lasting ceasefire and unlock opportunities to launch a full-scale inclusive national dialogue under UN auspices. At some point, we will also have to think about updating the international legal basis for settlement to make it reflect the reality on the ground.
The protracted “quiet period” made life way easier for ordinary people, but the humanitarian situation remains dire. Basic necessity items, including food and medications, remain scarce in some areas of the country. Such goods must be provided to the people of Yemen on a non-discriminatory basis. We reiterate our support for the work of the UN Verification Mechanism in Yemen, the role of which is hard to overstate. We remain convinced that any restrictions of humanitarian deliveries, as well as barriers to the work of humanitarians are inadmissible.
In conclusion, we remind of Security Council resolution 598 and other initiatives aimed at regional stabilization, including the revitalized Russian collective security concept.