Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at the UNSC meeting on Yemen
We thank Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock for the review of political and humanitarian situation in Yemen.
We are concerned that armed action is going on in various areas of Yemen and brings suffering to the civil population. The situation in the country continues to deteriorate and is universally recognized as the world’s direst humanitarian disaster. Humanitarian problems and challenges come to the forefront demanding urgent response of the international community.
Meanwhile, humanitarian assistance for Yemen encounters disruptions. We are concerned that a lack of financing impedes UN action for provision of basic assistance, including programs that focus on food security, access to water, medical services. Another reason for concern is the current situation with healthcare – the essential infrastructure is almost completely destroyed, medicines and equipment are very scarce. Besides, things are further aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Our country renders assistance to Yemen via corresponding UN agencies. We call on the donors, i.a. from the region, to enhance their support. We remind that humanitarian assistance must be unbiased, distributed on a non-discriminatory basis among the entire population in all parts of the country, regardless of who controls this or that territory.
Sides to the Yemeni conflict need to reject violence and embark on the path of political settlement of the existing disputes. There are no alternatives to problem-solving in the framework of intra-Yemeni dialogue. We note with regret that the sides still have not arrived at the signing of a “Joint Declaration”.
We support tireless efforts of Special Envoy Griffiths, who amidst current circumstances does not give up attempts to have the opposing sides negotiate cessation of hostilities, confidence-building measures, discuss urgent humanitarian, socio-economic and political issues. We welcome agreements on prisoner exchange and start of their implementation. We appreciate the role of the ICRC in this process. This fact proves that parties are capable of making agreements. We hope it will enhance mutual trust and facilitate comprehensive dialogue.
Progress also can be achieved on the situation around SAFIR tanker. We call on all involved stakeholders, including UNOPS, to account for each other’s interests and act constructively in order to achieve acceptable-for-all solutions.
For our part, we will continue contacts with all interested parties inside and outside Yemen, encouraging them to look for compromise in order to support the efforts of the United Nations and personally Martin Griffiths. We will act in support of UNMHA activity. We expect our colleagues in the Council and globally to stick to a similar course.
In conclusion, the situation in Yemen has a direct bearing on the situation in the Middle East, regions of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. In order to ensure region-wide de-escalation, we call the international community to constructive cooperation in the interests of peace and stability in the Middle East, i.a. on the basis of UNSC resolution 598. Russian Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf Region remains highly relevant as it envisages an inclusive collective approach to the problem-solving. We strongly oppose attempts to blame one single side for everything that happens in the region. Once again, we invite all the interested parties to start a comprehensive dialogue aimed at creating favorable environment for cooperation.