Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Yemen
We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Hans Grundberg and Director of OCHA Coordination Division Ramesh Rajasingham for the substantive briefings. We also closely followed the remarks by Ms. Ola Al-Aghbary.
Yemenis started year 2022 against the lack of any perceptible prospects for normalization. Armed action is intensifying, especially in the provinces of Marib and Shabwa, where hostilities become more violent and the number of casualties is growing. The most vulnerable categories are civilians, including the people staying in Yemeni cities, refugees and IDPs.
The humanitarian situation has been desperate for quite some time at the entire territory of Yemen, including areas controlled by the government and those controlled by “Ansar Allah”. We note the efforts of humanitarian agencies, first of all UN OCHA, and modest yet real progress in facilitating humanitarian access. However this time there is no area of the country that we can call safe or stable, i.a. in terms of access to food and medicines. In this regard, we remind all sides to the conflict that they have to ensure humanitarian access to all those who need it, lift restrictions on deliveries of food, medicines and other basic necessity items in all parts of the country. We are very concerned by the unstopping attacks on civil facilities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. We call to uphold the provisions of the international humanitarian law, promptly and completely reject all combat operations that devastate non-military infrastructure and cause casualties among the population.
Security Council members make similar assessments of this situation, which confirms the need to launch a full-fledged peace process in Yemen as soon as possible, with the UN playing the central role. We support H.Grundberg and look forward to him articulating concrete proposals and a “roadmap” for the settlement. On our part, we are convinced that peace initiatives can be a success only when the opinions of all elements of the Yemeni society, all confessions, political forces and regions of the country are duly accounted for. Marginalization only takes us farther from establishing peace. We hope that the Special Envoy will take this into account and proceed from the need to readdress the very basis of the settlement and adjust it to the objective reality on the ground. By all means, constructive contribution of regional states is very much needed.
The Yemeni conflict impacts the general situation in the region, including the problem of safety of navigation and the recent incident. In view of this fact, and the remaining mistrust among the key stakeholders, we remind of UNSC resolution 598 and other initiatives aimed at regional stabilization, including the Russian Collective Security Concept.