Statement by Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at UNSC meeting on the situation in Yemen
We thank SESG M.Griffiths and USG M.Lowcock for the review of political and humanitarian situation in Yemen that they presented. We listened carefully to Ms. Wafa’a Aisaidy and Ms. Raja Almasabi – to the striking, even heartbreaking stories they shared about the life of ordinary Yemenis amidst conflict.
We support mediator efforts taken by M.Griffiths in the interests of resuming political dialogue on the way to conflict settlement. The global community is united in its understanding that a military approach is not a way out of Yemen’s problems. It is important that the Yemeni parties accept this logic as soon as possible and get down to elaborating confidence-building measures and ensuring comprehensive ceasefire. Thereby, interests of all groups of Yemeni society should be fully taken into account, and the final settlement should be an acceptable-by-all compromise. The very same framework can be applied to solving the problem of SAFIR tanker under UN assistance. We are convinced that M.Griffiths and M.Lowcock can help Yemenis develop a suitable formula.
We have to state with regret that implementation of Stockholm and Riyadh agreements is stalled. We welcome efforts that should reanimate them and promote comprehensive settlement. We call upon parties to the conflict to refrain from the use of force and to take steps that should de-escalate tension, facilitate UN efforts aimed at a ceasefire and political dialogue.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen causes our growing concern. It deteriorates on a daily basis. The conflict has inflicted irreparable damage on the country’s economy, social domain, and civil infrastructure that will take years to restore. Millions of Yemenis are starving, they are deprived of access to medical services and products, and urgently need one sort of assistance or another. Before these problems could be solved, COVID-19 surged the country, bringing the largest death toll from the pandemic in the world.
That is why humanitarian assistance to Yemen should be a priority of our work. In parallel to this, we should consolidate our settlement-oriented efforts, because without a settlement we will not be able to give a full-fledged humanitarian response.
In this regard, we point out the positive contribution of the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen that addressed ways to improve the dire humanitarian situation and render assistance to the Yemeni population. At the same time, we remind that humanitarian assistance should be unbiased.
Our position on Yemeni settlement remains consistent and unchanged. We will continue to assist M.Griffiths, UN mediation in Yemen, i.a. through our contacts with all political forces of the country and interested sides, both in our national capacity and as a P5 member.
We would like to emphasize that attempts to shift responsibility to other regional actors do not help to resolve the conflict in Yemen. Even more so – when those regional actors can play a positive role in terminating the conflict.
The basis for this is in place: resolution 598 that tasked the Secretary-General to develop security architecture in the region in collaboration with the regional States, as well as national initiatives, including the Russian collective security concept for the Persian Gulf region.