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Statement on the situation in Yemen

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the situation in the Middle East (Yemen)

Thank you very much Madam President and thanks also to our briefers today: Special Envoy Grundberg, Director Wosornu. I also congratulate Mr. Julien Harneis on his appointment as Regional Coordinator. As this is our first briefing on Yemen, I wish to extend Slovenia’s full support for the work of your respective offices. Also I want to welcome representatives of Yemen at today’s meeting.

Madam President, I will begin today by addressing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen – one of the world’s worst. This has been brought into sharp focus by the Humanitarian Needs Overview and Response Plan for 2024, published earlier this month.

As Director Wosornu has just informed us, Yemen remains one of the most food insecure countries following years of conflict, displacement and the increasing effects of climate change, leading to droughts and flooding. The impact of the country’s water scarcity on access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is alarming. And we are horrified that Yemeni children in particular are at daily risk of casualty from landmines and other unexploded ordnance.

All of this is compounded by a challenging humanitarian funding situation and precarious security environment for aid workers on the ground.  

I start by raising this issue today as, amidst broader regional conflagration, the suffering of the Yemeni people through nine long years of war should not be overlooked or forgotten. The Yemeni people must remain our primary incentive for finding a solution to this protracted conflict.

And for some time this solution had appeared within reach. We welcomed the encouraging update from the Special Envoy as announced in December that the parties had made a commitment to reaching a ceasefire and developing a UN roadmap.

It is disappointing but not unexpected that deteriorating situation across the region is affecting peace process in Yemen at the moment.

We fully back continuing UN efforts towards translating the truce into a nationwide ceasefire, respected by all parties. We recognise the need for an inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue and political settlement. And we stress the importance of underrepresented groups such as women and youth having a meaningful voice in this process.

Slovenia welcomes your efforts, Special Envoy, to continue to engage with all stakeholders, now needed more than ever, and we encourage those with influence over the parties to use it wisely and to foster constructive dialogue.

Madam President, last month we adopted Resolution 2722 condemning Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which have regrettably continued. I reiterate Slovenia’s call for these attacks to cease.

To conclude Madam President, we urge that long-overdue peace for the people of Yemen remain a top priority for all. We call for the Security Council to stay united in this endeavor. And we emphasize the need to prioritize diplomatic efforts first and foremost. Thank you.

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