Statement on the situation in Yemen and the Red Sea following the latest developments

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the situation in Yemen and the Red Sea (Maintenance of International Peace and Security)

Thank you President.

And thanks also to Assistant Secretary General Khiari for briefing us this afternoon. I have three simple messages to deliver today, following the developments overnight.

Firstly, we condemn Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which must immediately cease. This we made clear through the adoption of Resolution 2722 merely two days ago. Freedom of navigation and maritime security are critically important for Slovenia.

What is also clear is that any action to defend vessels from attacks must be undertaken in full compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law. This means that the principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality and precaution should be upheld at all times.

Secondly, the people of Yemen have suffered greatly through years of conflict, and they deserve sustainable peace. Since April 2022 they have benefitted from a truce which is broadly holding. It is regrettable that we have reached this point. Our sincere hope is that critical progress on UN-mediated peace talks can continue.

Thirdly, it is in no one’s interest to have a further dangerous escalation in the Middle East. We worry that these recent developments introduce a new dynamic to the region that has a potential to further complicate an already heated situation. We call for a de-escalation of tensions and urge restraint by the Houthis. We stand ready to engage on a comprehensive response to the crisis currently engulfing the region. A joint effort by a united Security Council is needed to avoid crashing into the abyss.

Thank you.

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