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 Mr. President and thank you also to the briefers of today: to the Special Envoy Grundberg, and Executive Director Wosorno, and I also welcome the Representative of Yemen in this Chamber.  

President, in this holy month of Ramadan we reiterate our full support to the work of the Special Envoy in attempts to secure a ceasefire and to resume a political process through a UN Roadmap in Yemen.

With trust between the parties running low against the backdrop of a tense regional dynamic, it is critical that the Security Council remains united around UN efforts to restore momentum in this process, and to encourage dialogue between all actors. A military escalation in Yemen must be avoided at all costs. 

The humanitarian situation – food insecurity and malnutrition in particular – remains alarming, particularly for women and children as confirmed by Director Wosorno today. We must not slow our efforts when there are still over 18 million people in Yemen who require humanitarian assistance in 2024. We are therefore concerned that WFP food distributions have not yet resumed in the north, and that access issues persist.  

President, as Malta I also want to recall that we meet during the CSW, and therefore it is incumbent upon me to reiterate our firm belief that a truly inclusive process is required to achieve peace in Yemen. This is why we support the “bottom-up” approach by the Special Envoy.

As with all conflicts, women have borne the brunt of the war in Yemen. And yet, they have displayed time and time again their relentless commitment to peace at the grassroots level – from mediating the restoration of water access, to negotiating the release of detainees.

The increasing exclusion of Yemeni women from public and political life, including restrictions on their freedom of movement, is unacceptable and harmful for peace process. We call on all parties to uphold women’s rights and to ensure their participation in all stages of all diplomatic efforts to find peace.

Finally President, allow me to address the situation in the Red Sea. We remain extremely worried that Houthi attacks have continued since our last briefing. We condemn the attacks last week on the vessel ‘True Confidence’ which tragically resulted in the loss of civilian lives.

These attacks must cease immediately, as stipulated in Resolution 2722, and the ‘Galaxy Leader’ vessel and crew must be released.

This disruption in the Red Sea has far-reaching implications, not only to the global economy or the political landscape. It is essential that critical goods such as food, energy supplies and humanitarian assistance can transit this vital maritime corridor. The environmental imperative is also clear. The threat posed by the sunken ‘Ruby Mar’ to the Red Sea marine ecosystem and the local Yemeni fishing industry is a cause for great concern.

On 19th February the European Union launched its own defensive Operation, ‘ASPIDES’, to assist in ongoing efforts to restore maritime security and freedom of navigation, in line with relevant international law and in line with the resolution 2722. The EU is playing its part, for the sake of the wider international community and the region.

Thank you.

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