Yemen: a lasting ceasefire respected by all must be put in place 22 December 2015 [fr]
Security Council - Situation in Yemen – Speech by François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations – December 22, 2015
I thank the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Assistant Secretary-General Humanitarian Affairs for their briefings and their commitment.
For several months, Yemen has been plunged into a major humanitarian and political crisis. In that context, France welcomes the emerging progress. France also welcomes the holding of talk in Switzerland from 15 to 20 December and the ensuing progress, in particular the establishment of a military committee tasked with ensuring respect for the ceasefire and the establishment of humanitarian access to the city of Taiz. In that regard, we would be remiss not to acknowledge all the work undertaken by the Special Envoy in bringing the two parties together and leading them to the negotiating table. We also commend the parties’ commitment to putting an end to the hostilities. However, in the face of the continued fighting, we must recognize the long road that remains to be covered before lasting trust between the parties can be re-established. In that context, a lasting ceasefire respected by all must be put in place without delay.
The second round of negotiations, which will begin on 14 January, should make it possible to make progress towards a compromise agreeable to all the parties in order to pave the way for the establishment of an inclusive Government, promote national reconciliation and re-establish the rule of law. Such a compromise should also make it possible to relaunch a political transition process based on the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 2216 (2015), as well as on the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.
A political solution is all the more necessary given that the humanitarian and human rights situation is now more critical than ever. As the Council was just reminded, more than 80 per cent of the Yemeni population currently requires humanitarian assistance. Millions of people lack access to water, suffer from malnutrition and have no access to medical attention. We hope that the mechanism for delivering humanitarian assistance to the city of Taiz can be rapidly expanded to other cities in the country. Likewise, the human rights situation throughout the country is extremely troubling, if not to say tragic, as we just heard from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose presence here today I welcome.
The situation in Yemen is not just a regional threat but an international one. The growing strength on Yemini territory of the terrorist groups Al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula and Daesh has gone hand in hand with the disintegration of the Yemeni State. That development represents a threat to regional stability and to all countries, as we have seen. The exacerbation of that threat heightens the urgency of a political solution, which alone can address the root causes that are undermining Yemen.
France therefore takes the opportunity of this formal meeting of the Security Council to call on the parties to take all the necessary measures to ensure the success of the negotiations, as well as to urge regional partners to use their influence to support the efforts of the Special Envoy. It is incumbent upon all of us collectively to support the fragile process leading to an end of the crisis. In that regard, it is vital for the Security Council to play its full role. France will continue to spare no effort to work with its partners on the Council to that end.