Yemen: de-escalation must remain our main priority [fr]
Statement by Mr Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 16 January 2020
I thank the Special Envoy, for whom I reiterate our full support, and the representative of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for their briefings.
The urgency of finding a political solution to the crisis remains and that necessity becomes more pressing each day. Efforts to de-escalate tensions in the region must remain everyone’s priority and continue to be pursued. Yemen must not be a source of regional tensions. In that regard, attacks on the territory of Saudi Arabia are at odds with those efforts. The Houthis must respect their commitment to refraining from carrying out such attacks.
In the south, the Riyadh agreement must be fully implemented as soon as possible. We again welcome the efforts of Saudi Arabia in that regard. A new Government, including representatives from the south, must now be formed as soon as possible.
The Al-Hudaydah Agreement must be fully implemented. We welcome the Council’s unanimous renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement. United Nations mediation efforts must remain at the heart of the political process and guide the various initiatives to achieve an inclusive political solution as soon as possible.
Given the humanitarian disaster, we must focus on two priorities. First, we must focus on the protection of civilians, including the protection of humanitarian and medical personnel and civilian infrastructure.
We condemn the attacks on the Al-Raqw market. The increase in the number of attacks against humanitarian personnel is extremely worrisome.
Secondly, comprehensive humanitarian access must be guaranteed. All parties to the conflict must allow humanitarian access. The restrictions imposed by the Houthis prevent millions of people from benefiting from humanitarian aid and must stop immediately. Respect for international humanitarian law is not negotiable and applies to everyone.
It is becoming more urgent by the day for the United Nations to obtain access to the FSO Safer oil tanker, which poses a serious threat to the environment.
France will remain fully committed to achieving peace in Yemen. The French authorities will continue to act in support of de-escalation in the region and a lasting solution to the conflict.