Yemen : ending the conflict once and for all [fr]
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
== Translation from French ==
New York, 28 July 2020
I wish to thank Martin Griffiths, Mark Lowcock, Ms. Wafa`a Alsaidy and Raja Abdullah Ahmed Almasabi for their statements. It is essential that humanitarian actors and NGOs on the ground be in a position to voice their views about the situation before this Council.
It is becoming ever more urgent to find a political solution to put an end to the Yemeni conflict once and for all.
We reiterate once again our full support to the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy for their efforts to that end and call upon all parties, in particular the Yemeni parties, to endorse the draft agreement as proposed by Martin Griffiths.
We are encouraged by the maintenance of the ceasefire between the Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council. We reiterate the fact that there is a need to immediately and fully implement the Riyadh agreement. We welcome the role played by Saudi Arabia to that end. Only a nationwide ceasefire, in line with Resolution 2532 and the Secretary-General’s call, will enable us to effectively counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has been an escalation in attack against civilians, it is of grave concern. We cannot state this enough; all parties are duty bound to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law. The protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel as well as civilian infrastructure, needs to be a top priority.
Everything possible also needs to be done to ensure a safe and unhindered humanitarian access. That is vital in the light of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a context where the mortality rate of COVID-19 in Yemen is the highest in the world.
Turning to the Safer oil tanker, we regret the lack of progress since the meeting held in mid-July. We urge the Houthis to honor the commitments and to authorize UN access to the tanker without delay. An oil spill would have disastrous environmental, humanitarian and economic consequences for the entire region. Hence there is urgent need to act.
France will continue to support the UN efforts to seek to arrival at a political solution and bring peace and security to Yemen and, more broadly, to bring about de-escalation at the regional level.