Security Council welcomes Yemen breakthrough, but lasting peace remains a ‘daunting task’

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Security Council meeting on The situation in the Middle East.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Senior UN officials briefed the Security Council on the details of a UN-brokered ceasefire in Yemen on Friday in and around the key port city of Hudaydah, which is expected to restore a humanitarian lifeline to millions across the country, and kickstart imports of commercial goods.

Joining the Council via a live videolink from Jordan, Martin Griffiths, UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, said that the talks, which concluded in Sweden on Thursday, saw the highest level of common ground ever established between the warring parties, during consultations to end the country’s brutal war.

Mr. Griffiths thanked the President of Yemen and the leader of the opposition Houthi delegation for their commitment to the consultations and expressed his hope that the commitments made in Sweden will be honoured. The UN, he said, has been asked to monitor the compliance of both sides to their ceasefire commitments.

The Special Envoy made clear that the agreement is a “humanitarian stop gap to save lives and turn the tide of war towards peace”, and that achieving the next steps towards peace will be a “daunting task.” Hudaydah, he said, is the “vital lifeline for the humanitarian programme upon which millions of Yemenis depend. The ghastly prospect of famine has made solving Hudaydah urgent and necessary.”

Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council on Yemen on 14 December 2018.

Yemenis facing ‘acute food insecurity’

Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, went into more detail on the dire humanitarian situation facing Yemenis, calling it a “terrible tragedy,” which is getting worse, with millions starving, sick and desperate.

Mr. Lowcock mentioned the recent publication of a report by a global partnership involving a number of UN Agencies, which confirms that much of the country’s population is living in a situation of “acute food insecurity”, with nearly a quarter of a million on the brink of starvation. Restrictions on humanitarian access, he added, are a serious and growing problem and the supply of food and essential goods must be protected.

The study makes clear that the ongoing war is the primary cause of the crisis, with the collapse of the economy also playing a major role. There has been some progress in this area, the relief chief added, with injections of foreign currency from Saudi Arabian and the United Arab Emirates stabilizing the exchange rate, financing imports of essential goods and enabling the payment of pensions and civil servant salaries.

Security Council welcomes outcome of talks, acknowledges ongoing crisis

In response to the briefings from the two UN officials, members of the Security Council welcomed the progress made in Sweden, whilst acknowledging the grave situation faced by the Yemeni people.

Friday, said Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, was “a good day for all of Yemen.” Praising the work of Martin Griffiths, she said that “this is what the UN is for. The Council’s united support has helped Martin and the UN get to this point.” Mark Lowcock’s briefing was a “sobering reminder of the human consequences that are still at stake and of how many starving, sick and desperate people remain in the most vulnerable of situations,” she added.

Representing the United States, Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the breakthrough had come at a time of year which, for many people, is a season of hope: “we see a light in the darkness, and we hope that our best instincts can triumph over our worst. The world’s worst humanitarian crisis demands more than hope from the Security Council that peace will come to Yemen.” The Council, said Ms. Haley, has the ability to change the reality: “human beings created this crisis, human beings can end it. Life and death are on the line. And we are not powerless.”

The Permanent Representative for China, Ma Zhaoxu, pointed out that the ceasefire in the Hudaydah region was achieved ahead of schedule, helping to prevent further deterioration of the Yemeni economy and humanitarian situation.  The talks, said Mr. Zhaoxu, have the potential to become a key turning point, and a fresh beginnin for a new political process that will help the Yemeni parties build mutual trust.

Russia’s representative, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, also expressed hope that the talks have ushered in a new phase, which could end the war, and that further efforts will lead to a full ceasefire in the country, helping millions of Yemenis who are in need of some form of assistance. “The Rubicon that we have neared, as a result of the process launched in Yemen, now needs to be crossed” said Ambassador Nebenzia. “It is incumbent on us all to lend assistance to the Special Envoy.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Our idea of what makes a company successful needs to change. And it starts with making waste expensive

Aid convoy for north-east Syria postponed over security concerns – UN relief chief

A brief history of cryptography and why it matters

How distorted is the EU labour market by this crisis?

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Does May have enough time in Parliament to table a soft Brexit deal?

Commission launches debate on more efficient decision-making in EU social policy

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Europe slammed by Turkey’s shaky Erdoğan; both playing with immigrants’ agony

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Here are 4 tips for governing by design in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Vote at 16 in Malta: next stop Europe

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

Companies that put employees first perform better

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

Brexit update: Will Theresa May’s last-minute desperate efforts procrastinate Brexit?

Council’s position on Visa Directive a step back for young people’s mobility

Tobacco is harming the planet, not just our health, says new study

ECB readies itself for extraordinary monetary measures defying Germany

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Water scarcity is a growing problem across the Middle East. Is this how we solve it?

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

Girls groomed for suicide missions fight back against the extremists of Lake Chad

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

Blockchain could boost global trade by $1 trillion

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity: Why consumer products must be looked at urgently”, by BEUC’s Deputy Director General

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

Cyclone Fani hits India, UN moves to protect vulnerable refugees in Bangladesh

As a rising global power, what is India’s vision for the world?

Young health workforce – a core of effective primary healthcare?

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

10 things you – and your government – should know about competitiveness in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

What we can learn from Asia’s courts of the future

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

South Africa’s cabinet is now 50% women for the first time ever

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

“Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” Finally a name and a number to answer Henry Kissinger’s question

Deeper reforms in Korea will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns deadly attack near Kabul airport

Estonia is making public transport free

Close to 7,000 evacuated from Syrian towns after enduring nearly 3-year siege

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

To keep track of the SDGs, we need a data revolution

Central American migrants must be protected, urge UN experts

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

Amid strong outlook for U.S. economy, risks abound

2 trillion drinks containers are made every year – so where do they go?

Precision medicine should be accessible to all

UN human rights chief regrets closure of Burundi office following Government pressure

How to help companies become global defenders of LGBTI rights

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s