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The UK supports the UN’s efforts to secure an inclusive and sustainable peace in Yemen

Thank you, President and thank you to Special Envoy Grundberg and Director Wosornu for your briefings, sobering as they are.

I am going to focus on three points. 

First, the UK strongly condemns the Houthis’ arbitrary detention of United Nations personnel and staff who work for or previously worked for international and national non-governmental organisations and diplomatic missions. We extend our sympathy to them and their families at this very difficult time. We call on the Houthis to immediately and unconditionally release them. The safety and security of all humanitarian workers, UN personnel, and current and former diplomatic staff is vital.

Second, we share Director Worsornu’s concern at the dire humanitarian and economic situation in Yemen.

We know:  

  • 18.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance; over half of them are children.

  • 17.6 million people – over half the population – remain food insecure and 80% of the population live below the poverty line.

  • Only 50% of hospitals across the country are partially or fully functioning.

It is critical that the parties take steps to address this, including through facilitating unfettered access for aid workers to provide essential support to those in need. Additionally, we call on the parties involved to engage in dialogue, de-escalate and resolve the ongoing banking dispute as a matter of urgency, and safeguard the wellbeing of ordinary Yemenis. The UK has committed to spend over $175 million this year to help alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable; we urge the international community to scale up assistance.

Thirdly, we call on the Houthis to cease their illegal and unjustified attacks on maritime shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, including recent attacks on the M/V Tutor, the M/V Norderney and the MSC Tavvish. As a Council, we have been unequivocally clear, in our statements and in our adoption of Security Council Resolution 2722, that we condemn the Houthi attacks. These dangerous and reckless acts must end.

To conclude, President, we reiterate our unwavering support of the Special Envoy’s efforts to secure an inclusive and sustainable peace in Yemen. We continue to urge all parties to de-escalate tensions and preserve space for negotiations, under the UN roadmap.

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