May I start by commending the Special Envoy for your efforts during your first month. Your engagement with a broad range of actors has laid an important foundation for a revived peace process. We are committed to helping you and to mobilising international support behind the UN-led approach.
I would also like to welcome the return of the Prime Minister and wider Cabinet to Yemen. The parties must now work together to secure the sustained presence of the Government of Yemen in the country. As you, Special Envoy, have previously stressed we need to see implementation of the Riyadh Agreement in order to support stability, services, and functional state institutions.
Ramesh your sobering words remind us today that – after six years of war – the people of Yemen are still suffering from the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crisis. The humanitarian response can only do so much for so long. As you emphasised, we need a political solution to end the war and we need initiatives to support the economy to reduce humanitarian need.
The picture painted by Maysaa today of the situation in Marib is bleak and your recommendations are far-reaching. It is galling to see the Houthi offensive on Marib continue, including their siege of Marib’s al-Abdiya district. Marib’s citizens witnessed an atrocity on 3 October when a Houthi missile attack on the densely populated Al-Rawda neighbourhood in Marib killed two children and injured 33 civilians. As a Council, we must now place greater pressure on the Houthis to end such appalling, indiscriminate attacks. Respect for International Humanitarian Law – including the protection of civilians and assisting civilians to move out of conflict zones – is imperative.
We also condemn in the strongest possible terms the incessant and unjustifiable Houthi cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia, including the drone attack on 8 October which left ten people wounded at a civilian airport in Jizan.
Finally, we wish to express our deep disappointment that the Human Rights Council failed to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen. Monitoring and accountability are essential in all conflict situations. We call on all parties to the conflict to respect human rights and to investigate allegations of violations where they arise.