Thank you President. And let me thank Special Envoy Grundberg and Ms Ghelani for their briefing today.
We are encouraged that most truce measures continue to hold since the lack of extension in October, and we call for an end to the disturbing pattern of terrorist attacks on international shipping from the Houthis.
The targeting of ships in the Southern ports of Al-Dabba and Qena poses a serious threat to peace and risks depriving millions of Yemenis from access to basic goods.
We call on the Houthis to take the peaceful route, by pursuing a negotiated, Yemeni-led political settlement under UN auspices.
The humanitarian crisis continues to suffer from interwoven challenges. The Independent Interagency Humanitarian Evaluation found that, despite its growing scale, much of the aid quality was “unacceptably low”.
The relative peace of the last eight months has not alleviated the impact of the preceding years of violent war. 17 million Yemenis remain exposed to an acute food insecurity crisis with many more projected to be affected in coming years.
This humanitarian crisis underlines the importance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, recently renewed until March. It has facilitated the import of over 60,000 metric tonnes of wheat into Yemen this month and will continue to be an important lifeline for Yemenis as we’ve heard again today from Ms Ghelani.
Internal displacement remains prevalent across Yemen. For those who do choose to return home, the risks of explosive remnants of war is real. The UK is supportive of ongoing demining initiatives, and urges the international community to unite behind this issue.
As we approach the start of the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the UK reiterates its commitment to working towards a future where all women and girls live free from the fear of violence. We call for an end to the Houthi-imposed Mahram restrictions that are directly curbing the freedoms of Yemeni women.
The only permanent resolution to all these issues is long-term peace. And as I said, this will require a negotiated, Yemeni-led political settlement under UN auspices.
The truce continues to represent the best opportunity for progress and for the sake of the Yemeni people, this opportunity must not be squandered.