Author Archives: Mohammed Al-Zuhairi


Sana’a International Airport, 5 June 2018

I am pleased to have visited Sana’a again. I had very productive meetings with senior leaders of Ansarallah and the General People’s Congress on my vision for the peace process which I will discuss with the Security Council later this month. I am encouraged by the reactions I received during this trip and during my meetings with the Government of Yemen and regional players over the last few weeks.

I am determined to advance the peace process because every day that goes by innocent Yemenis die. There are many urgent issues in Yemen that must be addressed, including the humanitarian situation and the continued closure of Sana’a airport to commercial flights. I urge the parties to work towards opening the airport to commercial traffic.

I have heard from many experts of their grave anxiety about an attack on Hodaidah and the significant and avoidable humanitarian consequences that would ensue. I am also concerned about the impact of such an attack on the political process.

We are working hard to get moving on the political process and aim to restart negotiations in the near future. In this regard I urge the Yemeni parties to create a conducive environment to restart the political process and de-escalate violence. I will discuss this with the security council when I brief them in two weeks.

UN Migration Agency Completes Movement of 233 Ethiopian Migrants Out of Yemen

5 June 2018
Themes: Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, Humanitarian Emergencies


Hudaydah – An IOM chartered sea vessel arrived early this morning (05/06) in Djibouti carrying 132 Ethiopian migrants bringing the total migrants evacuated since last week to 233.  The IOM vessel departed the port city of Hudaydah which has been experiencing violent clashes over the past week, making the logisitics of the movements extremely difficult. The IOM vessel was held for inspection by the parties controlling the sea movements for several hours.

IOM in Djibouti is currently receiving the migrants at the IOM reception centre and providing humanitarian assistance, medical support as well as looking at options for onward transportation to Ethiopia. IOM is working closely with both Ethiopian and Djibouti Governments to provide maximum support to the migrants.

The boat left with 132 passengers, 86 Ethiopian males, eight boys, 36 female and two girls. The majority of the migrants were held in a Sana’a holding facility, while some had been staying with host families supported by IOM.

Migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia attempt to travel through Yemen to reach the Gulf, in particular the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both while travelling to and in Yemen, migrants are abused by smugglers and other criminals, including physical and sexual abuse, torture for ransom, arbitrary detention for long periods of time, forced labour and even death. Some migrants get caught up in the conflict, sustaining injuries or dying from shelling, and some are taken to detention centres, both official and unofficial.

Through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, IOM is providing transportation and return support from Yemen to the migrants’ final destinations in their home countries. In Yemen, IOM provides additional humanitarian assistance to migrants, including health care, shelter and aid items and psychosocial support, while also supporting displaced and conflict affected Yemenis. In Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, IOM also provides emergency support to migrants starting out their journeys, while in transit and when returning.

This return movement from Yemen is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Government of Germany and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fund.

For more information, please contact Saba Malme in IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, 


Mekunu intensifies in Arabian Sea

23 May 2018 – WMO

Very severe Cyclonic Storm Mekunu has formed in the Arabian Sea and is intensifiying on a path towards Oman and Yemen, It follows less than a week after cyclone Sagar,  which caused flash floods and casualties in Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti. Meteorological services are issuing regular warnings in an effort to keep loss of life and property to a minimum.

WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre(RSMC) New Delhi, operated by the India Meteorological Department, forecasts that Mekunu will intensify further as it moves north-northwestwards. It is expected to cross the South Oman and Southeast Yemen coasts and make landfall near the port town of Salalah (Oman) on 26 May as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 150-160 kilometers per hour gusting to 180 km/h. This is the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale.

On 23 May, On 23 May, warnings in Yemen were upgraded to a maximum Red Alert.  Oman’s Directorate-General of Meteorology and its National Multi-Hazard Early Warning System is issuing regular updates about weather conditions and hazards at sea.

In addition to the high winds, the main hazards from Mekunu will be the heavy precipitation and flash flooding. Some forecasts predict that months worth of rain will fall in a matter of hours.

Above average Southwest Arabian sea surface temperatures of 29-31° Celsius are conducive to the development and intensification of tropical cyclones.

Cyclones striking the Arabian Peninsula are rare but not exceptional.

In May 2007, Super Cyclonic Storm Gunu killed 50 people and caused about US$4.2 billion in damage in Oman. It dropped as much as 610 mm of rain near the eastern coastline, causing flooding and heavy damage. In June 2010 Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phet moved across eastern Oman, causing floods, wrecking homes  and causing casualties.

Yemen was hit by extremely severe cyclonic storm Chapala (the equivalent of a category 4) in November 2015.  Thanks to evacuations ahead of the storm, the casualty toll was reported at just 8, but economic and structural damages were severe.  Extremely severe cyclonic storm Megh hit the Yemeni island of Socotra just days after Chapala.

Yemen is especially vulnerable to the impacts of Mekunu, which comes hard on the heels of Sagar.  Djibouti and northern Somalia bore the brunt of the impacts of Sagar, which destroyed homes and washed away property and livestock and reportedly claimed about 20 lives.

The Deputy Secretary-General — Remarks at Special Meeting of Economic and Social Council “Towards Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Societies through Participation of All”

New York, 23 May 2018

Your Excellency, Ambassador Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Excellencies and distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with you this morning.

Today’s meeting speaks to the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and I would like to thank Ambassador Chatardová for convening it.

The 2030 Agenda is an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people.

And it is an Agenda to be achieved with the people.

The success of our collective journey to 2030 will greatly depend on how we involve Government, parliaments, local authorities, indigenous peoples, civil society, the scientific and academic community and the private sector. It is therefore our collective responsibility.

In short, the transformation promised will only be achieved by engaging all actors right across society.

In February, I had the privilege of taking part in the preparatory sessions in Prague for today’s Special Meeting.

I left those discussions more convinced than ever as to the importance of participation, consultation and engagement in advancing our collective goals.

We heard how effective public participation can help inform better laws, policies and government programming; better fight corruption and better foster accountability.

We heard how open, inclusive and constructive engagement between sub-national authorities, businesses and civil society groups can give rise to solutions that otherwise would simply not be possible.

And we also heard how deliberative decision-making is an essential element in preserving social cohesion.

As intolerance, marginalization and xenophobia grow in some countries, we must redouble our efforts to engage and listen to the full spectrum of views in society.

The Prague meeting, and an honest assessment of our world today, also show that, often, we put barriers in place that hinder effective participation and we exclude people – especially the most vulnerable among us – from taking part in processes that affect their daily lives.

This must end.

Inclusive sustainable development, rooted in respect for and protection of human rights, is paramount.

It is the foundation for universal prosperity and well-being.

It is our best defence against violent conflict which so rapidly and dramatically erodes development gains.

As you conduct your discussions today, I encourage you to be mindful of five core areas that demand greater attention.

The first relates to the need to foster, in line with SDG 16, an enabling environment for participation – one that supports tolerance towards differing views and public participation in its many forms.

We need responsible leadership, legal frameworks that adhere to human rights standards and greater investment in transparent and accountable institutions.

The second relates to the participation of women.

Over the past year, in particular, we have seen women’s movements exert their influence as powerful agents of change.

We must go further and ensure that women and girls are centrally involved in all our efforts, especially at the country level, to realize the SDGs.

The third area relates to the contribution of young people.

In Prague and elsewhere, I have been able to hear from young people who are incredibly motivated about SDG implementation, who are impatient with those who impede change.

We cannot achieve the change we need at the speed and scale we need without their engagement, their ideas and their leadership.

The fourth area relates to viewing climate action not only as central to our achievement of Agenda 2030, but also as a catalyst of greater participation. Climate action can unlock vast potential economic growth in all regions and for all people. Investing in the green economy, resilience and technology can create jobs and improve disaster risk reduction for the most vulnerable.

The final area relates to processes around SDG implementation.

From the preparation of national implementation plans to reviews conducted in line with the High Level Political Forum, it is essential that these be open and inclusive, that they help expand learning and understanding around the SDGs and that they hear, very clearly, the views of the most vulnerable.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the 2030 Agenda needs the participation of all actors to ensure no one is left behind and that all can enjoy prosperity, dignity and opportunity in a world of peace.

Let us therefore join our efforts for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.

I wish you a very productive meeting.

Thank you.

The Secretary-General — Remarks at High-level Debate Marking 15th Anniversary of Adoption of United Nations Convention Against Corruption

New York, 23 May 2018


Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with all you to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

As Member States and partners, our common objectives include preventing violent conflict, building peace and security, protecting human rights and charting a path to sustainable development.

If we are to make progress towards these priorities we need a solid foundation of trust and accountability.

As the President of the General Assembly just said, Sustainable Development Goal 16 calls for reducing corruption and bribery, strengthening the recovery and return of stolen assets and developing effective, inclusive and transparent institutions.

This is a global appeal for fairness, a collective demand for justice.

This event today is a timely opportunity to reflect on how the international community can make good on these commitments.

Corruption affects developed and developing countries alike, and complicity knows no borders.

Those who can least afford corruption suffer the most.

It cripples economic development, stifles entrepreneurship and deters investment.

Society cannot function equitably and efficiently when public officials – from doctors to police, judges and politicians – enrich themselves rather than perform their duties with integrity.

Corruption robs funds from schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other vital services.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling, illicit financial flows and illegal trade in natural resources, weapons, drugs and cultural heritage are all made possible because of corruption.

It fuels conflict, and when a hard-won peace is achieved, corruption undermines recovery.

Corruption and impunity are corrosive, breeding frustration and fostering further corruption when people see no other way of achieving their goals.

A sense of desperation before the real and perceived lack of opportunities also fuels the large movements of people seeking better prospects.

And the lack of opportunities for young women and men, often exacerbated in corrupt societies, can feed into the cynical narratives of terrorists and violent extremists.

The answer is to root out and eradicate corruption at all levels and restore trust where it has been lost.

The role of the United Nations is crucial.

There are several ways the Organization can support Member States to combat corruption, from sharing good practices to supporting the capacity of national anti-corruption institutions.

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala is a case in point.


The UN Convention Against Corruption represents the fundamental recognition that corruption is neither an acceptable cost of doing business nor a necessary evil.

It is a serious crime, and simply unacceptable.

Since its adoption, the Convention has achieved near-global acceptance with 184 Parties.

For 15 years, it has served as an international framework for cooperation to strengthen prevention and mitigate corruption risks.

It helps disrupt money laundering and stop the illicit outflow of funds.

It contributes to the return of stolen proceeds from foreign banks.

And it enrols in civil society and the private sector as essential partners.

Full implementation is needed to put an end to the threat that corruption poses to development.

To achieve this, Member States have come together to review each other’s efforts.

Such responses are critical to provide fair opportunities and facilitate investment, tackle transnational organized crime, prevent the unfair influence of powerful interests on governance and safeguard civil and human rights.

Yet, we will not achieve a lasting impact without the full engagement and support of the business and financial communities.

And we need civil society, a free press, and young people, to continue doing their valuable work in bringing to light corrupt practices and holding individuals, businesses and governments to account.

Ladies and gentlemen,

On this 15th anniversary, I urge you to use the Convention as a platform to mobilize political and popular support for the fight against corruption.

It is the world’s most agile instrument in the hands of the international community to achieve our common goals of good governance, stability and prosperity.

African countries have taken a leading role in moving this agenda forward in the last AU Summit and with measures as for example through anti-money laundering efforts in Nigeria and Tunisia, which have seen funds returned.

If governments are serious about doing the best for their citizens, then pledges to promote integrity and clamp down on corruption must be more than campaign promises and words on paper.

Millions will go to the polls this year with corruption high on their agenda.

I make an urgent call to our global leadership to take a moral stand and install a culture of integrity from the top down.

It all begins with setting an example.

By tackling corruption, governments can show they mean business.

We must all do more.

The United Nations will continue to support Member States every step of the way, from helping to engage and empower citizens in this fight, to helping build and enhance institutions that can deliver on their promise.

Thank you.

Fighting the world’s largest cholera outbreak: oral cholera vaccination campaign begins in Yemen

WHO – Aden, 10 May 2018

The first-ever oral cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen was launched on 6 May and concludes on 15 May, just before the start of Ramadan. The campaign aims to prevent the resurgence of the world’s largest cholera outbreak. The volatile mix of conflict, a deteriorating economic situation, and little or no access to clean drinking-water and sanitation have resulted in more than one million suspected cholera cases since the outbreak began in April 2017.

A race against time

This campaign is part of a broader cholera integrated response plan, implemented by national health authorities, WHO and UNICEF. Outbreak response activities include surveillance and case detection, community engagement and awareness, enhancing laboratory testing capacity, improving water and sanitation, and training and deploying rapid response teams to affected areas.

This epidemic has affected the entire country, and the implementation of this oral cholera vaccination campaign, as part of the entire response to cholera, marks a milestone in the combined efforts of WHO and UNICEF, in partnership with the World Bank and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, through the generous support of our donors. “The ongoing conflict, lack of access to safe drinking-water, weak sewage systems due to lack of fuel for pumps and the collapsing health system is the perfect mix for a new explosion of cholera during Yemen’s rainy season, which is already in its beginning stages,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen.

“Hot” districts prioritized to prevent spread

On 24 April, UNICEF delivered the first batch of 455 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine from the Gavi-funded global stockpile, targeting people over the age of 1 year, including pregnant women. The Global Task Force for Cholera Control approved the request of more than 4.6 million doses of the vaccine from the global stockpile to target cholera hotspots across the country.

“This vaccination campaign comes at such a critical time. Children in Yemen were the worst hit by last year’s outbreak and remain the most vulnerable due to widespread malnutrition and deteriorating sanitation and hygiene,” said Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

Recent reports revealed that in the first 3 days of the campaign, more than 124 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were administered. This represents 35% of the estimated target population in the 4 districts where the campaign began. A fifth district, will be included in the coming days, bringing the total target population to 470 905 individuals. The campaign currently involves 11 fixed teams and 328 mobile teams.


For more information please contact:

Bismarck Swangin
Phone 00967 712 223 161

Christine Tiffany Cool
WHO Yemen
Phone 00967 739 888 959

Sadeq Al-Wesabi
WHO Yemen
Phone 00967 733 096 603

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

New York, 9 May 2018

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the recent and sharp escalation in the Yemen conflict, namely the Coalition airstrikes on 7 May that hit a Government building in the Tahrir district, a densely-populated area of Sana’a City, and the firing of ballistic missiles by the Houthis on 6 and 9 May toward different targets in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh. 


The Secretary-General reminds all parties to the conflict that they must uphold international humanitarian law, including taking steps to protect civilians. All potential violations of international humanitarian law should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for violations must be held accountable.


The Secretary-General appeals to the parties to refrain from further escalation as this adversely impacts the chances for peace. He reminds the parties that a negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.


Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Yemen

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the airstrikes on a wedding party in Hajjah and on civilian vehicles in Taizz, where at least 50 civilians, including children, were reportedly killed and scores of others injured.

The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed. 

The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law concerning the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure during armed conflicts. He calls for a prompt, effective and transparent investigation.  

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 23 April 2018

الأمين العام يدين مقتل عامل إغاثة دولي باليمن

تعز، اليمن


أدان الأمين العام أنطونيو غوتيريش مقتل عامل إغاثة تابع للجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر إثر هجوم نفذه مجهولون مسلحون، يوم أمس السبت، على سيارة تابعة للجنة الدولية في ضواحي تعز.


وفي بيان منسوب إلى المتحدث باسمه أعرب الأمين العام عن خالص تعازيه لأسرة الفقيد وأصدقائه وزملائه، كما أعرب عن تضامنه مع رئيس وموظفي اللجنة الدولية. 

وأكد غوتيريش ضرورة إلقاء القبض على المسؤولين عن هذا العمل ومحاكمتهم.

 كما شدد الأمين العام على أنه يتوجب على جميع أطراف النزاع حماية عمال الإغاثة الذين يقدمون المساعدات الإنسانية لأكثر من 22 مليون يمني بحاجة إلى تلك المساعدات.

UN chief condemns fatal shooting of International Red Cross staffer in Yemen

Much of Taiz, Yemen, has been destroyed by two years of fierce fighting.

The UN Secretary-General has condemned Sunday’s killing of a senior staff member working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen, who was attacked while travelling in a vehicle on the outskirts of Taiz.

22 April 2018

In a statement, the ICRC identified the victim as Lebanese national, Hanna Lahoud, who was in charge of the organization’s detention programme in Yemen.

“Mr. Lahoud was rushed to hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. The colleagues he was travelling with were unharmed in the incident,” said ICRC.

The UN chief said in a statement released through his Spokesperson, that those responsible for the attack must be “apprehended and prosecuted”.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the aid worker killed and expresses his solidarity with the President and staff of the ICRC,” added the statement.

Mr. Guterres also emphasized the need for all parties to Yemen’s bloody conflict – which has left 22 million in need of aid – to protect humanitarians providing lifesaving assistance.

ICRC’s Middle East Director, Robert Mardini, said: “We are all in shock. Hanna was a young man, full of life and was widely known and liked. Noting can justify Hanna’s murder and we are in deep mourning for our friend and colleague.”

Mr. Lahoud had worked for the ICRC – an independent global humanitarian organization that offers protection and support to all victims of violence – since 2010, in different field positions and at its headquarters in Geneva.