Author Archives: Mohammed Al-Zuhairi


New York, 17 September 2019

Today we remember my predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, and pay tribute to his life and his supreme sacrifice.

Around the world, Dag Hammarskjöld is rightly revered for his achievements, his dedication and his values.

He shaped the United Nations into an active force in making and keeping peace. He skillfully created and seized opportunities.

He bravely put himself forward for the most difficult challenges.

And he died while he was deeply involved in peace negotiations in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dag Hammarskjöld gave his life for peace.

Today, we recognize this as the ultimate act of courage.

In a few weeks, the General Assembly will consider a report by Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman, who I appointed in 2017 to examine the circumstances of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death.

I reiterate my personal commitment and recall our shared responsibility to pursue the truth, for Dag Hammarskjöld and those who died with him, their loved ones, the United Nations and the people we serve.

I look forward to engaging with Member States on this.

One of Dag Hammarskjöld’s most important qualities was his ability to take a step back – and to project his vision into the future.

Sixty years ago, he spoke of the world becoming one world, in which the weakness of one was the weakness of all. He spoke of the imperative of global solidarity.

I believe he gained such insight through his deep immersion in culture of all kinds.

Dag Hammarskjöld’s writings are full of a spirit of curiosity and wonder. He sought first to understand, not to judge.

He embodied the values of tolerance, dialogue and mutual respect.

And he always put people first – passionately believing in their common dreams and goals.

As we look forward to the new session of the General Assembly, we pay tribute to Dag Hammarskjöld’s efforts to fulfil the pledge of the United Nations Charter.

We remember his extraordinary contribution and we resolve to build on his achievements.

Thank you.

Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) Joint Press Statement The Sixth Joint RCC Meeting

Hudaydah 09 September 2019

Members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) held their sixth joint meeting on 8 and 9 September 2019 onboard the UN-flagged vessel in the open waters off Hudaydah.

Reaffirming their commitment to the Hudaydah Agreement and previous understandings, the RCC activated the Ceasefire Enhancement and De-escalation Mechanism that was agreed upon at the last RCC meeting held in July. On this basis, a Joint Operations Centre is being established and activated in the UNMHA facility. The Centre includes Liaison and Coordination Officers from both parties, in addition to UNMHA Liaison and Coordination Officers.

The Joint Operations Centre will work on de-escalation and address incidents that occur in the field by maintaining direct communication with field liaison officers deployed on the fronts of Hudaydah governorate.

RCC members decided to deploy monitoring teams in four locations on the frontlines of Hudaydah as an initial step aimed to sustain the ceasefire and reduce the suffering of and casualties among civilians.

RCC members addressed the technical and practical aspects of the Special Envoy’s proposal on the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement and its phases, and will present their proposals at a later stage.

البيان الصحفي المشترك الإجتماع المُشترك السادس للجنة تنسيق إعادة الإنتشار

الحُديدة – 9 أيلول/ سبتمبر 2019 : عقد أعضاء لجنة تنسيق إعادة الانتشار (RCC) اجتماعهم المُشترك السادس في الفترة من 8 إلى 9 أيلول/سبتمبر على متن سفينة الأمم المتحدة  في المياه المفتوحة قبالة الحُديدة.

وتأكيدًا لالتزامهم باتفاقية الحُديدة وللتفاهمات السابقة، قامت لجنة تنسيق إعادة الإنتشار بتفعيل آلية التهدئة وتعزيز وقف إطلاق النار التي تم الاتفاق عليها في الاجتماع السابق للجنة خلال شهر يوليو الماضي؛وبناءاً عليه تم إنشاء وتشغيل مركز العمليات المشتركة في مقر البعثة في الحُديدة يضم ضباط أرتباط وتنسيق من الطرفين بالإضافة الى ضباط أرتباط وتنسيق من بعثة الأمم المتحدة .

سيعمل مركز العمليات المُشتركة على الحد من التصعيد ومعالجة الحوادث في الميدان من خلال الاتصال المباشر مع ضباط الأرتباط الميدانيين المنتشرين على جبهات محافظة الحُديدة .

كما قرر أعضاء اللجنة نشر فرق مراقبة في أربعة مواقع على الخطوط الأمامية لمدينة الحُديدة كخطوة أولى من اجل تثبيت وقف إطلاق النار والحد من المعاناة والإصابات بين السكان المدنيين.

كما تناول أعضاء اللجنة الجوانب التقنية والعملية من اقتراح المبعوث الأممي الخاص الى اليمن بشأن تنفيذ اتفاق الحُديدة و مراحله وسيُقدمون مقترحاتهم إزاءها لاحقاً.

Note to Correspondents on the upcoming RCC meeting on Hudaydah Agreement, Yemen

Hudaydah, 8 September 2019 – United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA)

Members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement are holding their sixth joint meeting on 8 and 9 September 2019, aboard a UN vessel in open waters off Hudaydah.

Acting Chair of the RCC General Hany Nakhleh is facilitating discussions on technical steps and operational measures aimed to support progress in the implementation of the Hudaydah Agreement.

Part of the Stockholm Agreement reached in December 2018, the Hudaydah Agreement foresees a ceasefire and the redeployment of forces from the city and ports of Hudaydah, Ras-Issa and Al-Salif on the western coast of Yemen.


29 August 2019

The International Day against Nuclear Tests marks the closing, in 1991, of the nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, the largest in the former Soviet Union. More than 450 tests took place there, with impacts still being felt decades later.

But this observance also has a broader message. It commemorates all victims of nuclear tests, anywhere they have been conducted. Affected communities have yet to fully recover from the environmental, health and economic damage.

Honoring those victims requires bringing nuclear testing to a permanent end. Yet, an effective and legally-binding prohibition remains one of the longest unfulfilled goals of nuclear disarmament. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a central pillar of international efforts, but despite being widely supported – with 184 signatories and 168 ratifying States – it has not yet entered into force, more than 20 years after its adoption.

The legacy of nuclear testing is nothing but destruction. The CTBT is vital to ensuring there are no more victims; it is also essential to advancing nuclear disarmament.

On the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, I reiterate my call for all States that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the Treaty, especially those whose ratification is needed for the Treaty’s entry into force. In a world of rising tensions and divisions, our collective security depends on it.    

رسالة بمناسبة اليوم الدولي لمناهضة التجارب النووية


يصادف اليوم الدولي لمناهضة التجارب النووية إغلاق موقع التجارب النووية في سيميبالاتينسك، كازاخستان، في عام ١٩٩١، وهو الأكبر في الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق. وقد أُجريت هناك أكثر من 450 تجربة، لا تزال آثارها ملموسة بعد عقود من إجرائها.

ولكن هذا الاحتفال له أيضا رسالة أوسع نطاقا. ألا وهي إحياء ذكرى جميع ضحايا التجارب النووية، في أي مكان أجريت فيه. وقد خلفت تلك التجارب أضرارا بيئية وصحية واقتصادية لم تتعافَ منها تماما المجتمعات المحلية التي أصيبت بها.

إن تكريم هؤلاء الضحايا يتطلب الإنهاء الدائم للتجارب النووية. ومع ذلك، ما زال الحظر الفعال والملزم قانونا واحدا من أهداف نزع السلاح التي مرت عليها أطول فترة دون أن تتحقق. وتشكل معاهدة الحظر الشامل للتجارب النووية ركنا أساسيا من أركان الجهود الدولية، ولكن على الرغم مما تحظى به من تأييد واسع النطاق – حيث وقعت عليها 184 دولة وصدقت عليها 168 دولة – فإنها لم تدخل بعد حيز النفاذ، بعد مرور أكثر من 20 عاما على اعتمادها.

والدمار هو الشيء الوحيد الذي ورثناه من التجارب النووية. ومعاهدة الحظر الشامل للتجارب النووية لا بد منها لضمان عدم سقوط المزيد من الضحايا؛ وهي أساسية أيضا للمضي قدما بنزع السلاح النووي.

وفي اليوم الدولي لمناهضة التجارب النووية، أكرر دعوتي جميع الدول التي لم توقع وتصدق بعد على المعاهدة إلى أن تفعل ذلك، ولا سيما الدول التي يلزم تصديقها لبدء نفاذ المعاهدة. فذلك أمرٌ لا بد منه لأمننا الجماعي في عالم اليوم الذي تتزايد فيه التوترات والانقسامات

Humanitarian programmes in Yemen forced to shut due to lack of funding

Sana’a, 21 August 2019

Commitments made by donor countries at the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen have failed to materialize. At the event convened by the UN Secretary General in February 2019, the United Nations and humanitarian partners were promised USD 2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis. To date, less than half of this amount has been received.

“We are desperate for the funds that were promised,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “When money doesn’t come, people die.”

Of the 34 major UN humanitarian programmes in Yemen, only three are funded for the entire year. Several have been forced to close in recent weeks and many large-scale projects designed to help destitute, hungry families have been unable to start. A staggering 22 life-saving programmes will close in the next two months unless funding is received.

The UN was forced to suspend most of the country’s vaccination campaigns in May. Procurement of medicines has been stopped and thousands of health workers are no longer receiving financial support. Plans to construct 30 new nutrition centres have been shelved and 14 safe houses and four specialized mental health facilities for women have closed. A treatment plant that purifies the water used to irrigate agricultural fields shut in June.

Unless the funds promised at the pledging conference are received in coming weeks, food rations for 12 million people will be reduced and at least 2.5 million malnourished children will be cut-off from the services which keep them alive. 19 million people will lose access to health care including one million women who depend on the UN for reproductive health. Clean water programmes for five million people will shut at the end of October and tens of thousands of displaced families may find themselves homeless.

“This is the largest humanitarian operation in the world addressing the worst humanitarian crisis,” said Ms. Grande. “When we receive funding, we make a huge difference.”

“A number of donors have lived up to their promises and we are grateful to them. With these monies we’ve been able to double, and in some areas, triple the amount of assistance we’re providing. The impact when we do so is immediate. In half of the districts where people were facing famine, conditions have improved to the point where families are no longer at risk of starvation,” said Ms. Grande.

“Millions of people in Yemen, who through no fault of their own are the victims of this conflict, depend on us to survive,” said Ms. Grande. “All of us are ashamed by the situation. It’s heart-breaking to look a family in the eye and say we have no money to help.”

Shara’a Al Siteen, Opposite Awqaf Housing Complex, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen
P.O.Box: 551, Telephone: (+967- 1) 448 605/6 – Fax: (+967-1) 448 841


20 August 2019

Thank you very much, Madam President, thank you for this opportunity

Madam President,

One month ago, I stated to this Council that we are facing a crucial moment in the destination of this conflict in Yemen and events since then, have made this moment even more crucial. As we have seen in Aden and Abyan, questions regarding Yemen’s future are being posed more forcefully than before. The fragmentation of Yemen is becoming a stronger and more pressing threat This of course makes our efforts in the Yemeni peace process more urgent than ever. There is no time to lose. The stakes are becoming too high for the future of Yemen, the Yemeni people and indeed the wider region.

I remember vividly one senior Yemeni leader saying to me some months ago, and I quote: “What we want, he said – all that we want – is the return of civility in our lives. To return Yemen to the social fabric that has nurtured its people for centuries.” He was right. The immediate tragedy of death, injury, disease and hunger happens within a context of the destruction of the state and of society. A civil war is a curse upon its people. The conflict is fought out in the streets and in the countryside where live the civilians. Their lives are changed, damaged, destroyed and this is sometimes so for a generation as the time needed for that rekindling of community, so central to a living country is no small thing.

Madam President, Yemen cannot wait. 

Since the last briefing, I have had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Yemeni parties and the international community and they continued to assure me, the parties continued to assure me of their strong desire for a political solution. I believe that they and the international community also share my sense of urgency to move forward with the discussions on a solution to end the conflict and resume the political transition.

This sense of urgency is in painful contrast to our efforts so far to resolve the conflict. Every single step that we have discussed in this chamber, these many months, has been fought over, negotiated, stressed and delayed. Nothing comes easily in Yemen. For example, when I started this assignment, in the early months of last year, I was given clear assurances that the opening of Sana’a airport was imminent. We are still waiting. Even the mercy flights painfully negotiated over many months by my colleague, Lise Grande and the World Health Organization have yet to begin. And the Stockholm Agreement, a confidence building measure with a simple humanitarian purpose, has demonstrated how vulnerable such agreements are when commitment to a peaceful solution wavers. The list of frustrations is long, and it must not grow longer.

Madam President,

Before I turn to the situation on the frontlines and in Aden, I would like to provide a few updates on the implementation of the Stockholm agreement and other developments in Yemen.

The core of that agreement on Hudaydah is the governorate-wide ceasefire and the humanitarian imperative of maintaining the flow of life-saving assistance through those three ports. And to this day, eight months later, there have been no major military operations in Hudaydah city, or in the surrounding area, and there has been a sustained reduction in violence, as we have often observed in this Council. Aid continues to move through the ports, and this is by itself a major achievement which continues to benefit the civilian population in Hudaydah first, but also those elsewhere in Yemen who rely on that humanitarian pipeline.

Implementing the remaining parts of the Hudaydah agreement will be an important step on the way towards resuming that political process to which I have just referred, and I am encouraged about the ongoing communication with both parties and their commitment to an enhanced ceasefire mechanism under the leadership of UNMHA, which has recently been discussed in that committee under the auspices of UNMHA, the RCC. And together with my colleagues in that mission, we are continuing our efforts to drive the process for the redeployment of forces and the establishment in their operation of a tripartite monitoring mechanism.

Since the last briefing, we have presented a proposal to the parties to make further progress on implementing the first phase of the Hudaydah agreement. I expect a final, official response from both by the 25th of August, and I am confident that will be forthcoming. And it is clear from my discussions with the parties that they are considering the proposal very carefully.

I’d like to add, Madam President, the Hudaydah agreement was only ever intended to be a temporary measure to avert further conflict, a humanitarian stop gap. It was not designed, and some might think, to set a precedent for addressing the underlying issues of the conflict, the most essential of which of course, is the issue of sovereignty. Now following many months of negotiations, both parties are fully aware of what the other is able to accept and I hope based on that knowledge, their responses to me by the beginning of next week will be constructive and practical on the way forward.

I am very encouraged that we now have an agreement as I think my colleague Ursula will also refer to, and I hope I’m not overlapping with her, on facilitating access for UN assessment mission scheduled to be deployed, I think on the 27th of August to assess the SAFER oil tanker, the dilapidated vessel near the port of Ras Issa with its cargo of oil. This assessment mission, under the auspices of UNOPS, is critical to mitigating the risk of severe environmental consequences, as we have discussed in this chamber, along the Yemeni Red Sea shore.

Negotiations on the implementation of the exchanges of prisoners and detainees are ongoing. It is a fundamentally humanitarian gesture for which numerous civil society groups, particularly women’s groups, have vocally advocated publicly and privately. The parties sat for several days in Stockholm, held detailed technical discussions here, where I am, Madam President, subsequently in Amman in the subsequent months. The slowness of these negotiations is prolonging the suffering of the prisoners and their families. And I believe that we should be able to address the concerns of both parties to the proposal that I have put on the table in front of them and to which I have referred to before. I hope that receives a positive response.

Now I am frustrated, like everyone, that progress on Hudaydah has not been quicker, that I am not able to announce more dramatic developments in that agreement, and that there has been no tangible implementation of the agreements on Taiz or in the exchanges of prisoners and detainees to which I have just referred.

The Stockholm agreement is a key milestone in Yemen’s peace process, and it would be of considerable benefit to the parties and the Yemeni people, where it to be fully implemented. But it is also clear that we must not allow the implementation of it to override our broader imperative to bring the conflict to an end.

And indeed again, Madam President, Yemen cannot wait.

Madam President,

Military operations have continued in several governorates, including Sana’a, Sa’ada, Taiz, Al-Jawf, Al-Bayda, Hajjah and Al-Dali’ governorates, as well as on Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia. And the continued impact of the military operations on civilians, as I’m sure we will hear from my colleague on civilians is horrifying, including the attack on a market in Sa’ada in late July. And I also of course, condemn the continued attacks by Ansar Allah targeting civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, including the recent extension of that targeting to civilian facilities in the eastern part of the country. Further threats to civilian life, further events of this kind, and acts of military provocation, only inevitably deepen the divide between the parties and increase the impact of this conflict beyond Yemen’s borders and postpone the attention that we all require to the efforts to bring a resolution to this conflict.

I turn now, Madam President, to events in Aden and Abyan. These events show us the complexity and volatility of the challenge that we face in achieving peace and the dangers should we not succeed. We cannot underestimate, we certainly cannot underestimate the risks that these events pose for the future of the country of Yemen.

On the 7th of August, following attacks in Aden a few days before, clashes broke out between Presidential Protection Brigades and forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council. Subsequently, the Southern Transitional Council took control of military camps and surrounded key state institutions in Aden by force. Last night, forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council also took further steps to increase their military control in the neighboring governorate of Abyan.

This violence has led to the deaths of dozens of civilians and injury to hundreds more. And I am alarmed by this violence, as I’m sure will be the members of this Council, and I condemn the unacceptable efforts by the Southern Transitional Council to take control of state institutions by force. I also deplore the harassment of Yemenis of northern origin in Aden which preceded these recent events, such as through physical violence, forced displacement and denial of freedom of movement, including the targeting of government officials and their supporters.

Simply stated, a continuation of this current situation is simply untenable. Functioning of state institutions will almost certainly break down further and daily life for the people will become even more difficult that it is already the case. There is indeed a grave and present risk of further damage to Yemen’s social fabric and the spread of violence to other southern governorates. And at this time, Madam President, it is frankly difficult to know where events will lead us.

I am grateful to all those member states, including members of this Council, who have called for restraint and dialogue. In particular, I welcome the efforts of the Coalition to restore calm and the efforts exerted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in particular to convene a dialogue in Jeddah to discuss the situation and resolve its difficulties. I believe it is essential that that meeting takes place in the very near future to prevent a further deterioration of the security and safety of Yemenis, of Yemen’s citizens in the south, and to ensure the continuity of governance, security and basic service provision in Aden and other relevant areas under the exclusive authority of the state.

Madam President,

In this context and with these events in mind, we must also be alive to the danger of a resurgent of the activities of violence extremist groups. This Council will recall that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, has taken control of the capitals of Abyan and Hadramout for significant periods of time in recent years. During the past month alone, we have seen attacks by Al-Qaeda and by the so-called Islamic State in Aden, Abyan and Al-Bayda governorates. And further fragmentation of the security in Aden and other areas made certainly, almost certainly will allow those activities to expand and gather momentum once again as we have seen before, with a terrible impact on the civilian population and prospects for future stability in this key strategic location.

Madam President,

The situation on the ground is changing with great speed. We need to seize any opportunities for progress. And the United Nations remains committed to inclusive dialogue to resolve differences and to address indeed the legitimate concerns of all Yemenis, including southern groups, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference.

As recent events remind us, long-term questions about Yemen’s future remain unresolved. I believe these can only resolved through peaceful political means. This is why I have always talked with numerous groups from the southern governorates as well as elsewhere in Yemen, and have long advocated for their inclusion in the peace process. There is a range of views to be taken into account in any dialogue on the future of Yemen, and we need all of its citizens to assist us in making sure that future is stable and secure. This is of vital importance for the efforts to end the conflict and to ensure the resumption under the political transition that is been interrupted by these recent years.

Now, I hope that all Yemeni stakeholders, from all parts of the country, take events in Aden as a clear sign that the current conflict must be brought to an end – swiftly and peacefully, and in a manner, which addresses the needs of Yemenis across the country. The implementation of the Stockholm agreement is politically significant and has had tangible benefit on the ground. But surely that cannot be a precondition for achieving peace in all of Yemen. Every additional day of this conflict adds to the total of the tragedy and the misery, and no country, no country can tolerate these stresses, and the stresses of internal conflict indefinitely.

And finally, Madam President, Yemen cannot wait.

Thank you very much.


New York, 19 August 2019

Dear colleagues and friends,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we have gathered here not only to honour the victims of the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, but also to remember and recognize all those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of the United Nations, working for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Sixteen years ago, on this day, the worst terrorist attack the United Nations has ever experienced took the lives of twenty-two of our dear colleagues.

Across the years since, so many others have perished in the line of duty, on the frontlines of crisis and in epicentres of dire need.

Civilians, troops, police; women and men of all backgrounds and countries.

[minute of silence]

I would like us now to observe a minute of silence in their honour.

Thank you.

These losses have seared our awareness as members of a close-knit United Nations family.

They have also brought important lessons.

We are changing the way we operate around the world, with strengthened safety and security measures, preparedness training programmes, integrated rapid response, increased counselling and mental health support.

We are doing more to address the needs of surviving staff, as well as families of the victims in their long journey of healing.

This year’s observance highlights women humanitarians. Their presence makes our efforts more effective, from addressing health epidemics to providing support to victims of gender-based violence. Thanks to their efforts millions of people have found protection from conflict and had hope itself rekindled.


Losing so many of our fellow staff members and personnel all over the world is a terrible blow to our mission.

At the same time, I know that you never lose faith in the role of the United Nations, and that we all, each in our own way, remain determined to fulfil our responsibility to work for peace, development and human rights.

Those who attack the United Nations want to make us afraid, feel weak, and to retreat.

Those we honour today inspire us to be bold and determined to go forward.

We cherish the memory of these courageous and dedicated humanitarians.

Their legacy is lasting and ever present in the families and colleagues they leave behind. It lives on in our commitment to save people from misery and death and in our determination to create a better future for all.

Today, we also extend our condolences and sympathies to the family members who have lost loved ones this year.

Thank you.

Humanitarians in Yemen reaffirm that the only solution to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world is to end the conflict

Sana’a, 19 August 2019

Humanitarians across Yemen are renewing their call to end the conflict in Yemen on World Humanitarian Day.

“Every humanitarian working in Yemen knows that the only solution to this senseless, terrible tragedy is to end the conflict,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen. “This is why we are using World Humanitarian Day to ask everyone to lay down their weapons, work towards peace and give humanitarians immediate, unimpeded and safe access to the people who need our assistance.”

“19 August is the day the world pays tribute to humanitarian workers,” said Ms. Grande.

“Across Yemen, humanitarian workers are doing everything we can to help people survive a war that has gone on too long, claimed too many lives and damaged too many homes, schools, hospitals, farms and businesses across the country.”

“Even though we work in one of the most difficult environments in the world, humanitarians are reaching millions of people who would not survive without us,” said Ms. Grande. “Every month nearly 12.5 million people receive life-saving aid.”

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 per cent of the total population, 24.1 million people, requires some form of humanitarian assistance and protection.

The 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) requires US$4.2 billion to assist more than 20 million Yemenis, including 10 million people, who rely entirely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs each month. As of today, the operation is only 34 per cent funded. Humanitarian agencies are appealing to donors who promised to fund the operation to provide support as quickly as possible.