Category Archives: Uncategorized

Good Practices and Lessons Learned: Solar Interventions under ERRY Project in Yemen

27 February 2019


The Enhanced Rural Resilience in Yemen Programme (ERRY) is a three-year programme funded by the European Union and implemented by four UN agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization (ILO),the World Food Programme (WFP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The overarching objective of the programme is to enhance the resilience and self-reliance of crisis-affected rural communities by supporting livelihoods stabilisation and recovery, local governance, and improving access to sustainable energy. The ERRY Programme has been implemented in four governorates: Abyan, Hajjah, Hodeidah, and Lahj.

As part of its contribution to the ERRY solar interventions, UNDP conducted this study with an aim to identify good practices in Yemen. Such results could bear great significance to the humanitarian and development agencies, resulting in reconsideration of policy and programme design aimed at increasing impact at the community-level. Furthermore, the development of an operational guideline will support agencies, the private sector,and communities to overcome operational bottlenecks.

WFP gains access to vital wheat stocks needed for Yemen’s hungry people

26 February 2019 – Sana’a, Yemen
The United Nations World Food Programme has hailed a breakthrough in its emergency operation in Yemen after managing to reach the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah for the first time in six months.

WFP has been appealing to Yemen’s warring sides for access to the mills which contain vital stocks of wheat. The facility lies close to a front line in the strategically located port city.

“Today’s visit to the Red Sea Mills is a crucial step forward but we need sustained access to the mills to begin the process of assessing the stock and moving the viable wheat to the Yemenis who desperately need it,” said WFP Country Director Stephen Anderson. “This visit was the product of long negotiations between both parties facilitated by the UN’s Redeployment Coordination Committee. I thank everyone involved for their commitment to and respect for WFP’s mission to feed Yemen’s hungry.”

At this stage, WFP is unable to confirm how much of the wheat at the mills is still fit for human consumption. WFP needs to carry out a full assessment of the stock before it can begin moving it out and distributing it to hungry people in Yemen.

WFP lost access to the Red Sea Mills when intense fighting broke out in Hodeidah city in early September 2018. At the time, the mills contained 51,000 metric tons or a quarter of the agency’s in-country stock – enough wheat to feed 3.7 million people for one month. Properly stored wheat can last in silos for over a year.

In recent months, WFP has been using other wheat stocks as well as importing grain by sea and overland from Oman to cover the food needs of the population. WFP is currently scaling up to reach 12 million severely food insecure people in Yemen.

WFP and other members of the humanitarian community are attending a major pledging conference in Geneva today to mobilise resources for the crisis in Yemen. Some 20 million people – 70 percent of the population – are struggling to meet their daily food needs. WFP requires US$1.5 billion to ensure uninterrupted food assistance in Yemen throughout 2019.

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Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on the high-level pledging conference for Yemen

26 February 2019
Yemen. A child at a displacement camp.

NEW YORK, 26 February 2019 – “I urge world leaders convening now for the pledging conference on Yemen to remember that the lives of Yemeni children depend on their support.

“Yemen is home to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and children are especially vulnerable. At least 11.3 million – 80 percent of all children in the country – need humanitarian assistance, while 1.8 million are acutely malnourished including nearly 360,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition. At least 2 million children are out of school and 8.1 million do not have access to safe water and sanitation services. Children continue to be killed or injured by the violence, recruited into armed groups or forced into child labour or early marriage.

“UNICEF requires US$542 million to continue funding and expand vital programmes that are keeping children alive. This funding will directly contribute to providing Yemeni children with the support and services they need most, including healthcare and vaccines against diseases like cholera and measles, therapeutic food and medicines for severely malnourished children, emergency cash transfers for families on the brink, and transportation allowances to help families bring their sick children to medical centres.

“UNICEF is deeply thankful for the support of our partners in helping us to reach children across Yemen in 2018. Yet sadly, the war continues and Yemen’s children still need us to be there on the ground, doing everything we can to get them through each day. Funds committed at the Geneva pledging conference have the power to save their lives.”

Donors pledge over $2.6 billion to ramp up humanitarian aid in Yemen

Geneva 26 February 2019

International donors today pledged US$2.62 billion to finance urgent and life-saving humanitarian aid to millions of people in Yemen in 2019. The pledges were announced in the Swiss city of Geneva during a high-level event convened by the United Nations and co-hosted by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden.

Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Fourteen million people are in acute need and another 10 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance or protection.

“The international community came together today to show support and solidarity with the people of Yemen. With your support, humanitarians across Yemen will reach even more women, men and children who are in such dire need,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said. “Echoing millions of suffering Yeminis, I urge the parties to continue negotiations and to choose the path to lasting peace. The UN and the wider international community are here to support you.”

Pledges were made by 40 countries and other donors to support humanitarian deliveries of food, nutrition, shelter, medicines, health services, protection and other essential relief in Yemen in 2019. The pledges, when committed, will help pay for the implementation of the UN-coordinated 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) which seeks $4.2 billion, and other humanitarian activities. Securing full funding for the YHRP remains a priority for the rest of the year.

“The time for peace has come,” said Simonetta Sommaruga, Vice President of the Federal Council of Switzerland, underlining Switzerland’s support to the UN peace process.

“The Stockholm Agreement is an important first step in that direction. Now, it’s crucial to build on the momentum it initiated,” said Ms. Sommaruga, calling on all the parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law. “The Stockholm Agreement concluded in December also has a strong humanitarian rationale and impact. It has to be implemented, and full and unimpeded humanitarian access granted, for assistance to reach the most vulnerable people throughout the entire country,” said Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In addition to the pledging event, the governments of Sweden and Switzerland hosted a panel discussion on the Challenges of Food Security and the Role of the Economy with opening remarks by Peter Eriksson, the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, and moderated by the Head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA), Manuel Bessler.

At a pledging event in April last year more than $2 billion were pledged for humanitarian action in Yemen. The payment of these pledges ensured that aid groups could scale-up delivery as needs kept growing throughout 2018.

The pledges made today are available online

For additional information:
Paola Ceresetti, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, +41 79 240 1918,
Kasper Andersson, Government of Sweden, +46 70-3482165,
Jens Laerke, United Nations OCHA, +41 79 472 9750


Geneva, 25 February 2019

Distinguished President of the Human Rights Council,

Madame High Commissioner, this is my first time before this Council in your new capacity. And I know your leadership will bring enormous added value to the advancement of human rights around the world.

Excellencies, Colleagues, Friends,

The Human Rights Council is the epicentre for international dialogue and cooperation on the protection of all human rights — civil, political, economic, social and cultural.

Every door you open helps promote opportunity.

Every right you secure is another brick in the building of a better world.

Your efforts underscore how human rights are of value in themselves and should never be instrumentalized, and that they are also essential to advancing peace and human dignity. To empower women and girls. To deepen development. And to spark hope.

The rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights belong to everyone, everywhere.

They are independent of nationality, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, belief or any other status.

In my inaugural speech as Secretary-General, I said that prevention must be a priority in everything we do.

Human rights are a template for this – building resilience and preventing crises.

Every measure to uphold human rights helps ease tensions, deliver sustainable development and sustain peace.

Our surge for diplomacy is also about promoting human rights.

If the ceasefire holds in Hudaydah, if the recent peace agreement takes root in the Central African Republic, if conflict ends in South Sudan – we will dramatically reduce human suffering and pave the way for a much needed justice for victims.

Of course, the primary responsibility to uphold and champion human rights rests with Member States – and I am encouraged by those who are leading the way, especially in these challengingtimes.

One of your key mechanisms is through the Universal Periodic Review, which brings to this Council the realities on the ground and collective commitments for progress.


I speak from experience.

I lived under the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal which oppressed not only its own citizens, but also the peoples of the African colonies.

And it was the human rights struggles and successes of others around the world that moved us to believe in change and to make that change happen.

Human rights inspire and drive progress.

And that truth is the animating spirit ofthis Council.

It is the DNA of our Organization’s founding Charter. And it is vital to addressing the ills of ourworld.

Excellencies, let us be clear. The human rights agenda is losing ground in many parts of the globe – but I am not losing hope.

Yes, we see troubling trends — but we also see powerful movements for human rights and social justice.

Youth, indigenous people, migrants and refugees are demanding their rights and making their voices heard.

Journalists are fearlessly getting their stories out.

Women are bravely standing up and saying “me too”.

The largest number of countries in history have now abolished the death penalty or no longer practice it.

More people are speaking out about the indispensability of cultural rights for protecting the diversity of beliefs and practices on our planet – recognizing these rights as an essential tool for preserving diversity and our common heritage.

And we are seeing greater recognition of the imperative to ensure rights for persons with disabilities.

We have proven the case that it is only possible to fight terrorism successfully when human rights are upheld.

Our own Human Rights Up Front initiative is becoming more systematic in the capacity to spot early signs of crises and improving how we respond to them.

One billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty in just a generation. More than two billion people have gained access to improved sanitation.

And more than 2.5 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water resources. The mortality rate for children under five has declined by almost 60 percent.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified international human rights instrument, and it is a rallying point for intensifying efforts to ensure we leave no child behind.

It is in this overall context of progress and concern that I want to focus on a few human rights challenges as I scan the global horizon.

The understanding that underpins these efforts reflect the indivisible and interdependent nature of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.


Let’s begin with those that hold up half the sky.

We can celebrate tremendous progress in the fight for women’s rights and gender equality in recent decades.

In every continent, women have been elected to lead and occupy key positions in governments.

Gender gaps in education are closing around the world.

Maternal mortality has dropped by nearly half.

And I am proud that for the first time in UN history we have already achieved parity in the Senior Management Group and among Resident Coordinators around the world.

But much remains to be done at the UN and around the world.

Untold women and girls still face insecurity, violence and other violations of their rights every day.

Doors of economic opportunity remain closed. Glass ceilings abound.

And let’s never forget gender equality is a question of power.

At present trends, it will take two centuries to close the gap in economic empowerment.

I do not accept a world that tells my granddaughters that economic equality can wait for their granddaughter’s granddaughters.

I know you agree: Our world cannot wait. Excellencies,

I am also deeply alarmed by the shrinking civic space in every region of the globe – and every corner of the internet.

Activists and journalists are being targeted by surveillance, misinformation campaigns and threats of violence that too often result in actual violence.

The immediacy and reach of online threats pose serious challenges to those who wish to speak up.

Big data and facial-recognition technology are being misused for undue surveillance and interference with free speech, causing a chilling effect and a shrinking space for dialogue.

And meanwhile, harassment and attacks are on the rise.

Over a thousand human rights defenders and journalists were killed in the last three years. In 2018, four environmental activists, mostly indigenous people, were killed everyweek.

We must do more to defend defenders and end reprisals against those who share their human rights stories.

And we must hold accountable those who commit such acts.

And we must not tolerate the outrageous near impunity for crimes against journalists and other media workers.

Respect for human rights is just a game of words if there is no respect for people.

We must also work to close the gaps in discriminatory laws and practices that target people – in the workplace, in accessing public services or in the community – simply because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sexcharacteristics.


We are also seeing a groundswell of xenophobia, racism and intolerance – including rising anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred.

Hate speech is a menace to democratic values, social stability and peace.

It spreads like wildfire through social media, the Internet, and conspiracy theories.

It is abetted by public discourse that stigmatizes women. minorities, migrants, refugees and any so-called “other”.

Indeed, hate is moving into the mainstream – in liberal democracies and authoritarian States alike.

Some major political parties and leaders are cutting and pasting ideas from the fringes into their own propaganda and electoral campaigns.

And parties once rightly considered pariahs are gaining influence over governments.

And with each broken norm, the pillars of humanity areweakened.

For our part, I have asked my Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to bring together a UN team to scale up our response to hate speech, define a system- wide strategyand present a global plan of action on a fast-track basis.

We have seen how the debate on human mobility, for example, has been poisoned with false narratives linking refugees and migrants to terrorism and scapegoating them for many of society’s ills.

An insidious campaign sought to drown the Global Compact on Migration in a flood of lies about the nature and scope of the Agreement.

That campaign failed. And it was particularly fitting that the first day of the conference to adopt the Convention coincided with the 70th anniversary of the General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This action was soon followed with the adoption of a Global Compact on Refugees.

We must re-establish the integrity of the international refugee protection regime and continue to work for common values and international cooperation to reassert rights and help protect people from ruthless traffickers, smugglers and otherpredators.

And in this anniversary year of the Geneva Conventions, let us all recommit to upholding international humanitarian law.


23 February 2019

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, stressed the importance for the parties in Yemen to immediately start implementing phase one of the redeployments in Hudayda. In an interview with Al-Arabiya’s Diplomatic Avenue, he mentioned that “the two parties sat down for two days with general Michael Lollesgaard and they agreed on these redeployments. We are still looking for that process to start. I have every confidence that this will start very soon.”

Griffiths stressed the importance of granting humanitarian access to the Red Sea Mills, which currently stores up to 51,000 metric tons of wheat, sufficient to feed 3.7 million Yemenis for a whole month.

The Special Envoy emphasized his confidence that the two parties demonstrate the political will necessary to turn agreements into facts on the ground, highlighting that there are signs of civilian life returning to Hudayda, in comparison to the situation before reaching the ceasefire.

On the Prisoner Exchange Agreement, Griffiths explained that there is a proposal being discussed with the parties to release a first batch of prisoners very soon, stressing that the commitment of the parties, as well as the Office of the Special Envoy and ICRC is to work on the release of all prisoners and detainees, based on the principle of “all for all”.

Griffiths mentioned that he is working towards reconvening the next round of consultations in the near future. “After we see that tangible progress on Hudayda, which shows that promises made at consultations lead to action…then I think we should not hesitate to go swiftly to the next round of consultations, and it should happen as soon as is practical at that point.”

Click here to watch the interview


22 February 2019

  1. The members of the Security Council reiterated their endorsement of the agreements reached by the Government of Yemen and the Houthis in December 2018 as set out in the Stockholm Agreement, circulated as S/2018/1134. They stressed the critical importance of the parties implementing those commitments without delay for the sake of the Yemeni people. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and the Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and called on all parties to continue to engage in good faith with them both.
  2. The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress made by the parties in the RCC meeting of 16-17 February 2019 on planning for the redeployment of forces as envisaged in the Hodeidah Agreement reached in Stockholm. They welcomed the agreement reached on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces from the ports of Saleef, Ras Issa and Hodeidah, as well as from critical parts of the city associated with humanitarian infrastructure. They called for the immediate implementation of Phase 1. They also welcomed agreement by the parties in principle to Phase 2 of the mutual redeployment of forces, and called on them to continue their constructive engagement with the Chair of the RCC and to redouble efforts during the next RCC meeting in the coming days to urgently finalise agreement on Phase 2.
  3. The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of urgent access to humanitarian facilities, including the Red Sea Mills, and welcomed the arrangements agreed by the parties in the RCC meeting on 16-17 February in that regard. They noted with concern the operational constraints being faced by humanitarian actors in Yemen, reiterated their grave concern about the continued deteriorationof the humanitarian situation across Yemen, with 80% of the population (24 million people) now in need of humanitarian assistance, and called on the parties to facilitate the rapid, safe and unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies and personnel into and across the country. They called on the international community to consider additional funding for the 2019 UN Humanitarian Response Plan.
  4. The Members of the Security Council expressed concern at continued reports of violations of the ceasefire. They called on the parties to seize this opportunity to move towards sustainable peace by exercising restraint, de-escalating tensions, honouring their commitment to the Stockholm Agreement and moving forward with its swift implementation. They recalled their request to the Secretary-General to report on non-compliance, by any party, with resolution 2451 (2018) and 2452 (2019) and noted their readiness to consider further measures against those obstructing implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of all parties to the conflict ensuring the protection of civilians, including those most vulnerable such as children, and further reiterated their call on all parties to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law, including to respect the principles of proportionality and distinction, and international human rights law.
  5. The members of the Security Council called on the parties to redouble efforts to finalise arrangements for the prisoner exchange agreement and for the establishment of the Taiz Joint Coordination Committee. They noted that both steps would represent significant confidence-building measures.
  6. The members of the Security Council welcomed the parties’ constructive engagement with the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) and underlined the need for UNMHA to be fully deployed and operational as swiftly as possible. They called on the parties to continue to ensure the security and safety of UNMHA personnel, and to facilitate the unhindered and expeditious movement into and within Yemen of UNMHA personnel, equipment, provisions and essential supplies.
  7. The members of the Security Council underlined the need to make progress towards a comprehensive political settlement to the conflict, as called for by relevant Security Council resolutions and presidential statements, as well as by the Gulf Co-operation Council initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. In this regard, they called on the parties to engage constructively with the Special Envoy in fulfilling their obligations agreed in Stockholm. Themembers of the Security Council also underlined the importance of the full participation of women and the meaningfulengagement of youth in the political process.
  8. The members of the Security Council reiterated their calls for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2216 (2015), resolution 2451 (2018) and resolution 2452 (2019), and compliance with their statements, and reiterated their intention to consider further measures, as necessary, to support implementation of all relevant resolutions. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.


19 February 2019

Mr. President,

Thank you very much, thank you for the opportunity provided to me to brief this Council.

Since I last talked to you, a few weeks ago, we have made some significant progress in the implementation of the agreements reached in Stockholm towards the latter part of last year. The parties have now confirmed to Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard and to me their agreement to the first phase of the Hudaydah redeployment plan. Naturally, I welcome the agreement that they have reached and the commitment it shows by the parties to implement the Stockholm agreement, and the promises made in that meeting in early December.

Under the leadership of Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, the parties have agreed to redeploy from the ports of Saleef and Ras Isa in a first step, followed by a redeployment from Hudaydah port itself and critical parts of the city of Hudaydah associated with humanitarian facilities in Step 2. This will facilitate humanitarian access to the Red Sea Mills, where as we know, a significant tonnage of grain is waiting to be distributed to the people of Yemen. I am grateful to both parties who have made concessions to allow this to happen. I call upon them immediately to start implementation of this agreement without further delays and to agree on the details of the second phase of redeployments in Hudaydah, which we hope will lead to the demilitarization of that city.

This agreement would not have been possible without the strong leadership of Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard. He has led these negotiations with patience and persistence. I personally am very grateful to him for these qualities.

It would not have been possible either without the strong commitments demonstrated by the parties. Despite deadlines being missed, the parties have constantly shown their commitment to implement the agreement and have consistently assured me of that commitment. I am under no illusion about the challenges that we face. But perhaps for one day at least, we can be heartened rather than dismayed by challenges and I am heartened by both parties recurrent reminders to me and to my colleagues, that this is a unique opportunity.

Mr. President,

Since I last briefed this Council, I have had the privilege of meeting three times with H.E President Hadi on a wide variety of issues of concern to him and of course to us. I am grateful for the flexibility he has shown and perhaps more importantly even, the guidance he has provided to me and my colleagues on negotiations on Hudaydah. The progress we announce today is a beneficiary of these exchanges. I rely upon him to continue to give me the benefit of his advice going forward.

I should also add that the numerous almost daily meetings that we have held with the Coalition have been and continue to be invaluable to show, to illuminate issues on the table and to allow us progress towards their resolution.

Mr. President,

There is a momentum on Yemen. The agreement reached in December of last year by the parties in Stockholm was described, I think reasonably, as a breakthrough. It was a major shift and it showed to the people of Yemen that something was indeed happening. There have as I reported before, been signs of increased civilian activity in Hudaydah and the people of the city are already at this very early stage seeing tangible benefit from the significant and consistent decrease in hostilities in that area as a result of the Stockholm agreement.

The agreement reached on Phase 1 is a sign that the parties are committed to keep up the momentum of which I speak. It demonstrates to me at least that the parties are able to deliver on their commitments to turn words into tangible progress on the ground. It reinforces trust, that essential commodity among the parties, and finally perhaps most importantly, it shows political will. With the beginning, possibly even today or tomorrow, of the implementation of that part of the Hudaydah Agreement, we now have the opportunity Mr. President, to move from the promise made in Sweden to hope now for Yemen. An agreement on redeployments is also important for the broader humanitarian effort in the country. As I am sure Mark will be describing to us in a minute, in the past few days, Mark and I together have already underlined the parties’ responsibility to give the World Food Programme access to those Red Sea Mills, and that grain tonnage which holds enough food to feed 3.7 million people for a month.

Mr. President,

In recent weeks and in order to make progress on agreements made in Sweden, I have paid many visits to Sana’a and to Hudaydah, meeting there each time with Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi and his colleagues in the Ansar Allah movement. I am glad to report to this Council that he has always engaged positively with me on all the discussions we had on Hudaydah, on the vital logistical issues necessary for the introduction of UN mission into Hudaydah, on the release of specific individuals and the general release of prisoners. I am grateful for his commitment to support all our efforts. I was only yesterday just in Sana’a and it is clear to me that the commitment from Ansar Allah towards the implementation of the Hudaydah agreement is indeed genuine and is indeed therefore most welcome.

Mr. President,

We have also been very busy these past weeks, in seeking agreement for the release and exchange of prisoners. You will remember perhaps that an agreement on this, on a mechanism to provide for such release and exchanges was in fact the first agreement between the parties and made before we went to Sweden last December. In recent weeks, we have held two substantial and substantive meetings here in Amman from which I speak between the parties. I am grateful to the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and indeed personally to H.E the Foreign Minister for allowing those meetings to take place.

With ICRC, the co-chair of the Supervisory Committee, we were able in these meetings and in discussions bilaterally with the parties to make progress towards what we hope will be the release of the first batch of prisoners. I should stress here that as was always the intention of that prisoners exchange agreement to which I referred, the parties, and their leaders as they have expressed directly to me on more than one occasion, seek the release of all prisoners on all sides, on both sides of this conflict. All for all as many of them remind us is the watchword for this process, and this remains our commitment, our responsibility as it is theirs. I would like to think that we are not far off from agreeing and realizing the release of a first batch and I am very grateful to both parties for their prompt support for this move. We still have some work to do before it can be finalized not least to ensure that it is clearly part of a larger process to provide for the release of those who remain in prison. I hope that the parties can push these particular efforts forward to reunite thousands of families and relieve the humanitarian burden on those who have indeed been detained in this conflict.

I hope you will allow me to express my gratitude to Peter Maurer, my good friend, and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross who took time out from his extraordinarily busy schedule to open one of those meetings in Amman, the most recent of the two. The involvement of his organisation guarantees the probity and professionalism of the process.

Mr. President,

Both parties have again reaffirmed to me their commitment to the Statement of Understanding on Taiz agreed in Stockholm. You remember I referred to this perhaps in my last briefing, how significant and almost iconic is the importance of Taiz in this conflict and how essential is it that we can improve freedom of access and movement of people in that area. I will focus all our efforts also on meaningful steps to make a difference. We need to agree on small steps now, not big steps later. No-one is suggesting that the process will be straightforward: Taiz is a  place which has witnessed some of the worst parts of the conflict. But we like to think that we have a good chance of seeing some tangible progress in the coming weeks.

Mr. President,

I have said before to this Council on more than one occasion I am afraid, that Hudaydah is the center of gravity of the conflict. And perhaps so it is. But in truth, our primary interest, and in that sense the real center of gravity of this conflict for us, has to be moving towards a political solution. The agreement about Phase 1 of redeployment in Hudaydah as confirmed today gives us permission I like to think to look ahead beyond agreements made in Stockholm. While we need tangible progress very clearly, before we may move forward, we can now perhaps imagine how we would begin to address those serious substantive difficulties. I believe indeed we have an obligation to focus our minds on finding that political solution. We need to start talking about the future. The beginning of a discussion on political and security arrangements would constitute in our view a major step forward and an important statement of intent from the parties that they are determined, together and with us and with your support to bring this conflict to a close.

Members of this Council will recall that the Stockholm agreement was only ever intended to be a preliminary step, a humanitarian step of great moment but not the end of the story. Indeed, the parties, civil society, women’s representatives, and the international community have repeatedly reminded me, as you did when we met last on this subject, that a comprehensive solution is the only way to put an end to this conflict. I note in particular the growing support of southern groups to our efforts and their clear desire for a peaceful settlement to the conflict and for their broader concerns regarding the future of the country.

We have therefore an overriding responsibility to build on momentum created in Stockholm towards resolving the conflict. I say this without I hope being naïve about the difficulties that we will face and continue to face in implementing promises and agreements. There will be setbacks, but we need to look beyond these to the horizon that is before us. Next week – as I am sure Mark will tell us – we will be reminded in Geneva of the financial needs of humanitarian programmes in Yemen, and their extraordinary dimensions and the courage of those colleagues who daily fulfill their responsibilities and obligations. This reminder in Geneva reminds us here I would like to suggest that the cost of the war, if our collective efforts fail Mr. President, will continue to rise steeply at the tragic expense of the people in Yemen.

Mr. President, Thank you very much 

Watch the video here 

Note to Correspondents– Meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee

17 February 2019

The members of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC)* met for their fourth joint meeting from 16 to 17 February in Hudaydah city. They made important progress on planning for the redeployment of forces as envisaged in the Hudaydah Agreement.

The Government of Yemen representatives again crossed the frontline in order to attend the meeting for which they should be commended. After lengthy but constructive discussions facilitated by the RCC Chair, the parties reached an agreement on Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces.

The parties also agreed, in principle, on Phase 2 of the mutual redeployment, pending additional consultations within their respective leadership. The next RCC is expected to convene within a week with the aim to finalize an agreement on Phase 2.



11 February 2019 – The urgency of United Nations access to the Red Sea Mills in Hodeida is growing by the day.

The World Food Programme (WFP) grain stored in the mills – enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month – has been inaccessible for over five months and is at risk of rotting. At the same time, the United Nations is in the process of scaling up to provide food assistance to nearly 12 million people across Yemen who struggle to meet their daily food needs. Our main concern is for their survival and well-being.

We are encouraged by recent engagement of all sides, working with the United Nations on the ground, to create the necessary conditions for the team to reach the mills without further delay. We acknowledge the confirmation from Ansar Allah of their commitment to implement the Hodeida Agreement. We appreciate their earlier efforts to re-open the road leading to the mills which have been carried out under difficult and dangerous circumstances.

We emphasize that ensuring access to the mills is a shared responsibility among the parties to the conflict in Yemen. With safe, unfettered and sustained access, the United Nations can make this urgently needed food available to people in need.