The members of the Security Council reiterated their endorsement of the agreements reached by the Government of Yemen and the Houthis in December 2018 on the city and governorate of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; an executive mechanism on the prisoner exchange agreement; and a statement of understanding on Taiz, as set out in the Stockholm Agreement, circulated as S/2018/1134. They stressed the critical importance of the parties fulfilling the commitments they made in Sweden, for the sake of the Yemeni people.
The members of the Security Council stressed the vital importance of making progress towards a political agreement to end the conflict and to relieve the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people. In this regard, they welcomed the fact that the ceasefire in Hodeidah remains in place and commended the parties’ continued political commitment to uphold the Stockholm Agreement.
The Members of the Security Council expressed concern at allegations of violations of the ceasefire. They strongly condemned actions that jeopardise the progress achieved by the parties in the Stockholm Agreement. They underlined that military escalation and hostilities could damage trust between the parties and risk undermining the prospects for peace. They recalled their request to the Secretary-General to report on non-compliance, by any party, with resolution 2451 (2018) and 2452 (2019).
The members of the Security Council 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 swift implementation. They welcomed, in this regard, the release of prisoners by both parties as an encouraging signal. As an immediate next step, the members of the Security Council called on the parties to work urgently with the UN Chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), and the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) in order to implement an agreed plan for the mutual redeployment of forces from the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa in compliance with their obligations and without further delays.
The members of the Security Council also called on the parties in their areas of control, in particular the Houthis controlling the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Isa, to ensure the security and safety of UNMHA personnel, and to facilitate the unhindered and expeditious movement into and within Yemen of personnel, equipment, provisions and essential supplies in accordance with resolution 2452 (2019), particularly those required to establish, commence and sustain full operations of UNMHA.
The members of the Security Council also called upon the parties to redouble their efforts to finalise arrangements for the prisoner exchange agreement and for theestablishment of the Taiz Joint Coordination Committee.
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 statements, as well as by the Gulf Co-operation Council initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. The members of the Security Council also underlined the importance of the full participation of women and the meaningful engagement of youth in the political process.
The members of the Security Council also reiterated the importance of all parties to the conflict ensuring the protection of civilians, and reiterated their call on all parties to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law, including to respect the principles of proportionality and distinction. They further reiterated their grave concern at the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation 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.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the tireless efforts of both the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and the RCC Chair and called on all parties to engage in good faith with the Special Envoy and RCC Chair. In this regard, the members of the Security Council asked the Special Envoy to continue to keep them closely informed of developments so that they may consider further action as necessary in support of a political settlement.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their calls for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions and statements, including resolution 2216 (2015), resolution 2451 (2018) and resolution 2452 (2019) 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.
تجتمع اللجنة الاشرافية المعنية بمتابعة تنفيذ اتفاق الأسرى في عمان غداً،5فبراير/شباط 2019. وتضم اللجنة ممثلين عن حكومة اليمن وعن أنصار الله، بالإضافة إلى مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى اليمن واللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر. ومن المقرر أيضاً ان يشارك كل من المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى اليمن، السيد مارتن غريفيث، ورئيس اللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر، السيد بيتر مورير، في جانب من اليوم الأول لاجتماعات اللجنة.
خلال هذه الجولة من الاجتماعات، ستقوم اللجنة الاشرافية المعنية بمتابعة تنفيذ اتفاق الأسرى بمراجعة الجولة الأخيرة من الملاحظات حول الافادات الواردة على قوائم الأسرى التي قدمها الطرفان في وقت سابق من يناير2019.
ومن الجدير بالذكر ان اتفاق تبادل الأسرى الذي تم توقيعه في ديسمبر 2018، هو أول اتفاق يتم التوصل إليه بين الطرفين منذ اندلاع الحرب في اليمن.
The Supervisory Committee on the implementation of the prisoner exchange agreement is scheduled to reconvene in Amman tomorrow, 5 February. The Committee includes representatives of the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah, and is co-chaired by the Office of the Special Envoy and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, are scheduled to take part in the first day of the committee’s meetings.
During this round of technical meetings, the Supervisory Committee will discuss the steps taken by the two parties to finalize the lists of prisoners to advance the implementation of the agreement.
It is worth noting that the prisoner exchange agreement, signed in December 2018, was the first agreement concluded between the two parties since the outbreak of the war in Yemen. The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of Yemen extends its appreciation to the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting this important meeting.
The third meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), chaired by General Cammaert, convened today on board a UN vessel berthed in the port of Hudaydah. Both the Government of Yemen and Houthi RCC representatives are present. General Cammaert opened the meeting by underlining the importance of respecting the ceasefire which came into effect on 18 December. He warned the parties about the fragility of the ceasefire and urged them to instruct their commanders on the ground to refrain from any further violations that would jeopardize the Stockholm Agreement and the broader peace process for Yemen. Both parties have reiterated their commitment to implementing the Hudaydah aspects of the Stockholm Agreement, and in particular, underscored their commitment to finding a solution that would open up the Hudaydah-Sana’a road to allow humanitarians access to the Red Sea Mills. Talks are cordial and constructive. They will continue tomorrow.
The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Michael Anker Lollesgaard of Denmark as the Chair of the RedeploymentCoordination Committee (RCC) and Head of the United Nations Mission in support of the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) as established in Security Council resolution 2452 (2019).
Lieutenant General Lollesgaard succeeds Major General (retired) Patrick Cammaert of the Netherlands, who led the advance team and has been serving as RCC Chair and Head of UNMHA, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 2451 (2018) and 2452 (2019). The Secretary-General is grateful for Major General Cammaert’s dedicated and exemplary service during this period.
Lieutenant General Lollesgaard brings to this position 30 years of national and international military experience. Military Representative of Denmark to NATO since March 2017, he previously served as Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (2015-2016). Lieutenant General Lollesgaard has had the distinction of training military brigades from multiple countries, with broad international experience serving as Assistant Military Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations in New York, deployments in peace support operations in the Balkans and Iraq, and commanding the multinational Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Bosnia-Herzegovina (2007-2009).
Lieutenant General Lollesgaard is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Royal Danish Defence College, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, concluded his visit to Riyadh, Sanaa and Hudayda.
In Sanaa, Griffiths met with Ansar Allah leader, Abdulmalik Al Houthi, in addition to senior political officials of Ansar Allah and representatives of the General People’s Congress party. The purpose of his visit was to discuss the rapid and effective implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. He also discussed the deployment of UN staff in support of the implementation of the Hodeidah agreement. The Special Envoy is encouraged by the responsiveness demonstrated by the leadership of Ansar Aallah in that regard. The Special Envoy also discussed the resumption of political consultations, stressing the importance of achieving substantial progress in implementing the Stockholm Agreement, as we move towards convening the next round of consultations. Griffiths also welcomed the positive engagement and commitment of Ansar Allah and the Saudi-led Coalition in the release of a Saudi-detainee, in need of urgent medical treatment, and seven Ansar Allah detainees.
In Hudayda, the Special Envoy met with General Patrick Cammaert and local officials, and stressed the importance of the rapid implementation of the Hudayda Agreement, in particular speedy redeployments according to an RCC plan. Griffiths expressed concern about recent hostilities in Yemen and called on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and de-escalate tensions, in Hudayda and in other parts of Yemen.
During his visit to Riyadh, Griffiths received assurances from President Hadi and the Saudi-led Coalition of their continued commitment to respect and fully implement the Stockholm Agreement. Griffths appreciated that the parties have demonstrated the necessary flexibility and good faith regarding the timelines for implementation and the technical challenges that need to be resolved on the ground. The parties also recognize the political and humanitarian importance of the full implementation of the Stockholm agreement. The Special Envoy reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to continue working with the parties to overcome any challenges in this regard.
Today we celebrate the first International Day of Education.
Education transforms lives. As United Nations Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai once said: “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Long before I served at the United Nations or held public office in my own country, I was a teacher. In the slums of Lisbon, I saw that education is an engine for poverty eradication and a force for peace.
Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals.
We need education to reduce inequalities and improve health.
We need education to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage.
We need education to protect our planet’s resources.
And we need education to fight hate speech, xenophobia and intolerance, and to nurture global citizenship.
Yet at least 262 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school, most of them girls. Millions more who attend school are not mastering the basics.
This is a violation of their human right to education. The world cannot afford a generation of children and young people who lack the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy, nor can we afford to leave behind half of humanity.
We must do far more to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Education can also break and reverse cycles of intergenerational poverty. Studies show that if all girls and boys complete secondary education, 420 million people could be lifted out of poverty.
Let us prioritize education as a public good; support it with cooperation, partnerships and funding; and recognize that leaving no one behind starts with education.
Thousands of families in conflict-affected communities south of the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah in Yemen have received aid for the first time since last July, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel confirmed that Tuhayat and Darayhimi had been reached thanks to a partial ceasefire deal agreed at UN-led talks between Government forces and Houthi opposition militia in the west of the country:
“For the first time since the increase in fighting in Hudaydah in June 2018 WFP managed to assist hard-to-reach areas of Tuhayat and Darahimi,” he said. “This can be thanks to an inconsistent de-escalation over recent days following the December peace talks in Stockholm, Sweden.”
Aid was distributed from Hudaydah – a Houthi stronghold – and Aden, which is controlled by the internationally recognized Government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
“So far WFP has dispatched more than 3,334 metric tonnes of food assistance to these areas, and that is simultaneously from both Aden and Hudaydah,” the WFP spokesperson explained, adding that “8,125 households in Al Tuhayat have received enough assistance for two months and 2,662 families in Al Darayhimi, south of Hudaydah, have received food rations. Those are the first humanitarian shipments delivered since July 2018 when a WFP contracted truck was hit in the area.”
Last month, WFP scaled up the delivery of food and food vouchers to around nine million people in Yemen, up from seven to eight million in November.
The aim in coming weeks is to reach 12 million people to help avert famine in the country, which was already one of the poorest countries in the world before conflict escalated in March 2015.
“We will adapt on a daily basis to the security situation on the ground,” Mr Verhoosel said. “We encourage of course all parties to keep negotiating under the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy. The situation is better already, I mean, we are not exactly at the target, but we are not far away from the target.”
UN monitoring team in Hudaydah continues work, but ‘timelines have slipped’
The UN monitoring team which is overseeing the implementation of the Stockholm peace agreement signed by Government and Houthi opposition leaders last month, is continuing it work, but the warring parties have refused to hold face-to-face meetings in recent days.
UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Monday that the retired Dutch General, Patrick Cammaert, who is chairing the Redeployment Coordination Committee, has held two joint meetings involving both sides, but “in the last week, due to the inability of the parties to have a joint meeting” he had meet them separately twice, “seeking to find a mutually acceptable way forward for the redeployment of forces from the three ports and critical parts of the city associated with humanitarian facilities, as provided for in phase one in the Stockholm Agreement.”
“While projected timelines have slipped, recent discussions have been constructive”, added Mr Dujarric, briefing reporters at UN Headquarters.
“The chair continues to encourage the parties to resume the joint meetings in order to finalize a mutually agreed redeployment plan. Currently, plans are being discussed on how to facilitate humanitarian operations.”
Hudaydah carries more than 70 per cent of all humanitarian aid and commercial goods into the war-ravaged nation, and future talks towards a listing peace settlement for Yemen, rely on a ceasefire holding, in line with the agreement made in Sweden.
Thank you very much indeed Mr. President and thank you, to the members of this Council, and thank you for the opportunity you are giving me to brief this Council today. As Council members know, our efforts – and, indeed, the attention of the world – are focused on the momentum generated at the end of last year for the peace process by the consultations in Stockholm and the hope of a tangible improvement in the situation of the Yemeni people.
As I stated to this Council immediately after those consultations, the success in Stockholm was your success. I must start, therefore, by thanking the members of the Security Council for adopting that resolution to which you have referred Sir, Resolution 2451, which endorsed the Agreement, authorized the deployment of the advanced team to support and facilitate implementation, and expressed support for the continuation of consultations early this year, including on the Framework for Negotiations. I believe that this resolution that you passed last month, sends a very clear signal of the international community’s support for the achievements that we were able to bring together in Stockholm and our plans subsequently to build on the momentum gained.
Today, I will take this opportunity to brief on the implementation of the commitments made by the parties in Stockholm, namely: the agreement reached on the city and governorate of Hudaydah and the ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa; secondly, executive mechanism on activating the prisoner exchange agreement; and, thirdly, the statement of understanding on Taiz. I will also hope to provide an update, Mr President, on our preparations for the next round of consultations.
Since the Stockholm consultations, and in very recent days in this past week, I have had the privilege of meeting with President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and also with the Ansar Allah leader Abdelmalik Al-Houthi. President Hadi whom I met yesterday in Riyadh, warmly welcomed the progress made in Stockholm and the agreement made there to which he was the key decider, and he confirmed to me in very real and constructive terms his hopes as we all have, that this is an important first step towards a comprehensive solution to the conflict; and I was interested to hear a reflection of exactly those sentiments when I was in Sana’a on Sunday in my meetings with Abdel Malek Al-Houthi who firmly told me in no uncertain terms of the decision and commitment of his movement to implement all those provisions that were agreed in Stockholm. So they both expressed determination to find a way forward and to build further on the progress made, in subsequent rounds. I would like us all to bear that in mind as I do, when we look at the progress in the implementation of those agreements, but I am grateful to President Hadi and of course I am grateful also to Sayyed Abdel Malek.
This enthusiasm for actually making Stockholm work and provide tangible differences on the ground for the people of Yemen was also echoed by other concerned parties and key Member States I have had the privilege to meet since Stockholm and in particular in recent days and I am grateful for their support and they know who they are.
I am pleased to report that both sides have largely adhered to the ceasefire we agreed in Stockholm, in Hudaydah governorate that entered into force on the 18thof December, and that there has been a significant decrease in hostilities since then. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been some violence, including in Hudaydah city, and in the southern districts of the governorate. However, this is remarkably limited compared to what we saw in the weeks before the Stockholm consultations. This relative calm, I believe sir, indicates the tangible benefit of the Stockholm agreement for the people of Yemen and it also illustrates the commitment of both parties to make their agreements work.
Thanks to the swift authorization provided by this Council through resolution 2451, the United Nations has deployed an advanced monitoring team to Hudaydah, under the leadership of my esteemed colleague, Major General Patrick Cammaert of the Netherlands, who arrived in Yemen on the 22nd of December. I should say here that I think it is a remarkable achievement that General Cammaert tore himself away from other commitments, and launched himself with his team into the region at very short notice to establish the RCC, the Committee which will monitor those agreements in Hudaydah. We are very grateful to Patrick Cammaert. This rapid deployment has given a clear signal to the parties and the Yemeni people of the international community’s desire to turn the agreement into facts on the ground. General Cammaert has chaired several meetings of the Redeployment Coordination Committee – with participation from representatives of both parties – to oversee the implementation of the redeployments and ceasefire as agreed in Sweden on Hudaydah. He is working with the parties on the details of the redeployments of forces, again as foreseen in Sweden, the provision of security in the city and the opening of humanitarian access routes agreed in Stockholm.
The activation of the Redeployment Coordination Committee, which has happened since that arrival in late December of General Cammaert is very welcome, and I urge both parties to continue to engage regularly and in good faith with General Cammaert and his team so that the security arrangements and crucially the improvements in humanitarian access can be implemented swiftly, in line with what was agreed in Stockholm. This will build confidence of the parties, the Yemeni people and the international community, that what was talked about in Stockholm can be a reality.
Regarding Taiz, as Council members will recall, the parties agreed in Stockholm to the creation of mechanisms to reach consensus on how to address the situation in that city and governorate. Taiz is of enormous historic significance for Yemen as a whole and the city and its people have been a driving force in Yemen’s economic and cultural life for many years. To give it a sense of proportion, the governorate of Taiz has a population of 2.5 million people and the city of Taiz has been divided by virtue of this conflict for some considerable time. The civilians in Taiz have suffered far too much, far too long, and the destruction in the city has been dreadful, and the flow of humanitarian aid of course needs to increase, needs to cross the lines between parties and the people need the chance to rebuild. These are the issues that we believe that the joint mechanism, the committee that I will refer to, is there to produce. I have talked since Stockholm, with the parties and with many prominent Taizis, including my office has met the governor yesterday, and they all want the city to return to calm and for the people to have hope that the city will flourish once again. I am glad that Stockholm provides a potential platform for this. We plan with the agreement of the parties to hold the first meeting of that committee as soon as possible, ideally this month. We also are working on a civil society mechanism including significant participation of women, to support that joint committee in its endeavors. I am hopeful Mr. President that what we might plan to see in Taiz is something that we might also be seeing achieved in Hudaydah. Hudaydah should not be the only beneficiary of the agreements that we made in Sweden. On the agreement for the exchange of prisoners, we are working with both parties to finalize the lists of prisoners submitted by each in Stockholm. I particularly want to record our appreciation of the invaluable support provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross in this regard. As agreed in Stockholm, we plan to hold a meeting of the Supervisory Committee which includes both parties and I am hopeful that this will take place in Amman, from which I am speaking, next week. This will be a step towards that day that we hope to see of an airlift of many thousands of prisoners exchanged and released to return to their families.
I am grateful for the commitment and patience that both parties have shown since Stockholm. Progress on some of the issues has been gradual and indeed somewhat tentative, but there is a tangible contribution to peace. There are, no doubt, many hurdles to be overcome in the days, weeks and months ahead, but I would say here that the parties must not be diverted from their commitments, through issues of delays or difficulties which were unexpected. I ask for the support of the Council in encouraging the parties to stay the course and to overcome together any challenges that may be encountered along the way and that we are here to help them.
I am under no illusion that these are very sensitive and challenging days for both parties and for Yemen as a whole. The war continues in other parts of the country, which is why we need to make progress quickly.
I call on the Parties to recognize that these first steps need to be protected so that we can reach those other parts of the country in due course. The conflict also continues to have a terrible impact on the economy and the overall humanitarian situation, I know Mark will be describing so in a minute. It was unfortunate that we were unable to reach consensus on a way forward on the Central Bank of Yemen while we were together in Sweden and on the opening of Sana’a airport during those consultations in December. Both of these issues, if resolved, would make a significant contribution to relieving humanitarian suffering, and of course as we discussed in the Security Council meeting of December we continue to work on trying to get solutions before the resumption of the next round of consultations.
I should mention that as ever; the demands of southern groups are also a key part of the solution to the Yemeni equation. I am grateful for the effort exerted by key Yemeni stakeholders and the international community to improve stability in the southern governorates in recent months, which has been a remarkable achievement. As I have always said, I am committed to ensuring the participation of southern groups in the peace process, and I am continuing to work with this goal in mind with a range of those groups. Their contribution will be of vital importance to fulfilling the hope of peace.
To conclude, the message that I have been receiving particularly from the parties but also from key member states and those with interest in peace in Yemen, has been consistent in these past days and it is this: it is that we must implement what was agreed in Sweden and show substantial progress in those commitments if we are to build the confidence that we have hoped to create from them. There is a sense of tangible hope. There is a sense of optimism as well as concern. It is my view, and it is shared by leadership of both parties, and also others. The substantial progress particularly on Hudaydah of course is something that we would like to see before we convene the next consultations. You will remember that in the Stockholm Agreement there was an agreement to open those consultations without conditions. This is not a matter of conditioning, that decision, it is a matter of making progress so that in the next round, we will not be dealing with the issues that have been agreed upon in the first. So, I am still hopeful that we can proceed to a next round of consultations within the near future. I am working with both parties to make sure that that will happen at the earliest possible date and that in those consultations we will begin both to monitor the progress made out of Sweden but also to discuss the fundamental issues that need to be addressed to resolve this conflict.