Yemen: Risk of escalation, spread of virus & economic decline -Security Council Briefing

Briefing by Mr. Martin Griffiths, UN Special Envoy for Yemen, on Yemen during the 8753rd Security Council Meeting.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said he continues to hope that the Joint Declaration negotiations will turn the tide towards peace in the country but warned of the risk that they “will slip away, and that Yemen will enter a new phase of prolonged escalation, of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, and of severe and threatening economic decline.”

Addressing the Security Council today (28 Jul) via teleconference, Griffiths said both parties had provided feedback on various drafts and proposals, but they have yet to reach agreement on a final text as the negotiations have been ongoing for four months. He noted the importance of the parties’ engagement in the process but stressed that the negotiations must be concluded before the window of opportunity closes.

The Special Envoy warned that the military situation has not improved over the past month. He highlighted the situation in Ma’rib, which he said undermines the prospects of a nationwide ceasefire. He said the economic indicators were all pointing in the wrong direction resulting in increased food prices and currency depreciation.

Griffiths said his Office continued to engage the Yemeni parties to find a solution to allow for the continued and regular entrance of ships carrying oil derivatives into Hudaydah port.

Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, United Nations:
“The humanitarian consequences of the impasse grow greater by the day, and this situation cannot continue. It is essential that all obstacles to imports and the domestic distribution of fuel and other goods vital for the civilian population be removed.”

The Special Envoy also noted that, at the beginning of this month, Ansar Allah confirmed in writing that they would authorize a long-planned UN-supervised technical mission to the FSO Safer tanker. However, he added, the UN was still awaiting the permissions necessary for this team to deploy.

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