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Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at the Security Council on Yemen

2019/04/15

Mr President,

At the outset, I would like to thank Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock and SRSG Virginia Gamba for their briefings, as well as Ms Muna Luqman for her statement. China commends the efforts of the United Nations and the relevant humanitarian agencies to move the political process in Yemen forward and to ease the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

At present, the ceasefire is holding on the whole in Hodeidah and its surrounding areas, but the security situation is fragile, with limited progress in the implementation of the agreements. The conflict in Yemen has been going on for many years; the security landscape gives us no cause for optimism; the situation is dire on the humanitarian front; and the country is confronted with multiple economic and social challenges. However, the desire remains among the Yemeni parties to promote the implementation of the agreements in search for a political solution, and the United Nations’ mediation efforts have not stopped even for a moment, achieving a measure of success in the past few months. It behooves the international community to remain seized of the Yemen issue with a greater input. Continued patience is in order; and confidence is something we must not lose.

Going forward, in China’s view, work should be continued in the following areas:

First, to continue pushing for the implementation of the "Stockholm Agreement". This Agreement did not come easily. It is an important basis for Yemen’s journey from conflict to peace. The Yemeni parties must implement the Agreement in earnest. On the issue of redeployment, in particular, they should step up cooperation with the United Nations, resolve differences through dialogue and operationalise the concrete arrangements. Consultation should continue over prisoner exchange and the issue of Taiz, with an eye to an earliest possible, workable arrangement based on enhanced mutual trust. The process of deploying the UN mission in Yemen should continue, with assured safety and security for the UN personnel, to support and supervise the implementation of the agreements.

Second, to encourage the Yemeni parties to keep up effective political dialogue and negotiation. At present, various parties in Yemen are sharply divided; the basis of mutual trust is far from robust. There is a long road ahead towards a political settlement. It is not something that can be accomplished in one fell swoop. In the long run, resuming political peace talks remains imperative, to find a holistic solution to the issue of Yemen. The United Nations should continue to work as the main mediator. The Security Council should remain united, fully consider and respect the views of the countries concerned and other countries in the region, continue to provide political support for the dialogue and negotiation between the Yemeni parties, and urge regional countries to keep up their constructive assistance to this end.

Third, to continue the vigorous effort to ease the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The international community should increase its humanitarian assistance to Yemen, honour its pledges and provide targeted support, both financial and in kind, including food and medicines, to help the country respond to famine, the cholera outbreaks, displacement and other challenges. The work of the UN humanitarian agencies on the ground should be supported, with humanitarian access and the safety of humanitarian workers assured. The humanitarian needs of women, children and vulnerable groups should feature prominently on the agenda and support be provided to Yemen in improving its economy, to meet the basic needs of its people.

Mr President,

Recently, the Security Council’s Yemen Sanctions Committee visited the countries in the region, to engage, in depth, with the countries concerned. This helped improve the Committee’s understanding of the positions of various parties and align the 2140 Committee’s agenda with the overarching goal, that is, to settle the Yemeni issue politically. China was represented on the said mission of the 2140 Committee, in support of strengthened dialogue between the Committee and the parties concerned.

To settle the Yemeni issue, there is no alternative to a political solution. The parties concerned should uphold Yemen’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and support a broadly inclusive political solution, to be achieved through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of the relevant Council resolutions, the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcome document of the National Dialogue Conference. The job of the international community is to create a favourable environment in which the Yemeni parties can implement the agreements in pursuit of a political solution.

Thank you, Mr President.

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