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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on Yemen

2021/09/11

Madam President,

I wish to thank Special Envoy Hans Grundberg, Deputy Director Mudawi and Ms. Al-Qadhi for their briefings. I want to pay a special welcome to the Special Envoy in his new role. Over the past period, there has been no sign of letting up in the Yemeni conflict and the security situation continues to worsen. Within the international community, there has been a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and worry for the current status quo in Yemen and hence high hopes have been placed on the Special Envoy to make progress. China is ready, together with other Council members, to support the Special Envoy in carrying out his work in an objective and open manner based on his mandate, with a view to secure a political solution to the current Yemeni crisis. Here I wish to make the following points.

First, the priority for the time being is to achieve a cessation of violence and hostilities without delay. Months-long conflicts in Marib have caused deep distrust and further sharpened the confrontation among the parties, hampering efforts for political solution. China condemns all violence against civilians and civilian installations, including Houthis attack on the Abuha International Airport in Saudi Arabia. Parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under IHL to protect civilians, in particular vulnerable groups of women and children. We hope that the Special Envoy will start engagements with the parties concerned as soon as possible, bringing them to give up the military option and return to the path of negotiations to resolve their differences. Resolving the Yemeni issue is in the common interest of regional countries. China supports his visit to regional countries and encourages the latter to continue to play their part in facilitating peace negotiations.

Second, further increasing the humanitarian assistance. Yemen has been gripped by a humanitarian crisis for many years, about which Deputy Director Mudawi provided detailed information. What’s most worrisome is that as fuel is running out, some power plants in Aden have ceased to operate and the population had no access to basic services. Under the sway of the pandemic, the health sector in the country is facing collapse. The Ministry of Health recently announced that the country had entered into the third wave. We hope that the Special Envoy and OCHA will strengthen coordination with the parties concerned, and deliver humanitarian assistance to the country in a targeted manner in light of the actual situation. China welcomes IMF’s announcement of 665 million US dollars of SDR to Yemen, and the support of the Yemeni government in making good use of these funds in stabilizing the local currency and easing the economic hardship.

Third, starting from concrete issues and promoting a comprehensive solution in a gradual manner. After years of conflict, there is a severe lack of mutual trust among the parties. The Special Envoy could start by tackling in a focused manner concrete issues such as exchange of prisoners of war and SAFER oil tanker to nail down some visible progress, creating a positive momentum, and on this basis, taking full account of the political, security and humanitarian issues faced by the country, to work out a feasible solution to break out the political stalemate, improve the situation on the ground and ease people's suffering. China believes that so long as the Yemeni parties come up with more political will and mutual trust, and with the UN deploying good offices and playing a primary role, accompanied by the international community offering support and working together, a political solution will be found that accommodates the concerns of all parties.

Thank you, Madam President.

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