Statement by Alexandre Olmedo, Deputy Political Coordinator of France to the UN, at a UN Security Council Briefing on Yemen

Yemen: The truce must be transformed into a complete and lasting cessation of hostilities

Must read

17 April 2023

Mr. President,

I thank Hans Grundberg for his briefing and I wish him a swift recovery. I also thank Ms. Ghada Mudawi for her briefing and I commend the presence of the representative of Yemen.

Mr. President,

Regarding the truce, first of all, we commend the current momentum, which is positive. The context is favorable for establishing the foundations of trust between the parties. On the ground, the truce is continuing, although we must remain vigilant regarding any provocation. This Council recently condemned escalations in Marib and Shabwa, which were caused by the Houthis. This truce must be transformed into a complete and lasting cessation of hostilities. France calls upon the parties, and first and foremost the Houthis, to act responsibly to reach a political agreement with the Yemeni government.

France commends the progress made on a number of confidence-building measures. We welcome the agreement reached in Geneva on prisoner exchanges on March 20 and call for its full implementation. France also supports UN confidence-building mechanisms such as UNVIM. We are also acting to maintain maritime security in the area.

Mr. President,

Ongoing discussions at the diplomatic level are encouraging. France commends the efforts and mobilization of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and other regional actors. One year after its creation, it is essential that the Presidential Council remains united for upcoming discussions. The Security Council must support the work of the Special Envoy. We commend his efforts to reach a peace plan. This is the only way towards a comprehensive and inclusive political solution that takes into account the concerns and interests of all Yemenis. France calls for the full, equal, substantial, and effective participation of Yemeni women in political negotiations.

Only a lasting political solution will allow for a substantial improvement of the economic situation in Yemen and an easing of the humanitarian crisis. We reiterate our concern about the deterioration of humanitarian personnel’s working and security conditions. Restrictions imposed on UN and humanitarian personnel by the Houthis – which you mentioned, Ms. Mudawi – must end, including restrictions on female humanitarian workers who are assigned male guardians. France also calls upon the Houthis to release, immediately and unconditionally, detained UN and humanitarian personnel.

Mr. President,

Finally, with regard to the situation of the oil tanker Safer, France welcomes recent progress. A ship is being sent to the Red Sea to allow oil to be transferred. However, nearly 30 million dollars are still needed to ensure the full implementation of this emergency operation. We call upon Member States and the private sector to increase their efforts, including ahead of the donors’ conference in early May, co-hosted by the UK and the Netherlands.

Thank you.

More articles

Latest article