Grundberg to #UNSC:"The process should be designed to allow for parallel progress on different agenda items of importance to Yemenis. It'll address the parties’ priorities in the context of a broader agenda that represents diverse Yemeni interests."
— @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) December 14, 2021
Pointing to the summary execution of ten local security force members, he reminded that wars should still be subject to rules of engagement.
“All conflict actors…have obligations under international humanitarian law”, including protecting civilians and treating prisoners of war humanely.
Mr. Grundberg said that during his first three months on the job, he has been engaging with Yemenis on “how to reverse the current escalatory trajectory and start a political process”, and establishing “close and trustworthy relations” with States in the region, to move peace talks forward.
“As the conflict intensifies…I am convinced of the need for a comprehensive approach”, said the Special Envoy.
Building sustainable peace
Pointing out that piecemeal solutions can only provide temporary relief, the UN envoy stressed the need to address immediate needs and priorities towards “a comprehensive political settlement”.
“We need to work toward a just and sustainable peace, and not merely the absence of war”, Mr. Grundberg spelled out, which requires coordinated international and regional support, to construct a “Yemeni owned and internationally-supported political process” that will result in broader stability.
“The support of this Council will be critical”, said the UN envoy.
The process should de-escalate violence, prevent further economic deterioration and mitigate the impact of the conflict on civilians while building consensus on a political settlement to sustainably end the war, establish inclusive governance, and ensure Yemenis’ civil, political, economic and cultural rights.
A just end
The UN official said that engagement has already begun and will be intensified.
While intensified fighting was a challenge, he underscored that it should not be allowed to stop the process, saying, “in fact it makes the work we are doing all the more essential”.
“Warring parties can, and should, talk, even if they are not ready to put down their arms” said Mr. Grundberg, urging open communication channels “without preconditions and as a matter of priority”.
He called for the Council’s support to “establish an inclusive, comprehensive process for bringing this conflict, finally, to a just and sustainable end”.
Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ramesh Rajasingham said humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate “as a result of conflict and economic collapse”.
He recounted that intensified fighting and shifting frontlines have forced civilians to flee – some for a second or even third time.
In Marib, offenses by Houthi forces, formally known as Ansar Allah, have displaced more than 45,000 people since September and last Thursday, missiles struck a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Moreover, intensified fighting in southern Hudaydah and Taizz has displaced over 25,000 people, increasing civilian casualties, including five deaths during an airstrike on 3 December.
In parallel, hostilities have continued along nearly 50 front lines across the country, with renewed shelling in Sana’a and heavy clashes in Sa’ada that have resulted in civilian casualties and damaged infrastructure
“All parties must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law…including obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure and to facilitate impartial humanitarian relief”, underscored Mr. Rajasingham.