Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen at the Security Council meeting on Yemen, February 19

19.02.2019 - Speech

(check against delivery)

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

It is very positive that we really have a consensus around the table. From my side, I would also like to thank Mark Lowcock and Martin Griffiths for their relentless engagement, as well as General Lollesgaard. We welcome the progress that has been made, also with regard to the exchange of prisoners. Of course, we are not there yet, but these efforts have to continue to achieve what our French colleague just said: that we have to make this process irreversible. So we have to move towards the next round and we have to see that all remaining obstacles are overcome. Mark Lowcock named some concrete examples of how this could be done. Also demining has to be stepped up so that we can actually access all the food in the Red Sea Mills.

I also welcome that Martin Griffiths highlighted in his intervention the objective of the political process. It is extremely important to move in this direction. A comprehensive process and a comprehensive solution are important. What does this mean? We have to make sure that all groups are included in this process. I think Martin mentioned that the Sunni groups already have an interest there. I think we have to look that we take all of these groups in this very complicated country into consideration. Some have mentioned that we have some conflicts flaming up in the Hajjah Governorate. I think it is very important that all groups—also underrepresented groups—are part of the political process. The interests of these regional groups must be taken into consideration; also when it comes to the peace process, it is very important that the interests of women, youth, children—all underrepresented groups are actually taken care of.

I would like to echo and support what Mark Lowcock said with regard to the recruiting of youth; it is unacceptable what is happening there. This should also be a criterion for our sanctions work. Now, everyone around the table said that there is no alternative to moving towards a political process. This also means that everybody around the table agrees that there is no military solution for the problem and, therefore, instead of investing in arms, one should invest more in responding to the plea for humanitarian support.

And this brings me to my last point, which is the humanitarian situation. The figures are still and remain horrendous with 200,000 malnourished, and an additional 250,000 at risk of losing their lives. So this has to change. We have to concentrate on women and children, and we have to see that sexual violence against women is also being put high on the agenda. In the upcoming Geneva Donor Conference, Germany will again pledge substantially; we call on all partners to do the same. We also want to highlight at this stage the peace support facility where Germany already has contributed. The people have to see beyond the humanitarian aid that the political process will bear some fruit, that there will be stabilization and that there will be funding for getting the country back on its feet. Thank you.

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