14 April 2022 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of the United Kingdom. I’d like to start by thanking Hans Grundberg and Martin Griffiths for your briefings, and to congratulate you, Hans, for your phenomenal efforts in brokering a truce. For the first time since 2016, Yemenis will feel what it is like to live in relative peace.
The UK commends all the parties in putting forward proposals, engaging in confidence-building measures to sustain this truce. We now need to make quick headway on getting the free flow of fuel, goods, and flights, and we need to pivot quickly to political negotiations.
The UK applauds, in particular, the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the GCC, and the Government of Yemen in delivering serious consultations and significant political reform. The formation of the Presidential Leadership Council is a vital step. And, we commend President Hadi for facilitating the peaceful transfer of power.
We expect the Presidential Leadership Council to work seriously and quickly towards political negotiations with the Houthis. And we call on the Houthis to continue to engage with the UN Special Envoy, and so we welcome the Special Envoy’s visit to Sana’a this week – another step forwards.
Martin, as you so powerfully articulated, while we start to see progress on the political track, it is crucial the international community helps alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Sadly, the UN conference raised only around a third of the funding needed, as you said.
We, therefore, strongly welcome the Saudi-Emirati $3 billion economic package, designed to revive and support the Yemeni economy, and the $300 million in Saudi humanitarian aid. And, it is important that all donors disburse funding quickly if we are to avoid agencies making further cuts to programmes.
Ultimately, the truce provides a window of opportunity to make the lives of many Yemenis better, and this must be seized. In this context, defusing the ticking time-bomb of the Safer tanker becomes even more pressing. We therefore strongly support David Gressly’s efforts regarding the Safer tanker. The UK will contribute funding, and we urge the international community, including regional partners who will be directly affected by any oil spill, also to contribute.
I resume my function as President of the Council.
Published 14 April 2022
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