Hans Grundberg (Special Envoy) on Yemen - Security Council, 9110th meeting
Briefing by Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen, on the situation in Yemen.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said, "we need to end the conflict, not merely manage it." Briefing the Security Council today (15 Aug) in New York, Grundberg that "failure to reach an agreement to extend the truce would lead to renewed cycles of escalation and violence, with predictable and devastating consequences for Yemen's population. Yemen urgently needs to avoid this scenario." The Special Envoy called on the parties to choose to build the necessary confidence to avoid a return to war and to begin to build a lasting peace. Two weeks ago, the parties agreed to extend the truce in Yemen under the same terms for another two months, from 2 August 2022 until 2 October. This truce extension includes a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible. On the implementation of the current truce, Grundberg said that it continues to hold in military terms. He noted that no major military operations or changes to frontlines have occurred, and there have been neither confirmed airstrikes inside Yemen nor cross-border attacks emanating from Yemen. The Special Envoy also said there is a significant decline in civilian casualties, with the first week of August seeing the lowest civilian casualty count since the start of the truce and the beginning of the war. A worrying development is an increase in child casualties, which now constitute about 40 percent of reported civilian casualties. The Special Envoy also said that the flow of fuel imports to Hodeidah port continues with the extension of the truce. Since the start of the truce, 33 ships were cleared to enter Hodeidah port, bringing in almost one million metric tons of various fuel products. Regarding the opening of Sana'a International Airport to commercial flights, Grundberg said that to date, 31 round-trip flights operated to and from Sana'a, transporting more than 15,000 passengers. "From the beginning, I have made it clear that the truce is an interim measure that aims to halt hostilities and address urgent humanitarian and economic needs," stressed the Special Envoy. He continued saying that his proposal for the expanded truce agreement includes: 1) an agreement on a transparent and effective disbursement mechanism for the regular payment of civil servant salaries and civilian pensions; 2) the opening of additional roads in Taiz and other governorates; 3) additional destinations to and from Sana'a International Airport; 4) regular flow of fuel to the ports of Hodeidah. According to Grundberg, an expanded agreement would provide for movement along a multi-track process to address additional humanitarian and economic issues and create a more conducive environment to start discussions on a durable ceasefire and prepare for the resumption of a Yemeni-led political process under UN auspices. The Special Envoy said that he would continue to count on the support of the international community for the truce's implementation, extension, and expansion. "We have a joint responsibility in helping Yemen and its population to take the necessary and decisive steps towards peace," he concluded.