|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Yemen|
I wish to thank Special Envoy Hans Grundberg and Acting Director Ghada Mudawi for their briefings. I also listened carefully to the statement by the representative from the civil society organization.
China welcomes the extension of the truce agreement among the Yemeni parties on June 2. The Yemeni conflict has been protracted for seven years, and the people have suffered immensely. The implementation and extension of the truce has brought some initial peace dividends to the Yemeni people, and given them a ray of hope. Since the start of the truce, the number of civilian casualties has been halved. Some twenty oil tankers have sailed in batches into the port of Hodeidah. And the commercial flights from Sanaa to Amman and Cairo have resumed. We appreciate the efforts of the Yemeni parties, Special Envoy Grundberg, and countries of the Gulf region to this end.
The main task at hand is to fully implement the truce agreement, in particular, to reopen the road to Taiz, and mitigate as soon as possible the humanitarian situation in Taiz. The Yemeni Government has held two rounds of consultations with the Houthi organization in this regard, and Special Envoy Grundberg has made concrete proposals by balancing the concerns of all sides. Going forward, it is hoped that the Yemeni parties will build on the Envoy’s proposals, demonstrate the political will on the issue of reopening the road to Taiz, and make the necessary compromises to create conditions for launching peace talks. We support the Special Envoy in working in this direction.
The truce agreement should be the starting point for border efforts that must be translated into a permanent ceasefire and a sustainable political solution. Under the auspices of the Special Envoy, the Yemeni Government forces and the Houthis have held two rounds of military coordination meetings, and decided to meet regularly in the future, which China welcomes. We support the Special Envoy to continue to promote communication among the stakeholders on the Yemeni issue in a rational and pragmatic manner, implement measures to rebuild mutual trust, make every effort to maintain the current good momentum, and strive to promote more progress in the peace process. The Security Council should continue to maintain its unity, and form synergy with regional countries that have influence to bear, so as to play a constructive role in promoting the political solution to the Yemeni issue.
China is also concerned about the economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen, which faces multiple challenges, and has a worrying outlook due to the interlocking effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and political conflicts. All these warrant high attention from us all. The international community should maintain its attention to the situation in Yemen, and take effective measures to lend a helping hand to Yemen by focusing on assisting Yemen in stabilizing its currency and prices, alleviating energy shortages, and meeting the basic needs of the population, such as that of food. The related UN agencies should embrace a heightened sense of urgency, strengthen their coordination, properly address the shortages of resources, and ward off greater crises. All parties in Yemen should also cooperate fully with international humanitarian operations, and ensure safe and timely humanitarian access.
China supports the Yemeni presidential leadership council in actively implementing the truce agreement, restoring the state institutions in an orderly manner, regaining economic vitality, and pushing forward the political process. We hope that the presidential leadership council will unite all parties in Yemen, attach equal importance to both peace and development, and promote the country’s early return to a normal development track.
Thank you, Mr. President.