|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Yemen|
At the outset, I wish to thank Special Envoy Hans Grundberg and Acting Director Ghada Mudawi for their briefings. I welcome the Permanent Representative of Yemen to today’s meeting.
China welcomes the further extension of truce by the parties in Yemen on August 2. The truce, which has lasted for over four months, has brought significant positive changes to the situation in the country. The deescalation of military conflicts, the resumption of flights at Sanaa airport, the regular entry of oil tankers into Hodeidah port, and the parties to the conflict maintaining communication through the military coordination committee are all the results of the joint efforts of Yemeni parties, regional countries and the United Nations. We highly commend the good offices by Special Envoy grant Grundberg and the active role played by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, and other countries in the region.
Over seven years into the conflict in Yemen, the Yemeni people long for the early restoration of peace. The situation in the country is at a critical stage of transition from chaos to order. All parties in Yemen must firmly adhere to the general direction of a political settlement. The international community should play its constructive role in facilitating peace talks, and actively and steadily consolidate and expand the truce, to create conditions for long term peace and stability.
First, the truce agreement should be fully implemented. Since the start of the truce, civilian casualties caused by military operations have dropped significantly. But in places like Taiz, Marib and Shabwa, peace has not prevailed, and the security situation remains fragile. The parties concerned should fully and comprehensively fulfill their commitment to the truce, avoid all attacks on civilians and civilian facilities, make full use of the mechanism of military coordination committee to maintain regular communication, and address issues through dialogue and consultation.
Second, the achievements of the truce should be further expanded. We call on all Yemeni parties to seize the window of opportunity presented by the extension of the truce, and work with each other towards the progress on opening roads in Taiz and other governorates, paying civil servants salaries, increasing international flights at Sanaa airport and other issues that have a bearing on people's livelihood and well-being. We welcome the progress made by the Yemeni Government and the Houthis on the detainees exchange. We hope that the parties to the conflict will fully demonstrate their political will and flexibility and, through the mediation of Special Envoy Grundberg, strengthen consultations and reach an early agreement on expanding the truce agreement.
Third, focus should be put on improving the humanitarian situation. As a result of shrinking international assistance and resource input, the United Nations aid projects in Yemen are facing the pressure of funding shortfalls. Since the beginning of summer, many places in Yemen have been hit by floods, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. The situation in refugee camps in Mrib is particularly acute. China calls on the international community to take immediate actions and provide the basic daily necessities and the medical supplies to the people affected to prevent a large scale humanitarian catastrophe. All Yemeni parties should also facilitate and coordinate with humanitarian operations.
Fourth, efforts should be made to provide a favorable regional environment. The situation in Yemen bears on the peace and stability in the Gulf region. And the key to security and stability in the Gulf region lies in the hands of the countries themselves. China encourages regional countries to work with each other towards the same direction in a step by step manner on the basis of mutual respect to address their respective concerns through equal-footed consultations. Countries outside the region should provide useful support for the peaceful settlement of the Yemeni issue. China has always stood for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We will always stand with the Yemeni people and continue to work with the Gulf countries and the international community to make greater contributions to the Yemen peace process.