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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open VTC on Yemen

2021-03-16 00:45

Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Envoy Mr. Griffiths, USG Mr. Lowcock and Ms. Shawky for their briefings. Their briefings show us that Yemen still faces complex and grave political security and humanitarian challenges. The international community should strengthen unity and pull together for an early and comprehensive solution to the Yemen issue.

First, military clashes and all hostilities must be immediately stopped. The protracted conflict in Yemen has caused huge losses for all parties and untold suffering for its people. Facts have repeatedly proven that military means cannot resolve the problem. Instead, war can only lead to disasters. Since last year, the UN has vigorously striven for the implementation of global ceasefire initiative. Launching military offensives and provoking hostilities now are the most unconscionable things to do. China expresses its concern over the escalation of the clashes in Marib, condemns attacks against Saudi civilians and civilian infrastructure, and calls for immediate cessation of hostilities and violence, so as to create necessary conditions for political settlement of the Yemen issue.

Second, political commitments should be honored, and political negotiations advanced. Despite difficulties and setbacks, there should be no deviation from the pursuit of political settlement to the Yemen issue. Parties to the conflict should break free of the vicious cycle of going back and forth between the battlefield and the negotiating table. They should implement past agreements, build mutual trust and make new gains. Special Envoy Mr. Griffiths has proposed a way forward to advance the political process. We hope that parties can collaborate with his mediation efforts, participate in consultations with utmost political sincerity, so as to reach early consensus.

Third, everything must be done to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and to save lives. USG Mr. Lowcock elaborated on the dire humanitarian situation of Yemen. The mounting food security crisis is heartrending. China welcomes the Yemen Virtual High Level Pledging Event organized early this month, and hopes that the international community can build on the momentum, step up assistance to Yemen and fully fund the Yemen humanitarian response plan. China welcomes the SG's announcement of the creation of a High-level Task Force on Preventing Famine. I look forward to seeing it play an important role in mobilizing global resources and strengthening coordination among humanitarian agencies.

Yemen highly relies on import for its food security. Parties should ensure operations of commercial ports. Parties with actual control inside Yemen should comply with international humanitarian law and provide safe and unimpeded humanitarian access, so as to create conditions for protection of civilians, in particular women, children and other vulnerable groups. On the matter of the oil tanker SAFER, China urges the Houthis to expeditiously grant access to the UN technical team for inspection and repairs, so as to prevent catastrophic accidents.

Fourth, regional security cooperation should be strengthened to help ease the tension. To resolve the Yemen issue requires a favorable regional security environment. China has proposed the initiative of multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region. Other countries have put forward similar ideas. China hopes that those ideas can be put into practice through joint efforts, so as to promote regional peace process. We hope that on the premise of respecting Yemen's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, relevant countries can utilize the advantages to positively influence parties in Yemen, so as to contribute towards the political settlement of the Yemen issue.

I thank you, Madam President.

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