Thank you President and thank you to the Special Envoy and the Acting Director from OCHA for their very informative briefings. It is also very powerful to hear from Ms Al-Salafi the views from Yemeni civil society.
I would first like to commend you Hans, for the UN’s leadership in extending the truce for a two-month period on 2 June. We welcome commendable flexibility by the parties, who have shown that they are committed to the opportunity the truce presents. We should build on this positive momentum.
Against this backdrop, I would like to reiterate the UK’s concern about the grave humanitarian impact of the continued road closures around Taiz. We call upon the Houthis to continue to demonstrate the flexibility they have shown so far to reach a compromise as soon as possible, and open the main roads.
In the meantime, the three-track process you have outlined Hans, has allowed for positive progress on the economic and military tracks. This includes dialogue on the payment of salaries and initiatives to support greater monetary policy coordination. The news that the Military Coordination Committee intends to establish a joint coordination room is also an extremely welcome step.
As you said Hans, the number of civilian casualties remains well below pre-truce averages. But we must strive for this figure to be zero. The women and men of Yemen deserve to live their lives without the fear of being killed or maimed. Indeed, landmines and unexploded ordnances were the highest cause of casualties last month. So I would like to acknowledge the crucial work of UNMHA and General Beary in accelerating de-mining efforts and I call on all parties to support their work.
As we heard from Ghada, the Yemeni people also continue to be threatened by acute food insecurity. The future generation – 2.2 million Yemini children – are at risk of physical and cognitive impairments due to acute malnutrition. At this urgent moment, the UK calls on all donors to ensure that funding is available and disbursed at pace.
Finally, the UK welcomes the announcement of further pledges toward the UN operation to address the threat posed by the FSO SAFER. We call on all those who have not yet pledged to step up to fill the remaining $20 million shortfall.