World News



British Queen celebrates


Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Yemen.

Thank you, President.

Let me start by thanking Special Envoy Grundberg for your briefing, but also for your team’s very hard work. And Ms Wosornu and Ms Al-Eryani for your briefings too.

I would like to start by welcoming the strong progress towards resolving the major threat posed by the FSO oil tanker and the risk of over a million barrels of oil leaking into the Red Sea.

In recent days, both the replacement and service vessels have arrived near the site. And crucially, following the joint UK-Dutch fundraising event earlier this month, the UN has announced it has sufficient funding to start the emergency operation to transfer oil off the vessel.

But as Ms Wosornu said, there is more work to do. I am certain that none of us want to be fundraising for the $20 billion required to clean up if we are unable to avert a catastrophic spill.

The UN requires $43 million to fully complete the operation and we all have a stake in permanently solving this ticking time bomb for the environment, for global trade, for millions of local livelihoods and the delivery of lifesaving aid in Yemen.

President, the UK welcomes the positive work by all parties to build on the truce-like conditions in Yemen over the past year. We call on all parties to continue engaging constructively and creatively and to negotiate in good faith, towards a lasting and inclusive peace for the Yemeni people.

The recent Saudi and Omani delegations to Sana’a represented valuable steps towards reaching a comprehensive ceasefire.

I urge the parties to engage constructively and in a spirit of compromise. Our focus should be on accepting that all Yemenis should have access to all sources of revenue.

An inclusive peace process under UN auspices is the only pathway to ending this dreadful war.

I am also reassured by the unity that this Council continues to demonstrate. I hope that we can continue to work together towards our common goal of finding peace in Yemen.

Finally, I echo the concerns of Ms Wosornu.

In spite of the relative peace in Yemen over the past year, 21.6 million people, or two-thirds of the population, remain in dire humanitarian need.

Although I welcome OCHA’s efforts in securing unrestricted humanitarian access; we continue to see, as we’ve heard,  impediments to the free movement of women; to independent monitoring and assessment; and to the fair selection of service providers.

The humanitarian response is already facing severe funding challenges. These impediments pose additional, and entirely avoidable, burdens on the humanitarian effort and ultimately on the people of Yemen.

Thank you, President.

Photo by Government of the United Kingdom, Wikimedia commons.