Sierra Leone Statement at the UN Security Council Chamber on the Briefing on the Middle East – Yemen

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3 Plus members, namely: Algeria, Guyana, Mozambique, and my own country Sierra Leone.

We thank Mr. Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen; Ms. Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for their briefings. We also that Ms. Wameedh Shakir, Founder and Chairwoman, Eitar Foundation for Social Development for the information provided. 

Ms. Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Ms. Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

The A3 Plus reiterates it support for the resumption of a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned peace process based on the agreed references for a political settlement. The attainment of an inclusive nationwide ceasefire is thus an imperative for the peace process to thrive. This is a priority that must be pursued. In this vein sustained initiatives and the mutual exchange of prisoners, for instance, can rekindle efforts to build confidence and leverage the parties to honour their commitment to the peace process. 

We are of the view that the Special Envoy’s vision for a bottom-up approach in canvasing much-needed support from the relevant stakeholders, will serve as a lynchpin in the mediation efforts. The facilitating role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the active involvement of the parties, civil society, women’s groups, and the youth are crucial to achieving this aspiration.

We call on the parties not to allow the escalating situation in the Red Sea to deviate attention from effectively implementing the peace process. We urge the Houthis to resume their engagement and to participate constructively in the ongoing efforts led by the Special Envoy, and other regional and international initiatives to successfully implement the peace process. 

Concerted gains made by the government and the Houthis such as the opening of roads in the Taize Governorate are key to cementing future collaborations. Furthermore, we call on the Houthis to refrain from any measures that may negatively impact economic activities in Yemen, and for them to provide assurances that allow traders the freedom to import commodities through all Yemeni ports. Facilitating free movement of goods would significantly contribute to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and allow the Government to adequately fulfill its duties for the benefit of all Yemeni people, including through the payment of salaries. 

Madam President,

Yemen is faced with a dire humanitarian situation with increased food insecurity and malnutrition. In Government-controlled areas, the number of people receiving aid and the size of food rations have reduced. However, humanitarian needs remain widespread. According to the World Food Programme18.6 million Yemenis will need humanitarian assistance in 2024 and 17 million people are food insecure. The WFP estimates that it will need $2.9 billion in 2024 to meet those needs. 

We therefore welcome the CERF allocation of US$7 million last month to bridge the WFP funding gap and tackle urgent food security and malnutrition challenges in Yemen. The A3 Plus therefore calls on the international community, and non-traditional donors such as philanthropist organizations to scale up funding to support the efforts of WFP to cover the remaining $100 million funding gap so that the organization could resume and sustain food distributions across Yemen.   

We also call for the establishment of sustainable financial programs that would stimulate economic growth and support small and medium sized enterprises, including through enhanced support for women-owned businesses and facilitate trade between the North and South, such as women-led micro credit schemes. 

Madam President,

The A3 Plus members are appalled by the attack against civilians and the destruction of residential homes in Rada’a, and Albayada Governorate during the Holy Month of Ramdan that resulted in 12 deaths and 35 injuries.   

The A3 Plus calls for the cessation of the Houthi military attacks in different areas in Yemen, including their attacks on commercial and merchant vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The A3 Plus Further calls for assurances for the safety of ships that are carrying humanitarian aid and food stuff to Yemeni ports to alleviate the humanitarian crisis faced by the people of Yemen. 

The A3 Plus stresses the need to address the root causes of the conflict and calls all concerned actors to exercise maximum restraint and for them to prioritize political and diplomatic means over military options to resolve the conflict to ensure lasting peace in Yemen and the region.   

In conclusion, Madam President, it is imperative to avoid a regional spillover of the Gaza conflict and to de-escalate tensions in the wider region of the Middle East including in Yemen. We call on all relevant stakeholders to build on efforts for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. 

The People of Yemen deserve a united country that is in peace and thriving economically.

I Thank you.

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