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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open VTC on Yemen

2020/11/11

Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Envoy Mr. Griffiths, USG Mr. Lowcock, Executive Director Mr. Beasley, and Mr. Badokhon for their briefings.

Undoubtedly, the urgency of resolving the Yemeni issue is on the rise. China has always supported the political settlement of the Yemeni issue and the UN-led peace process. We have played a constructive role in this regard to actively push parties to bridge differences and build consensus. Today, I would like to highlight the following points.

First, force cannot solve any problem and hostilities must stop as soon as possible. The past month has seen signs of stability in the southern part of Yemen, but also some conflicts in the north, which brought challenges to the overall security situation in the country. At the same time, China is concerned about the recent drone attacks against Saudi Arabia. Political settlement is the only way out of the Yemeni issue. We call on all parties in Yemen to heed the appeal for ceasefire by the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy, respond to the people's aspiration for happy and stable life, stop the use of force and restore peace, stability and order in Yemen at an early date. In this regard, UNMHA should continue performing its duty of monitoring the ceasefire and ensuring the operation of the Hudaydah port.

Second, it is imperative to prioritize the interests of the country and its people and speed up political negotiations. The Stockholm Agreement has been signed for almost two years, and the Riyadh Agreement has been signed for one year. All parties should fulfill their commitments and effectively implement these agreements and relevant Council resolutions. Recently, the Yemeni government and the STC have been engaged in close consultations. Regional countries like Saudi Arabia have actively carried out mediation. Important progress has been made in the formation of a new government. China welcomes all this and hopes that a new government will be formed soon and military and security arrangements be implemented. We also encourage all Yemeni parties to maintain dialogue, take more confidence-building measures based on the prisoner exchange arrangements and support the Special Envoy’s mediation, so as to advance the process of political settlement. In this process, Yemen’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity must be fully defended and respected.

Third, there should be extensive inclusive dialogue to promote peace and stability in the Gulf region. China firmly supports the efforts of Gulf countries to safeguard national sovereignty and security and promote the easing of regional tensions. On Monday, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended a China-GCC Ministerial video conference, in which he once again called on all parties concerned to resolve regional hotspot issues by political means and through dialogue and negotiation. His appeal was unanimously endorsed by the ministers of the Gulf countries. We call on the international community and the Gulf countries to work together to build a platform of dialogue for regional security, continue to accumulate political trust to resolve differences and conflicts and strive to eliminate the root causes of conflict with a view to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Fourth, we must strive to ease the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, putting people at the center. The briefings by USG Mr. Lowcock and Executive Director Mr. Beasley were deeply disturbing. The worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen is affecting people’s lives in all aspects. We must be particularly vigilant about issues of famine, child malnutrition and COVID-19. The international community, especially the donor countries, should provide sufficient fund to the humanitarian response plan and substantially increase humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people, to prevent famine and fight the pandemic. China and Yemen have traditional friendship. China has been for a long time providing Yemen with humanitarian assistance including food and medical equipment. China recently donated testing kits, PPEs and medical masks to help Yemen fight against the pandemic. We will continue providing assistance within our capabilities.

China is also concerned about the lack of progress with the issue of SAFER oil tanker. We call for immediate actions to grant access to the UN technical team as soon as possible to avert catastrophe, protect the environment in this region, and safeguard the safety of international waterways.

I thank you, Madam President.

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