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Joint Statement – Concrete Steps to Support Expansion of UN-mediated Truce in Yemen

On 21 September 2022, vice ministers and senior official representatives of the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council and the European Union, Germany, Kuwait and Sweden, hereafter referred to as the P5+4, met to discuss concrete steps to support an extension of the truce agreed upon by the Yemeni parties until 2 October and the start of a political process to end the conflict in Yemen. The Netherlands, Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates participated as guests.

The P5+4 reiterated their support for Yemen’s sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity.

The P5+4 reiterated their firm support for the UN Special Envoy and his ongoing efforts for a longer extension and expansion of the current truce. They underscored the urgency for quick progress and maximal flexibility by the parties. The P5+4 expressed their determination that an expanded truce agreement will provide an opportunity to reach an inclusive, comprehensive negotiated political settlement based on the agreed references and under the auspices of the UN. They recalled the importance of the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in the peace process including a minimum 30 per cent participation by women.

The P5+4 underscored the tangible benefits of the truce to the Yemeni people including a 60% reduction in civilian casualties from frontline violence, four times the amount of fuel imported through Hudaydah port compared with last year, and commercial flights from Sana’a allowing over 21,000 passengers to receive medical treatment abroad and to unite with families. They called on the Yemeni parties to urgently intensify, and be flexible in, the negotiations under the auspices of the UN in order to agree on an expanded truce that could be translated into a durable ceasefire. They urged the Yemeni parties to intensify engagement with the UN Special Envoy on all aspects of negotiations, eschew conditionality, and ensure their economic experts work closely with the UN, to implement measures to tackle the economic and financial crises, in particular to identify a solution for paying salaries to civil servants.

The P5+4 welcomed the exceptional measures taken by the Government of Yemen to avert fuel shortages in the Houthi-controlled areas following a Houthi order that undermined the established process for clearing fuel ships. They called on the Houthis to refrain from such actions and to cooperate with UN-led efforts to identify a durable solution to ensure the flow of fuel.

The P5+4 condemned all attacks that threaten to derail the truce including, inter alia, the recent Houthi attacks on Taiz. They reiterated that there is no military solution to the Yemen conflict and condemned the recent Houthi military parade in Hudaydah. They called for an end to all forms of visible military manifestations in violation of the Hudaydah agreement. They expressed concern regarding recent instability in the southern part of Yemen and noted with concern the increase in civilian causalities caused by landmines. They recalled parties’ obligations under international humanitarian law and the need to respect human rights, including the protection of civilians, especially children. They expressed their concern about the lack of progress on the opening of the Taiz roads, and reiterated their call on the Houthis to act with flexibility in negotiations and immediately open the main Taiz roads in line with recent UN proposals.

The P5+4 called for an intensified engagement and commitment by international partners to support an extension of the current truce and urged the Yemeni actors to participate constructively in direct negotiations with each other on military, political and economic issues under the auspices of the United Nations.

The P5+4 highlighted Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and the continued risk of famine, and they encouraged donors to fully fund the UN humanitarian response plan and support the Yemeni government’s efforts to stabilize the economy. They noted the insufficient funds for enabling operation of the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) for Yemen beyond 30 September 2022 and recalled the key role played by UNVIM to facilitate commercial imports, including basic staples, into Yemen’s ports.

The P5+4 reiterated their deep concern about the serious ecological, maritime, and humanitarian risks posed by the Safer tanker. They welcome/ed the pledges from Member States and the private sector toward the UN operational plan for the Safer tanker, and emphasized the need to mobilize further funding to finalize the operation.

The P5+4 underlined their willingness to ramp up their support through additional financial assistance and technical expertise for economic recovery, stabilization and peacebuilding initiatives, as well as improved public service provision across all of Yemen if there is substantial progress towards a political process under UN auspices. They called on others to join them in doing so.

The P5+4 decided to continue meeting regularly at different levels.