Explanation of Vote on a UN Security Council Resolution Renewing Yemen Sanctions

United States Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 25, 2021


To end the conflict in Yemen, the international community must seek a lasting political solution and humanitarian relief for the Yemeni people. The resolution adopted today helps us move in that direction.

UN Security Council sanctions for Yemen are a necessary tool to apply pressure on the Houthis to cease all military operations and turn to negotiations. We thank the United Kingdom for leading the effort to these sanctions and the mandate for the Panel of Experts, and we urge all UN Member States to implement their sanctions obligations related to Yemen.

The United States remains clear-eyed about the Houthis’ malign actions, and their aggression, particularly in their current military offensive against Marib. Likewise, we hold them responsible for attacks and threats against civilian and commercial shipping, which must cease.

We are disappointed this Council could not speak with one voice today on the responsibility the Houthis bear, both in actions and intransigence, to prolong this conflict and exact serious humanitarian costs.

If the Houthis are serious about a negotiated political solution, they must cease all military advances and refrain from other destabilizing and potentially lethal actions, including cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia. They must commit to constructively participate in the UN-led political process and engage seriously in the diplomatic effort led by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking.

The United States remains committed to helping U.S. partners in the Gulf defend themselves, including against threats arising from Yemen, many of which are carried out with the support of Iran.

It is imperative that all UN Member States implement their UN Security Council sanctions obligations and refrain from taking actions that may undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Yemen.

Finally, we welcome the decision of the Security Council to designate Sultan Zabin in this resolution. Zabin is responsible for the implementation of a policy of the Sana’a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that resulted in numerous reported cases of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, sexual violence, rape, torture, and other cruel treatment utilized by the Sana’a CID against politically active women who opposed the Houthis. We urge all Member States to implement their sanctions obligations on Zabin and all other individuals designated on the Yemen sanctions list.

The United States, alongside the United Nations and others, will continue to work to end the war and do its part to help ease the suffering of the Yemeni people.