Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Yemen

Ambassador Nikki Haley
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
August 2, 2018


Thank you, Madam President, and we also congratulate you on the presidency this month. And we congratulate the Sweden delegation for their work on such a busy schedule in July. So congratulations to them.

Mr. Griffiths, we are glad to see you again. I had said to you yesterday, and I really believe, this council is so united in their support for you. We really strongly stand with you. Both parties need to understand that there is no break in this Security Council when it comes to supporting you and making sure both parties understand that they need to work with you. So we absolutely welcome the invitation to both sides to Geneva, we look forward to the outcome, and we do look forward to their positive response.

I think that we have to look at the situation. We’ve been really lucky for really long, because if you look at what’s happened now, we were already upset and wanted to condemn the Houthi attack on the Saudi oil tanker. That was already considered a problem. The ballistic missile strikes were already considered a problem. And we always said someone’s going to get hurt. If something doesn’t give, someone’s going to get hurt.

We have continued to say that the UN panel of experts have confirmed that Iran is supplying the Houthis. They are just as much to blame as the Houthis are, but today we had another attack. And the idea that a Saudi-led coalition had air strikes today against a fish market and a hospital in Hodeida that may have caused dozens of casualties – we’ve hit a new day now in Yemen. And we’ve hit a new sense of urgency in Yemen.

If this is what’s starting to happen, civilians are at risk, infrastructure is at risk, and we as the international community have to demand that the two parties come together and understand the seriousness of this. And I think that as we are going through that, we will be very anxious to hear how your talks go, but I think that we as a Council and as members need to remind both of them that civilian casualties, civilian infrastructure, anything that would relate to that is a concern.

The idea that strikes almost hit some of the water tanks, with the cholera outbreak, all of these things are starting to show a disregard for the people on the ground in a time when they are already suffering so much. And so, just know that, again, we emphasize that Hodeida must stay open, the access has to be there so humanitarian aid can come in, but we strongly support your talks in Geneva. We actually think it’s not soon enough, compared to what’s been happening the last few days.

So thank you very much.