Remarks at a UN Security Council on Yemen

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Acting Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
August 20, 2019


Thank you, Madam President, and let me add our thanks to Special Envoy Griffiths and Assistant Secretary-General Mueller for your briefings and for the tireless efforts of your teams.

The United States is deeply concerned by the outbreak of violence and by the deadly clashes in Aden. Violence plays into the hands of those who seek to prolong this conflict, at the cost of the Yemeni people, and exacerbates the humanitarian crisis the United Nations and others are working hard to address.

We call on the parties to respect the rule of law, adhere to the agreed-upon ceasefire, and participate in good faith in the reconciliation talks proposed by Saudi Arabia. Dialogue represents the only way to achieve a stable, unified, and prosperous Yemen. Resolving the overall conflict and finishing the work initiated by the National Dialogue Conference is the best way for Yemenis to shape their political future.

Madame President, in addition to maintaining the ceasefire, it is essential that the parties continue to respect the government institutions that underpin economic stability, such as the Central Bank of Yemen branch in Aden, and that they allow humanitarian aid workers unfettered access to civilians affected by the unrest. We further call on all parties to respect Yemen’s territorial integrity.

Madame President, we are pleased to see a successful resolution to the negotiations between the Houthis and the World Food Program (WFP) that enables the resumption of general food distribution in Sana’a city and prevents a worsening food security situation. It is critical that the WFP and all humanitarian organizations be able to operate and provide life-saving assistance without the threat of diversion or corruption.

We hope, for the sake of Yemenis in need that the Houthis’ signing of this agreement means the delivery of food aid will continue for the duration of this crisis.

Madame President, while humanitarian assistance will not solve this conflict, it is critically important to the millions of Yemenis whose lives depend on it. The stoppage and reduction of humanitarian programs seen this year as a result of severe funding gaps underlines the need for immediate financial support to the Yemen response. As one of the largest humanitarian contributors in Yemen, the United States, once again, calls on all donors to step up assistance in Yemen and to fulfill immediately the financial commitments pledged in Geneva in February.

I thank you.