- Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany (second from right, top), Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen to the UN, greets Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, at the Council meeting.
- © UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz
“Recalling its resolutions 2014 (2011), 2051 (2012), 2140 (2014), 2201 (2015), and 2204 (2015) and presidential statements of 15 February 2013, 29 August 2014, and 22 March 2015,
“Noting the letter dated 24 March 2015 from the Permanent Representative of Yemen, to the United Nations, transmitting a letter from the President of Yemen, in which he informed the President of the Security Council that ‘he has requested from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the League of Arab States to immediately provide support, by all necessary means and measures, including military intervention, to protect Yemen and its people from the continuing aggression by the Houthis’, and noting the letter dated 26 March 2015 from the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar, S/2015/217, transmitting a letter from the Representatives of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,
“Recalling the resolution of Summit XXVI of the League of Arab States on the developments in Yemen, stressing inter alia the necessity to resume Yemen’s political transition process with the participation of all Yemeni parties in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, and its commitment to stand by the people of Yemen,
“Condemning the growing number of and scale of the attacks by Al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP),
“Expressing concern at the ability of AQAP to benefit from the deterioration of the political and security situation in Yemen, mindful that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed,
“Reiterating its support for the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council in assisting the political transition in Yemen and commending its engagement in this regard,
“Reaffirming its support for the legitimacy of the President of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and reiterating its call to all parties and Member States to refrain from taking any actions that undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, and the legitimacy of the President of Yemen,
“Expressing grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and emphasizing that the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution,
“Recalling that arbitrary denial of humanitarian access and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supply and access, may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law,
“Emphasizing the need for the return to the implementation of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, including drafting a new constitution, electoral reform, the holding of a referendum on the draft constitution and timely general elections, to avoid further deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Yemen,
“Reaffirming its full support for, and commitment to, the efforts of the United Nations and the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Yemen, in particular to the UN-brokered negotiations, and its support for the efforts of the Group of Ambassadors in Sana’a,
“Alarmed at the military escalation by the Houthis in many parts of Yemen including in the Governorates of Ta’iz, Marib, AlJauf, Albayda, their advance towards Aden, and their seizure of arms, including missile systems, from Yemen’s military and security institutions,
“Condemning in the strongest terms the ongoing unilateral actions taken by the Houthis, and their failure to implement the demands in resolution 2201 (2015) to immediately and unconditionally withdraw their forces from Government institutions, including in the capital Sana’a, normalize the security situation in the capital and other provinces, relinquish government and security institutions, and safely release all individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained, and reiterating its call on all non-State actors to withdraw from government institutions across Yemen and to refrain from any attempts to take over such institutions,
“Deploring any attempt by the Houthis to take actions that are exclusively within the authority of the legitimate Government of Yemen, and noting that such actions are unacceptable,
“Expressing alarm that such actions taken by the Houthis undermine the political transition process in Yemen, and jeopardize the security, stability, sovereignty and unity of Yemen,
“Noting with concern the destabilizing actions taken by the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, including supporting the Houthis’ actions, which continue to undermine the peace, security and stability of Yemen,
“Welcoming the intention of the Gulf Cooperation Council to convene a conference in Riyadh, upon the request of the President of Yemen, with the participation of all Yemeni parties to further support the political transition in Yemen, and to complement and support the UN-brokered negotiations,
“Recalling its resolution 2117 (2013) and expressing grave concern at the threat to peace and security in Yemen arising from the illicit transfer, destabilising accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons,
“Recognizing that the continuing deterioration of the security situation and escalation of violence in Yemen poses an increasing and serious threat to neighbouring States and reaffirming its determination that the situation in Yemen constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Demands that all Yemeni parties, in particular the Houthis, fully implement resolution 2201 (2015), refrain from further unilateral actions that could undermine the political transition in Yemen, and further demands that the Houthis immediately and unconditionally:
(a) end the use of violence;
(b) withdraw their forces from all areas they have seized, including the capital Sana’a;
(c) relinquish all additional arms seized from military and security institutions, including missile systems;
(d) cease all actions that are exclusively within the authority of the legitimate Government of Yemen;
(e) refrain from any provocation or threats to neighbouring States, including through acquiring surface-surface missiles, and stockpiling weapons in any bordering territory of a neighbouring State;
(f) safely release Major-General Mahmoud al-Subaihi, the Minister of Defence of Yemen, all political prisoners, and all individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained; and
(g) end the recruitment and use of children and release all children from their ranks;
“2. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of this resolution and resolution 2201 (2015), in particular paragraph 1 of this resolution, in 10 days from the adoption of this resolution; and in case of further non-implementation, expresses its intent to consider designating additional individuals and entities who are engaged in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen, to be subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 11 and 15 of resolution 2140 (2014);
“3. Decides that the individuals listed in Annex I of this resolution shall be subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 11 and 15 of resolution 2140 (2014);
“4. Reiterates the importance of the implementation of all measures imposed by resolution 2140 (2014), as extended in resolution 2204 (2015);
“5. Calls upon all Yemeni parties, in particular the Houthis, to abide by the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, and the relevant Security Council resolutions and to resume and accelerate inclusive United Nations-brokered negotiations, including on issues relating to governance, to continue the political transition in order to reach a consensus solution and stresses the importance of full implementation of agreements reached and commitments made towards that goal and calls on the parties, in this regard, to agree on the conditions leading to an expeditious cessation of violence, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions, including this resolution and resolution 2201 (2015);
“6. Demands that all Yemeni parties adhere to resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation, reject acts of violence to achieve political goals, and refrain from provocation and all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition and stresses that all parties should take concrete steps to agree and implement a consensus-based political solution to Yemen’s crisis in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference;
“7. Urges all Yemeni parties to respond positively to the request of the President of Yemen to attend a conference in Riyadh, under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to further support the political transition in Yemen, and to complement and support the UN-brokered negotiations;
“8. Calls on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, including applicable international humanitarian law and human rights law;
“9. Reaffirms, consistent with international humanitarian law, the need for all parties to ensure the safety of civilians, including those receiving assistance, as well as the need to ensure the security of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel, and urges all parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to reach people in need of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance;
“10. Calls on all parties to facilitate the evacuation by concerned States and international organizations of their civilians and personnel from Yemen and commends steps already taken in this regard;
“11. Reaffirms the principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and the obligations of host Governments, including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to take all appropriate steps to protect diplomatic and consular premises against any intrusion or damage, and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of these missions or impairment of their dignity;
“12. Requests the Secretary-General to intensify his efforts in order to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and evacuation, including the establishment of humanitarian pauses, as appropriate, in coordination with the Government of Yemen, and calls on Yemeni parties to cooperate with the Secretary-General to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need;
“13. Further requests the Secretary-General to intensify his good offices role in order to enable a resumption of a peaceful, inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led political transition process that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people, including women, for peaceful change and meaningful political, economic and social reform, as set out in the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, and stresses the importance of the United Nations’ close coordination with international partners, in particular the Gulf Cooperation Council, Group of Ambassadors in Sana’a, and other actors, in order to contribute to a successful transition;
“14. Decides that all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to, or for the benefit of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi, and the individuals and entities designated by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 19 of resolution 2140 (2014) (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Committee’) pursuant to paragraph 20 (d) of this resolution, the individuals and entities listed in Annex I of this resolution, and those acting on their behalf or at their direction in Yemen, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories;
“15. Calls upon Member States, in particular States neighbouring Yemen, to inspect, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, all cargo to Yemen, in their territory, including seaports and airports, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale or transfer of which is prohibited by paragraph 14 of this resolution for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions;
“16. Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items the supply, sale, or transfer of which is prohibited by paragraph 14 of this resolution, seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of such items and decides further that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts;
“17. Requires any Member State when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 15 of this resolution, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspections, the results of such inspections, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for supply, sale, or transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee within 30 days a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;
Additional Designation Criteria
“18. Reaffirms the designation criteria set out in paragraph 17 of resolution 2140 (2014), the measures imposed by paragraph 11 and 15 of the same and stresses the importance of their full implementation;
“19. Reaffirms paragraph 18 of resolution 2140 (2014), and underscores that acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen may also include the violations of the arms embargo imposed by paragraph 14 or obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemen or access to, or distribution of, humanitarian assistance in Yemen;
Mandate of the Sanctions Committee
“20. Decides that the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 19 of resolution 2140 (2014) shall also undertake the following tasks:
(a) monitoring implementation of the measures imposed in paragraph 14 of this resolution;
(b) seeking from all States whatever information it may consider useful regarding the actions taken by them to implement effectively the measures imposed by paragraph 14 above;
(c) examining and taking appropriate action on information regarding alleged non-compliance with the measures contained by this resolution;
(d) designating as may be necessary additional individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraph 14 above;
Mandate of the Panel of Experts
“21. Decides that the mandate of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to paragraph 21 of resolution 2140 (2014) and renewed by resolution 2204 (2015) shall also include monitoring implementation of the measures imposed by paragraph 14;
“22. Requests the Secretary-General, having due regard for the increased mandate of the Panel of Experts, to increase the Panel to five members, and make the necessary financial and security arrangements to support the work of the Panel;
“23. Calls upon the Panel of Experts to cooperate actively with other Panels or Groups of Experts established by the Security Council, including the 1267 Monitoring Team, as relevant to the implementation of their mandate;
Commitment to review
“24. Reaffirms its readiness to take further measures in case of non-implementation by any Yemeni party of this resolution and resolution 2201 (2015);
“25. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
“1. Abdulmalik al-Houthi
“Abdul Malik al Houthi is a leader of a group that has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.
“In September 2014, Houthi forces captured Sanaa and in January 2015 they attempted to unilaterally replace the legitimate government of Yemen with an illegitimate governing authority that the Houthis dominated. Al-Houthi assumed the leadership of Yemen’s Houthi movement in 2004 after the death of his brother, Hussein Badredden al-Houthi. As leader of the group, al-Houthi has repeatedly threatened Yemeni authorities with further unrest if they do not respond to his demands and detained President Hadi, Prime Minister, and key cabinet members. Hadi subsequently escaped to Aden. The Houthis then launched another offensive towards Aden assisted by military units loyal to former president Saleh and his son, Ahmed Ali Saleh.
“2. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh
“Ahmed Ali Saleh has engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, and stability of Yemen.
“Ahmed Ali Saleh has been working to undermine President Hadi’s authority, thwart Hadi’s attempts to reform the military, and hinder Yemen’s peaceful transition to democracy. Saleh played a key role in facilitating the Houthi military expansion. As of mid-February 2013, Ahmed Ali Saleh had issued thousands of new rifles to Republican Guard brigades and unidentified tribal shaykhs. The weapons were originally procured in 2010 and reserved to purchase the loyalties of the recipients for political gain at a later date.
“After Saleh’s father, former Republic of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, stepped down as President of Yemen in 2011, Ahmed Ali Saleh retained his post as commander of Yemen’s Republican Guard. A little over a year later, Saleh was dismissed by President Hadi but he retained significant influence within the Yemeni military, even after he was removed from command. Ali Abdullah Saleh was designated by the UN under United Nations Security Council resolution 2140 in November 2014.”
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
The President (spoke in Arabic): In accordance with rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, I invite the representative of Yemen to participate in this meeting.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.
Members of the Council have before them document S/2015/245, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by Jordan, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.
The Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.
A vote was taken by a show of hands.
In favour: Angola, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Abstaining: Russian Federation
The President (spoke in Arabic): The draft resolution received 14 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted as resolution 2216 (2015).
I now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements after the vote.
Sir Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom): The United Kingdom welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2216 (2015).
In February, the Security Council made it very clear that further measures would be taken if the Houthis failed to cease their intimidation, aggression and expansion. As their actions have shown, the Houthis ignored this warning. The United Kingdom therefore supports the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen taking place at the request of President Hadi, but ultimately the solution to this crisis must be a political one, and the United Kingdom stands with the international community in its call in this resolution for an inclusive political process.
We call on all Yemeni parties to engage in the United Nations-led dialogue in good faith. This resolution adopts sanctions against individuals who have chosen not to do so but instead continue to destabilize Yemen. It is right that the international community increase the cost of their unacceptable behaviour.
A political solution in Yemen remains the best way to counter the growing threat from terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. It is imperative that the international community not lose sight of the growing threat that they pose. A political solution is also the best way to arrest the worsening economic and humanitarian situation. Free and unfettered access for humanitarian supplies is critical. The United Kingdom is providing additional humanitarian support to Yemen and we urge the international community to do likewise.
The security and stability of Yemen is in the interest of all Yemenis and all in the international community. It is right that the Security Council has taken this action today and the United Kingdom will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to support a lasting political solution in Yemen.
Mr. Churkin (Russian Federation) (spoke in Russian): The Russian Federation abstained in the voting on resolution 2216 (2015), concerning the conflict in Yemen, as, in our view, it is not fully in line with the requirements that were put forth to the international community or dictated by the current crisis in the country.
During consultations on the resolution, the constructive proposals of the Russian delegation were not given due consideration. The resolution refers to the need to resume negotiations between the parties to the Yemeni conflict, and expresses support to the relevant United Nations efforts. However, the ponsors refused to include the requirements insisted upon by Russia, which were addressed to all parties to the conflict, to swiftly halt fire and begin peace talks.
The resolution contains no due reflection on the difficulties caused by the fighting for Yemeni civilians, nor does it provide a sufficiently clear expression of the instatement of obligations or regular humanitarian pauses.
Given the situation in Yemen, the resolution makes inappropriate reference to the sanctions aspect. We insisted on the necessity of a comprehensive arms embargo. It is well known that Yemen is awash in weapons. In that regard, we think it necessary to stress that the resolution adopted should not be used to further escalate the armed conflict, which could result in serious consequences for Yemen and the entire region.
Without a doubt, the current chaos in Yemen is playing exclusively into the hands of terrorist organizations. There is no alternative to a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. We expect dynamic activities from the United Nations with a view to the resumption of peace talks between all parties to the Yemeni conflict. That work, based on already existing documents, should begin swiftly.
Ms. Power (United States of America): For months the Security Council has clearly and unequivocally demanded that the Houthi withdraw from Government institutions, cease hostilities and return to Yemen’s agreed-upon political transition. As recently as our 22 March presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/8), we condemned unilateral actions taken by the Houthi to undermine Yemen’s security, stability and unity. In response, the Houthis, working in close coordination with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, have intensified their military campaign, bombed Aden and extended their offensive to Yemen’s south. Those actions have caused widespread violence and instability that threaten the security and welfare of the Yemeni people, as well as the region’s security.
As a result, the United States strongly supports the adoption of today’s resolution 2216 (2015), which imposes consequences on the Houthi and former President Saleh, demands that the Houthi cease military operations and calls on all sides to once again return to the negotiating table. The imposition of a global assets freeze and travel ban on Ahmed Ali Saleh and Abdulmalik al-Houthi, as well as a targeted arms embargo, show that the Security Council will take action against those who continue to undermine efforts towards reconciliation.
The resolution further recognizes the costs of Yemen’s rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions. In response, the resolution affirms that all parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, and it urges all parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need, including by working with the Secretary-General to establish humanitarian pauses. The Council cannot lose sight of the human consequences of this conflict.
A legitimate transition in Yemen can be achieved only through political negotiations and a consensus agreement among all political parties based on the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and the outcomes of Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference. The United Nations must continue its efforts to hold talks to find a consensus solution to this crisis, and all parties must commit to taking part in the talks. There is no alternative.
Mr. Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain) (spoke in Spanish): Spain would like to express its full support for resolution 2216 (2015), on the situation in Yemen, submitted by the delegation of Jordan. We trust that the message of the Security Council will be clear to all the parties to the conflict, and help to halt the escalation of violence. In particular, I would like to underscore the call to dialogue and the appeal for a political solution based on consensus. Inclusive dialogue is the only way to achieve the goals of unity and prosperity for Yemen that we all desire.
We also have faith in the full involvement of the Secretary-General and his team, with a view to helping to resolve this crisis as early as possible and facilitating the path to a return to a democratic transition led by the Yemenis themselves.
We share the concern of the other members of the Council over the longstanding humanitarian crisis that has affected the Yemeni population, which can only worsen with further the armed clashes. We therefore emphasize the importance of complying with the requirements set out in this and other resolutions on Yemen.
Lastly, I would like to point out the importance of transparency in negotiations in order to ensure the constructive contribution of the 15 members of the Security Council. Such will allow us to achieve the highest level of consensus possible in this as well as in other matters.
Mr. Liu Jieyi (China) (spoke in Chinese): The Security Council just adopted resolution 2216 (2015), which reiterates the Council’s support for the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen. The resolution also calls upon the parties concerned to reach agreement on a ceasefire as soon as possible. And it clearly requires the parties concerned in Yemen to solve their differences in a peaceful manner through dialogue and consultation. The resolution is extremely important for restoring stability in Yemen and promoting a political settlement of the issue. China is profoundly concerned by recent developments in Yemen. If allowed to continue, the fighting and chaos in Yemen will not only plunge the people of Yemen into profound calamity, but will also spill over, affecting the entire region. There is no military solution; political negotiation is the only way out.
China calls upon the parties concerned to work in the interests of the nation and the people of Yemen, to take to heart the overall interests of regional peace and stability and to truly comply with and implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolution 2216 (2015), in order to achieve a prompt ceasefire. Furthermore, we urge the parties to resolve the crisis through political dialogue on the basis of Security Council resolutions and the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, to restore stability and order, as soon as possible, and to to promote an inclusive political transition led by the Yemeni people.
China hopes that all parties will, on the basis of satisfy the requirements of the resolution, focus on the humanitarian issues on the ground in order to provide security and facilitate humanitarian assistance and the evacuation of expatriates in Yemen. The parties should also commit to protect the safety and security of diplomatic establishments and personnel in accordance with relevant international law. China supports the ongoing role of the United Nations in mediating a political solution and calls upon the parties to ease the tension, facilitate the humanitarian situation and play a constructive role in the political solution. China is ready to join the rest of the international community in unremitting efforts for a political settlement.
Mrs. Adnin (Malaysia): I take the floor to explain my delegation’s vote today on resolution 2216 (2015), on the situation in Yemen. I would also like to take this opportunity to commend you, Madam President, for the way in which you have guided the Council towards the resolution’s successful adoption today. In that regard, Malaysia thanks the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for its engagement with the Security Council.
We consider it most unfortunate that the deteriorating situation in Yemen has compelled us to adopt this resolution. Today the parties in Yemen seem ever further from the promising steps they had taken towards a peaceful transition. Today the conflicting parties are no longer engaging in dialogue, and the situation has degenerated into an all-out war.
Malaysia wishes to emphasize that the success of a Yemeni political transition hinges on the political will to negotiate of the parties in Yemen themselves. However, without good faith, sincere commitment and political will on all sides, any such negotiations are doomed to failure. Nevertheless, in his role in leading the negotiation process on behalf of the international community and the United Nations, Malaysia would like to pay tribute to Mr. Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, for his tireless efforts to salvage the dialogue between all the parties. We strongly condemn the spoilers of Yemen’s democratic transition for their disregard for previous commitments and their pursuit of a power struggle at the expense of the country’s unity and stability. In our view, their pursuit of narrow self-interest has betrayed the hopes and aspirations of the Yemeni people for a brighter future.
The brazen attack last month by the Houthi militias, in collaboration with forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, on the presidential palace of President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour in Aden was simply unacceptable. In the face of such blatant disregard for various Security Council resolutions, the Council must discharge its duty and responsibility by calling on the parties to exercise restraint and return to the country’s road map for an inclusive, democratic transition. For that and other reasons, Malaysia supports resolution 2216 (2015), including its provision for expanding targeted sanctions against Yemen’s peace spoilers.
At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen owing to the escalation of the conflict. Even prior to the latest escalation, 16 million of Yemen’s 25 million citizens required humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. The already dire humanitarian situation has now worsened as the population faces severe food insecurity and a lack of basic needs, such as drinking water and health services.
Malaysia is deeply concerned about reports from humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the difficulties they are encountering in their efforts to provide emergency assistance and deliver humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, to those in need. We have seen reports of ICRC workers being shot and killed while trying to retrieve the bodies of victims left lying in the streets after military clashes. UNICEF has also highlighted that children continue to be killed, injured, displaced and put at increasing risk of disease as the conflict continues in Yemen. Almost a quarter of those killed in the recent conflict have been children. Schools and hospitals have also been attacked. In view of the deteriorating situation on the ground, we urge all parties to the conflict to make every effort to protect civilians from violence, especially women and children, who are the most vulnerable in any armed conflict. We call on all the parties to adhere to international law, including international humanitarian and human-rights law.
Malaysia welcomes the ongoing mediation efforts of some countries aimed at arriving at a peaceful solution to the conflict. We reiterate the call in resolution 2216 (2015) to all Yemeni parties to resume United Nations- brokered negotiations for completing the final phases of the road map for Yemen’s democratic transition, based on the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and the Peace and National Partnership Agreement. We believe that this remains the only legitimate path towards a democratic, stable and inclusive Yemen, and we will continue to support Yemen in that endeavour.
Mr. Barros Melet (Chile) (spoke in Spanish): It is clear that different interpretations exist of the situation affecting Yemen, but we all agree that the violence is having a serious effect on the civilian population. For that reason, we appreciate the fact that the final version of the resolution we have adopted today (resolution 2216 (2015)) includes stronger language on the humanitarian situation than was originally proposed, as well as incorporating the concept of humanitarian pauses, which has been requested by various humanitarian agencies and organizations. However, the humanitarian situation will not improve if the violence does not stop and if no progress is made with the political dialogue, which is why we call for speedy implementation of the ceasefire envisaged in today’s resolution. The continued use of force will eliminate any possibility of an inclusive and sustainable political dialogue.
We regret the fact that the resolution’s text does not include references to the impact of the growing violence on young people, including the killing and maiming of children and their ongoing recruitment and use in the fighting, as well the obstacles posed to access to schooling and hospitals, in contravention of the principles laid out in resolution 2143 (2014). That is an aspect of the crisis that we cannot overlook.
Lastly, my country feels that it is important, as has been mentioned, that the negotiation process be transparent from the very beginning, and that applies to all members of the Council.
Mr. Ramírez Carreño (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) (spoke in Spanish): The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela voted in favour of today’s resolution 2216 (2015), in the firm conviction that it is the responsibility of the Security Council to encourage a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the conflict in Yemen. We emphasize that there can be no military solution to the conflict affecting the country. The only solution is a political, negotiated and peaceful one. In that regard, we reaffirm our support for the mediation efforts of Mr. Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the Secretary- General on Yemen, aimed at helping the parties to arrive at a peace agreement within the framework of a political transition.
We hoped that today’s resolution would include stronger language on a cessation of hostilities — and indeed of every kind of military action — in Yemen. The escalating violence has resulted in the death of civilians, including women and children, and the growing number of clashes has exacerbated the already complex humanitarian situation that our Arab brother country has been dealing with for many years, which has left more than 60 per cent of the population in need of aid. The current situation is only worsening the already delicate and critical situation on the ground. We condemn the attacks on hospitals and schools, in violation of international humanitarian law, and in that regard we call on the parties to fully comply with the standards set by international humanitarian and human- rights law so as to ensure the protection of civilians. We also appeal to them to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemenis in urgent need of food, medicine and basic services.
We reaffirm our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The only people who benefit from the current conflict are the terrorist groups of Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, since institutional collapse and sectarian tensions help them to realize their aims. It is therefore essential that there be a return to dialogue and negotiation with a view to achieving peace and stability in Yemen. Likewise, we urge Member States to refrain from taking any measures that would prevent the achievement of those objectives.
Lastly, we agree with what was said by other delegations. Our country will always work constructively within the Security Council in order to achieve the proposed objectives. However, we would like to express our concern at the fact that the negotiating process lacked the required inclusiveness, limiting the discussions on the items in the resolution to a group of actors and excluding the other non-permanent members of the Council, whose proposals were not discussed properly. We hope that this type of situation will not happen again, because it affects the Council’s working methods and in particular undermines its transparency and credibility.
Ms. Murmokaitė (Lithuania): Lithuania voted in favour of resolution 2216 (2015), which was just adopted and sends a strong and much-needed signal from the international community that all parties in Yemen should quickly come back to the negotiating table, relaunch the transition process as per the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, and thus spare the lives and livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of Yemenis affected by the fighting.
As we all know, the humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire: 16 million people, almost a third of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Due to the conflict, hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, and 100,000 civilians have fled their homes.
Lithuania underscores the call of the resolution on all sides to strictly observe international humanitarian and human rights law. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach those in need without delay. The Council has a responsibility to do everything in its power to prevent Yemen from falling into a disastrous spiral of civil war, sectarian division and disintegration. The Council’s message should be united and clear: a political solution can be found, violence is not the answer, and those who continue their spoiling acts will face serious consequences. We believe that an arms embargo against the spoilers and their associates, as well as the designation of the Houthi leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, and the former head of the Republican Guard, Ahmed Saleh, will send a strong signal that the use of violence against peaceful transition, in defiance of Security Council resolutions, will not be tolerated.
At the same time, the Council must now make sure that both existing and new sanctions are vigorously and fully implemented by all. The United Nations has been able to pull Yemen away from the brink before through its good offices and mediation. We must not forget that the role of the United Nations remains vital if a return to sustainable peace in Yemen is to stand a chance.
Mr. Delattre (France) (spoke in French): We would like to thank Jordan for having taken the initiative to prepare and coordinate negotiations on the draft resolution on the situation in Yemen. France voted in favour of resolution 2216 (2015), of which it was a sponsor, as it deals with the root cause of the current situation, which is a political one: the ongoing destabilization of the country by the Houthi rebels.
At issue is the militia’s refusal to abide by the Security Council’s requests, in particular those contained in resolution 2201 (2015), adopted on 15 February, and presidential statement S/PRST/2015/8, adopted on 22 March, as well as by the various agreements negotiated in recent months under the auspices of the United Nations, which have not been upheld. The threat posed by the Houthis to the unity, integrity, stability and sovereignty of Yemen can benefit only the terrorists, beginning with Al-Qaida but also, more recently, Daesh.
We have tirelessly for many months now indicated to spoilers of the political transition that we were determined to bring growing pressure to bear upon them in order that they cease their unilateral actions and return to the negotiating table. It was important for us to confirm our determination to translate that message into action, and this is what we have just done by imposing sanctions on Mr. Abdulmalik al-Houthi and Mr. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as a targeted arms embargo. Our collective credibility was at stake.
However, these necessary sanctions are not a means in and of themselves, but, rather, an instrument aimed at promoting the achievement of a political goal: an end to the crisis, the resumption of an inclusive political dialogue, agreement on the formation of a national unity Government and a phased relaunching of the Yemeni transition. That is the political goal that we are seeking. Here the United Nations has a key role to play, as its expertise and its neutrality makes it irreplaceable. That is why we support the role of the Organization in Yemen and call for the relaunching of the inter-Yemeni dialogue under its auspices as soon as possible.
Given the worsening humanitarian situation on the ground, France also calls for compliance with international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians. Free and unimpeded access to those in need of assistance must be guaranteed, as set out in the resolution.
France supports the Council’s steadfast approach to Yemen: the backing of Yemen’s legitimate President, Mr. Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour; its firm stance on spoilers; its support for the achievements of the transition and the country’s institutions; its call for a politically inclusive settlement that alone will allow the challenges in the country to be met; and the combat against terrorist groups. We express the hope that this approach will produce speedy results and are certain that we can count on the determination of the United Nations in that respect. We call upon all actors concerned — Yemeni parties, regional actors and influential countries — to work along those lines.
Mr. McLay (New Zealand): New Zealand is pleased that the Council has now been able to agree a response to the conflict in Yemen. It has been a challenging and difficult process to get us to this point, in which you, Madam President, have led us with great patience — infinite patience, I might say.
It is important that the Council be seen to be united in this crisis and equally important that we send a clear signal about the urgent need for an end to hostilities and for a return to dialogue and to an inclusive political process, as agreed previously by the Council.
Resolution 2216 (2015), which the Council just adopted, imposes consequences for non-compliance. We hope that that will create further incentives for the parties to return to the negotiating table, so we reiterate and support the resolution’s call for a resumption of the United Nations-led political dialogue. That would be in the best interests of all parties and of the long-suffering people of Yemen. This time the parties must listen.
We are also very deeply concerned at the humanitarian situation in Yemen and the impact of the conflict on civilians, and we re-echo the resolution’s call for all parties involved in military operations to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law. That is not an option; it is an obligation.
Absent a political solution to this crisis, that humanitarian situation will only continue to deteriorate. So we reiterate the call for all parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and we support the request that the Secretary-General should intensify his efforts to facilitate a humanitarian pause.
New Zealand will be actively engaged in following up on progress towards those humanitarian outcomes that we should all be seeking.
Mr. Cherif (Chad) (spoke in French): As this is the first time that I am taking the floor in an open meeting under your presidency, Madam, allow me to congratulate your country, Jordan, on its assumption of the presidency of the Security Council and to wish every success to you and to your whole Mission team. Chad wishes to assure you of our constructive cooperation and support.
My country welcomes the adoption just now of resolution 2216 (2015), on Yemen, where the situation is deeply worrisome on the security and humanitarian fronts. The resolution addresses the root causes of the conflict. Chad voted in favour of the resolution, hoping to see the international community its join efforts with those of the countries members of the Gulf Cooperation Council so as to prevent the total collapse of Yemen, which could pose a real threat to international peace and security. In that regard, Chad supports the efforts of the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to restore peace in Yemen. Accordingly, we emphasize the need for strong mobilization by the entire international community to put an end to the dangerous escalation of the conflict and to promote the ongoing negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations in respect of the legitimacy represented by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution 2201 (2015).
The Security Council must send a clear and strong message to all Yemeni parties, especially the Houthis, to call them to immediately stop the violence and respect the democratic transition under the Peace and National Partnership Agreement, as well as decisions of the National Dialogue Conference and the agreement on the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism. It is not acceptable that an armed militia could use violence to undermine the achievements of the National Dialogue or subvert constitutional legitimacy.
In conclusion, Chad reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligations to respect international humanitarian law and to avoid targeting hospitals, schools, civilian infrastructure and camps for refugees and displaced persons.
Mr. Laro (Nigeria): Nigeria is deeply concerned by the deteriorating political, security and humanitarian situation in Yemen. We have repeatedly stated that the crisis in Yemen cannot be resolved militarily. The only path to sustainable peace and stability in Yemen is through negotiation and dialogue. We call on all parties in Yemen to return to the political process in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, as well as the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, in which all parties participated. Our wish is to see in the very near future a peaceful, prosperous, united and stable Yemen in which all communities live together in harmony. It is our hope that resolution 2216 (2015), which the Security Council has just adopted, will lead to an early and permanent resolution of the crisis in Yemen.
Mr. Lucas (Angola): My delegation voted in favour and fully supports resolution 2216 (2015), whose necessity was dictated by the Houthis’ unilateral actions that jeopardized what seemed to be a promising transitional political process in Yemen. It is our hope that the resolution contributes to a meaningful peace process in the country and to solving the major humanitarian crisis there.
We praise Jordan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for their efforts in bringing about the Security Council’s adoption of this resolution for a political solution based on the GCC’s Initiative, which remains the only framework for the re-engagement of the political process. We expect that the spoilers are treated as the resolution disposes.
We are greatly concerned about the growing number and scale of attacks by Al-Qaida terrorists, a deadly danger for the future of peace and stability in the country. We now appeal to all parties to the conflict to resume negotiations and support United Nations mediation efforts conducive to reinstating the transitional political process for a future of stability and peace in Yemen.
The President (spoke in Arabic): I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of Jordan.
Jordan welcomes the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2216 (2015), which we put forward today. It reflects Jordan’s ongoing desire for the return of stability and security to the sisterly country of Yemen as soon as possible. The irresponsible practices of the Houthis and their supporters, and the continuation of their unilateral actions, along with their non-compliance with Security Council resolutions, have led the Council to adopt a resolution under Chapter VII, whereby States are prohibited from arming a group of individuals involved in acts that pose threats to peace, security or stability in Yemen.
In a move that reflects the Council’s determination to use the sanctions regime to deter anyone found involved in acts that threaten peace, security or stability in Yemen, the Council has imposed today a travel ban and an assets freeze on Abdulmalik al-Houthi , the leader of the Houthis, and Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, In addition to an arms supply embargo against them or whoever acts on their behalf or at their direction.
Given that the Council stresses the importance of dialogue and political solution to the Yemeni crisis, the resolution requests the Secretary-General to intensify his good offices role in order to enable a resumption of the political transition process, as set out in the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference. It urges all Yemeni parties to attend a conference to be held in Riyadh to further support the political transition in Yemen, as called for by the Yemeni President, whose legitimacy is reiterated today by the Council, which has also expressed its support for him.
In accordance with resolution 2216 (2015), the Council is seeking to put an end to violence in Yemen by creating the conditions to bring about such result, the most important of which is the Houthis’ commitment to implementing the relevant Security Council resolutions, including today’s resolution, which demands, inter alia, that they immediately and unconditionally end the use of violence, withdraw their forces from all areas they have seized, relinquish all additional weapons seized from the military and security institutions, and refrain from any provocations or threats to neighbouring states of Yemen.
With respect to the humanitarian situation, the resolution takes into account the guarantee to facilitate the evacuation by concerned States and international organizations of their citizens and personnel from Yemen, ensures the smooth flow of humanitarian aid, and facilitates evacuation procedures. It notes the establishment of humanitarian pauses, as appropriate, and in coordination with the Yemeni Government.
We emphasize that the humanitarian suffering in Yemen began and reached record levels when the Houthis failed to comply with Security Council resolutions and rejected the appeals of the international community and the League of Arab States. That derailed the political transition process and exacerbated the humanitarian and security situation in Yemen.
The adoption by the Council of this resolution under Chapter VII sends a strong and firm message to the Houthis, their supporters and any party that tries to threaten the security and stability of Yemen. It is a message that all parties should heed carefully and seriously. The Council affirms its readiness to take further measures in the event that any Yemeni party fails to implement this resolution and resolution 2201 (2015).
Finally, the deteriorating political and security situation in Yemen poses a serious and growing threat to neighbouring States. The international community and the Security Council should bear in mind the potential security and political repercussions on the region as a whole, and should continue to listen to the concerns of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
I now give the floor to the representative of Yemen.
Mr. Alyemany (Yemen) (spoke in Arabic): At the outset, I would like to thank you, Madam, for the efforts made by the sisterly Mission of Jordan in this international forum to address issues affecting Arab countries and, in particular, my country Yemen. Resolution 2216 (2015), adopted today, is a tangible demonstration of the serious approach being taken by the international community and the Security Council to provide unified support to our people in pursuit of their legitimate aspirations to instate the rule of law in a dignified State where all citizens are all equal and peaceful federal democracy reigns.
As the Council has today adopted a comprehensive resolution to deal with all aspects of the Yemeni crisis, may I recall the Security Council’s visit at the end of January 2013 when it met with President Mansour Hadi and other members of the Government. That historic visit to my country by the Security Council, which followed that of the Secretary-General, affirmed the Council’s commitment to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, as well as to the outcomes of the National Dialogue and relevant Security Council resolutions. It was an appeal to all Yemeni parties to make headway in the political transition.
The Yemeni people, with the support of international community and of the countries of the region, stepped up the pace to bring the transition to a close. Just as we approached the historic steps of adopting the federal Constitution of the State and holding legislative elections, destabilizing militia forces stepped up efforts to their own ends — a coup d’état.
The State under the constitutional legitimacy of the Yemeni President was the aspiration of all Yemenis. To the detractors, it was an obstacle to their designs. On the one hand, there was a spirit of brotherliness and dialogue in Yemen, in keeping with the hopes of the Yemeni people, through national dialogue, to create a unified State neither by coercion nor by hegemony; on the other hand, the putsch sought, through a vision manipulated by Iran — where Houthi militias and forces loyal to the former president were trained — to threaten the social fabric of Yemen and the cohesion of its people. The coup d’état was sped up against the legitimately elected President, whom these forces sought to replace, just as they sought to topple the Government in all areas, with militias from Sana’a and Taiz to Aden.
The Yemeni people rose up against them. The militias tried to attack the President in Aden so as to topple his legitimate regime and perpetrate a coup d’état. The President was forced to seek refuge, as is his constitutional prerogative, in neighbouring countries so as to preserve the unity of Yemen, in keeping with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. The response from the brotherly countries of the GCC, led by Saudi Arabia, was commensurate with the political responsibility and reflects our intertwined destinies. It was a very firm response aiming to defend the legitimacy of the Constitution and to rebuff Iran’s efforts with regard to my country.
The militias refuse to recognize the geopolitical or historical realities of the country or the blood ties between Yemen and the countries of the region. Let me therefore reiterate that my country will never forget and will remain forever grateful to our brothers in Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. We must also pay heartfelt tribute to the heroic fighting of our brothers in Aden, Taiz, Shabwah, Al-Ghayda, Ibb and elsewhere — every inch of Yemen has presented a unified resistance against the army of death, revenge and destruction.
From the very first hours of the Operation Decisive Storm, we have taken humanitarian concerns into account. Under the guidance of the President, we have worked in cooperation with coalition forces and humanitarian organizations to mobilize considerable resources provided by the GCC for emergency measures to mitigate the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people in various regions of the country; to provide humanitarian emergency assistance, medical supplies and medicines; to transport the wounded to Gulf States; and to help repatriate those stuck in airports in neighbouring States. Humanitarian operations continue under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is currently in Djibouti, which has become a humanitarian support centre, to organize emergency medical assistance.
At the same time, Government efforts continue to seek an exit strategy from the crisis that has raged since the coup d’état of 21 September. Consultations and dialogue continue among the various Yemeni forces in various Gulf capitals, including Riyadh. The presidential decree of yesterday designating Khaled Mahafoudh Bahah as Vice-President is of particular importance. It was a necessary measure to restore peace and stability in Yemen and to urge parties to the conflict to return to dialogue so as to implement the outcomes of the national dialogue.
The only way out of the crisis in Yemen is through dialogue. There can be no forceful solution or coup d’état. The militias must implement the resolution just adopted by the Security Council so as to allow for the drafting of a reconstruction plan, build capacities in cooperation with our GCC partners, and establish a regional security system whereby Yemen will be a source of stability, development and support to the brotherly countries of the region.
In conclusion, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Security Council members who have always supported the Yemeni people and our constitutionally legitimate President, Mansour Hadi. I would like to thank in particular our brothers of shared destiny in the framework of ongoing corporation under the GCC, led by Saudi Arabia, and, in particular, the King of Saudi Arabia. We would like to thank them for their genuine support to our country.
I would also like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his efforts as well as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through you, Ambassador Kawar, President of the Security Council and representative of all Arabs in these dark times.
The meeting rose at 11 a.m.