The Houthis’ reckless attacks on maritime shipping undermine the stability of Yemen: UK statement at the UN Security Council


Thank you, President, and my thanks to Special Envoy Grundberg and USG Griffiths for your briefings and particularly to Martin for his long engagement on this file. 

Colleagues, as a Council, we cannot falter in our support to Yemen, our support for an inclusive and sustainable peace, and we should remain unified behind the Special Envoy’s efforts to secure that peace via de-escalation and ceasefire. 

We therefore call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and preserve the space for negotiations, under the UN roadmap, to secure lasting peace and prosperity for the people of Yemen.

President, I will make three points.

First, on shipping, the United Kingdom condemns the latest Houthi threats to extend their attacks on shipping to the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Continued escalation of maritime attacks undermines the security and stability of Yemen, worsening the already dire humanitarian situation. We cannot secure a sustainable peace agreement without a conducive security environment. So we reiterate our calls on the Houthis to respect freedom of navigation and cease their reckless attacks on maritime shipping.

Second, there has been a notable surge in vessels that have entered Houthi-controlled ports without reporting to UNVIM. Since October 2023, reported violations could equate to as much as 500 truckloads of un-inspected material entering Hodeidah.

We have been clear on this issue: UNVIM is a crucial mechanism for restricting the supply of illegal weapons entering Yemen and we call on all vessels to comply with necessary inspections.

Third, as we heard from USG Griffiths, Yemen remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and one of the largest humanitarian responses. Aid agencies are unable to reach and assist vulnerable people. We call on the authorities, and the de facto authorities, to do more to enable the delivery of aid.

Last week, at the sixth Yemen Humanitarian Senior Officials Meeting, donors committed over $790m towards Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. But more is urgently required and the UK will shortly be announcing our pledge for 2024.

We call on others in the international community, and in the region, to help provide funding in support of the multi-cluster response plan outlined by USG Griffiths.

President, it’s been almost a year since the Houthis unlawfully detained members of the Baha’i community. We continue to call on the Houthis to uphold freedom of religion or belief and immediately and unconditionally release the remaining Baha’is in detention.

I thank you.

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