Joint Statement Yemen

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of a group of 29 states. The statement will be made available on the HRC extranet.

We are deeply concerned about the grave deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen. Moreover we remain deeply concerned about the continued allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights and applicable international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict.

We recall that the reported attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, funerals, population centres and markets are unacceptable. So are the continued recruitment of children, the abduction of civilians and alleged violations of political and civil rights, and the significant increase in reports of sexual and gender-based violence. We urge all parties to the conflict to fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law

We continue to support independent investigations into all alleged violations and abuses, with a view to ending impunity for crimes committed by all parties to the conflict, in line with HRC resolution A/HRC/33/16 and the EU General Comment.

We call on all parties to the conflict to cooperate fully with the National Commission of Inquiry as well as the enhanced OHCHR Yemen Office and to allow them full access to all parts of Yemen.

We call on the National Commission to proactively engage with and seek out the required substantive technical assistance provided by the Office of the High Commissioner so that national investigations will be completed in accordance with the highest international standards.

The additional international human rights experts and investigators - as mandated by the 2016 Yemen resolution  – should  begin their work swiftly. The independent investigatory work carried out by the OHCHR Yemen Office remains essential in order to establish the facts and circumstances of all alleged violations in Yemen. 

Both the final report by the National Commission of Inquiry as well the written report of the High Commissioner are essential ingredients for further discussions by the Human Rights Council in September. Ultimately these investigatory reports must provide a basis for starting a process of accountability.

We strongly call on all relevant parties to facilitate the swift resumption of salary payments in all of Yemen. We emphasise the importance of Hodeida port as a point of access for essential supplies, and the particular need to ensure that it is able to function effectively. We also urge the immediate reopening of Sana’a Airport for commercial flights.

Finally, we call upon all relevant parties to respect and implement the relevant decisions by the United Nations.  It is essential that we ensure that the people of Yemen are protected by the international human rights standards this Council upholds.