UN / YEMEN

20-Aug-2019 00:03:00
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said questions regarding the country’s future are being “posed more forcefully than before” adding that the “fragmentation of Yemen is becoming a stronger and more pressing threat.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / YEMEN
TRT: 3:00
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

20 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen:
“As we have seen in Aden and Abyan, questions regarding Yemen’s future are being posed more forcefully than before. The fragmentation of Yemen is becoming a stronger and more pressing threat. And this of course makes our efforts in the Yemeni peace process more urgent than ever. There is no time to lose. The stakes are becoming too high for the future of Yemen, the Yemeni people and indeed the wider region.”
4. Med shot, Yemeni ambassador
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen:
“Simply stated, a continuation of this current situation is simply untenable. Functioning of state institutions will almost certainly may break down further and daily life for the people will become even more difficult than it is already the case. There is indeed a grave and present risk of further damage to Yemen’s social fabric and the spread of violence to other southern governorates. At this time, Madam President, it is frankly difficult to know where events will lead us.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“The images from these and similar incidents are the stuff of nightmares. We urgently need de-escalation across Yemen - ideally through a nationwide ceasefire that will end all violence. But ceasefire or not, all parties must uphold international humanitarian law.”
7. Wide shot, delegates
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Since the pledging conference six months ago, nearly all donors have paid most or all of their 2019 pledges. Some have paid even more. But the largest donors - Yemen's neighbours in the Coalition - have so far paid only a modest share of what they promised. Essential programmes are now closing down. You heard last month about vaccination campaigns, supplies for health facilities and cholera prevention programmes that had been cancelled. These cuts are now much deeper.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, Permanent Representative of Yemen to the United Nations:
“What the temporary capital Aden and government institutions witnessed in the past few days was an armed rebellion against the legitimate government by what is called the Sothern Transitional Council and its Security Belt Forces with financial, logistic, and media support by the United Arab Emirates.”
11. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said questions regarding the country’s future are being “posed more forcefully than before” adding that the “fragmentation of Yemen is becoming a stronger and more pressing threat."

Addressing the Security Council today (20 Aug) via videoconference, Griffiths said that the situation on the ground in Yemen was changing with great speed and that we need to seize the opportunities for progress. He said, “There is no time to lose. The stakes are becoming too high for the future of Yemen, the Yemeni people and indeed the wider region.”

Griffiths provided an update on the implementation of the Stockholm agreement on Hudaydah. He expressed his frustration that progress on Hudaydah has not been quicker and that there has been no tangible implementation of the agreements on Taiz and the exchanges of prisoners and detainees. He said the Stockholm agreement was a key milestone in Yemen’s peace process, and it would be of considerable benefit to the parties and the Yemeni people were it to be fully implemented. However, he stressed that we must not allow its implementation to override our broader imperative to bring the conflict to an end.

Regarding the situation in Aden and Abyan, the Special Envoy said that a continuation of this current situation is “simply untenable”, warning of “a grave and present risk of further damage to Yemen’s social fabric and the spread of violence to other southern governorates.” He said he was alarmed by the violence and condemned the unacceptable efforts by the Southern Transitional Council to take control of state institutions by force.

Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said de-escalation was urgently needed across Yemen – “ideally through a nationwide ceasefire that will end the violence.” She said the images of recent attacks on civilians are “the stuff of nightmares” and underscored that “all parties must uphold international humanitarian law.” She added that all feasible steps must be taken to avoid harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure. This includes verifying targets, taking precautions in the choice of weapons and cancelling an attack if it is expected to cause disproportionate civilian harm.

Mueller said Yemen remains the world's largest humanitarian operation, providing food, water, healthcare and other services across the country. She noted that humanitarian agencies working through the UN response plan are assisting an average of 12 million people every month, however these programmes are at risk of stopping with only 34 per cent of the response plan funded.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Since the pledging conference six months ago, nearly all donors have paid most or all of their 2019 pledges. Some have paid even more. But the largest donors - Yemen's neighbours in the Coalition - have so far paid only a modest share of what they promised. Essential programmes are now closing down. You heard last month about vaccination campaigns, supplies for health facilities and cholera prevention programmes that had been cancelled. These cuts are now much deeper.”

She told the Council that, in the next few days, water and sanitation programmes will stop in four governorates, leaving 300,000 displaced people at extreme risk of cholera and by the end of September, WASH programmes for another one million people will also close. Additionally, life-saving programmes for 2.5 million malnourished children will be forced to close in September due to lack of funding, putting 23,000 severely malnourished babies at risk of death. Mueller stressed that this was a tragedy because with adequate resources millions of lives could be saved.

Yemeni ambassador Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi said the events that took place in Aden recently were “an armed rebellion against the legitimate government by what is called the Sothern Transitional Council and its Security Belt Forces with financial, logistic, and media support by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

He said the Yemeni Government holds the Sothern Transitional Council and its backers responsible for the consequences of this rebellion and calls on the UAE to cease its support to these militias and commit to the goals of the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia. He called on the UAE not to aid schemes designed to threaten the unity and stability of Yemen and squander efforts by led by Saudi Arabia to confront the Iranian project in the region.
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