UN / YEMEN GRIFFITHS

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16-Jan-2020 00:02:09
UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said the country had been kept safe from the recent regional crisis as “Yemeni leaders and leaders from the region have deliberately exercised restraint and withheld from acts of provocation.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / YEMEN GRIFFITHS
TRT: 2:09
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 16 JANUARY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

16 JANUARY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, Griffiths joining meeting
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“I hope, I hope, it is not premature to say that Yemen has emerged at this moment unscathed. This achievement has not come by chance. Yemeni leaders and leaders from the region have deliberately exercised restraint and withheld from acts of provocation.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“These efforts should not be judged by whether they achieve a perfect ceasefire, but whether the parties’ energies are directed thereto away from war. Experience however tells us that military de- scalation cannot be sustained without political progress between the parties, and this has become the next challenge.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ramesh Rajasingham, Director of Coordination Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“It is unacceptable that civilians should so disproportionately bear the brunt of this conflict. At all times, the parties must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law to avoid harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure. The best way to end such harm is to build on the de-escalation measures the Special Envoy has described and to move as quickly as possible to a nationwide ceasefire.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission for the Republic of Yemen to the United Nations:
“The effects of the decision to ban the circulation and use of the national currency will not be limited to depriving tens of thousands of employees and retirees from receiving their salaries and transferring funds, rather it will result in the complete halt of economic activity in the areas under the control of those militias; and the humanitarian ramifications will be catastrophic.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said the country had been kept safe from the recent regional crisis as “Yemeni leaders and leaders from the region have deliberately exercised restraint and withheld from acts of provocation.”

Addressing the Security Council today (16 Jan), Griffiths hoped it was not “premature to say that Yemen has emerged at this moment unscathed” describing this as a remarkable achievement. He said air strikes continued to be reduced by some 80 percent and the movement of forces and military on the ground had also been reduced. Still, Griffiths said there were too many tragic civilian deaths. He said we are surely witnessing one of the quietest periods of the conflict, adding that the fact that it has been sustained even during a period of crisis is notable.

SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen:
“These efforts should not be judged by whether they achieve a perfect ceasefire, but whether the parties’ energies are directed thereto away from war. Experience however tells us that military de- scalation cannot be sustained without political progress between the parties, and this has become the next challenge.”

The Special Envoy said he was fairly confident that the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement was moving in the right direction. He noted that no one should be satisfied with the record of the Stockholm agreement’s implementation, but the UN and the parties remain committed and active as ever to implement the commitments made a year ago. He underscored that, though violence unfortunately continues in the southern districts, the relative calm at the frontlines in Hudaydah city shows that the measures to enhance the de-escalation measures are working, adding that this is something we can build on.

Ramesh Rajasingham, Director of Coordination Division at the UN humanitarian office (OCHA), said civilian casualties in 2019 were about 35 per cent lower than the previous year, and civilian fatalities are down by almost half, however Yemen remains a very dangerous place. Speaking via teleconference from Geneva, Rajasingham added that in recent weeks, hostilities have flared again along several front lines, particularly in Al Dhale’e, Hudaydah and Shabwah. He said although clashes have been mostly contained, mass-casualty incidents continued across the country.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ramesh Rajasingham, Director of Coordination Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“It is unacceptable that civilians should so disproportionately bear the brunt of this conflict. At all times, the parties must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law to avoid harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure. The best way to end such harm is to build on the de-escalation measures the Special Envoy has described and to move as quickly as possible to a nationwide ceasefire.”

Yemeni ambassador Abdullah Al-Saadi said Houthi militias’ stalling in the implementation of the Stockholm agreement reaffirms that they are not serious about achieving peace in the country. He added that Iran’s interference and its destructive role in Yemen has become clear and represents a threat to peace and stability in the country, the region, and the world.

Al-Saadi said Houthi militias banned the circulation and use of the new Yemeni currency in the areas they control. He added, “The effects of the decision to ban the circulation and use of the national currency will not be limited to depriving tens of thousands of employees and retirees from receiving their salaries and transferring funds, rather it will result in the complete halt of economic activity in the areas under the control of those militias; and the humanitarian ramifications will be catastrophic.”

The Yemeni ambassador called on the UN, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to uphold their responsibilities with regards to these measures.
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