UN / YEMEN

15-Sep-2020 00:04:06
The parties in Yemen can “choose either to continue this trajectory of escalating violence or to make the compromises necessary to revive the political process and allow for a political settlement,” said Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, adding that “these choices are clear, and evident and in the hands of the parties.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / YEMEN
TRT: 4:06
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 SEPTEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE-RECENT-NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior United Nations Headquarters

15 SEPTEMBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, conference room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen:
“The parties can choose either to continue this trajectory of escalating violence or to make the compromises necessary to revive the political process and allow for a political settlement. And these choices are clear, and evident and in the hands of the parties.”
4.Wide shot, conference room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen:
“The situation in Ma’rib is of concerning in a number of ways. A high degree of loss of lives, principally of course. A real threat to hundreds of thousands of internal displaced people and others in need. Ma’rib has played a role in this war of a safe haven for those people displaced from other parts of Yemen, who came to Ma’rib for safety. And a battle there would tragically displaced them yet again, forcing them to move yet further from their homes.”
6.Wide shot, conference room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen:
“The political importance of Ma’rib must also not be underestimated. Military shifts and consequences at events in Ma’rib have ripple effects on the dynamics of the conflict across Yemen. If Ma’rib falls, to simply put, this would undermine prospects of convening an inclusive political process that brings about a transition based on partnership and plurality.”
8.Wide shot, conference room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Like Martin and I are remaining extremely worried about Ma’ rib, where more than 1 million people have sought refuge since 2015. A major confrontation there would be disastrous for civilians. So I reinforce Martin’s message to the parties to work urgently to agree a nationwide ceasefire – including in Ma’rib. De-escalation played a major role in averting famine two years ago. We need similar steps now.”
10.Wide shot, conference room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“I am, like Martin, deeply concerned that the Ansar Allah authorities have closed Sana’a airport to UN and humanitarian flights. The authorities attribute this decision to fuel shortages in the north. These shortages are having severe humanitarian consequences, which I will come to in a moment. But that does not justify closing the airport, and I would emphasize that safe and reliable transport for aid personnel is one of the basic conditions the UN requires to work anywhere in the world.”
12. Wide shot conference room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“The UN team has submitted a revised proposal for the assessment and initial repair mission and held several rounds of constructive technical discussions with the Ansar Allah authorities. Frustrating as the endless delays have been, we are not giving up, and we hope the new proposal will be quickly approved so the work can start.”
14.Wide shot, conference room
15. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal, Permanent Representative of Yemen to the United Nations:
“We call upon the Security Council once again to shoulder its responsibilities and adopt firm measures against this intransigence and procrastination. We must bring more pressure to bear on the militias to prevent such imminent catastrophe.”
16. Wide shot, conference room
STORYLINE
The parties in Yemen can “choose either to continue this trajectory of escalating violence or to make the compromises necessary to revive the political process and allow for a political settlement,” said Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, adding that “these choices are clear, and evident and in the hands of the parties.”

Briefing the Security Council today (15 Sep) via video link, Griffiths warned that increased fighting, greater humanitarian needs and the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll in Yemen. If the country is to emerge successfully from conflict, it is the time for the parties to swiftly conclude the negotiations and finalise the Joint Declaration.

The Special Envoy stated that heavy fighting is taking place along Ma’rib’s frontlines, including along its borders with Al-Jawf, Sana’a and Bayda governorates. He said, “the situation in Ma’rib is of concerning in a number of ways. A high degree of loss of lives, principally of course. A real threat to hundreds of thousands of internal displaced people and others in need. Ma’rib has played a role in this war of a safe haven for those people displaced from other parts of Yemen, who came to Ma’rib for safety. And a battle there would tragically displaced them yet again, forcing them to move yet further from their homes.”

Griffiths also said that the political importance of Ma’rib must also not be underestimated. He explained, “military shifts and consequences at events in Ma’rib have ripple effects on the dynamics of the conflict across Yemen. If Ma’rib falls, to simply put, this would undermine prospects of convening an inclusive political process that brings about a transition based on partnership and plurality.”

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock also briefed the Council via video link. He said that he is “extremely worried about Ma’ rib, where more than 1 million people have sought refuge since 2015.”

Lowcock continued, “a major confrontation there would be disastrous for civilians. So I reinforce Martin’s message to the parties to work urgently to agree a nationwide ceasefire – including in Marib. De-escalation played a major role in averting famine two years ago. We need similar steps now.”

The Emergency Relief Coordinator also voiced his concern that the Ansar Allah authorities have closed Sana’a airport to UN and humanitarian flights. He said, “the authorities attribute this decision to fuel shortages in the north. These shortages are having severe humanitarian consequences, which I will come to in a moment. But that does not justify closing the airport, and I would emphasize that safe and reliable transport for aid personnel is one of the basic conditions the UN requires to work anywhere in the world.”

Updating the Council on the SAFER oil tanker, Lowcock said, “the UN team has submitted a revised proposal for the assessment and initial repair mission and held several rounds of constructive technical discussions with the Ansar Allah authorities.”

He added, “frustrating as the endless delays have been, we are not giving up, and we hope the new proposal will be quickly approved so the work can start.”

Yemenis Ambassador Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal also briefed the Council today. On the impact of environmental and economic on the SAFER oil tanker, he called upon the Security Council “once again to shoulder its responsibilities and adopt firm measures against this intransigence and procrastination.”

The Ambassador reiterated, “we must bring more pressure to bear on the militias to prevent such imminent catastrophe.”
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