UN / YEMEN

15-Oct-2020 00:02:50
Briefing the Security Council, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffits praised parties to Yemeni conflict for reaching an agreement in late September to release over a thousand individuals and called for further discussions to release “all conflict-related prisoners and detainees.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / YEMEN
TRT: 2:50
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 15 OCTOBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY
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RECENT

1. Exterior shot, UN Headquarters

15 OCTOBER 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council in session
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffits, UN Special Envoy for Yemen:
“I pay here Mr. President, tribute to the Yemeni activists, actors and civil society organizations that have determinedly and continuously and many times successfully, in situations of peril, advocated for the release of civilians and for uncovering the fates of the forcibly disappeared. We hope of course that the implementation of this agreement will build confidence and indeed a momentum by demonstrating a simple truth: that peaceful dialogue, the negotiation between parties can deliver road back to peace.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council in session
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffits, UN Special Envoy for Yemen:
“This prisoners’ agreement does not include many thousands more of Yemenis detained during the course of this conflict and it is therefore our obligation and the obligation of the parties to convene very soon to discuss further releases in line with the commitment they made in the Stockholm in December 2018 to release all conflict-related prisoners and detainees.”
6. Split screen, Griffits and Lowcock
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Griffits, UN Special Envoy for Yemen:
“The primary goal of the Joint Declaration is to end what I call the shooting war and open the gateway to peace. Resuming this process, as I just said, is an imperative and frankly an obligation to the people of Yemen.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council in session
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“There are now 47 active front lines across Yemen – the most ever recorded. Over several recent weeks, the heaviest clashes have occurred in Hudaydah, Marib and Al Jawf. In September, civilian casualties reached the highest levels recorded this year.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council in session
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Funding shortages still mean that more key programmes are at risk of shutting down. Just last week, the Food and Agriculture Organization was forced to close a livestock vaccination programme that was serving 3 million rural families. Aid agencies are now reaching only about 9 million people per month in Yemen – down from more than 13 million at the start of the year. What is to be the fate of the 4 million we no longer have the money to help?”
12. Wide shot, Security Council in session
STORYLINE
In a briefing to the Security Council, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffits praised parties to Yemeni conflict for reaching an agreement in late September to release over a thousand individuals and called for further discussions to release “all conflict-related prisoners and detainees.”

“I pay here Mr. President, tribute to the Yemeni activists, actors and civil society organizations that have determinedly and continuously and many times successfully, in situations of peril, advocated for the release of civilians and for uncovering the fates of the forcibly disappeared,” Griffits said.

Speaking to the Council via videolink, Griffits reported that the parties have started releasing the prisoners, according to the agreement they reached in Switzerland on 27 September and said he hopes “that the implementation of this agreement will build confidence and indeed a momentum by demonstrating a simple truth: that peaceful dialogue, the negotiation between parties can deliver road back to peace.”

The Special Envoy cautioned however, that the prisoners release agreement “does not include many thousands more of Yemenis detained during the course of this conflict and it is therefore our obligation and the obligation of the parties to convene very soon to discuss further releases in line with the commitment they made in the Stockholm in December 2018 to release all conflict-related prisoners and detainees.”

Griffits also reported that both parties remain engaged on the negotiations with his office over the Joint Declaration, but with very little progress, due to difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The primary goal of the Joint Declaration is to end what I call the shooting war and open the gateway to peace,” Griffits said. “Resuming this process, as I just said, is an imperative and frankly an obligation to the people of Yemen.”

Meanwhile in Yemen, the conflict has escalated further, the UN humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock told the Council’s members.

“There are now 47 active front lines across Yemen – the most ever recorded,” the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said, with “the heaviest clashes” occurring in Hudaydah, Marib and Al Jawf.

“In September, civilian casualties reached the highest levels recorded this year,” Lowcock said.

Emergency Coordinator reported that the humanitarians on the ground face daily challenges in reaching those in need both in the South, which is controlled by the UN-recognized government of Yemen and even more severely in the North, under authority of Ansar Allah authority.

Another issue is the funding of humanitarian efforts which now stands at only 42 percent.

“Funding shortages still mean that more key programmes are at risk of shutting down,” Lowcock said. “Just last week, the Food and Agriculture Organization was forced to close a livestock vaccination programme that was serving 3 million rural families.”

He further said “aid agencies are now reaching only about 9 million people per month in Yemen – down from more than 13 million at the start of the year. What is to be the fate of the 4 million we no longer have the money to help?”
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