Category: Yemen

UN chief: “Restore trust and inspire hope” to UN General Assembly.

With humanity on the edge of an abyss, and moving in the wrong direction, the world must wake up“, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his keynote address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Antonio Guterres called for greater action in areas such as climate policy, gender equality and closing the gap between rich and poor.

“This is our time.

A moment for transformation. 

An era to re-ignite multilateralism. 

An age of possibilities,” the UN Secretary-General told world leaders and ambassadors.      

“Let us restore trust. 

Let us inspire hope.

And let us start right now.”

Amid “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes”, which include the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, and upheaval in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen.

Mr. Guterres singled out one disturbing image as indicative of the present moment, citing “the picture we have seen from some parts of the world of COVID-19 vaccines…in the garbage.

Expired and unused”.

“On the one hand, we see the vaccines developed in record time, a victory of science and human ingenuity.

On the other hand, we see that triumph undone by the tragedy of a lack of political will, selfishness and mistrust.”

For the UN Secretary-General, the fact that most wealthier countries are vaccinated, while more than 90 per cent of Africans are still awaiting their first dose, was “a moral indictment of the state of our world” and “an obscenity”, according UN News.

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UN official briefs Security Council: no end to Yemen civil war on the horizon.

No progress has been made by parties in Yemen to reach a political agreement to settle the civil war, which is now in its seventh year, a senior UN official for the Middle East region told the UN Security Council on Monday. 

It is imperative to resume an inclusive, Yemeni-led political process to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict,” said Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Khaled Khiari.

Khaled Khiari referred to a 2015 peace plan, which called for a nationwide ceasefire, the reopening of Sana’a airport, the easing of restrictions on fuel and goods flowing through Hudaydah port, and the resumption of face-to-face political negotiations

Mr. Khiari said that the Houthis continue to make the opening of Hudaydah ports and Sana’a airport, as well as on the ending of what they call the “aggression and occupation”, conditions of their renewed participation in the political process.  

Moreover, negotiations facilitated by Saudi Arabia on the Riyadh Agreement – which were focused on the return of the Prime Minister and other ministers to Aden – have yet to resume following the Eid break in July.  

Timely progress on the accord’s implementation remains vital to address the tensions in the south, he explained, according UN News.

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United Nations: Heavy rains and flooding push Yemenis to the brink.

Heavy rains and flooding in Yemen have affected at least 28,000 people, according to initial estimates released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday.

In its daily noon briefingOCHA said that humanitarian partners on the ground are conducting assessments and providing assistance, which included food, shelter and healthcare

Meanwhile, more than half of Yemenis are facing crisis levels of food insecurity, and five million people are just one step away from famine.   

As the value of the Yemeni rial continues to plummet – trading at over 1,000 rials to the dollar in some areas – more and more Yemenis are being pushed to the brink.   

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, no country seems more vulnerable than Yemen, now in its sixth year of war.

Against the backdrop of conflict, dire humanitarian needs and the threat of famine, COVID-19 cases have increased over recent days, with many concerned that the country is entering a third wave.  

“So far, just over 310,000 vaccines have been administered – meaning that only one per cent of the population has got their first dose”, the UN body said.  

While donors have stepped up their support to the aid operation, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan is currently just 47 per cent funded, meaning that out of the $3.85 billion required, only $1.82 billion has been received.  

Amidst OCHA’s warning that “most of this money will run out in September”, the UN humanitarian body stressed that “additional and predictable funding” is urgently needed so that people can continue receiving the lifesaving assistance they need, according UN News.

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