Statement of the Republic of Yemen
At the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly
H.E. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Hadhrami
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen
New York, September 28, 2019
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Yemen, I extend my sincere congratulations to the President of the Assembly and the friendly Republic of Nigeria on his election of the presidency of the current session of the United Nations General Assembly. I wish you every success in this important role. And I also wish to thank, Ms. Maria Espinosa, for her outstanding stewardship of the proceedings of the previous session.
I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, for all the sincere efforts he has undertaken to achieve peace for all our peoples throughout the world. I particularly appreciate his focused interest on Yemen, the Yemeni people, security, stability, territorial integrity and unity. I thank his Special Envoy, Mr. Martin Griffiths, and his team for all their efforts to advance the peace process in my country.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,
I stand before you today with a heart filled with sorrow and sadness in light of the circumstances that has plagued my country – Yemen. The cradle of the Arab civilization. A country that, throughout history, has been known for its hospitality, pride and ancient civilizations… A country impoverished by the war perpetrated by the ideological and sectarian Houthi militia that, with Iran’s backing (support), has and continues to exercise all forms of torture, marginalization, exclusion and murder as tools to achieve its agenda.
Iran – the main sponsor of terrorism throughout the world- driven by its expansionist agenda in the region, has devoted its resources and the wealth of its people to support its militias and proxies outside its territory with weapons, money and experts of sabotage and destruction.
Since 2014, the Houthi militias have been destroying everything beautiful in Yemen. Ever since they overthrew the state and its institutions through an armed coup, the Houthi militias have committed myriad crimes. They have blown up houses and places of worship, bombarded innocent people and stole their food, confiscated freedoms and kidnapped activists and all those who opposed them, and filled Yemen, its pure soil and clean water with all kinds of internationally prohibited mines. Within a few years, these militias have destroyed the dreams of all Yemenis: their dreams of freedom, equality, and a life of dignity. The dreams they came so close to achieving through the Gulf initiative and the outcomes of the NDC which culminated in a new federal constitution for a united Yemen. A constitution that accommodates all Yemenis regardless of their political, tribal, and social affiliation; a constitution that preserves freedoms and ensures equal citizenship and the fair distribution of wealth and power. But Yemenis will not subjugate. 57 years ago, Yemenis endeavored to end theocracy and successfully did so in the great revolution of September 26th, which we celebrated its 57th anniversary a few days ago. And in the same manner, the resilient people of Yemen will stand up to and topple the present (and even worse) version of that very same myth. Yemenis, inspired by the triumph of the great revolution of Oct 14th in the south, will stand united to ensure that any attempts to tear apart Yemen are doomed to failure. Which came to fruition on the unification of Yemen on the 22nd of May, and in the new federal form of the republic of Yemen that was agreed upon by all Yemenis… That is the book of Yemen’s immortality and this is the path we will continue to tread.
Despite all the obstacles and challenges, and thanks to the sacrifices of the heroes of our armed forces and our valiant resistance and with the support and backing of our fellow counterparts in the Coalition, we have managed to rein in the madness of this ideological militia that continues to pursue the illusion of a the exclusive divine right to rule; disregarding all the values of democracy and human rights.
We are immensely grateful for the support of our brothers in the coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The sincere and strong stances of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince: Prince Mohammed bin Salman, serves as testament (and affirmation) of the sincere fraternity of our nations. Their intervention and support to Yemen will remain forever inscribed in the hearts of the Yemeni people. It came at the most urgent circumstances and in response to an official request from President Hadi, President of the Republic of Yemen, in accordance with the international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and to achieve the noble goals of confronting the Houthi militias and the expansionist Iranian project, restoring the state and legitimacy, and maintaining the security, stability, unity and integrity of Yemeni territories.
After the liberation of Aden from the Houthis in 2015, the Yemeni government, despite the challenging political and security conditions it faced, sought to improve the economic situation, resume the development process, thereby all the necessary measures were taken to preserve the value of the national currency, and implement holistic economic visions enabling us to adapt to the exceptional circumstances. In the interim capital Aden, the Yemeni government has, regardless of the limited means at its disposal, spared no effort in order to alleviate the suffering of all Yemenis whose daily lives have become a humanitarian catastrophe.
Though while our nation was resisting the imamate militia and within the framework of the coalition to support legitimacy, the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC), supported financially, militarily and logistically by the United Arab Emirates, rebelled against the state and ceased government headquarters in the interim capital Aden harboring an illusion of secession and power and using the force of arms to impose options. (A clear targeting of the constitutional legitimacy and Yemeni identity).
In spite of the statements made by the Coalition to support the legitimacy calling for the immediate withdraw of these unlawful military formations from the state institutions and camps immediately, they, nonetheless, expanded into two other provinces. The valiant national army was forced to combat this attempt and perform its duty of restoring the state and its institutions in the interim capital of Aden. Unfortunately, the national army was subject to military strikes, direct strikes in violation of the international law. These attacks were perpetrated by the UAE air force in a clear deviation from the noble objectives of the Coalition to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen.
We reiterate our gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the efforts it has taken to end this insurgency, stop these actions by the UAE in the liberated area (as they run counter to the mission of the coalition forces), and for its efforts to address the need for a course-correction and collectively directing all efforts towards ending the Iranian Houthi coup in Yemen.
Allow me, from this podium, to pay tribute to the heroes of our armed forces. It’s with their heroics, sacrifices and invincible wills that Yemen will forever remain free and impregnable; wherein “Aiban mountains” embrace “Shamsan mountains” hymning on the immortal lyrics of the Yemeni national anthem: “No foreigner shall ever hold dominion over Yemen”.
We highly appreciate the role of donors and friendly countries who stood with Yemen in these hard times and contributed to alleviating the humanitarian crisis by supporting humanitarian response plans or providing direct assistance. Particularly, Saudi Arabia, which has generously supported the humanitarian response plans, the most recent of which is their contribution of half a billion dollars to support the 2019 plan. Further, KSA have provided direct humanitarian assistance to Yemenis throughout Yemen through the King Salman Relief Center, as well as direct support to the State Treasury to prevent the collapse of the national currency, providing bank guarantees for importation of food products, and the allocation of a monthly assistance of 60 million USD to finance the of fuel for electricity, as well as contributions to the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) and the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operation Support Center (YCHO).
Mr. President, distinguished delegates:
Iran and its military arms in the Arab region, including the Houthis and Hezbollah, pose a serious threat to the national security. Iran is a rogue state that has continuously demonstrated its disrespect of the international law or failed to meet its obligations as a member state of the United Nations. Iran has inflicted severe damage on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. The Houthis have transformed Some areas in Yemen into a stronghold to launch rocket threatening the security of the neighboring states and the international navigation routes in the Red Sea. UN reports continue to reveal and confirm the amount of support Houthi militia receive from Iran.
But that’s not the extent of it, the Houthi militias have recently claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks on the Saudi Aramco facility in Abqaiq and Khurais, in clear attempt of disinformation and a sign of their subordination to the rogue Iranian regime. In condemning this terrorist attack, we stress the need to confront future attacks and hold the perpetrators accountable. These attacks are not merely an attack targeting Saudi Arabia, rather, it’s an attack on the world economy and a serious threat to international security and stability.
We are not advocates of war and destruction. We have always been advocates of peace and stability. To that end, and in recognition of our full responsibility for all Yemeni people, we have fully supported the UN peace process and the efforts of the Special Envoy to Yemen. We have, actively and flexibly, engaged in all the peace initiatives in line with the terms of reference for the peace proves of Yemen, namely, the Gulf Initiative and its implementation mechanism, the outcomes of the National Comprehensive Dialogue and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 2216. We went to Sweden last year willing to give peace every opportunity. However, because of the intransigence of the Houthi militias and their refusal to implement the agreement and to comply with what was agreed upon, there has been no progress on this agreement for more than ten months. The solution here is not by turning a blind eye to this unjustified intransigence by the Houthis, rather, the solution lies in prompting and obliging these militias to honor the agreements and obligations they’ve assumed before the whole world. The Houthis must know that peace is not empty rhetoric and slogans, there are tangible requirements and entitlements. The Security Council must assume its responsibility and commit the Houthis to implement the contents of the Stockholm agreement: withdrawal from the city and ports of Hodeidah and to implement the agreement to release prisoners – all prisoners – and lift the unjust siege on the city of Taiz.
In this regard, I wish to share with you a very touching letter I received two days ago from the Association of Mothers of the Abducted. In this letter, the mothers of abductees requested that I convey their tragedy of losing their children in Houthi prisons, and even worse, using them as human shields. I can only assure them that we will not forget the crimes of the Houthis and we will continue to earnestly demand the release of all prisoners. Be patient “Um Anas”, you and all mothers of the abducted will see justice served.
The Republic of Yemen reiterates its position towards the Palestinian cause and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. We appeal to the international community to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) so that it can continue to provide services to Palestine refugees. Further, we emphatically condemn the of Israeli settlement colonial activities in the Palestinian territories and the daily violations against the Palestinian people and Islamic holy sites. In particular, we condemn the statements of the Prime Minister of Israel regarding his intention to annex territories in the occupied West Bank and to impose sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. This represents flagrant violation of the international law, the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of international legitimacy concerning the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territories, and ultimately undermining any Opportunities for progress in the peace process.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I hope the proceedings of this session will be successful, and that we meet next year at a time when peace has reigned across Yemen. Our cause is noble and just, our resolve is unrelenting, and we are eager for peace.
Mercy to the martyrs of Yemen, speedy recovery to the wounded and freedom to all prisoners and abductees.
I thank you.