The Norwegian Refugee Council calls on the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution demanding the lifting of the coalition blockade and a cessation of all hostilities:
“The Security Council has been shamefully silent for months on Yemen when it has the power to redress the colossal crisis unfolding there through a binding and meaningful resolution,” said Suze van Meegen, NRC’s Protection and Advocacy Adviser on Yemen. “Another weak presidential statement will have little effect on the ground, if any at all. The worst humanitarian crisis in the world deserves more than just an ‘expression of concern’.”
Yemen’s humanitarian crisis absolutely deserves more attention from the rest of the world. The U.N. Security Council has a special obligation to do right by Yemen because it has utterly failed that country for at least the last three years, and it was their resolution in the spring of 2015 that allowed the coalition to cause so much harm to Yemen’s civilian population with their blockade. To make matters worse, several of the council’s permanent members are directly implicated in helping to create the disaster now engulfing more than twenty million people.
There is a draft resolution circulating at the U.N., but it is not concerned with condemning the destructive effects of the coalition blockade or calling for an end to it. Unfortunately, the U.K., France, and U.S. are more interested in chiding Iran over its alleged missile supplies than they are in addressing the larger conflict and humanitarian crisis. Focusing on Iran in a conflict where its involvement is minimal while ignoring the real drivers of the war and the main causes of the civilian population’s misery is absurd, and it is regrettably typical for the Western governments that have been backing the Saudi-led coalition from the start. The Security Council has remained so shamefully silent because several of the permanent members are deeply complicit in the wrecking and starving of Yemen. It is unlikely that they will do anything to remedy the situation, but I would very much like to be proved wrong about that.