Thank you, Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Envoy Hans Grundberg and OCHA Director of Operations and Advocacy Edem Wosornu for their presentations. I would also like to welcome Ms Wameedh Shakir and salute her resolute commitment to the Yemeni people. 

Madam President, 

On March 26, some sixty civil society organizations issued a statement reminding us that four out of five Yemenis are currently living in poverty. This is the situation experienced by Entisar Qara'ah, a 35-year-old woman from Al-Sawad in the governorate of Dhamar. Despite the many obstacles in her daily life, Entisar assures us that she will, I quote, "never stop striving for a better life". Echoing these optimistic words, Switzerland would like to highlight the following points. 

Firstly, we call for the gains made in the peace talks in Yemen to be preserved, and reaffirm the importance of these talks being brought to a rapid and concrete fruition. The parties must refrain from any actions that could jeopardize the implementation of the roadmap, including financial measures affecting the country's economic health. In this respect, we reaffirm the importance of exercising the rights and freedoms of navigation in the Red Sea. We condemn all attacks on merchant vessels and call for the immediate release of the 25 crew members of the Galaxy Leader. The crimes recently perpetrated in Rada'a attest to the high price paid by the civilian population as a result of this conflict spiral.

Further, we would like to reiterate the appeal we made yesterday in this Council: the spiral of escalation must stop immediately. All attacks must stop, both in the Red Sea and in Yemen. The region must not sink into an even wider and deadlier conflict, at a time when we are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza. De-escalation must be the priority.

Secondly, we note with concern that the humanitarian environment in Yemen is becoming ever more complex and dangerous. In this context, we welcome the commitment of humanitarian and UN personnel, including national and locally recruited staff, and recall that they are protected by international humanitarian law. As we have just heard from the High Representative of OCHA, the economic situation in Yemen is having serious repercussions on food security and malnutrition. We cannot stand idly by. Finally, we are concerned by the upsurge in cholera cases and reiterate the importance of investing in sanitation projects.

Thirdly, climate change is exacerbating the social and political vulnerabilities already riddling Yemen. Natural disasters have displaced over 700,000 people since 2008, increasing tensions over water, food and basic services in host regions.  A recent study by a Swiss-funded Yemeni NGO showed that more than half of the people already displaced had to change shelter because of natural disasters. In addition, stress factors such as droughts and floods, which continue to intensify with climate change, cause agricultural losses and exacerbate livelihood insecurity. Against this backdrop, Switzerland wishes to highlight the essential role played by women in alleviating tensions linked to natural resources. The Council must support these efforts within the framework of its mandate, and ensure good collaboration between the UN entities present in Yemen. 

Madam President, 

The picture that has been painted today should encourage us to redouble our efforts. The Yemeni people can count on Switzerland's full support. 

Thank you very much.