Thank you, Mr. President,


I would like to thank our two speakers for their presentations and their work and welcome the participation of the representative of Yemen.


As my colleagues from Malta and Slovenia mentioned, in parallel with the work of this Council, the sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women started on Monday. This is an opportunity for us to record the progress we have made and to strengthen our efforts in the area of gender equality. Human rights defender Amat al-Salam Abdullah Abdo Al-Hajj made the following observation on Yemen before this Council last August: "Despite the critical role that Yemeni women have played in humanitarian action as well as peacebuilding, women have been excluded from formal and meaningful roles (…) and completely excluded from the (…) government". We heard from our colleague from OCHA how much strength and innovation they would bring, especially to the economic development of the country.


Mr President, allow me to highlight the following three points.


Firstly, as we heard from the Special Envoy and many colleagues, Switzerland is concerned about the growing tensions and attacks against merchant ships in the Red Sea. We must work collectively to de-escalate and remedy this situation, which has already caused excessive human, economic and ecological costs. We therefore call on all parties to exercise caution and restraint, to comply strictly with international law and to redouble their diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the current tensions.


Secondly, Switzerland calls for preserving the gains made in the peace talks on Yemen. These must be concluded rapidly. In this respect, we welcome the opening of several roads in Taiz and elsewhere, and call on the parties to coordinate and capitalize as best as they can on these advances. We reiterate today the need for an inclusive political process under the aegis of the UN and reaffirm our full support for the Special Envoy. The full, equal and meaningful participation of women at all stages of diplomatic efforts aimed at peace is both an obvious necessity. In this regard, we recall the 30% quota agreed at the national dialogue conference. We also welcome the efforts of the Office of the Special Envoy to integrate more women and young people into their activities and encourage them to continue these important initiatives.


Thirdly, Switzerland notes with concern the increase in the price of basic foodstuffs, aggravated by tensions in the Red Sea, and the deterioration of the humanitarian environment, both in the north and south of the country. There again, we heard the worrying figures from OCHA. Under international humanitarian law (IHL), the parties are obliged to authorize and facilitate the rapid, safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid. In this respect, as we regularly emphasise, humanitarian personnel, including women, are protected by International Humanitarian Law and must have safe access to people in need.



Mr. President,


As Ramadan begins and in the spirit of this celebration, Switzerland calls on all parties to take a further step towards each other and to open up a space for reconciliation. For example, allowing the release of prisoners would bring relief to many families who have been forced to spend this holy month apart.


Thank you

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