Statement by H.E. Ambassador SHINO Mitsuko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on “the Situation in Yemen”


(As delivered)
Thank you, Mr. President.
I thank Special Envoy Grundberg and Director Wosornu for their informative briefings.
The situation surrounding Yemen remains highly volatile across multiple dimensions.
Today, I would like to address four main points.
First, Japan unequivocally condemns the Houthis' recent detention of 13UN staff members, as well as many NGO workers.
Such detentions are totally unacceptable as they not only violate the rights of the victims, but also significantly undermine essential work by the United Nations in Yemen.
It is unfortunate that the Security Council has failed to issue a press statement on this matter. The Council should swiftly speak up, condemn this outrageous conduct by the Houthis, and demand the immediate and unconditional release of the detainees.
Second, Japan maintains its strong condemnation against the ongoing Houthi attacks on international shipping, as they have threatened the freedom of navigation and disrupted global supply chain.
We also condemn that the Houthis’ have continued to hold the 25 crew members of Galaxy Leader for more than 200 days, another example of their detention tactics.
The Houthis must immediately cease their attacks on vessels, and unconditionally release the Galaxy Leader and its crew, consistent with resolution 2722.
Third, Japan is seriously worried about the persistently dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. We share the concern of Director Wosornu about food insecurity and widespread malnutrition, as well as the nation-wide cholera outbreak.
The international community should further strengthen their efforts to save the vulnerable Yemeni population, especially women and children.
For our part, Japan has contributed approximately USD 46 million of humanitarian assistance in Yemen over the past two years and will continue to provide necessary assistance.
We would like to once again reiterate that the safety of humanitarian aid workers must be fully respected, and their freedom of movement must be guaranteed. This is particularly essential at a time when more than half of Yemenis depend on basic humanitarian supplies like food and water.
Fourth and lastly, Japan deeply regrets that the current regional tensions have negatively affected the environment for peace talks, and stagnated the peace process, including the exchange of prisoners. We share Special Envoy’s frustration.
Meanwhile, the intensification of hostilities between the Houthis and the Government of Yemen, on both the military and economic fronts, is alarming.
We believe that only a political settlement based on an inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue under the UN’s auspices, involving women, youth and marginalized groups, will resolve the decade-old conflict in Yemen.
In this regard, Japan continues to support the critical mediating role of Special Envoy Grundberg and his office to end the plight of the Yemeni people. We also remain hopeful.
Thank you.