Joint statement on the human rights situation in Yemen, 29 October 2021
UNGA 76 – Third Committee
Plenary session with the President of the Human Rights Council
29 October 2021
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and my own country the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The human rights situation in Yemen is dire. The fourth report by the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen outlines a litany of human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law by parties to the conflict including those involving indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes and shelling, attacks on medical facilities and schools, failing to abide by international humanitarian law principles, humanitarian restrictions such as obstacles to access to food and healthcare, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, gender-based violence, including sexual violence, torture, denial of fair trial rights, persecution of and violations and abuses against journalists, human rights defenders, persons belonging to minorities, migrants, internally displaced persons and shocking violations and abuses of children's rights in the period July 2020 to June 2021.
In 2017, the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen was mandated to examine alleged violations and abuses of international human rights. We deeply regret that this mandate was not extended in the last session of the Human Rights Council.
As the conflict in Yemen enters its seventh year, there continues to be an urgent need for independent and impartial monitoring and investigations into all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and human rights abuses, by parties to the conflict.
It remains vitally important to identify and use all opportunities within the UN-system to assess facts on the ground in an impartial manner, and work towards accountability and a just and inclusive peace for the people of Yemen.
It is imperative that the international community comes together to actively explore further alternative mechanisms to monitor the human rights situation in Yemen and ensure accountability. Together we must end impunity.
What role do you see for the Human Rights Council to ensure human rights monitoring and accountability on behalf of the people of Yemen, now that the mandate of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts has ended?