UN demands aid access to Yemen’s ports, Security Council condemns Houthi missile strikes on KSA

UN demands aid access to Yemen’s ports, Security Council condemns Houthi missile strikes on KSA
Netherlands Ambassador to the United Nations Karel J.G. van Oosterom addresses the UN Security Council as it meets on Syria at UN headquarters in New York, US, March 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 16 March 2018

UN demands aid access to Yemen’s ports, Security Council condemns Houthi missile strikes on KSA

UN demands aid access to Yemen’s ports, Security Council condemns Houthi missile strikes on KSA

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council has called for greater access for aid deliveries to Yemen’s ports, warning of ongoing suffering resulting from the three-year-old war.
Karel van Oosterom, the UN ambassador for the Netherlands, which holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, expressed his frustration at the conflict. He added that he hoped a 1,500-word statement that was issued by the Security Council on Thursday would “translate into real action on the ground.”
“The key issue for us is full and sustained humanitarian access, and that’s both through the airports and the ports,” van Oosterom told reporters. “We certainly also need to find a sustained political solution so the basis of the current conflict would be solved.”
The UN statement, agreed by the 15-nation body with input from Saudi Arabia and others, calls for the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef to open fully for all “commercial and humanitarian imports, including food, fuel and medical imports.”
It also calls for “increased access to Sanaa Airport for lifesaving humanitarian supplies,” warning that “denial of humanitarian access can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law.”
Saudi Arabia, and other members of the Arab coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants, restricted shipments into Yemen after it emerged that the Houthis were receiving weapons supplies from Tehran.
The council urged the forces inspecting vessels in accordance with a UN arms embargo to do so in an “efficient and timely manner” so there would be no hold-ups in the delivery of commercial or humanitarian goods.
The UN statement condemned Houthi ballistic missile strikes on Saudi Arabia and praised the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen, as well as promises of $1.5 billion for the UN from Riyadh.