LONDON: An international consensus on the crisis in Yemen is the most effective way to help the people of the country, Abdul Aziz Al-Wasel, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, said on Monday.
Speaking in the Swiss city during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, he also highlighted the importance of Security Council resolutions, support for the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and all efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis.
The HRC rejected a resolution on the human rights situation in Yemen that would have extended the mandate for the council’s investigations of war crimes in the country. Al-Wasel said this was a response to the just and legitimate demands to end the activities of the investigators, known as the Group of Eminent Experts, demands he said were supported by a majority of council member states from various geographical regions.
The draft resolution was narrowly rejected by a vote of 21 to 18 against, with seven abstentions. The GEE had been tasked with investigating all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights committed by all parties to the conflict since September 2014.
However, Al-Wasel said the group’s reports had ignored international initiatives and resolutions issued on Yemen — including Security Council Resolution 2216, which authorizes sanctions on those found to be undermining the stability of Yemen — and that the team had abused its mandate in an unprecedented manner.
He said it had derived most of the information included in its reports from non-governmental organizations sympathetic to the Houthi militia. This had the effect, he added, of confusing international public opinion, widening the gap between segments and sects of the Yemeni population, strengthening and legitimizing the militia’s position, and overlooking the grave human rights violations carried out by the Houthis by portraying the Yemeni crisis as a dispute between conflicting parties and not a coup carried out by a militia that had seized power by force.
During the meeting, the HRC announced that the Kingdom’s candidate, Dr. Nurah Alamro, had been elected to its Advisory Committee, with a majority of the votes.
Alamro’s membership comes as an extension of the achievements made by Saudi diplomacy with the support of the leadership, and as a result of the efforts made by the Kingdom’s mission to the UN in Geneva, Saudi Press Agency reported.
#HRC48 | The Human Rights Council elected four members of its Advisory Committee:
• Vassilis Tzevelekos, from Greece
• Nurah Alamro, from Saudi Arabia
• Frans Jacobus Viljoen, from South Africa
• José Augusto Lindgren Alves, from Brazil pic.twitter.com/LM7BTujTXY
— UN Human Rights Council (@UN_HRC) October 11, 2021
The Advisory Committee is a think tank that provides advice to the HRC, works on studies and researches on issues related to the council’s mandate, and presents proposals on care and promotion of all human rights.
Meanwhile, the UK welcomed the decision to extend the mandate of the independent Fact Finding Mission to Libya.
“Libya must continue to cooperate with the mission, make accountability central to reconciliation and hold accountable mercenaries and foreign forces for the crimes they have committed,” said James Cleverly, minister for Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
At the end of the session, the council approved a resolution to extend the mission’s mandate for another nine months “to allow for the implementation of its mandate.”
I welcome the extension to the mandate of the independent Fact Finding Mission to Libya. Libya must:
⚖️continue to cooperate with the Mission
⚖️make accountability central to reconciliation
⚖️hold accountable mercenaries and foreign forces for the crimes they have committed https://t.co/bu7EHDVZHW
— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) October 11, 2021