Syria: UN Envoy updates the Security Council on the political track
Briefing by Ms. Khawla Matar, Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria at the Security Council, 8708th meeting.
The UN Envoy is providing an update on the effort to de-escalate the situation in the North West of Syria and on the progress in the UN facilitated political process.
CGTN's Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Nirupama Rao, Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy and what she expects to happen in the next few months. Rachelle Akuffo speaks with Andre Perry, Fellow at the Brookings Institution, on the African-American health disparity and coronavirus. Briefing by Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, on the situation in the Middle East (Yemen) during a Security Council Open VTC.
The Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, today (14 May) told the Security Council that "the United Nations has provided a feasible roadmap to the parties," and it is now up to "those with arms and power, to make the decisions to achieve the objectives set out there."
At the end of March, the Special Envoy shared draft agreements on a nation-wide ceasefire; humanitarian and economic measures; and the resumption of the political process with the Government of Yemen and with Ansar Allah.
Griffiths said, "I firmly believe that all these measures are necessary and indeed overdue. They are not new issues; the UN has been calling for progress on those issues for a long time, including in Sweden, 16, 17 months ago. They are there for the people of Yemen. They are not there for the interests of one party or another, but for the people of Yemen. And the parties should be able to agree on how to move forward with them quickly. And I emphasize the word should."
The Special Envoy said, "the outcome is in the hands of the parties" and added that the Council "has a vital role to play in supporting them, and through them the Yemeni people, along the path toward peace."
Griffiths also warned that the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic downturn threaten to cause even more adversity in the country.
The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ad Interim, Ramesh Rajasingham, told the Council that "peace is the best chance Yemen has to contain COVID-19," and added that "this is essential not just for public health, but for the sake of millions of Yemenis who, even before this pandemic, were exhausted after five years of a war they never wanted."
For his part, Yemeni Ambassador Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, said "the continuous manipulation and hampering with the coronavirus pandemic issue by Houtie militias, their adoption of obfuscation policy and the lack of transparency regarding the actual number of cases, hinders the efforts to fight the pandemic and puts the lives of millions of Yemenis at risk."
72 confirmed cases, including 13 deaths, have been reported in Yemen. Sixty-two of these cases were reported in just the last ten days. Virtual stakeout by Gert Auväärt, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of May, on the situation in Lebanon (Resolution 1559).