November 21, 2016
As the situation in Yemen worsens, the Council should promptly increase its attention to security efforts and provision of humanitarian assistance in the region. Three years of conflict has seen Yemen grapple with a cholera outbreak and famine; the Security Council and the Coalition’s international partners should demand an immediate cessation of the current military escalation in Hodeida as it advances to the city and port to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, and call for a countrywide ceasefire. Al Hodeida is the most important point of entry for the food and basic supplies needed for 20 million Yemenis to prevent famine and a recurrence of a cholera epidemic. Any disruption or attack on the port which results in cutting off imports means cutting off the lifeline, not just for the people of Hodeida but the country with 8.4 million people already on the verge of starvation. They must give their full backing to the newly-appointed UN Special Envoy must press for in his efforts to secure permanent access routes across the country for the delivery of critical aid and commercial goods, including food and medical supplies, across the country, and in his efforts to restart an inclusive peace process to bring the conflict to an end. Moreover, the Council should inquire about the lack of participation by women leaders and women’s CSOs in conflict resolution and conflict management processes, as well as efforts to protect women, including women human rights defenders and civil society activists, and their access to legal support and essential services. Council members should call for support of the national human rights monitoring and reporting mechanism to ensure that information and analysis is comprehensive and includes information on attacks and threats against civil society. The Council should also specifically call on all parties to the conflict to be inclusive of women, youth, and civil society representatives that reflect the diversity of Yemen’s population, including ethnic, geographical and political affiliation in discussions on reaching a sustainable peace. More broadly, all stakeholders, including the Arab coalition, must ensure women’s meaningful participation in discussion, design, and implementation of peace and security strategies, including those which aim to counter violent extremism (S/RES/2122 (2013), OP 13; S/RES/2242 (2015), OP 13; CEDAW/C/YEM/Q/7-8). Finally, all efforts to address the humanitarian situation and implement peacebuilding strategies must be gender-sensitive and responsive to women’s differentiated experiences, including as heads of households (CEDAW/C/YEM/Q/7-8). To enable this to be done effectively, building the capacity of relevant experts and groups, including peacebuilding and women’s CSOs, to undertake gender-sensitive conflict analysis and translate it into concrete actions, must be a priority. Any assistance should provide a full range of medical services, sexual and reproductive health services; legal; psychosocial; and livelihood services, and the access necessary both before, during, and after, armed conflict (S/RES/2122 (2013), CEDAW/C/YEM/Q/7-8).