UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg called on Tuesday on the parties to the crisis in Yemen to take bolder steps towards peace, and stressed to seize the opportunity now to make progress in order to end the conflict, in light of the recent progress made regarding the file of detainees.
In his briefing to the UN Security Council, Grundberg praised the parties and everyone involved in reaching the release of 900 detainees, including the crucial role of civil society.
“This has renewed the hopes of many Yemenis that their relatives can be released soon, and the touching scenes of those released in recent days are proof of the strength of peaceful negotiations,” he added.
He also pointed out that the effects of the truce continued even after its expiration six months ago, as “Yemen is experiencing the longest period of relative calm so far in this devastating war.
Grundberg said that Yemenis are still living “unimaginable suffering every day”” stressing that the recent military activity in Marib, Shabwa, Taiz, and other provinces is a reminder that ” escalation can quickly reverse hard-won gains.
He called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from provocative actions and continue to communicate with his office to ensure the continuation of calm.
He added that he is in contact with all concerned parties with a view to reaching a permanent ceasefire and reactivating the political process under the auspices of the UN.
The UN envoy also welcomed the recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to strengthen their cooperation in matters that will improve security and stability in the region.
He stressed that any new agreement in Yemen should be a clear step towards a Yemeni-led political process and move towards “the future that many Yemenis want, a future of accountable governance, equal citizenship, and social and economic justice.
Grundberg said his office continues to work on multiple tracks to build on the gains of the truce and progress towards a process for Yemenis to come together to agree on how to end the conflict sustainably.
“Only Yemenis can discuss and ultimately decide on Yemen’s future political, economic and security governance arrangements,” he added.
“Mediation efforts will always adapt and evolve, but the parties should not allow this moment to pass without reaching an agreement,” he concluded.