Mon, 03 Oct 2022

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council has a joint responsibility to help Yemen take necessary and decisive steps towards peace, Hans Grundberg, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen said here Monday.

While continuing to count on international support to implement, extend, and expand the current truce, Grundberg underscored the "need to end the conflict, not merely manage it."

"We all need to remind ourselves that failure to reach an agreement to extend the truce would lead to renewed cycles of escalation and violence, with predictable and devastating consequences for Yemen's population," he told the UN Security Council, calling on all relevant parties to "build a lasting peace."

The diplomat lauded the parties for extending the truce until Oct. 2, continuing "the longest pause in fighting since the war began" over seven years ago.

The agreement provides two months for negotiations to improve Yemeni lives and find further steps to end the conflict, as well as humanitarian and economic measures, including airport opening and fuel imports flow.

The UN-brokered truce came into effect on April 2 and has been extended bi-monthly ever since. Four and a half months in, the current truce "continues to broadly hold in military terms," Grundberg noted.

While there is "a significant decline" in civilian casualties, he flagged a "worrying development" that child casualties were surging and now constitute about 40 percent of reported civilian casualties.

Grundberg said that relevant parties of the agreement have continued to "emphasize the need to build on the existing truce" to include more economic and security priorities and durable solutions for political issues.

He proposed an expanded truce that includes a transparent disbursement mechanism to regularly pay civil servant salaries and civilian pensions, road openings, regular fuel flow and a "durable ceasefire to prepare for the resumption of a Yemeni-led political process under UN auspices."

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