Statement by Margot Wallström at Yemen consultations

Rimbo, Sweden. 13 December 2018. Check against delivery.

Excellencies, dear Friends,

This is indeed a very special day for Yemen, for the United Nations and for us here in Sweden. I want to say first of all thank you all for travelling to this faraway, snowy place and for your earnest efforts these intense days.

Thank you Secretary General Antonio Guterres for joining us. Thank you Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. But first and foremost thank you to the delegations, the Government of Yemen delegation, led by Foreign Minister Khaled Alyemany and the Ansar Allah delegation, led by Mohammed Abdel Salam.

The support from the international community and the many key states involved has also been crucial. Thank you, Kuwait and Oman, for making these consultations possible.

If you remember when I welcomed you here a week ago, I emphasised the need for concessions, compromises and courage. During these past days, we have indeed been encouraged by your spirit of dialogue and constructive engagement. There is no doubt that this week has required great patience and created some trust.

A week ago, I also mentioned that the world is watching and would have expectations about concrete achievements. I am of course extremely happy to see that we have a Stockholm agreement today with important progress made on Hodeidah and exchange of prisoners as examples. 

We also believe that more women mean more peace. I have met the Women’s Technical Advisory Group and was impressed by their knowledge and skills. Thank you for the important role that you have played. I trust that more women will participate in upcoming talks. I am also pleased that civil society and other actors have been so engaged during these days.

When you soon leave Rimbo, I want you to know that you have many friends who follow your progress with great interest and engagement. The Yemen crisis requires continuous attention from the international community. Sweden will remain active in our support to the United Nations efforts for peace in Yemen. Next year late February we will co-host a United Nations conference on humanitarian assistance to Yemen for the third time. If further progress has been made - and I allow myself to be hopeful - that occasion could also be about assisting reconstruction.

To the delegations: Never lose sight of why you are here and who you represent. It is the people of Yemen – the men and women and not least the children. They suffer the most from this conflict.

The Yemeni people now want to see results. They want stability, prosperity and peace in their country. I encourage you to continue, as you have been doing here, to engage constructively and in good faith with the United Nations process to pave the way for stability and peace in Yemen. We hope that this positive spirit of Rimbo will prevail.