Yemen: MEP João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL) issued a parliamentary question on the aggression against Yemen and the resulting humanitarian crisis

On the 22nd of November 2018, MEP João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL) addressed the issue to the aggression against Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led coalition and the resulting humanitarian crisis in a parliamentary question to the European Council.

On the 22nd of November 2018, MEP João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL) issued a parliamentary question to the European Council for the aggression of Yemen, started on the 26 of March 2015. MEP Lopes drew the attention on the extreme humanitarian situations and conditions of Yemenite civil society following the attacks of the Saudi-led coalition, by underlining the significant collateral losses due to poor living conditions since the outbreak of war. By mentioning UN provided data, MEP Lopes indicates that: “three quarters of the population need humanitarian assistance and protection; 60% of the population is suffering from serious food shortages; 25% of the population and 50% of children are malnourished, 2.9 million of which are suffering from severe malnutrition; and more than 50% of the population does not have regular access to basic healthcare, hygiene or safe drinking water.”

In light of these observations, MEP Lopes asked the following two questions:

Will the Council propose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, as called for by successive Parliament resolutions?

Will it call on the Member States to put diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia to end its aggression against Yemen?

In a reply to Mr. Lopes, the European Council highlighted that on the 25th of June 2018 the very same institution adopted conclusions on Yemen against the background of the intensification of military operations. From a European perspective, the Council stated that no military plan solutions can be applied to the conflict, but the Community underlines its strong support for the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his efforts to bring about an inclusive political solution. Furthermore, the EU ensures its total engagement with all parties to the conflict and stands ready to increase its action in Yemen, including in delivering humanitarian aid across the country and in mobilising development assistance to fund projects in critical sectors. The Council emphasises that a sustainable peace can only be achieved through negotiations with the meaningful participation of all relevant parties, including civil society, women and young communities. Moreover, on the 28th of September 2018, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP)2018/429 on a European Union Action in support of the United Nation Verification and Inspection Mechanism in Yemen (UNVIM). UNVIM is a program which aims at facilitating the free flow of commercial items to Yemen and reviving the economy of the country.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) welcomes the question of MEP João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL) and the answer of the Council. We share concerns over the ongoing humanitarian issues in Yemenite conflict zones and the lack of access to adequate living conditions. ECDHR calls upon the Council to progress and maintain the level of negotiations between the counterparts and to include actively the civil society. Lastly, ECDHR calls upon the UN to continue the mediating process through the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

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Please, find below a full copy of the question of MEP João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL).

Question for written answer to the Council, submitted by MEP João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL) on November 22, 2018

The situation in Yemen is deteriorating by the day as a result of the brutal aggression by Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led coalition against the Yemeni people.

This criminal aggression, which given its gravity is bordering on genocide, is being backed by a group of EU Member States who have established lucrative deals selling hundreds of millions of euros worth of arms to the Saudi-led coalition.

The UN has provided clear data indicating an extremely serious humanitarian situation in Yemen: three quarters of the population need humanitarian assistance and protection; 60% of the population is suffering from serious food shortages; 25% of the population and 50% of children are malnourished, 2.9 million of which are suffering from severe malnutrition; and more than 50% of the population does not have regular access to basic healthcare, hygiene or safe drinking water.

Besides the need to ensure that basic products such as fuel, food and medicines reach populations affected by war, it is crucial to put an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Will the Council propose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, as called for by successive Parliament resolutions?

Will it call on the Member States to put diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia to end its aggression against Yemen?

 

Answer given by the European Council, on February 4, 2019.

On 25 June 2018 the Council adopted conclusions on Yemen against the background of the intensification of military operations. The EU reiterated that there cannot be any military solution to the conflict and underlined its strong support for the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his efforts to bring about an inclusive political solution. The EU will maintain its engagement with all parties to the conflict and stands ready to increase its action in Yemen, including in delivering humanitarian aid across the country and in mobilising development assistance to fund projects in critical sectors.

The Council underlines that sustainable peace can only be achieved through negotiations with the meaningful participation of all relevant parties, including civil society, women and young people.

On 28 September 2018, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP)2018/429 on a European Union Action in support of the United Nation Verification and Inspection Mechanism in Yemen (UNVIM). UNVIM aims at facilitating the unimpeded flow of commercial items to Yemen and reviving the economy of the country.

As for arms exports, it is recalled that Member States are bound by Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP(2). Each Member State assesses export licence applications against the criteria set out in the Common Position.

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