General Assembly Security Council

 Security Council meeting on Yemen 

(Briefing / Consultations) 

January 14, 2021 


Remarks by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti,

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Thank you, Mr. President. 


Allow me to begin by welcoming H.E Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, Foreign Minister of Yemen. I also thank Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary General Lowcock and Executive Director of World Food Program David Beasley for their briefings. 


I convey my heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Government and people of Yemen and the families of those who were killed in the attack at Aden International airport. I also wish a speedy recovery to those who were grievously injured in that heinous attack. 


India strongly condemns the attack and views it as a deliberate attempt to undermine the ongoing peace efforts in Yemen. The targeting of the civilian airport and the killing of innocent civilians is unacceptable and cannot be justified for any reason whatsoever. The perpetrators of this heinous act should be held accountable and I urge the international community to support the Government of Yemen in its efforts to do so.  We should ensure that terrorists do not take advantage of such situation. 


Similar missile attacks within Yemen and across the border into Saudi Arabia have continued unabated in 2020. A strict implementation of the arms embargo envisaged in resolution 2216 and its effective monitoring is necessary to create the conditions for complete elimination of such threats in the future.


We are also saddened by the tragic death of staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the airport attack. These recurring incidents highlight the safety and security issues faced by humanitarian workers in Yemen. India commends the valiant efforts of all humanitarian workers to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemeni people in need, despite the daunting challenges they face. 


We also witnessed recently significant achievements in the pursuit of peace in Yemen – the formation of the new cabinet and the security re-deployments in southern Yemen - as envisaged under the Riyadh agreement. 


India welcomes these positive steps, which has triggered a wave of hope. We appreciate the role played by Saudi Arabia and others in facilitating these developments. We also commend the new government’s resolve to continue its efforts towards achieving peace and stability in Yemen, despite the recent attacks.


2020 also witnessed an increase in threats arising out of Yemen on commercial ships navigating the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. India is deeply worried by this trend, which threatens not only the safe passage of commercial vessels but also maritime security in the region. This issue deserves the Council’s immediate attention and calls for greater deliberation. 


We also remain concerned by the uptick in incidents of violence in Hudaydah and Taiz, which has resulted in civilian deaths, especially of women and children. These attacks are a flagrant violation of the ceasefire provisions of the Stockholm Agreement and I urge all parties to fulfill their commitments under the Agreement. The preservation and full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement is even more critical today as there are predictions of a widespread famine in Yemen in 2021. It is extremely important that the Hudaydah Port and the other Red Sea ports remain operational to facilitate humanitarian shipments to Yemen.


The plight of millions of Yemenis facing, inter alia, severe food insecurity as well as children suffering malnourishment are immediate needs which should move the conscience of the world community.  India will continue to provide medical and other assistance to those affected by the conflict.  It is time we put the people of Yemen at the centre of our efforts in the midst of all other developments.


Mr. President, 


India’s relationship with Yemen is centuries old and its cornerstone is our people-people ties. The two countries are connected through the Indian Ocean. In the past, Indian freedom fighters visited Aden to support Yemen’s independence; today Yemeni students come to India to study. There are nearly 300,000 Indians of Yemeni origin living in India and 200,000 Indian origin diaspora in Yemen. A large number of Indians were working in Yemen till 2015 when we were forced to evacuate them. This strong connect with Yemen, makes the instability, violence and suffering in Yemen painful for India and all Indians.


If we are serious about finding a long-term solution to Yemen’s challenges, then the Council should press urgently for a sustainable and comprehensive political settlement of the conflict. I reaffirm India’s steadfast commitment to a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process with the goal of achieving an inclusive and peacefully negotiated settlement to the conflict. We urge all Yemeni parties to work efforts towards such a settlement. 


We take note of Special Envoy Martin’s efforts to initiate dialogue between the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah. We believe that creating a conducive environment for such talks is also vital. Cessation of violence and other confidence building measures, like prisoner exchanges, can help create such an environment. We encourage all parties to explore these measures. 


Mr. President,


Before I conclude, let me also welcome the reconciliation and rapprochement between GCC countries and the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration at the recently concluded GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia. India acknowledges the key role of a unified GCC in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Yemen. We also look forward to enhancing India’s institutional dialogue and partnership with the GCC in the coming months. 


I thank you Mr. President.