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Mercoledì 20 gennaio 2016 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

12. Situazione umanitaria nello Yemen (discussione)
Video degli interventi
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  Die Präsidentin. – Ich ersuche auch, Interviews nicht hier im Saal zu führen, sondern außerhalb.

I would like to ask to have interviews taken outside of the hall and not inside. Thank you very much.

Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Vizepräsidentin der Kommission/Hohen Vertreterin der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur humanitären Lage in Jemen (2016/2515(RSP)).

 
  
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   Bert Koenders, President-in-Office of the Council. Madam President, I would first of all like to thank this Parliament for holding this important and very timely debate to discuss the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Let us face it, Yemen is too much of a neglected, even forgotten, crisis. It is absolutely necessary that we devote attention to what has been described as a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions, surpassing all others when measured by the number of people in need of immediate assistance.

In spite of repeated international condemnation, we are witnessing continuous disregard for the very basic principles of international humanitarian law and human rights law. Civilians and civilian infrastructures are being targeted by all parties to the conflict on an almost daily basis. We are particularly concerned by the recent attacks on Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Their facilities in Yemen have been attacked, leading to casualties which are yet another example of the violations of international law that occur during this war.

The intensity of the humanitarian crisis is constantly on the rise. Humanitarian organisations estimate that 21.2 million Yemeni people – that is 82% of the total population – are in need of humanitarian assistance; 14.4 million are suffering from food insecurity; 14.1 million are in need of health care and 19.3 million lack access to water and sanitation.

The European Union has been actively contributing to efforts aimed at resolving the current conflict and restoring basic rights for ordinary Yemenis. We are doing so on several tracks. On the humanitarian front, the Commission increased its emergency assistance for Yemen by EUR 17 million in December, bringing the total amount of Commission support in the crisis to EUR 52 million for 2015. Some Member States already contribute to emergency and humanitarian assistance and more will follow. The funding benefits the most vulnerable people, including internally displaced persons, refugees, migrants trapped in Yemen and those affected by the pre-existing nutrition and food crisis, all of whose situations have deteriorated due to the conflict.

The European Union will continue to call on all parties to allow access for delivery of humanitarian aid. However, the level of humanitarian funding is only one aspect of the problem. We know this. With a population dependent on imports for 90% of its basic needs, the lifting of all restrictions on commercial imports is equally important. In this respect the European Union is working very closely with the United Nations and other partners to expedite the implementation of the United Nations verification and inspection mechanism to allow the flow of humanitarian and commercial goods into Yemen, to which it is contributing EUR 2 million.

The second track is political. The escalation of hostilities in the second half of 2014, and more prominently since March 2015, has gravely obstructed the achievements and the implementation of the Yemeni transition and have left the country on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. The European Union, as stated in the conclusions of 20 April and 16 November 2015, strongly believes that the solution to this crisis must be a political one. Achieving an inclusive political settlement, fully in line with the framework provided by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions is the only sustainable way to alleviate the plight of the Yemeni people.

After United Nations facilitated talks in Geneva in June, a second round was held in Bern, Switzerland in December 2015. The European Union is closely coordinating with the United Nations to continue playing a helpful role with the parties to ensure that the third meeting can take place in the coming days.

The conflict has now involved a number of regional players. We encourage all relevant actors to play a positive role towards a lasting political solution of the crisis. One of the main concerns of the European Union remains the implementation of immediate steps leading to a durable ceasefire. Previous ceasefires have failed to take hold due to multiple violations by the parties and it is crucial that the parties implement confidence-building measures, including the full respect of international human rights and humanitarian law and the release of political prisoners. Permanent access for humanitarian and emergency assistance to reach the suffering population, in particular in the city of Taiz, but also in Saada and other affected regions, must be guaranteed.

In Yemen’s dramatic situation, ensuring accountability for violations is an important part of the process to achieve a lasting settlement in the current conflict. The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a compromise resolution on 2 October 2015 on technical assistance and capacity building for Yemen in the field of human rights, which sets the conditions for a national commission of inquiry, which the EU expects to work independently. I reiterate our call for the independent investigation of all alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The European Union looks forward to the High Commissioner’s oral update at the Council’s 31st session and to a comprehensive written report during its 33rd session.

 
  
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  Mariya Gabriel, au nom du groupe PPE. Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Ministre, chers collègues, la situation au Yémen constitue une triple urgence: humanitaire, sécuritaire et politique.

Sur le plan humanitaire, tout d'abord, la situation au Yémen, après moins d'un an de conflit, est quasiment pire que celle de la Syrie après cinq ans. C'est l'une des crises humanitaires les plus graves actuellement, selon les Nations unies. L'engagement politique actuel ne reflète cependant pas cet état de fait. Nous devons appeler les États membres et le reste de la communauté internationale à contribuer davantage au plan révisé de réponse humanitaire. J'ajoute que nous devons être attentifs à ce que l'aide humanitaire soit impartiale vis-à-vis des civils, victimes de cette guerre civile.

Sur le plan sécuritaire, nous savons que la menace est double. Le vide laissé par un État failli et cette guerre civile est déjà exploité par al-Qaïda et Daech. Par ailleurs, le risque réel – comme je l'ai déjà dit – est l'extension et la jonction de plusieurs zones d'instabilité et d'insécurité. Le Yémen est comme un trait d'union entre la péninsule arabique et l'Afrique. Anticipons encore davantage ce danger au-delà de l'aide humanitaire d'urgence que l'Union a fournie à la Somalie et à Djibouti.

Enfin, sur le plan politique, l'Union européenne a un rôle à part entière à jouer. J'ai deux remarques: d'une part, nous devons soutenir les efforts des Nations unies pour que les négociations soient entamées, et faire davantage pour que le Yémen reste à l'ordre du jour. D'autre part, dans une perspective à moyen et à long terme, investissons encore davantage dans le renforcement de nos relations politiques avec les pays du Golfe et de la Ligue arabe pour construire un partenariat. Sans cela, nous prouverions que nous n'avons pas tiré les leçons des conflits qui ont éclaté dans certains des pays du "printemps arabe", dont les racines historiques et géopolitiques sont multiples.

 
  
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  Enrique Guerrero Salom, en nombre del Grupo S&D. Señora Presidenta, cuando una crisis humanitaria proviene de un conflicto bélico, especialmente si es un conflicto interno de un país, el objetivo fundamental debe ser conseguir el cese de las hostilidades y tratar de alcanzar una paz justa y sostenible. Porque mientras el conflicto dura lo que se produce es, en primer lugar, la pérdida de vidas humanas; en segundo lugar, la destrucción de las infraestructuras esenciales que más tienen que ver con las necesidades de aquellos que tienen menos acceso al agua, a la educación o a la sanidad; y, en tercer lugar, el desplazamiento de la población y la pérdida también de oportunidades para toda una generación. Y, desde el punto de vista humanitario, se produce la violación constante de los derechos humanos y la ignorancia de los principios de la acción humanitaria. Todo este tipo de cuestiones se concentran en la situación que estamos viviendo en Yemen.

Como ha señalado el representante del Consejo y también en este caso de la Comisión, en Yemen prácticamente el 80 % de la población —más de veinte millones de personas— tiene necesidades, y se están produciendo violaciones continuas de los derechos humanos. Mi Grupo y, particularmente yo, como responsable de la acción humanitaria —ponente permanente de este Parlamento—, apoyamos el esfuerzo del Consejo Europeo en abril y en noviembre para apoyar a las Naciones Unidas en la búsqueda de una paz segura y sostenible, con cese de las hostilidades, con respeto de los derechos humanos y con permisión del acceso humanitario para responder a las necesidades de los millones de personas que en estos momentos carecen de lo más esencial.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. Madam President, as one of the poorest countries in the world, reliant upon imports for over 90% of its food even before the outbreak of the war, Yemen is now facing an extreme humanitarian crisis and the UN and other aid agencies have made it quite clear in their assessment that the situation is extremely dire.

The EU and its Member States have given much money in aid, with my own country, the UK, having invested some GBP 250 million in aid over the last five years. But now, however, we must consider the futility of sending such money to Yemen only for these investments to be bombed and destroyed by the military attacks of Saudi Arabia. Repeated sources show that public buildings, vital infrastructure and civilian areas have been tragically hit by the Saudis’ very poorly targeted bombing campaigns, the results of which have been over 6 000 civilians killed to date. Saudi Arabia and Iran’s ongoing race for regional, sectarian supremacy is growing ever bolder, and it is those in the periphery that are most suffering now as they become caught up in this terrible proxy war.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. Madam President, the people in Yemen are slowly dying of hunger and disease and they are wiped out by bombings by the coalition that is ‘Saudi-led’, but it is followed by the US and the UK. Prime Minister Cameron this week said: ‘We are trying to do everything we can to make sure that the work done by Saudi Arabia is properly targeted’. Well, obviously this is not working. It is a disgrace that your proposals – and by this I mean those of the Dutch Government, to have an inquiry into the war crimes perpetrated in Yemen through the UN – were actively boycotted by Saudi Arabia, and also that France and the UK did not support the Netherlands. The EU, if it wants to be strong, needs a common position.

In the Committee on Foreign Affairs you spoke of exporting stability which I believe is a noble goal, but it should start by the EU seeking to end the export of weapons to Saudi Arabia. I would like to ask you whether you are willing to work towards an embargo in the Council, at least of bombs, fighter jets and combat helicopters, and whether you are willing to pressure anyone who may be using cluster bombs, which are disproportionate and are allegedly used in Yemen.

I want to ask whether you agree that the violence in Yemen underlines the need for the EU to review its relationship with Saudi Arabia and actually make it more even-handed with the relationship we have with the Islamic Republic of Iran. After the nuclear deal, there is room to engage that country also with regard to ending the violence in Yemen. Iran, like Saudi Arabia, must be pushed to be a part of the solution and end the violence in the Middle East.

Lastly, the blockades of sea, land and air have hampered humanitarian aid delivery which is so desperately needed and this hampering kills people, according to Doctors Without Borders, who also claim that people have stopped coming to hospitals because they believe these have been targeted in a worrying pattern.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR), blue-card question. You specifically mentioned the United Kingdom, as I gather, trying to veto or prevent an investigation proposed by Holland into war crimes in the Yemen. Do you have any direct evidence to suggest that Saudi Arabia has deliberately targeted hospitals or schools? There are reports, but if your government has got such evidence, why does it not go public about it? Because clearly that is a very serious accusation, and I would be ashamed to think that the United Kingdom would try and protect such a thing.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake (ALDE), blue-card answer. Thank you, Mr Tannock, for your question. I think there are two issues in my remarks which may have been confused. One is the proposal by the Dutch Government – I am sure Minister Koenders can elaborate if that is necessary – that was supposed to be executed by the UN and which was successfully blocked – I would say unfortunately, because I think an independent inquiry into the crimes perpetrated is key. What I was citing in terms of a pattern of targeted attacks on hospitals is a claim that is made by the respected international NGO ‘Doctors Without Borders’. I was not attributing that observation to the Dutch Government but citing what ‘Doctors Without Borders’ has said it observes.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. Madame la Présidente, théâtre d'un formidable mouvement populaire en 2011, le Yémen est depuis dix mois au cœur d'un conflit meurtrier qui oppose, d'un côté, une coalition pilotée par l'Arabie saoudite et, de l'autre, les houthis, alliés aux forces de l'ex-président Saleh. Au nom d'une grille de lecture binaire, on veut nous faire croire qu'il n'y a là qu'un conflit interne entre "bons" sunnites et "méchants" chiites – les uns soutenus par l'Arabie saoudite, aspirant à la stabilité à ses frontières, et les autres par un Iran en mal d'influence régionale. C'est méconnaître l'histoire du pays, les jeux d'alliance des uns et des autres et la complexité de la situation politique et sociale.

Une chose est sûre: la population yéménite, déjà parmi les plus pauvres du monde, fait les frais d'un mélange de sous-développement, de compétition entre AQPA et Daech, et du bellicisme de l'Arabie saoudite, ce royaume aux pratiques moyenâgeuses, sur lequel les occidentaux ferment les yeux. En effet, jusqu'à quand le Yémen restera-t-il un conflit oublié? Va-t-on répéter les erreurs du conflit syrien? Il ne faut pas se satisfaire de dénonciation ni d'aide humanitaire. Il faut agir sur les acteurs et ne pas se contenter de se cacher derrière l'ONU et les États-Unis.

 
  
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  Barbara Lochbihler, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. Frau Präsidentin! Seit März 2015 eskaliert der Konflikt im Jemen und stürzt damit das Land in eine humanitäre Katastrophe.

Die Leidtragenden sind Zivilisten, darunter zwei Millionen Kinder, die von Unterernährung bedroht sind. Die EU und die Mitgliedstaaten müssen unbedingt sicherstellen, dass ausreichend humanitäre Hilfe für den Jemen zur Verfügung steht. Im Konflikt im Jemen stehen sich zwei fragile Allianzen gegenüber: Im Norden die Huthi-Rebellen, verbündet mit dem ehemaligen Präsidenten Salih. Das Lager des Präsidenten Hadi kooperiert mit politischen Kräften, denen auch Separatisten aus dem Süden angehören.

Verkompliziert wird der Konflikt durch die Einmischung der Regionalmächte Saudi- Arabien und Iran. Die Huthi-Rebellen erhalten Waffen aus dem Iran. Saudi-Arabien greift mit seiner Luftwaffe direkt ein. Beide Lager verstoßen gegen internationales Recht. Bereits mehr als 2 800 Zivilisten wurden sowohl durch Luftangriffe der Saudis, als auch durch Raketenbeschuss der Huthi-Rebellen getötet.

Unter den von der Koalition bombardierten zivilen Zielen sind Krankenhäuser, Schulen und Lebensmittellager. Die Vereinten Nationen berichten über Einsätze von Streubomben. Von der Eskalation des Konflikts profitieren vor allem dschihadistische Gruppen wie Al-Qaida oder Da'esh. Wir fordern deshalb, jegliche Waffenlieferungen an die Konfliktparteien, einschließlich Saudi-Arabiens, zu unterlassen.

Statt einer weiteren Eskalation durch Waffenlieferungen Vorschub zu leisten, muss eine politische Lösung unter Führung der UN gefunden werden.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, qual è il modo migliore per silenziare il dissenso interno? Spesso è proprio concentrarsi sul nemico esterno, ergendo la minaccia totale davanti alla quale ogni altra divergenza deve essere accantonata, pena l'essere considerati traditori o terroristi. Proprio a questo devono aver pensato i sauditi imbarcandosi nell'ennesima guerra per procura contro gli iraniani in Yemen, sponsor della cospicua minoranza Houthi.

La coalizione che comanda non avanza, però, secondo i piani. Doveva essere lo strumento per fare sfoggio delle rinnovate ambizioni militari del paese e invece le conquiste di Aden e la più recente di Dubab, cruciale per il controllo dello stretto di Bab el Mandeb, hanno causato migliaia di morti, 60% a causa dei bombardamenti aerei indiscriminati, di cui molti anche donne e bambini, 3 milioni di sfollati, 16 milioni di yemeniti senza acqua potabile e senza assistenza sanitaria e nel frattempo il cessate il fuoco fallisce e l'inizio dei colloqui di pace si allontana.

Quel che è ancora più grave è il numero elevatissimo di violazioni di diritti umani verificato dalla stessa Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite: oltre ottomila da aprile 2015, quando già la coalizione era sotto l'egida della risoluzione ONU 2216. Il segretario generale Ban Ki Moon comincia ad avanzare dubbi sulla gestione saudita. Io francamente mi chiedo cosa altro debba succedere prima che si apra un'inchiesta ufficiale, il minimo che si debba fare. Non vorrei dover pensare che tutta questa distrazione di tanti Stati europei e degli Stati Uniti, che peraltro talvolta supportano logisticamente con l'intelligence, come accaduto nell'operazione Decisive Storm, l'Arabia Saudita, siano considerati il prezzo da pagare per evitare un attacco pubblico totale dell'Arabia stessa all'accordo sul nucleare iraniano.

Chiedo all'Alto rappresentante che oggi non c'è, ma lo chiedo al ministro di non lesinare alcuno sforzo per rilanciare il processo di pace, ma di assumere una linea fermissima nel condannare le violenze e nel pretendere tale inchiesta, perché altrimenti, a forza di chiudere gli occhi per proteggere l'utile, finiremo per diventare ciechi davanti all'indispensabile.

 
  
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  Nicolas Bay, au nom du groupe ENF. Madame la Présidente, dans sa déclaration du 10 janvier dernier, la haute représentante a condamné le nouveau bombardement d'un hôpital dans le nord du Yémen, qui a fait six morts et plusieurs blessés graves, dont des membres du personnel de Médecins sans frontières (MSF). Elle a parlé – je cite – d'"attaques qui ciblent délibérément des opérations humanitaires et des civils". Mais la Commission se garde bien d'exiger l'ouverture d'une enquête, comme le demande pourtant MSF. Je rappelle qu'il s'agit du troisième hôpital dirigé par MSF qui est visé directement par la coalition antichiite emmenée par l'Arabie saoudite.

De même, nous ne vous entendons guère condamner l'usage d'armes à sous-munitions par les Saoudiens, des armes pourtant interdites par une convention de l'ONU, signée en 2008. Ah! Pardon, j'oubliais que nos amis saoudiens ont obtenu avec leurs pétrodollars de présider le Conseil des droits de l'homme de cette même ONU. Mais permettez-moi de rappeler qu'à l'époque où il n'y avait que de pauvres bédouins en Arabie saoudite, le Yémen était déjà une grande civilisation – celle de la reine de Saba, dont parle l'Ancien Testament. Alors, arrêtons de laisser mourir les Yéménites sous les bombes saoudiennes et empêchons les irréparables destructions de leur patrimoine plurimillénaire!

 
  
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  Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D). Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la gravità della situazione in Yemen dovrebbe imporre la più stretta collaborazione fra le organizzazioni umanitarie e le parti coinvolte. Esprimiamo, quindi, la più viva preoccupazione perché proprio nel pieno della crisi umanitaria che sta devastando la popolazione, abbiamo assistito invece anche a contrasti tra quanti, invece, dovrebbero stare dalla stessa parte per trovare delle soluzioni. Siamo preoccupati soprattutto per quello che sta vivendo proprio la popolazione: gli ospedali, è stato ricordato, sono a corto di medicinali di base, il programma alimentare mondiale ha rilevato che circa 13 milioni di persone sono a rischio di fame, tra cui 6 milioni in disperato bisogno di assistenza alimentare. E le notizie che abbiamo raccolto dicono che la coalizione guidata dall'Arabia Saudita ha causato più di 2.500 vittime civili e bombardamenti a depositi di medicine e centri di soccorso. Approfitto allora di questo dibattito per rinnovare con forza l'appello affinché sia intrapresa un'immediata azione diplomatica a sostegno della popolazione yemenita e che si crei un corridoio umanitario con l'imposizione del cessate il fuoco, dando nuovo vigore ai negoziati di pace.

 
  
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  Javier Nart (ALDE). Señor Presidenta, el conflicto en Yemen es un conflicto histórico. Yo estuve en 1975 allí como corresponsal de guerra y no ha cambiado nada. Los bakil contra los suníes, o sea zaidíes, en este caso bajo el nombre de Ansar Alá — algunos los llaman hutíes— y, además, Arabia Saudí interviniendo, como ha intervenido desde 1920, en guerras continuas, para tener una influencia decisiva en Yemen. En este momento, el conflicto es un conflicto histórico. Es uno de los tantos que la región viene sufriendo.

El gran problema en este momento es la intervención brutal, criminal, de Arabia Saudí, que, en un conflicto interno, la convierte, además, en una masacre, por su intención hegemónica en el área. Es una intervención hegemónica que lleva a cabo, además, a través de mercenarios, entre ellos casi tres mil colombianos. Ya va siendo hora de que a nuestros llamados amigos les digamos que basta. No podemos establecer la paz en Yemen si lo primero que no establecemos es la expulsión de los agentes externos de agresión a un conflicto interno.

En consecuencia, estoy completamente de acuerdo con la conferencia de paz, pero para llegar a ella hay que expulsar a los agresores, en este caso, los saudíes.

 
  
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  James Carver (EFDD). Madam President, I am in close contact with the leaders of the South Arabian Assembly who work within the Southern Movement seeking an independent South Yemen. I am disturbed that despite the best efforts of the Southern Movement and the militia attached to their cause, they remain under siege in Aden from forces allied to Sunni fundamentalists rather than Iranian-backed Houthis. In recent weeks Southern Movement supporters managed to free Aden and the surrounding areas, but the lack of support from Saudi Arabia has seen the situation deteriorate again, allowing extremist forces back.

I have been told that Southern Movement forces are ready and able to bring the south under control and that they have no intention of crossing into what was north Yemen. They indicate that the potentially stabilising elements in Yemen are the clans which can bring peace to their areas, yet the Saudis will not allow this. Throughout Yemen the population is suffering and dying because Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to play politics, ensuring no lasting solution to the Yemeni crisis.

If we are serious about securing for Yemen a stable and hopeful future, international actors must actively engage with those on the ground rather than relying on the usual suspects who seem to go around in circles at such a tragic cost.

 
  
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  Eugen Freund (S&D). Frau Präsidentin! So viel Leid und so wenig Bemühungen, dieses Leid zu mindern. Stellvertreter, die ihr Einflussgebiet auf dieses strategisch wichtige Gebiet ausweiten wollen. 6 000 Menschen haben bisher schon ihr Leben verloren, und jeden Tag werden es mehr. Sechseinhalb Millionen Menschen leiden an Hunger. Es gibt kaum sauberes Wasser, selten Strom. Das ist der Jemen heute.

Es ist daher vordringlich, dass so schnell wie möglich Friedensverhandlungen aufgenommen werden. Gleichzeitig kann man nicht oft genug betonen, wie wichtig es ist, dass humanitäre Hilfsorganisationen in dieser Konfliktregion ihre so wichtige Arbeit ungehindert durchführen können. Wir, die Europäische Union, müssen die Vereinten Nationen dabei unterstützen, dass ein dauerhafter Waffenstillstand und danach Friedensverhandlungen zustande kommen, aber wir dürfen nicht gleichzeitig als Waffenexporteure zusätzlich Munition für eine ohnehin schon explosive Lage liefern. Nur ein breiter politischer Schulterschluss, der dazu führt, dass sich alle Beteiligten an einen Tisch setzen, kann diesen Konflikt bereinigen.

Mühsam erzielte Fortschritte, die dieses Land auch wirtschaftlich wieder auf sichere Beine stellen sollten, werden nach den Bombardierungen – von welcher Seite auch immer – wieder zu Trümmerhaufen. Von dem Chaos und den blutigen Auseinandersetzungen profitieren auch in diesem Land wieder die Kämpfer von al-Qaida oder Da’esh – mit direkten Auswirkungen auf Europa. Immerhin soll einer der Terroristen beim Anschlag in Paris ein Terrorcamp im Jemen besucht haben.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao (EFDD). Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, 6.000 vittime, circa 3.000 civili coinvolti, credo che siano sufficienti come dati per capire la gravità della situazione in Yemen che sicuramente non è una novità, perché lo Yemen versa in queste condizioni difficili da sempre, ma è diventato un vero proprio scenario di guerra per procura, ma soprattutto di divertimento bellico di alcune grandi potenze.

Grandi potenze che – è bene ricordare sempre – sono nostre amiche. Perché mi sembra che si sono proposte tante cose, si sono fatti dei bei proclami, favoriamo appunto il processo di pace, interveniamo, facciamo questo, facciamo quell'altro, però non mi sembra che ci sia chiarezza e fermezza nel dire che l'Arabia Saudita, che è la principale attrice in questo conflitto, le armi gliele vendiamo noi. Perché gliele vende, ad esempio, il governo italiano, da cui continuano a partire navi con rifornimenti di bombe, gliele vende il Regno Unito, gliele vendono gli Stati Uniti d'America. E noi siamo sempre un po' troppo deboli nel seguire quelle che sono le indicazioni del nostro leader di politica estera. Forse in un caso come questo, se vogliamo essere credibili, dovremmo essere un po' più rigidi e forti nei confronti dell'Arabia Saudita.

 
  
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  Michela Giuffrida (S&D). Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la situazione in Yemen è letteralmente drammatica. Più dell'80% degli yemeniti ha bisogno di assistenza umanitaria. Stiamo parlando di 21 milioni di persone che sono allo stremo. La situazione peggiora di giorno in giorno, vengono attaccate cliniche, ospedali, centri di accoglienza. Certo, la situazione non è peggiore rispetto ad altre zone del Medio Oriente, infatti lo Yemen non può e non deve essere considerato come un caso isolato di guerra civile, va inserito nel contesto di una grande conflittualità che affligge praticamente tutta la zona.

Lo Yemen è da anni una pedina della contesa tra Arabia Saudita e Iran. Lo scontro politico e ideologico tra Riad e Teheran si consuma anche a Sana'a che è soprattutto terra di Al Qaeda. Che il rappresentante dell'Onu per i diritti umani in Yemen sia stato di recente dichiarato persona non gradita è preoccupante. Dobbiamo sostenere l'ONU per un cessate il fuoco immediato. Il paese è pronto a scoppiare e bisogna comunque non prescindere da una convinta lotta al terrorismo e al fondamentalismo.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye-Verfahren

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). Paní předsedkyně, já si velmi vážím úsilí, které prokázaly evropské instituce právě při řešení humanitární situace v Jemenu. Nicméně pokládám za velmi nešťastné, abychom byli pouze diváky soupeření mezí Íránem a Saúdskou Arábií v tom regionu. Myslím si, že by to bylo nejen nešťastné vzhledem k roli a k financím, které jsme do těchto oblastí již poslali jako Evropská unie, ale bylo by to i velmi ostudné ve vztahu k civilnímu obyvatelstvu. Tudíž v okamžiku, kdy se Saúdská Arábie takto dlouhodobě staví do pozice, řekněme, aktéra vojenských koalic, ale zároveň i partnera Spojených států amerických a Evropské unie, si myslím, že bychom měli jak s ní, tak samozřejmě nyní i s Íránem jednat o tom, aby nedělaly z tohoto regionu svoji vlastní střelnici. Bylo by to vhodné s ohledem na postavení Evropské unie a samozřejmě na ochranu civilního obyvatelstva.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la situazione umanitaria in Yemen è grave. Quasi due terzi della popolazione necessita di aiuti e assistenza. Il paese è terreno di scontro di una guerra che molti analisti definiscono "per procura" tra l'Arabia Saudita e l'Iran che si sfidano su linee settarie per l'egemonia della regione. La situazione si aggrava di ora in ora. Le Nazioni Unite hanno classificato la crisi umanitaria in corso di livello 3, la categoria più alta. L'80% della popolazione, 20 milioni di persone, ha bisogno di assistenza umanitaria urgente. Le bombe non risparmiano nessuno, e ancora una volta ad essere colpiti sono civili inermi e operatori umanitari. Nei giorni scorsi per la terza volta in pochi mesi un ospedale, supportato da Medici senza frontiere, è stato colpito. Le parti in conflitto dovrebbero astenersi immediatamente dal prendere di mira le infrastrutture civili. Il disprezzo del diritto umanitario, oltre a causare vittime innocenti, ostacola gli sforzi a portare una soluzione politica alla crisi. L'Unione europea deve far sentire la sua voce senza balbettii e assicurare, lavorando insieme alla comunità internazionale, una soluzione politica alla crisi.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). Κυρία Πρόεδρε, τον περασμένο Οκτώβριο ο επικεφαλής του Ερυθρού Σταυρού δήλωνε ότι η Υεμένη, μετά από πέντε μήνες πολέμου, μοιάζει με τη Συρία μετά από πέντε χρόνια πολέμου. Από το Μάρτιο του 2015 έχουν χάσει τη ζωή τους δέκα χιλιάδες άνθρωποι, εκ των οποίων πολλοί άμαχοι και μεταξύ αυτών 630 παιδιά. Ταυτόχρονα, εκτυλίσσεται μια μεγάλης κλίμακας ανθρωπιστική κρίση καθώς, σύμφωνα με τον ΟΗΕ, σε σύνολο πληθυσμού 21 εκατομμυρίων, τα 19 εκατομμύρια δεν έχουν πρόσβαση σε πόσιμο νερό, τα 14 εκατομμύρια δεν έχουν πρόσβαση σε τρόφιμα και περίπου 320 000 παιδιά υποσιτίζονται λόγω του εναέριου και ναυτικού αποκλεισμού που έχει επιβάλει η Σαουδική Αραβία σε μια χώρα που εισάγει για να καλύψει το 90% των αναγκών της. Μετά από τον βομβαρδισμό ενός καταυλισμού προσφύγων, σχολείων και μονάδων υγείας, ήρθε να προστεθεί στη λίστα των παράπλευρων απωλειών χτύπημα σε ιατρικό κέντρο των Γιατρών Χωρίς Σύνορα ενώ ταυτόχρονα η Αραβική Συμμαχία κατηγορείται από διεθνείς παρατηρητές, ότι κάνει χρήση βομβών διασποράς. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση έχει ηθικό καθήκον να αναγνωρίσει τα εγκλήματα πολέμου που τελούνται στην Υεμένη. Η Επιτροπή πρέπει να προτείνει μέτρα κατά των ιθυνόντων.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Bert Koenders, President-in-Office of the Council. Madam President, let me start with one issue that was mentioned: we cannot be just observers. I think this is a very important statement because we cannot be only observers, and we are not only observers. The present situation in Yemen – I think all of you have mentioned that this afternoon – is of very deep concern to all members of the Council, and I am very glad to speak on behalf of Federica Mogherini, the High Representative, on this issue.

Let me just say on a personal note, I have been to Yemen a lot. Yemen was a country where we had a ‘pre-announced’ crisis: a high population growth rate, ecological disasters, a very difficult environment and bad governance, and that combination has led, especially in the region that Yemen finds itself in, to the crisis we are seeing now. It is a catastrophic situation. All the humanitarian actors have described the humanitarian situation as catastrophic – you did, and all of us are extremely concerned. So the question is then, are we observers or not? Let me say that the proactive role, also of the High Representative, is that we are one of the few actors who can speak to all parties and can engage. I think this is important specifically since the humanitarian crisis can only be resolved if it is also in line with progress on a political solution. I think many of you have said that this afternoon, and I can quote many of the people who have spoken this afternoon that this is actually the key issue that we are faced with.

Of course, this also concerns issues of human rights. Now the United Nations Human Rights Council – and obviously I am not speaking here in a national position, I have my views as a member of the Dutch Government on this – adopted a compromise resolution – yes, a compromise resolution – on 2 October 2015 which sets out the conditions for a national commission of inquiry which the EU expects to work independently. I want to underline that again here today. I reiterate our call for the independent investigation of all alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and the European Union will therefore also actively follow and expect the High Commissioner’s update at the upcoming Council session, and obviously also a comprehensive written report on this in the future. That is very important. Many of you have raised not only the issue of the humanitarian situation, but also the respect for international humanitarian law.

We are aware and concerned by what seems to be credible reports on the use of cluster munitions in populated areas. And we also note – and I think this is important, you asked about investigations – we note with satisfaction that the High Commissioner for Human Rights has seized this matter immediately and will closely follow OHCHR’s investigation into this matter.

On the issue of arms, as you know at the moment an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia is not a response to the region’s current challenges, but it is important that the issue concerning common position 2008/944 of the CFSP will be discussed in the Council working group on conventional arms exports, chaired by the EEAS.

Many of you asked, obviously, about the regional aspect of all these issues, including on the role of the tension with Saudi Arabia, and to what extent this spat has an impact on Yemen’s UN-facilitated talks. Well, first of all, it should not. It should not. All the international community and all the main regional actors are already actively working, including the High Representative, to support the talks regarding the situation in Yemen, and they must be maintained. Every effort should be made to avoid jeopardising these talks, and I hope also there will be some progress in the coming days. We expect that the process and the meetings can happen, although recent indications tell us that the timing may slip, and early February seems likely now.

We fully support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who has been relentlessly travelling to the region and to Yemen to ensure that this is possible. We are comforted by the declarations of the Government of Yemen and the Saudi authorities regarding their commitment – and this is important – to these negotiations, and expect that they will proceed with the aim of implementing a sustainable ceasefire and confidence-building steps leading to the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216.

On the issue of Médecins Sans Frontières, this is also an issue that for very good reasons is being raised by the members of the European Parliament. We have seen more attacks on MSF in recent weeks and months in various places around the world, and of course that needs investigation. I also expect the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on this in the coming discussions that I have mentioned.

The question was whether we are reaching out to Tehran: yes, we are. Iran has been politically supportive of the Houthi movement, and it is our hope that it will now positively use its privileged contacts with that group to promote a peaceful settlement. Iran is an important regional player – I could go into all the details, but we discussed this last night – but the EU encourages and is also in a position to talk to the parties, to encourage the Iranian authorities to play a constructive role towards lasting political settlement in the region, including in Yemen because this is absolutely crucial. Some of you mentioned, correctly, that if that does not happen then obviously it is only ISIS and other groups of an extremist nature that will profit from that.

I would like to thank you very much, Madam President, for giving me the possibility to talk about Yemen. I feel that this is not only very urgent, if you look at the number of people who are in extreme distress, but it requires all the political attention that you have given it this afternoon. We have learned the hard way that instability in the wider Gulf and Middle East region can have a direct impact also on our own stability and security. This crisis will not only come to an end through an inclusive political settlement, but we will have a physical and social reconstruction of the country. If you go to Sana'a even today you will see the destruction of the old parts of the city. It is an enormous task which no government can bear alone, so I am sure that massive international support will be necessary.

In any case, the European Union intends to continue engaging its Member States and partners in the region towards a concerted, coordinated and strategic approach by the international community and the Government of Yemen to the country’s reconstruction, and stands ready to play its part in efforts for the benefit of all Yemenis.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Vielen Dank, Herr Minister, auch für Ihre ausführlichen Erklärungen.

Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet während der nächsten Tagung statt, also nicht morgen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 162 GO)

 
  
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  Andi Cristea (S&D), în scris. Îmi exprim profunda îngrijorare cu privire la conflictul dramatic și violent, precum și la grava criză umanitară din Yemen, în care 21 de milioane de persoane, reprezentând 80 % din populație, au nevoie urgentă de ajutor, iar 6 milioane de persoane au nevoie de asistență vitală imediată. În timp ce luptele continuă în mai multe zone, accesul umanitar pentru furnizarea de provizii esențiale de alimente și combustibil rămâne extrem de limitat. Condamn cu fermitate seria de atacuri asupra personalului medical și a facilităților și îmi exprim convingerea că este necesar ca părțile implicate în conflict să respecte dreptul internațional umanitar și dreptul internațional al drepturilor omului. Este deosebit de important ca toate părțile la conflict să ia măsuri ferme împotriva grupărilor teroriste, care reprezintă o amenințare directă pe plan intern și extern. Doar un consens politic larg în cadrul negocierilor sub egida ONU poate oferi o soluție durabilă, restaura pacea și păstra unitatea, suveranitatea, independența și integritatea teritorială a Yemenului. Uniunea Europeană trebuie să ofere sprijin tuturor actorilor regionali, care ar trebui să acționeze în mod responsabil și constructiv pentru a oferi posibilitatea unei dezamorsări a crizei și pentru a se evita extinderea instabilității regionale.

 
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