Motion for a resolution - B8-0407/2017Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the humanitarian situation in Yemen

12.6.2017 - (2017/2727(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Anders Primdahl Vistisen, Urszula Krupa, Ryszard Czarnecki, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Monica Macovei, Angel Dzhambazki, Geoffrey Van Orden, Branislav Škripek, Ruža Tomašić on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0407/2017

Procedure : 2017/2727(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the humanitarian situation in Yemen


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Yemen,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 3 April 2017 on the situation in Yemen,

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council resolutions 2216 (2015), 2266 (2016) and 2342 (2017) on the situation in Yemen,

–  having regard to statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in Yemen,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

–  having regard to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict of 2000,

–  having regard to the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief of 1981,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, including Article 15 thereof,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and on their destruction, of September 1997,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 25 April 2017,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas for the past two years Yemen has been embroiled in fighting between forces loyal to exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi-led multinational coalition, and those allied to the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel movement; whereas the conflict has developed into a larger, bitter proxy war between two of the region’s biggest powers;


B.  whereas after two years of fighting, Yemen has become the location of one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises, with 18.8 million people – almost 70 % of the population – in need of assistance; whereas the situation is especially dire among children, with more than 2.2 million acutely malnourished;

C.  whereas the conflict has led to the deaths of at least 7 800 people, most of whom are civilians, and injured around 44 000 more; whereas a recent cholera outbreak in Yemen caused the deaths of more than 500 people, with a further 60 000 cases suspected;

D.  whereas the conflict has also led to continued violations of human rights, the harassment and detention of religious minorities and the alleged use of children in armed conflict;

E.  whereas the current conflict in Yemen has its roots in the failure of successive governments to fulfil the democratic, economic and social aspirations of the Yemeni people, thereby fuelling discontent, violence and division;

F.  whereas according to United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, the civil war has left Yemen on the brink of ‘total social, economic and institutional collapse’, with urgent international action needed to end the suffering of its population;

G.  whereas Islamist terror group Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the conflict and chaos to reinforce its presence in the south and south-east of the country;

H.  whereas Houthi soldiers are accused of firing heavy weapons in built-up areas, while the Saudi-led coalition has been accused of air strikes on hospitals and other civilian buildings;

I.  whereas a stable, secure Yemen with a properly functioning government is critical to international efforts to combat extremism and violence in the region and beyond, as well as to sustainable peace and stability within Yemen itself;

J.  whereas the European Union committed EUR 116 million to cover urgent life-saving humanitarian needs and to support resilience and early recovery, at the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 25 April 2017; whereas international pledges at the event reached USD 1.1 billion in total;

K.  whereas Houthi and allied forces have both been accused of committing serious laws-of-war violations by laying banned anti-personnel landmines, mistreating detainees and launching indiscriminate rockets into populated areas in Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia, killing hundreds of civilians;

L.  whereas dozens of coalition airstrikes have been blamed for indiscriminately or disproportionately killing and wounding thousands of civilians in violation of the laws of war, including through the use of internationally banned cluster munitions;

M.  whereas the warring parties in Yemen began peace talks in Kuwait in April 2016, only for them to break down in August of that year; whereas subsequent efforts to bring the parties back to negotiations have failed, and coalition airstrikes and ground fighting continue;

1.  Condemns the ongoing violence in Yemen and the impact it is having on innocent men, women and children;

2.  Strongly urges all parties to the conflict to end the fighting and resume meaningful peace talks as soon as possible in the interests of achieving a sustainable, peaceful, pluralistic Yemen in the interests of all its citizens;

3.  Expresses grave concern that ongoing violence and instability in Yemen could allow terrorist and extremist groups to exploit the current situation, posing wider security implications for the region and beyond;

4.  Believes that Saudi Arabia and Iran hold the key to resolving the crisis and urges both sides to work to improve bilateral relations, and to seek to work together to end the fighting in Yemen;

5.  Deeply regrets the deaths of civilians and humanitarian workers in Yemen and the apparent indiscriminate targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals;

6.  Strongly believes that the only long-term solution to the crisis in Yemen is via inclusive political dialogue, in line with the framework provided by the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, and the various United Nations Security Council resolutions and European Council conclusions;

7.  Deeply regrets the decision of Houthi fighters and their allies to reject UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, as a peace negotiator and believes that the reluctance of key parties to show willingness to embark on peace talks can only prolong the conflict and suffering of the Yemeni people;

8.  Calls on all parties to respect the human rights and freedoms of all citizens in Yemen, and all those working on peace and humanitarian missions in the country, including aid workers, doctors and journalists;

9.  Deeply regrets that none of the warring parties have carried out credible investigations into their forces’ alleged laws-of-war violations in Yemen, and demands an independent investigation into all allegations of abuse, torture, targeted killing of civilians and other violations of international humanitarian and human rights law;

10.  Reminds all parties to the conflict that hospital and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law, and that the deliberate targeting of civilians and of civilian infrastructure constitute war crimes;

11.  Deplores reports that Houthi forces, government and pro-government forces and other armed groups have used child soldiers, who constitute an estimated one-third of all fighters in Yemen, and reminds all sides of their responsibilities under international laws and conventions;

12.  Condemns reports that Houthi and allied forces have been responsible for enforced disappearances, tortured detainees and arbitrarily detained numerous activists, journalists, tribal leaders and political opponents since the conflict began;

13.  Welcomes the commitments made at the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen and stresses the need for coordinated humanitarian action under UN leadership to ease the suffering of the people of Yemen; further urges all countries to fulfil the commitments made at the pledging event in order to contribute to addressing humanitarian needs;

14.  Welcomes the renewal by the United Nations Security Council of targeted sanctions against individuals and organisations undermining the peaceful transition process in Yemen;

15.  Strongly supports the work of United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, in seeking to ease the suffering of the Yemeni population;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the President of Yemen, the Yemeni House of Representatives and the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.