New York, NY, October 31, 2018 — David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said:
"The statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for a cessation of hostilities in Yemen is the most significant breakthrough in the war in Yemen for four years. It is a very welcome recognition that current policy is failing and needs urgently to be changed to focus on a diplomatic solution. The people of Yemen are now suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the country threatens to become a tinderbox for the region. It is vital that this call for a ceasefire is followed through, and the call for support for the political process heeded. The IRC has 800 people working on the ground for or with us and a ceasefire is desperately needed in order for them to deliver vital humanitarian aid. In addition, all sea ports need to be fully open, Sanaa airport must be opened to humanitarian and commercial traffic, and vital civil servant salary payments must resume to reverse the economic collapse.
Other members of the UN Security Council should be ashamed of their silence on this issue. There has been a crying need for leadership - in the form of a ceasefire - for far too long. The UK is the 'pen holder' on this file at the UN and needs to draft a UN Security Council resolution immediately calling on all sides to honor a ceasefire."