ALBAWABA - Yemen has a new UN Envoy. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has just appointed the Swedish diplomat Mr Hans Grundberg to seek solve the beleaguered seven-year-old Yemen conflict.
He takes over from Martin Griffiths, a Briton, who has been seeking to solve the Yemen conflict since 2018 but to no avail. Although he tried hard making frequent trips to Yemen, Riyadh and different Arab capitals like Kuwait including Tehran, he failed to achieve headway because of the Yemen intractable conflict and its different sides.
The #UN announces the appointment of Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg as the new envoy for #Yemen. https://t.co/dptBjtrwv8— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 6, 2021
Many are positive about the appointment of Grundberg which has been approved by the 15-member UN Security Council and is being praised by the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. The Swedish diplomat has a great deal of experience in conflict-resolution in the Middle East and in Yemen itself.
Congratulations to Hans Grundberg and best wishes for this important assignment. https://t.co/Q5o1qGQbrG— Sir Nick Kay (@NicholasK111) August 7, 2021
He was the EU Ambassador to Yemen since 2019 and helped to defuse fighting in port of Hodeideh in late 2018 when he brought the warring sides together and brokered the Stockholm Agreement.
There's a new UN Envoy for #Yemen (aka @OSE_Yemen), Hans Grundberg of @SwedenUN.@CrisisGroup's @peterjsalisbury recently wrote up how the new envoy should rethink the UN approach: https://t.co/6AWhwzuG7l— Richard Gowan (@RichardGowan1) August 6, 2021
Yemen is desperate for peace. United Nations figures put the number of Yemeni deaths at 233,00 including 131,000 from starvation, lack of health services and infrastructure. “Hostilities have directly caused tens of thousands of civilian casualties; 3,153 child deaths and 5,660 children were verified in the first five years of the conflict, and 1,500 civilian casualties were reported in the first nine months of 2020,” as stated by the OCHA on its website.
The appointment of Hans Grundberg as the new UN Special Envoy for Yemen is welcome news. We at @USUN look forward to working closely with him to advance a resolution to the conflict in Yemen.https://t.co/Q4a4a68RnS— Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) August 6, 2021
Guterres warns Yemen is in “imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades” and Henrietta Fore, head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) , said the country was facing “an imminent catastrophe”.
400,000 people in Yemen are at risk of starving to death this year. This is entirely preventable. The bombing must stop and the blockade of food, medicines and essential materials lifted. Cc @antonioguterres @SecBlinken @PowerUSAID @MSF https://t.co/biWkBkKnCM— Keith Martin MD (@keithmartinmd) August 1, 2021
It is these issues Grundberg will have to address and impress on the warring parties inside Yemen like the Houthis, the Southern Transitional Council, the Yemeni government and their backers like Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Warmly welcome @antonioguterres appointment of @hansgrundberg. #SWE continues to be a strong and committed partner to #UnitedNations for a sustainable peace in #Yemen and in support of its people. https://t.co/cr2LXr1NTO— Anna-Karin Eneström (@AkEnestrom) August 6, 2021
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Grunderberg is an ‘excellent” diplomat and her country backed the UN diplomatic efforts to end the suffering of the Yemeni people as quoted in Arab News.