Security Council Press Statement on Situation in Red Sea and Baab al-Mandab

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Yamazaki Kazuyuki (Japan):

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms Houthi attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea, including the 6 March attack on the MV True Confidence, which tragically resulted in the deaths of two Filipino sailors and one Vietnamese sailor and injuries to at least four other seafarers.

The Council members also condemned the 18 February attack on the MV Rubymar, which subsequently sank on 2 March as a result of damage from the attack.

The Council members took note of the negative impacts of these attacks and emphasized that the sunken vessel poses a navigational hazard to ships transiting the area.

The Council members stressed the importance of the full implementation of resolution 2216 (2015) and subsequent resolutions. They called for practical cooperation, including with the Government of Yemen, to prevent the Houthis from acquiring the arms and related materiel necessary to carry out further attacks and reiterated that all Member States must adhere to their obligations in regard to the targeted arms embargo.

The Council members demanded the immediate release of the MV Galaxy Leader and its crew, who have now been unlawfully detained for more than 100 days.

The Council members underscored the importance of the Red Sea maritime route for humanitarian efforts in Yemen and beyond, as well as for the local fishing industry supporting Yemeni livelihoods.

The Council members demanded that all Houthi attacks against commercial and merchant vessels traversing the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden cease immediately, in accordance with international law and consistent with resolution 2722 (2024).

The Council members reaffirmed that the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by merchant and commercial vessels of all States transiting the Red Sea and Baab al-Mandab, in accordance with international law, must be respected. Towards that end, the Council members warned against the impact of the 4 March Houthi decision purporting to require ships obtain a permit from their “Maritime Affairs Authority” before entering Yemeni waters on the freedom of commercial navigation and humanitarian operations, including into Yemen.

The Council members recalled the importance of enhancing international and regional cooperation to counter threats to peace and security in the region and called for a de-escalation in the Red Sea to preserve the peace process in Yemen.

The Council members reiterated their support to the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM).

The Council members commended the efforts of the Government of Yemen to preserve the maritime environment and called on all Member States, organizations, and agencies to support its efforts.

The members further called for continued international involvement in close cooperation with the United Nations and coastal States, as well as with regional and subregional organizations to prevent further escalation with possible multidimensional consequences.

The Council members emphasized the need to prevent further regional spillover of the conflict and its impact on the security and the stability of the region and beyond, and in this regard, reiterated the necessity to address the root causes contributing to regional tensions and to the disruption of maritime security in order to ensure a prompt, efficient and effective response.

Finally, the Council members urged caution and restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and the broader region and encouraged enhanced diplomatic efforts by all parties to that end, including continued support for dialogue and Yemen’s peace process under UN auspices.