Yemen Peace Process

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:12 pm on 23rd May 2019.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East 2:12 pm, 23rd May 2019

This has been an excellent and passionate debate, fully justifying the decision of the Chairman of the Backbench Business Committee, my hon. Friend Ian Mearns, to give us time, for which we thank him.

I thank Mr Mitchell, the hon. Members for Henley (John Howell), for Ilford South (Mike Gapes), for Banbury (Victoria Prentis), for Isle of Wight (Mr Seely) and for Dunfermline and West Fife (Douglas Chapman), and my hon. Friends the Members for Liverpool, West Derby (Stephen Twigg) and for Leeds North East (Fabian Hamilton). And I thank the Minister, who will always remember his first speech from the Dispatch Box as a Foreign Office Minister. He has responded very positively.

It is often said that the war in Yemen is a forgotten war, but it is not forgotten in this House. Today we have remembered Yemen, but another 12 Yemeni children have died since the start of this debate. What we want is not great speeches but great actions. A ceasefire is not a mantra but an objective. We need this ceasefire, and this country needs to make sure it happens. We need to seize the moment and bring peace to this sad, troubled but beautiful land.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
notes that 22 May 2019 is the 28th anniversary of the unification of Yemen, when that country emerged from a long and painful civil war;
further notes that today Yemen is once again in a deep and pitiful state of conflict, having entered the fifth year of its current, tragic war;
acknowledges that the most recent estimate places the death toll in excess of 70,000, of which 10,000 have died in the last five months alone;
notes that Yemen remains in the midst of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, in which at least 85,000 children have starved to death and almost 200,000 have contracted cholera in 2019 alone;
commends the work of the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, who brought opposing sides together for agreements including on a ceasefire in the Al-Hodeidah Governate;
regrets that the implementation of those agreements has been slow or non-existent;
and calls on the Government to take every possible measure to support an immediate ceasefire, the flow of humanitarian aid and further peace talks in Yemen.