SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

14 November 2018

LABOR URGES END TO HOSTILITIES IN YEMEN

Labor has today called for a cessation of hostilities in Yemen, and for all sides in the Yemen conflict to participate in UN-led peace talks by the end of the year. Labor also calls on the Saudi-led coalition to take all measures possible to reduce civilian casualties and ensure access to affected areas for the delivery of humanitarian and essential supplies to the civilian population.

The United Nations describes Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22 million people – three-quarters of the population – in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

UNICEF says a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from diseases that could easily be prevented, and half of Yemeni children are chronically malnourished.

We are deeply concerned that a full-scale assault on the Port of Hodeidah could worsen this humanitarian disaster, with eighty per cent of Yemen’s food imports and relief supplies flowing through the port.

Labor has given notice of a motion in the Senate strongly supporting the current efforts by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary to build support among international and regional partners for new action in the UN Security Council to bolster the UN-led peace process.

The motion also endorses the US Administration’s decision to no longer take part in inflight refuelling operations for Saudi-led coalition aircraft involved in the fighting.

Labor urges the Australian Government to support United Nations’ efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Yemen, and assure itself that any Australian military cooperation in the region, including defence equipment sales, does not inadvertently contribute to the suffering of the Yemeni civilian population.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.