The EU thanks the Group of Eminent Experts for their report and for conducting investigations in such challenging circumstances. We express our strong support to the GEE and its mandate, and wish to recall that the Group is the only international, independent mechanism that is working to further accountability for the Yemeni people. We strongly regret that the GEE remains barred from Yemen and other coalition countries.
After nearly 7 years of conflict, the situation in Yemen remains extremely dire. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of military hostilities and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict, including enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment, recruitment and use of children in hostilities, sexual and gender-based violence and violations of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in the conduct of hostilities.
The EU deeply deplores the devastating humanitarian situation in the country, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as continued violations of international law committed by all parties to the conflict. We condemn the impediment of humanitarian access, the blockade of humanitarian aid deliveries and the use of starvation as a method of warfare and call on all parties to allow safe, full, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access as well as a nationwide ceasefire.
With civilians being targeted by all parties, accountability for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law remains critical. We welcome that in September of last year the Human Rights Council tasked the Group of Eminent Experts to also collect and preserve information with an aim to achieve accountability.
To what extent was the Group able to carry out its mandate, in particularly when it comes to the collection and preservation of information, given the various challenges you were faced with in the past year?