Preventing catastrophic risks from a SAFER oil tanker leak

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On 15 July, the Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme Inger Andersen and Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock briefed the Security Council about the increasing environmental and humanitarian risks posed by the decaying Safer oil tanker, whose dire condition is evidenced by the leak of seawater into the tanker’s engine room on 27 May. The members of the Security Council expressed deep alarm at the growing risk that the Safer oil tanker could rupture or explode, causing an environmental, economic, and humanitarian catastrophe for Yemen and its neighbours.

The members of the Security Council acknowledged the announcement of the Houthis to grant access to the Safer tanker, and called on them to convert this commitment into concrete action as soon as possible, including by agreeing to entry permits, a safe travel route to the tanker, and all other logistical arrangements, in order to facilitate unconditional access for United Nations technical experts to assess the tanker’s condition, conduct any possible urgent repairs, and make recommendations for the safe extraction of the oil, ensuring close cooperation with the United Nations. They looked forward to seeing concrete action implemented without delay.

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