UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Friday expressed "grave concern" about the level of food insecurity in South Sudan, said British ambassador to the United Nations Karen Pierce, whose country holds the council presidency for the month of August.
The members of the council noted that the ongoing conflict is one of the main direct causes of the food security crisis in the country, Pierce told reporters after chairing closed-door Security Council consultations on South Sudan and Yemen.
The council members demanded all parties to the conflict in South Sudan allow safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to all those in need, she said.
The council members welcomed the region's role in reaching agreement on outstanding governance and security issues in the peace process, but noted that considerable challenges remain on the path to peace, stability and security, including the need for detailed plans for implementation.
They asked the parties to conflict to immediately implement cessation of hostilities and cease-fire agreements to demonstrate their commitment to a revitalized comprehensive peace agreement, said the British ambassador.
Dutch deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Lise Gregoire-van Haaren, whose country, together with some other council members, requested the consultations on South Sudan, said the situation in the African country is between hope and despair.
On the one hand, there is a cease-fire agreement. But on the other hand, there is a dire situation on the ground with 300 percent of the population in food insecurity, she told reporters before the consultations.
Friday's consultations were held in the context of a Security Council resolution on conflict and hunger that was adopted in May. The Security Council heard briefings from UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, UN secretary-general's special representative for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom, and head of the UN mission in South Sudan David Shearer.