Saturday, September 29, 2012

Security Council Press Statement over Yemen

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Peter Wittig (Germany):

The members of the Security Council welcomed the 27 September 2012 Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting as well as its co-Chairs statement, and commended the substantial progress made by the Government of Yemen in implementing the transition agreement. They also reaffirmed their commitment to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Yemen.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for Yemen in its efforts to reach key milestones in the implementation plan, including the upcoming National Dialogue Conference, adoption of the transitional justice law, setting up of a new electoral commission, and ongoing security sector reform. They called upon all parties to continue to honour the timetable set out in the agreement and for all sides to act in a transparent, peaceful, inclusive and timely manner, and in a spirit of reconciliation.

The members of the Security Council re-emphasized the importance of conducting a fully-inclusive, participatory, transparent and meaningful national dialogue conference including with youth and women’s groups and called upon all stakeholders in Yemen to participate actively and constructively in this process. They welcomed the continued engagement of the good offices of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser Jamal Benomar in support of this process.

The members of the Security Council urged all the parties in Yemen to reject acts of violence to achieve political goals, to refrain from provocations and to abide by resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012). They expressed increasing concern about efforts to undermine the National Unity Government as it endeavours to implement the political transition agreement and reiterated their readiness to consider further measures, including under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter, if such actions continued. They repeated their call that all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses must be held accountable.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the more than $7 billion pledged at the Riyadh donor conference as well as the Friends of Yemen meeting and the Government of Yemen’s agreement to a Mutual Accountability Framework setting out commitments from the Government and donors to ensure that these additional resources deliver support to Yemen’s people. They reiterated their grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Yemen, including severe food insecurity, alarming levels of malnutrition and increasing numbers of internally displaced persons. They also reiterated that all parties should ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

Friends of Yemen Co Chairs Final Statement

Co-Chairs Statement
Friends of Yemen Ministerial Meeting
New York, 27 September 2012 corresponding to 11 Dhu-al-Qa’dah 1433 A.H

Following the Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting held on 23 May 2012 in Riyadh, the Friends held the fourth Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting in New York in the margins of the 67th United Nations General Assembly Session. Co-chaired by the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Yemen, the meeting was attended by 38 countries and International Organisations. The Friends met to demonstrate continued united international support for the political transition process led by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism (“the Transition Agreement”) signed in Riyadh on 23 November 2011. The Friends stressed the importance and urgency of progress in political, economic, humanitarian and security sectors if change is to be sustainable.
The Friends reiterated their full support for the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen as well as commitment to the principle of non-interference in Yemen’s internal affairs.
The Friends welcomed the progress made since the third Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Yemen Group held in Riyadh on 23 May, in particular:
- The formation and initial meetings of the Technical Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue
- The outcome of the Donors Conference held in Riyadh 4-5 September 2012 including pledges of $6.4bn of support and agreement by donors and Government of Yemen to a Mutual Accountability Framework
- The Presidential decisions related to unifying and restructuring the military and security institutions.

National Dialogue and Political Transition
- The Government of Yemen briefed on the forthcoming launch of the National Dialogue on 15 November for a period of six months. The government committed to ensuring that this Dialogue would be as inclusive as possible, with all political parties, women, youth, Southerners and Houthis participating. - The Friends welcomed the commitment of the Government of Yemen to women's participation within all the National Dialogue structures.

- The Friends agreed that the process for the National Dialogue must be Yemeni driven and without external interference. They agreed to support UN-led efforts to provide technical expertise, logistical and financial support as appropriate. The Friends reiterated their support for encouraging all parties to fully and actively participate in the National Dialogue conference. Friends noted this is a fundamental first step to other transition benchmarks. - The Friends expressed concern at the intent and actions of internal and external parties to undermine the implementation of the political transition. The Friends noted the provision in UNSCR 2051 for the Security Council to consider further measures, including under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter, if such actions continue. - The Government of Yemen committed to conclude the establishment of a new electoral commission by October 2012 in order to begin updating the voter registration list to facilitate the Constitutional Referendum planned for the second half of 2013.  
- The Friends welcomed the critical role played by the UN Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Yemen, and welcomed the opening of a UN Special Political Mission in Sana’a. - The Friends welcomed the planned visit of the UN Security Council mission to Sana’a to assess progress on UNSCR 2014 and 2051 in the autumn. - The Friends welcomed the opening of a Gulf Cooperation Council office in Sana’a.
Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation
- The Friends noted the report of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights of 5 September 2012 (A/HRC/21/37) and the discussion in the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 27 September 2012 to assess progress on HRC resolution 19/29 of 23 March 2012 and the adoption of a further resolution on Yemen, acknowledging the recent Republican decree to establish transparent, independent investigations into allegations of human rights violations in 2011. Friends welcomed the opening of an Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights office in Sana’a. - The Friends recognised the importance of transitional justice to the political transition process and underlined the importance of prompt adoption and implementation of the transitional justice law. Economic

Donor commitments and implementation
- The Friends welcomed the $6.4 billion of pledges made by donors at the Riyadh Donor conference. The Friends welcomed additional pledges of $1.462 billion made by other donors at today’s Friends of Yemen meeting - The Friends welcomed the Government of Yemen’s endorsement of the Mutual Accountability Framework setting out commitments from both the Government of Yemen and donors regarding resources and disbursements, as well as policies, indicators and a monitoring arrangement to ensure that additional resources deliver real benefits to Yemen’s people. - The Friends reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that aid is urgently and effectively delivered, including through addressing issues of absorptive capacity, and welcomed the decision by the Government of Yemen to create a committee to help ensure effective delivery of aid, and monitor the implementation of reforms set out in the Mutual Accountability Framework. - The Friends encouraged the Government of Yemen to strengthen economic stability, growth, and governance, to be supported by the IMF. - The Friends agreed to explore options for a trust fund to provide technical assistance in support of government of Yemen's Transition Program for Stabilisation and Development, with the intention of launching the trust fund in the first half of 2013.
- The Friends recognised the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen including the WFP assessment that 10 million Yemenis go hungry every day, and hundreds of thousands of Yemenis are displaced or affected by conflict. The Friends welcomed commitments made and urged donors to provide additional funding for the UN Consolidated Appeal which remains over $300m underfunded. The Friends strongly agreed it is critical that donors urgently deliver on their pledges to address the humanitarian situation. - The Friends welcomed the UN’s intention to announce the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2013 to address the increasing and dire humanitarian needs of millions of Yemenis. - The Friends agreed on the importance of building the capacity for humanitarian aid delivery and improving coordination efforts in the humanitarian field.
Private Sector/Employment
- The Friends welcomed accession negotiations to the World Trade Organisation and agreed that the final steps towards Yemen’s accession should be concluded as soon as possible. - The Friends welcomed the commitments set out in the Mutual Accountability Framework to promote labour intensive public works, support the development of micro, small and medium enterprises, and improve the investment climate. - The Friends agreed to review restrictions on travel to Yemen and to explore ways of increasing international business and educational opportunities for Yemenis. Security

- The Friends recognised the ongoing security challenges in Yemen and the enormous personal sacrifice and commitment made by the Government of Yemen armed forces and police in improving security in Yemen. - The Friends recognised the Government of Yemen’s efforts and intentions to plan the restructuring of the Armed Forces by the end of 2012 and to implement changes forthwith. Friends also recognise that this complex endeavour is being addressed whilst they are tackling the significant threat posed by AQ-AP and spoilers. - The Friends welcomed the establishment of a Reform Committee within the Ministry of Interior. - The Friends welcomed the establishment of a $12m UN Rule of Law programme. - The Friends welcomed the continued international assistance provided to Yemen in military and security reform, and noted the welcome increase in transparency that this has engendered.
The Friends noted the urgency and importance for Yemen’s transition of these commitments being honoured quickly and fully. The Friends decided to meet again to review progress in (location tbc) in March 2013.