Yemen Traversed Critical Phase in Its History, Having Learned Peace Can Emerge from Ashes of Conflict, Security Council Told
6878th Meeting (PM)
In Briefing, Special Adviser Says National Dialogue Possible ‘Crucible
For New Yemen’; Country Representative Asks for Patience as Challenges Met
Yemenis had learned that the “gun as a tool to answer the legitimate aspirations has passed, and a peaceful solution can emerge from the ashes of conflict”, the United Nations top official in that country told the Security Council today in a briefing on recent developments.
“Yemeni men and women have armed themselves instead with the principles of wisdom, mutual respect and peaceful interaction, and have thus avoided the abyss of civil strife,” said Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General.
The upcoming National Dialogue Conference was an opportunity for Yemenis to build the future that met the aspirations of all, he said. The Committee for National Dialogue could indeed be the “crucible for a new Yemen”, with a diverse composition and strong commitment of all parties, he said, urging continued strong support from the international community at this critical juncture.
One year after the country had signed its peace and transition agreement, it had transformed itself from turmoil to normality on the way to the 2014 national elections, he said, adding, however, that the long and arduous road ahead remained rife with grave challenges on multiple fronts on the path to national elections in 2014. Among the toughest hurdles were restructuring military forces under one command, rooting out corruption, expanding State authority, quelling terrorist threats and attacks, and consolidating national unity.
Unrest in the South and an acute humanitarian crisis, with an alarming number of people on the “edge of starvation”, one quarter of the population lacking basic health care and half of all Yemenis without access to clean water could also upend progress. Further threatening the transition were “spoilers”, keen on impeding progress and profiting from instability. Blackouts and attacks on oil and gas pipelines had affected millions and caused massive revenue losses.
Despite those grave challenges, said Jamal Abdullah al-Sallal, Yemen’s representative, his Government had made great strides in stabilizing the country and restructuring the armed forces. Concerned that as the humanitarian situation could become a obstacle to all progress, he appealed to the international community to continue to support his country in dealing with its challenges, calling on Yemenis, in addition, to exhibit patience as those challenges were met, with a view to making the political transition a success.
When the floor opened to Council members, speakers voiced their full support for Yemen’s transition process. The United Kingdom’s representative said a priority was to make certain that the national dialogue addressed all key challenges and represented the full population, including youth and women. Condemning continued attacks, he insisted that the Council would not hesitate to act against the so-called spoilers.
Echoing that sentiment, Germany’s representative insisted that what the Council said and did mattered to the people of Yemen. He also raised a widely held concern that the progress achieved so far was not irreversible. What Yemen needed now was support from the Security Council and beyond, he said.
Agreeing, India’s representative sounded a common call among members, saying that the international community’s continued support was crucial as the country traversed a critical phase in its history.
Looking forward to elections, South Africa’s representative urged all Yemeni stakeholders to forego narrow positions and focus on the future of the entire country.
The representatives of China, United States, Portugal, Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Togo, Guatemala, France, Pakistan and Morocco also delivered statements.
The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and ended at 5:26 p.m.