The Security Council today welcomed the new political agreement in Yemen and the mechanism outlining how it can be implemented, but stressed that the deal must be strictly implemented to end unrest and restore stability in the country.
The peace initiative by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the implementation mechanism agreed to on Wednesday must be carried out in “in a serious, transparent, and timely manner, and in a spirit of inclusion and reconciliation,” the Council said in a press statement.
The Council expects the parties “to honour the timetable set out in the agreement, including the formation of a government of national consensus, presidential elections within 90 days, a national dialogue, a constitutional review, and a programme of reforms that start to tackle the profound humanitarian, economic and security challenges that Yemen faces.”
In the statement, read out by Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral of Portugal, which holds the Council’s presidency this month, the 15-member panel reaffirmed its commitment to Yemen’s territorial integrity and unity, and urged all parties to reject violence, refrain from provocation, and fully implement the Council’s previous resolution on restoring peace in the impoverished country.
It reiterated that all those responsible for violence, human rights violations and abuses should be held accountable, and deplored acts of violence that occurred on Thursday, when five people were reportedly killed in the capital, Sana’a.
The Council stressed the need for increased and unimpeded humanitarian access, and urged all Yemeni parties to work with the UN, the international community and the GCC to achieve lasting peace, stability and reconciliation.
Earlier, Jamal Benomar, the UN Special Adviser on Yemen, told reporters after briefing the Council that the accord paves the way for a credible transition and provides a detailed roadmap for change through the broad participation of citizens.
“The implementation envisions meaningful participation across the full political spectrum, including the youth who paved the way for this change in the political order,” Mr. Benomar said of the pact.
“It is imperative that the new Government of National Unity engages with all constituencies including the youth, the Houthis, and the Hirak movement in the south,” he said.
Under the accord, President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to hand over his powers to Vice-President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi and presidential elections are to be held within three months.
“All Yemenis will now need to come together to reconcile, and to tackle the difficulties that lie ahead,” he said, noting that “violence and unrest has continued despite the reaching of a political solution on 23 November.”
He said he had told the Council that all Yemeni parties will need to take responsibility and use the opportunity to foster positive change for the country, uphold human rights and desist from further violence.
Mr. Benomar urged the international community to step up support for Yemen’s recovery, as requested by both parties to the agreement. The UN and the rest of the international community will monitor the accord’s implementation and remain engaged, he said.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remained fully committed to supporting the transition and the post-election period through mobilizing the entire UN and Member States to help Yemen address its political, humanitarian, security and economic challenges, Mr. Benomar added.
The Council was also briefed on the humanitarian situation in Yemen by Philippe Lazzarini, the Deputy Director of the Coordination and Response Division of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Last week’s political agreement followed months of deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr. Saleh and his regime, part of the so-called Arab Spring movement that has swept the Middle East and North Africa this year.