Ban calls on Yemenis to advance transition, encourages partners to intensify support

25 September 2013

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all Yemenis to live up to their responsibilities to advance the country’s “historic” transition to democracy, and encouraged international partners to step up their engagement in support of this goal.

“Together, we can help the Yemeni people usher in a more stable, democratic and prosperous future for their country – and set an inspiring example for the world,” Mr. Ban said in remarks to a ministerial meeting of the Friends of Yemen.

The Friends comprise nearly 40 organizations and countries that meet regularly to discuss the political, economic, security and humanitarian sectors in Yemen, which has been undergoing a democratic transition, under the leadership of President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi Mansour, who came to power in the February 2012 election.

As part of the transition process, a National Dialogue Conference was launched in March. The Conference, with over 500 delegates representing all major groups, has addressed subjects such as the conflict in the North and the South, political and security reforms, the state structure, governance, rights and freedoms, and transitional justice.

It is expected to wrap up this month with agreement on a set of principles that will guide the constitution-making process and pave the way for general elections in 2014.

“The National Dialogue Conference has created a new dynamic of inclusive politics,” Mr. Ban told the meeting, noting in particular the strong participation of youth, women and representatives of civil society.

“I call on all Yemenis to live up to their responsibilities under the transition agreement and contribute to a successful conclusion to the National Dialogue Conference,” he stated. “I am well aware that the transition process is fragile. There are many challenges ahead. But I am confident that the people of Yemen will persevere on a peaceful and constructive path.”

Mr. Ban added that today’s meeting, which is being held on the margins of the high-level debate of the General Assembly, shows that the Yemeni people are not alone in their journey to a new future.

“I encourage all of the Friends of Yemen to intensify your engagement. I especially ask you to increase support for life-saving activities and recovery efforts in Yemen.”

Despite recent advances, the country faces numerous challenges, including terrorism, the legacy of past human rights violations, and a grave humanitarian situation marked by food insecurity, lack of basic services and child malnutrition.

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UN urges ‘Friends of Yemen’ to continue support for transition and humanitarian crisis

“If stability is to be maintained and the cycle of violence broken, root causes of the conflict must be addressed, especially unemployment and poverty,” said the Team, which comprises 89 international and national organizations, including UN agencies, under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator.