Following a three-day delay, the United Nations-brokered peace negotiations among Yemeni parties started today in Kuwait, with the aim of reaching an agreement on a clear way to end the violence and devastation in the country.
“The consultations should provide a strong foundation for a new political consensus, to help Yemen achieve the stability and security that its people deserve and its future requires,” Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Yemen said in a press release. “The path to peace may be difficult but I believe that it is clearly in reach if all parties engage in good faith.”
The talks will seek to develop agreements which will restore security and peace in the country, strengthen state institutions and help speed economic recovery. In order to provide a conducive environment for the talks and enable expanded humanitarian assistance, a cessation of hostilities came into force at midnight on 10 April.
Despite some serious violations in various areas, reports indicate that there has been a noticeable improvement in the security situation.
“The choice today is between two paths; a safe country that guarantees the stability and the rights of all, or the broken land where children die on daily basis,” the special envoy said at the outset of the talks.
Praising the constant work of the De-escalation and Coordination Committee (DCC) and the Local De-escalation Committees, he urged the delegations to work together to overcome their differences and to develop compromise solutions based on the framework of Security Council resolution 2216.
“Differences in opinion are permissible but there are always middle grounds,” he said. “Gaps are plentiful but constructive ideas can address them. Challenges may hinder us but solutions are available. Divisions exist but they can be overcome. Most regimes in the world are built upon the diversity of their political spectrum which is turned into a positive force.”
“It is impossible to turn the clock backwards and change the past but we can look forward to the future and improve the present,” he stressed. “Peace is a choice, make it your choice,” he added.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Sheikh Sabah Khaled Alhamad AlSabah, the First Deputy Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.