The United Nations Security Council today called on all parties involved in the intra-Yemeni peace talks to develop a road map for the implementation of interim security measures as they work towards a comprehensive agreement that will bring a permanent end to the political crisis in the country.
Adopting a Presidential Statement, the 15-member body welcomed the commencement of the nationwide cessation of hostilities in Yemen on 10 April as well as the launch of the intra-Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait, reiterating a call to all parties to engage in the peace talks in a “flexible and constructive manner without preconditions, and in good faith.”
In its statement, the Council called on all Yemeni parties to “develop a road map for the implementation of interim security measures, especially at the local level, withdrawals, handover of heavy weapons, restoration of state institutions, and the resumption of political dialogue in line with relevant Security Council decisions, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference.”
In line with its resolution 2216 (2015) and the outcomes of the National Dialogue conference, the Council said the parties should commit to ensure that security mechanisms, including the formation of security committees, facilitate and oversee the negotiated withdrawal of militias and armed groups and provide for the orderly handover of heavy and medium weapons to state control.
The Council also expressed “strong concern” about intensified terrorist attacks, including by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), and encouraged all Yemeni parties to “avoid any security vacuums that can be exploited by terrorists or other violent groups.”
“The Security Council stresses that a political solution to the crisis is essential to address, in a durable and comprehensive manner, the threat of terrorism in Yemen,” the statement said.
In addition, the Council stressed the importance of the restoration of Government control over all state institutions, including respect for the legally established lines of authority in state institutions; removal of any hindrance or obstructions to proper functioning of state institutions; and changes to ensure inclusivity in political institutions.
Reiterating that resuming Yemen’s political transition to a democratically governed State, in line with the GCC initiative, should be guided by a new constitution and the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections, the Council said that such election should be conducted in an inclusive manner involving the full participation of all of Yemen’s diverse communities, including all regions of the country, youth, and the full and effective participation of women.
Noting the “devastating humanitarian impact” of the conflict on the Yemeni people, the Council emphasized that the humanitarian situation will deteriorate in the absence of a political solution.
“The Security Council calls upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law, including to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects, in order to prevent any further suffering for the people of Yemen,” and to ensure the security of humanitarian and UN personnel, the statement said.
Moreover, the Council requested that the Secretary-General present to it a plan, within 30 days, outlining how the Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen could support the next phase of its work with the parties.
In related news, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, welcomed reports that indicate tangible progress in bringing an end to hostilities and an improvement in the general security situation in Yemen.
“Reports indicate real improvement in the situation which reflects the parties’ commitment to the cessation of hostilities,” said Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed in a statement.
“The De-escalation and Coordination Committee and the Local Committees are exerting extraordinary efforts to ensure the safety and security of Yemenis. It is clear that these efforts and the recommendations from the members of the delegations assigned to follow up on support for the cessation of hostilities are contributing to the stabilization of the security situation in the country,” he added.
The Special Envoy also said that he began consultations with the heads of the delegations today on a general framework for the talks, proposed by the UN, and which will be discussed by the two delegations over the coming days.