29 March 2012
Security Council

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6744th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Welcomes Ongoing Political Transition in Yemen, but Voices


Strong Concern, in Statement, about Intensified Terrorist Attacks


Welcoming what it deemed a nationally led transition process to a just and democratic political system in Yemen but expressing concern over deteriorating relations among political actors, the Security Council today called for a continued commitment in the country to constitutional order, non-violence and a process that included all segments of society.

Through a statement read out by Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom, which holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member body for March, the Council urged, in particular, the quick formation by the Yemeni Government of an inclusive Preparatory Committee for the planned Conference for National Dialogue that involved all major constituencies, which it emphasized should include representatives of all regions, the major social groups and the full and effective participation of women.

Among positive recent progress, the Council noted the 21 February elections, which it said had occurred in a largely peaceful manner and with an encouraging turnout, as well as the 25 February transfer of power to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, as called for by the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism.  It expressed strong concern, however, about intensified terrorism in the country, condemning it in the strongest terms and supporting efforts of the Yemeni Government to combat it.

Addressing the international community, it urged renewed and sustained support by donors for the 2012 Humanitarian Response Plan, which it said addressed acute humanitarian needs and was significantly underfunded, despite the welcomed expansion of humanitarian response capacity of United Nations agencies and their partners.  It also called for continued, active support for the efforts of the Yemeni Government to meet the political, security and economic challenges.  In that context, it noted with appreciation the 23 May Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting in Riyadh.

After the reading of the statement, Yemen’s representative, Jamal Abdullah al-Sallal thanked the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, donors and the Secretary-General for their support.  He affirmed that there had been several positive developments since the approval of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, including the presidential elections, the establishment of the National Reconciliation Committee and a committee to deal with national security matters.

Yemen, however, still suffered from stifling socio-economic conditions, including electricity and water shortages, as well as challenges in delivering other basic services, he said.  In addition to its own efforts, the Government counted on international assistance, especially from “brotherly” Gulf nations, and looked forward to the outcome of the May meeting of Friends.

The unstable political conditions and continued terrorist attacks had seriously affected the humanitarian situation, with some 8 million Yemeni people in desperate need of aid and the numbers of displaced persons reaching nearly half a million, he said.  At the same time, Yemen was coping with some 1 million refugees from the Horn of Africa.  He stressed that Yemen was a partner in the international efforts to combat terrorism and was committed to fight the scourge to the best of its ability, but was also counting on international support in the struggle.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:19 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2012/8 reads as follows:

“The Security Council welcomes the Yemeni-led peaceful transition process to a just and democratic political system.  It notes the recent progress, including the 21 February elections which occurred in a largely peaceful manner and with an encouraging level of turnout and the 25 February transfer of power to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, as per the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism.  The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.

“The Security Council expresses concern at the recent deterioration in cooperation among political actors and the risks this poses to the transition.  The Security Council reaffirms its resolution 2014 (2011), and calls upon all political actors in Yemen to remain committed to the political transition, constitutional order, to play a constructive role in the process and to reject violence.

“The Security Council notes that the second phase of the transition should focus on the holding of a Conference for National Dialogue, restructuring of the security forces, tackling the unauthorized possession of weapons outside the control of the State, passing legislation on transitional justice to support reconciliation, constitutional reform, electoral reform and the holding of general elections in 2014.  The Security Council emphasizes the need for these political processes to be conducted in an inclusive manner involving the full participation of the different segments of Yemeni society, including the regions of the country, the major social groups and the full and effective participation of women.

“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of a well-planned and peaceful preparatory process for the Conference for National Dialogue and therefore urges the quick formation by the Yemeni Government of an inclusive Preparatory Committee involving the major constituencies.  In the context of a genuinely inclusive process, the Security Council reminds the Yemeni Government and other actors of the need to release those protesters arbitrarily detained during the crisis.

“The Security Council expresses its strong concern about intensified terrorist attacks, including by Al-Qaida, within Yemen.  It condemns such terrorist attacks in the strongest terms and supports the efforts of the Yemeni Government to combat terrorism in compliance with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.  It expresses deep condolences to the families of the victims in the March attacks in Abyan, southern Yemen.

“The Security Council notes the formidable economic and social challenges confronting Yemen, which have left many Yemenis in acute need of humanitarian assistance.  It welcomes the expansion of the humanitarian response capacity by UN agencies and partners, while noting its concern that the 2012 Humanitarian Response Plan is significantly underfunded, and urges renewed and sustained support by donors for the Plan.  The Security Council also urges all parties to facilitate full, safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian actors to reach people in need of humanitarian assistance.

“The Security Council notes with appreciation the planned 23 May Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting in Riyadh and calls for the international community to maintain its active support to help the Yemeni Government meet the forthcoming political, security, economic and humanitarian challenges.  The Security Council looks forward to an action plan set out by the Yemeni authorities, in close cooperation with all the parties in Yemen and in a spirit of dialogue, on how these challenges could be addressed with the support of the international community.  They affirm their view that the Friends of Yemen have a particularly important role to play by bringing together the main international actors in a common endeavour to support Yemen’s overall transitional plans during the next two years.

“The Security Council reiterates that all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, including acts of violence, should be held accountable.  The Security Council also notes with concern that children continue to be recruited and used by armed groups and certain elements of the military and calls for continued national efforts to discourage the use and recruitment of child soldiers.

“The Security Council reiterates its call to all parties to remain fully committed to the success of the transition and welcomes the continued engagement of the good offices of the Secretary-General and his Special Advisor, Jamal Benomar.  It welcomes the Secretary-General’s intention to dispatch a team of experts to monitor the implementation and provide advice to the parties in consultation with the Government of Yemen; and supports the intention of the United Nations to focus its political engagement through a small presence in Yemen of officials working closely alongside the UN Country Team in order to support Yemeni efforts to organize a National Dialogue process that is inclusive, transparent and participatory, and will work in coordination with partner missions, with the Yemeni Government to adopt transitional justice legislation, carry out constitutional reform and offer support up to and including the general elections in 2014.  The Security Council remains closely engaged on the situation in Yemen and will continue to closely follow the next steps towards a peaceful political transition of power.”

* *** *

For information media • not an official record