25 September 2013

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

Yemeni People Not Alone on Journey to New Future, Secretary-General Pledges

At ‘Group of Friends’ Ministerial Meeting


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting, in New York on 25 September:

I thank the Governments of the Republic of Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom for their leadership in convening this productive meeting.  My Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, already spoke on my behalf.  I will just add a few words about what I envision for Yemen’s future.

I am impressed by how President [Abdrabuh Mansour] Hadi [Mansour], the Government of National Unity led by Prime Minister [Mohamed Salem Mohamed] Basendwa and the people of Yemen have advanced the transition process.  When I visited Yemen last November, I saw the courage and determination of the Yemeni people and the Government’s resolve to transform the country peacefully.

Since then, the National Dialogue Conference has created a new dynamic of inclusive politics.  I especially applaud the strong participation of independent youth, women and representatives of civil society.  There is a broad agreement in principle on a united, federal State structure for Yemen.  Now we must enable the Conference to produce results.  This can pave the way for the constitution-making process which will follow.

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.  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.

This Friends of Yemen meeting shows that the Yemeni people are not alone in their journey to a new future.  The United Nations is fully committed to standing with all of the Yemeni people during their historic transition.  My Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar, and his team will continue to do everything possible to mobilize UN expertise and support.

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.

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.

Thank you for your leadership.

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For information media • not an official record