The United Nations has, since the uprisings in Yemen began in early 2011, been actively engaged through the exercise of its good offices in helping Yemenis to find a peaceful solution to the conflict and enable the resumption of a peaceful, orderly and inclusive political transition. The mediation efforts of the United Nations are led by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Two rounds of peace talks were convened in Switzerland in 2015. In April 2016, a cessation of hostilities temporarily came into effect, which paved the way for further negotiations between the parties in Kuwait from April to August of that year. In a continued effort to facilitate an end to the violence and ease the suffering of the Yemeni people, the Special Envoy continues to engage with the Yemeni parties, Member States in the region and the wider international community to promote the adoption of a durable cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks that lead to a political settlement of the crisis.
One of the poorest countries in the Middle East, Yemen has been experiencing a humanitarian crisis fuelled by conflict and widespread insecurity, large-scale displacement, civil strife, political instability, chronic food shortages, a breakdown of social services, endemic poverty and refugee influxes. The situation has been rapidly deteriorating since the country formed a new Government, in November 2014, aimed at ending a period of political turbulence and bringing about a full transition towards democracy.