New York

25 September 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at Friends of Yemen Ministerial Meeting

I thank the Governments of the Republic of Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom and 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 Hadi, the Government of National Unity led by Prime Minister 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.