"Partners for Sustainable Peace in Yemen" Seminar Held at UN Headquarters in New York

21 August 2017

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: A seminar was held today at the United Nations headquarters in New York City; the session was entitled "Partners for Sustainable Peace in Yemen." The moderator of the seminar was Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami. Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), participated in the seminar, along with the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Abdulmalik Al Mekhlafi, and Yemen's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Khaled Hussein Alyemany. Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the Yemeni Relief Committee, Dr. Abdul Raqib Fatah, Yemen’s Ambassador to the United States, Ahmed bin Mubarak, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and former US Ambassador to Yemen Gerald M. Feierstein participated in the seminar.​

During the first session of the seminar, the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen discussed the relationship between the Kingdom and Yemen. He stressed that the Kingdom has been the largest economic supporter of Yemen for the past thirty years, and stressed the importance of achieving a political solution in Yemen. The Kingdom has worked hard for a peaceful outcome in Yemen since the Gulf initiative in 2011. 

He pointed out that the current challenge in Yemen is coming from a coup comprised of small, armed Yemeni groups supported by and allied with a former president. The Ambassador stressed that the militias are supported both financially and militarily, making it difficult for security and stability to be achieved in Yemen and surrounding regions. 

Al Jaber confirmed the Kingdom's support to the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the last of which was proposed on the port of Al Hudaydah. He stressed the continued support of the Kingdom to the UN efforts to achieve peace in Yemen. He added that solving the crisis politically requires convicting the Houthis and Saleh with political solution and not using weapon or using power to achieve their political goals. 

Ambassador Al Jaber stressed that the path to a political solution in Yemen is based upon three authorities: the Gulf initiative, the outcomes of the national dialogue, and UN Security Council Resolution 2216. This solution, he explained, would restore security and stability to Yemen and to the world. 

Dr. Al Rabeeah reviewed KSrelief’s humanitarian works, explaining that the Kingdom has been the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance to the international community for decades. Regarding Yemen, Dr. Al Rabeeah outlines the Kingdom's continuing efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, including the support recently provided by the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who pledged $66.7 million to counter the spread of cholera in Yemen. He also talked about the many difficulties facing relief planes and humanitarian convoys delivering aid to the needy in Yemen, adding that the international community’s support to Yemen’s legitimate government is vital to the people of the country. 

Abdulmalik Al Mekhlafi reviewed the history of Yemen’s crisis, explaining that what is happening in Yemen is a full-fledged coup against the legitimate government. He summarized the crisis as the Houthi militants’ attempt to legitimize the coup, and that a political solution is the only real path to extricate the country from its current dilemma.

The UN’s Special Yemen Envoy for the UN Secretary-General also addressed the importance of the international community's cooperation in achieving a political solution to the crisis. He explained his proposal to establish a committee to supervise the port of Al Hudaydah, protect humanitarian crossings, prevent smuggling of weapons, and secure the arrival of employee salaries. He expressed his optimism about Yemen’s return to national dialogue. 

The Minister of Local Administration, when addressing the humanitarian situation in Yemen, said that the Yemeni problem has political roots and a political solution, stressing the importance of allowing the legitimate government to manage the delivery of humanitarian aid and stop Houthi attacks on humanitarian convoys.

The former US Ambassador to Yemen stressed that a political solution based on three recognized authorities is the only way to end the crisis, adding that it is important to revive national institutions in Sana'a. He praised the efforts of the United Nations, including its proposal of sending a UN envoy to Yemen.