Author Archives: Mohammed Al-Zuhairi

AGREEMENT FOR THE EXCHANGE PRISONERS, DETAINEES, MISSING PERSONS, ARBITRARILY DETAINED AND FORCIBLY DISAPPEARED PERSONS, AND THOSE UNDER HOUSE ARREST.

17 December 2018 

Preamble:

This is a humanitarian issue and it shall not be subject to any political scores or other matters and the perspective of parties shall be to reunite the bereaved families, as it is endorsed in Islam.

Recognizing the importance of urgently addressing the issue in accordance with the legal processes and provisions, particularly, the conventions, principles and norms of international humanitarian law, human rights and relevant laws of the Republic of Yemen and relevant United Nations resolutions,

This agreement was executed under the auspices and the supervision of the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, the sponsor and guarantor for this agreement. The International Committee of the Red Cross shall also oversee and facilitate the exchange process and the technical procedures related to this agreement.

The involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross aims to ensure respect for fundamental humanitarian principles and procedures that facilitate the release, or transfer or repatriation of all persons who were deprived of their liberty during the events in Yemen. Therefore, the safety of the staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall be ensured during this process and all necessary facilities shall be provided to them so that the International Committee of the Red Cross can play its intermediary and neutral role to facilitate the implementation of the agreement.

To demonstrate goodwill and to promote the peace process, the Yemeni parties and the Arab Coalition Representative (hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”) agreed to conduct a comprehensive and complete exchange of all prisoners, detainees, missing persons, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons, and those under house arrest, in accordance with the following principles:

First, the parties agreed to release all prisoners, detainees, missing persons, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons, and those under house arrest, held in relation to the events in Yemen, without any exceptions or conditions, for the purpose of resolving this fully and definitively.

Second, each party shall hand over all prisoners, detainees, missing persons, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons, and those under house arrest, held in relation to the events in Yemen, by all Yemeni parties or the Arab Coalition, whether they are Yemeni or from the coalition countries, including (Faisal Rajab – Mohammed Qahtan – Mahmoud Subaihi – Nasser Mansour Hadi).

Third, no party shall have the right to refrain from extraditing any person who was arrested, detained, or captured for any reason in relation to the events, and all parties shall be obliged to comply with that.

Fourth, all parties are obliged not to exclude any person who was imprisoned, arrested, detained, or captured for any reason in relation to the events.

Fifth, in the event that any prisoners, detainees, missing persons, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons, and those under house arrest, or those arrested and detained in relation to the events in Yemen, were found not released after the exchange process, all parties are obliged to release them immediately and unconditionally.

Implementation Mechanism:

  1. Each Party shall hand over to the other Party the lists of their prisoners, detainees, kidnapped persons, or any person arrested in relation to the events, within one week from the date of signature of this agreement. All lists shall be exchanged through the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen.
  2. Each party shall be committed to submit a correct, accurate and up-to-date list of the data through the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and it shall include the quadruple full name, the title, the governorate, the directorate, place of arrest, and place of imprisonment, if any, to facilitate the search process.
  3. Each party shall submit information about the lists submitted to them, through the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, within a period not exceeding one week from the date of receipt of the information.
  4. Each Party shall submit written remarks, if any, on the lists submitted to them by the other party within one week from the date of receipt of the lists through the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen.
  5. The remarks mentioned in point number 4 shall be responded to within one week from the date of receipt of these remarks.
  6. The final lists shall be signed by all parties and handed over to the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen and the International Committee of the Red Cross, for the purpose of preparing and conducting the exchange process in coordination with the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen.
  7. The agreed upon shall be carried out after submitting information on the remarks within a period not exceeding ten days.
  8. It was agreed to carry out the exchange process of all prisoners, detainees, missing persons, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons, and those under house arrest, by both parties, at the same time in Al-Jawf governorate, to ensure a smooth functioning of the process.
  9. A technical working group shall be established with the participation of the parties, the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, and the International Committee of the Red Cross to focus exclusively on the logistical and technical aspects of the exchange.
  10. A committee from the two parties shall be formed and it shall commence its task upon signing this agreement, to recover and exchange bodies from all fronts and areas and the two parties shall facilitate the work of the committee, secure it, and cooperate with it.

This Agreement was Executed in Two Copies, One Copy for Each Party

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prisoners_agreement_-_english.pdf

إتفاق تبادل الأسرى والمعتقلين والمفقودين والمحتجزين تعسفياً والمخفيين قسرياً و الموضوعين تحت الإقامة الجبرية



تمهيد

هذا الملف يعد ملفاً إنسانياً ولا يخضع لأي حسابات سياسية أو أمور أخرى، و يكون منطلق الأطراف هو لم شمل الأسر المكلومة، كما أقر ديننا الإسلامي.

و إدراكاً لأهمية معالجة القضية عاجلاً وفقاً للأحكام والمسارات القانونية، ولا سيما مواثيق ومبادئ وأعراف القانون الإنساني الدولي وحقوق الإنسان وقوانين الجمهورية اليمنية ذات الصلة، وقرارات الأمم المتحدة ذات الصله.

 تم هذا الإتفاق تحت رعاية و إشراف مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن و هو الراعي و الضامن له، كما تشرف منظمة الصليب الأحمر الدولي علي تسهيل عملية التبادل و الإجراءات الفنية المتعلقة بها.

يهدف إشراك منظمة الصليب الأحمر الدولي إلى ضمان إحترام المبادئ و الإجراءات الإنسانية الأساسية التي تسهل الإفراج عن، أو نقل، أو الإعادة إلى الوطن، جميع الأشخاص المجردين من حريتهم على ذمة الأحداث في اليمن.و لهذا الغرض ينبغي ضمان سلامة موظفي منظمة الصليب الأحمر الدولي خلال هذه العملية، و توفير كافة التسهيلات اللازمة لها، لممارسة دورها كوسيط محايد لتسهيل تطبيق الإتفاق.

والتزاماً بإبداء حسن النية، وتعزيزاً لمسار السلام، إتفقت الأطراف اليمنية  و التحالف العربي (ويشار إليهم فيما يلي بـ”الأطراف”) على اجراء تبادل شامل وكامل لجميع الأسرى والمعتقلين والمفقودين والمحتجزين تعسفياً والمخفيين قسرياً و الموضوعين تحت الإقامة الجبرية على ذمة الاحداث القائمة،  وفقاً للمبادئ الآتية:


أولاً / تم الاتفاق على اطلاق سراح جميع الأسرى والمعتقلين والمفقودين والمحتجزين تعسفياً والمخفيين قسرياً و الموضوعين تحت الإقامة الجبرية  على ذمة الاحداث لدى جميع الأطراف بدون أي إستثناءات أو شروط و ذلك بهدف حل القضية بشكل كامل و نهائي.

ثانياً / يسلم كل طرف كل من لديه من أسرى ومعتقلين ومفقودين ومحتجزين تعسفياً ومخفيين قسرياً و الموضوعين تحت الإقامة الجبرية على ذمة الأحداث، لدى جميع الأطراف اليمنية و لدى التحالف العربي سواء كانوا يمنيين أو من دول التحالف وبمن فيهم (فيصل رجب – محمد قحطان – محمود الصبيحي – ناصر منصور هادي).

ثالثاً / لا يحق لأي طرف الامتناع عن تسليم أي شخص تم أسره أو إعتقاله أو إحتجازه أو القبض عليه على ذمة الأحداث لأي سبب،  و تلتزم جميع الأطراف بذلك.

رابعاً / تلتزم جميع الأطراف بعدم إستثناء أي شخص تم أسره أو إعتقاله أو إحتجازه أو القبض عليه على ذمة الأحداث لأي سبب.

 خامساً / في حال تبين وجود أي أسرى أومعتقلين أومفقودين أومحتجزين تعسفياً أومخفيين قسرياً أو الموضوعين تحت الإقامة الجبرية لدى أي طرف، أو المحتجزين على ذمة الأحداث، بعد عملية التبادل فإن جميع الأطراف ملتزمة بإطلاق سراحهم على الفور دون قيد أو شرط.

آلية التنفيذ

1 / على كل طرف تسليم الطرف الاَخر كشوفات أسراه و محتجزيه و معتقليه و مختطفيه و كل من تم القبض عليه على ذمة الأحداث، لدى الطرف الاخر في خلال أسبوع من تاريخ التوقيع على هذا الاتفاق. و يتم تبادل جميع الكشوفات من خلال مكتب مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن.

2 / يلتزم كل طرف برفع كشوفات صحيحة ودقيقة ومستكملة البيانات، من خلال مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن، حيت تشمل الاسم الرباعي مع اللقب والمحافظة والمديرية ومكان القبض ومكان السجن إن وجد حتي تسهل على الجميع عملية البحث والتقصي.

3 / على كل طرف تقديم  الإفادة على الكشوفات المقدمة إليه من الطرف الأخر خلال مدة لا تزيد عن أسبوع من تاريخ إستلامه للكشوفات، من خلال مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن.

4 / على كل طرف تقديم ملاحظات خطية، إن وجدت، على الإفادة المسلمة إليه من الطرف الاخر فى خلال أسبوع من تاريخ استلامه الإفادة من خلال مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن.

5 / يتم الرد على الملاحظات المذكوره في البند الرابع خلال أسبوع من تاريخ استلام لهذه الملاحظات.

6 / يتم التوقيع على الكشوفات النهائية من جميع الأطراف وتسلم الى مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن و منظمة الصليب الأحمر الدولي ليقوم باجرائته و التحضير للتبادل  بالتنسيق مع مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن.

7 / يجري تنفيذ ما اتفق عليه بعد التوقيع على الكشوفات النهائية خلال مدة لا تزيد عن عشرة أيام.  

8 / تم الاتفاق على تنفيذ عملية التبادل لجميع الأسرى والمعتقلين والمفقودين والمحتجزين تعسفياً والمخفيين قسرياً و الموضوعين تحت الإقامة الجبرية من الطرفين،  في وقت واحد وفي محافظة الجوف أو أي مكان يتفق عليه الطرفان، لضمان سير العملية بسلاسة.

9/ يتم تأسيس فريق عمل تقني بمشاركة الأطراف و مكتب المبعوث الخاص للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة باليمن و منظمة الصليب الأحمر الدولي، يركز بشكل حصري على الأوجه اللوجيستية و التقنية للتبادل.

10 / تشكل لجنة من الطرفين، و تباشر عملها فور توقيع الإتفاق، لإنتشال و تبادل الجثث من جميع الجبهات  و المناطق، وعلى الطرفين تسهيل عمل اللجنة و تأمينها والتعاون معها.


حرر هذا الاتفاق من نسختين بيد كل طرف نسخة
 

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prisoners_agreement_-arabic.pdf

Yemen ceasefire deal: ‘Potential’ now to restore humanitarian lifeline to millions

14 December 2018 – Humanitarian Aid

The freshly agreed Yemen ceasefire deal covering the key Red Sea governorates of Hudaydah and Taiz has been welcomed by the World Food Programme (WFP), which on Friday expressed hope that it would improve access for humanitarians and, just as crucially, commercial shipping.

“This agreement has the potential to allow the ports of Hudaydah and Saleef to operate at near-normal capacity,” WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel told journalists in Geneva. “The free flow of commercial food supplies into Yemen should prevent further increases in food prices, which have sky-rocketed in the last few months.”

WFP and other UN agencies have described Hudaydah as the principal lifeline for two-thirds of the population, who have endured suffering on a huge scale since fighting escalated between Government forces and Houthi opposition militia, in March 2015.

Before the warring sides agreed a deal at UN-led talks in Sweden this week, clashes had prevented the sustained supply of commercially shipped food and fuel through Hudaydah.

This led to a spike in prices which put basic goods beyond the reach of ordinary Yemenis.

“With the conflict intensifying over the recent weeks, we have seen a decrease of 50 per cent in shipments into Hudaydah port as private companies, shipping companies, were reluctant to use the port for security reasons,” Mr Verhoosel said. “We also hope, then, that it will change.”

The UN agency is also hopeful that it will soon regain access to a large milling and storage facility in Hudaydah – the Red Sea Mills –  which supplies one-quarter of its flour for millions of people in north and central Yemen.

Significant role for UN in managing crucial port

According to the ceasefire agreement, the UN is to play a significant role in managing the port.

The UN has not had access to those facilities since September, Mr Verhoosel explained. “We hope that thanks to the agreement we will have access very soon to those facilities and we will be able to dispatch those 51,000 tonnes of wheat to assist 3.7 million people.”

To illustrate the widespread need for assistance in Yemen, Mr Verhoosel noted that in January 2017, WFP delivered aid to 3.5 million people a month, but that this number has now more than tripled. “It’s one of our biggest operations ever,” he said, adding that the agency plans to reach up to 12 million people during next month. Of particular concern are children and breastfeeding mothers, 1.5 million of whom will receive additional nutritional support in coming weeks.

Details of the ceasefire agreement were announced on Thursday by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said that despite “pending” unresolved issues, it would improve the lives of millions of people.

In addition to an end to fighting in Hudaydah governorate, the cessation of hostilities also encompasses neighbouring Taizz governorate, where years of conflict in the city have posed serious access challenges to humanitarians.

The WFP Senior Spokesperson said he hoped that the “peace breakthrough” announced in Sweden would lead to similar agreements elsewhere in Yemen – and better humanitarian access to those in need.

“The deal is not enough, it’s a good start,” he said. “That’s why we look forward to January or later when the second round of discussions will take place under the Special Envoy’s leadership and we hope that other similar agreements will be reached in other parts of the country.”

Without assistance, 73 per cent of the population in Taiz – some 2.2 million people – risk “crisis” levels of food insecurity, WFP says. Around 1.3 million would experience “emergency” levels of hunger and 45,000 would face “famine-like” conditions.

Mr. Verhoosel said there was “still time to save millions of people” adding that “honestly, our staff is working 24 hours a day for the moment to avoid as much as we can a catastrophe.”

 

غريفيثس يؤكد الحاجة العاجلة لقيام الأمم المتحدة بدور رئيسي في الحديدة

14/12/2018

شدد المبعوث الدولي الخاص لليمن مارتن غريفيثس على الحاجة العاجلة لإنشاء نظام مراقبة رادع ومزود بالقدرات اللازمة في الحديدة لضمان امتثال الأطراف لتعهدها بالانسحاب التدريجي من ميناء ومدينة الحديدة في إطار وقف لإطلاق النار بأنحاء المحافظة.

وفي إحاطة عبر دائرة تليفزيونية لمجلس الأمن الدولي، قال غريفيثس إن الطرفين، الحكومة اليمنية وجماعة أنصار الله، أكدا له أنهما سيرحبان بوجود هذا النظام.

“بناء على توجيهات الأمين العام، تعمل الإدارات المعنية في نيويورك وغيرها على وضع الخطط للانتشار العاجل بناء على القرارات التي سيتخذها مجلس الأمن. لقد كانت الحديدة محل الاهتمام العالمي على مدى عام، وكان لذلك أسباب وجيهة. إن الحديدة شريان حياة حيوي للبرنامج الإنساني الذي يعتمد عليه ملايين اليمنيين. التوقعات المروعة بحدوث المجاعة، جعلت حل مسألة الحديدة أمرا عاجلا وضروريا. لذلك، تدور طبيعة ما اتفق عليه من انسحاب (القوات) حول الاحتياجات الإنسانية، ويعد السماح للأمم المتحدة بالقيام بدور رئيسي في الميناء خطوة أولى حيوية.”

وأكد غريفيثس أهمية أن يحدث ذلك خلال أيام. وذكر أن الأمم المتحدة ستقوم بدور رئيسي في دعم شركة اليمن لموانئ البحر الأحمر في عملية الإدارة والتفتيش في الحديدة والصليف ورأس عيسى.

وسيشمل ذلك مراقبة محسنة من آلية الأمم المتحدة للتحقق والتفتيش. وقد وضع فريق الأمم المتحدة في اليمن خطة تتطلب دعما محددا من الدول الأعضاء.

وقد قامت منسقة الأمم المتحدة للشؤون الإنسانية في اليمن ليز غراندي وزملاؤها، كما قال غريفيثس، بدور مهم في تشكيل الاتفاقات حول الحديدة. وسيقوم الفريق بدور رئيسي في الجوانب المدنية للاتفاق.

وكان غريفيثس قد ذكر في مؤتمر صحفي أمس في السويد أن الطرفين طلبا من الأمم المتحدة، مزودة بولاية من مجلس الأمن، القيام بدور رئيسي في الحديدة لضمان تطبيق الالتزامات الخاصة بالحديدة.

النص الكامل لاتفاق استوكهولم

تعز

توصل الطرفان، في مشاورات السويد، إلى تفاهم متبادل لتهدئة الوضع في تعز مع إمكانية فتح الممرات الإنسانية للسماح بالمرور الآمن للبضائع والناس عبر الخطوط الأمامية والحد من القتال في المحافظة ونشر عمليات نزع الألغام وإطلاق وتبادل الأسرى.

واتفق الطرفان على تشكيل لجنة مشتركة، برئاسة الأمم المتحدة، لتنفيذ ذلك. ومن المقرر أن تجتمع اللجنة قريبا وتتفق على خطة لإحلال “السلام المؤقت” في المركز الحضري الضخم في تعز.

تبادل الأسرى

قبل الوصول إلى السويد، اتفق الطرفان على تشكيل لجنة مشتركة حول الإطلاق المتبادل للأسرى. وقد اجتمعت اللجنة بشكل متكرر في السويد. وأبدى غريفيثس سعادته بدعم اللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر لتلك الجهود.

وأعرب عن الأمل في تبادل ما يصل إلى 4000 أسير في منتصف يناير/كانون الثاني.

The Secretary-General — Joint Press Encounter with Swedish Foreign Minister and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Martin Griffiths on Intra-Yemeni Consultations

Rimbo, Sweden, 13 December 2018

Secretary-General: Thank you very much for being here.

We are living the beginning of the end of one of the biggest tragedies of the 21st century — the conflict in Yemen, the worst humanitarian situation that we face.

We need, first of all, to pay tribute to the courage and determination of the two delegations that were able to overcome many difficulties, many different positions, many obstacles, and to really start a serious process to build a common future.

Today’s agreement is particularly important because it includes Hodeidah. And it is my deep belief that the question of Hodeidah was the “make it or break it” [one], in relation to making sure that this could be the first step of a process that, we hope, will lead to the end of the conflict – or if it would just be a meeting between two delegations with some positive aspects but without a structural change in the situation that weface.

I strongly believe that the fact that it was possible to come to an agreement on Hodeidah will have a huge impact, both for the security situation of the area and for the life of the people of the area, but [also] a huge impact in the humanitarian situation of the country. The fact that we came to an agreement on Hodeidah – that many would consider the most difficult of the problems on the table – gives us the hope that this process will now be moving step by step and that we will be able overcome all the obstacles that we face, knowing that only a politic solution can solve the problem. There is no military solution in Yemen. I think all parties have understood that. And the agreement of today is a demonstration that they are serious in moving with all the obstacles, with all the difficulties. This will be a complex and lengthy process, but the parties want to move towards a solution and that is for me the most important signal of today’s meeting.

I want once again to thank our host. I want to pay tribute to the team that Martin Griffiths has led. I followed these negotiations closely and I have never seen someone shuttling so much, from capital to capital, speaking to so many people, so many times, to make sure it would be possible to come to where we are. And I pay tribute once again to the two delegations that were able to come to the understandings of today.

But allow me to repeat what I said in the session. I worked a lot with Yemen as High Commissioner for Refugees and I can tell you, the generosity, the solidarity, the hospitality of the people of Yemen is absolutely outstanding. I have seen Yemenis sharing the very little they had with Somalis coming to the coast, risking their lives to support those that were seeking protection in Yemen. Yemen which had problems, including already during the civil war, still receiving Somalis with their doors, their hearts and their borders open. It is a lesson for the world when unfortunately, so many borders, so many doors and so many hearts are closed today.

The Yemenis deserve all the efforts that the international community can make. And I felt also during this process that all the key regional actors and all the members of theinternational community, the permanent five members of the Security Council, all the elected members of the Security Council, all other countries that have direct or indirect contact with Yemen–they were all committed to make sure that peace would prevail and that we would really have a meaningful first step in the direction of peace.

There is a long way to go. There are lots of issues to discuss. There are lots of agreements still needed. This is just a beginning. But at least, it’s the beginning of a process in which there is a clear will to come to an end result that is peace in Yemen and the future that the Yemeni people deserve.

Q: Could you please share with us what kind of forces we should expect in Hodeidah? And is there an agreement on the airstrikes?

SG: There is a ceasefire declared for the whole Governorate of Hodeidah in the agreement. There will be, both for the city and the harbour, a withdrawal of all forces. And of course, the order will be maintained – I mean, in the harbour, the UN will assume a very important monitoring role, and in the city, the order will be maintained by local forces in accordance with Yemeni law. In relation to other areas of the territory, there was not yet and agreement in relation to a ceasefire. But that is why I said this is the beginning of a process – but it is a very meaningful beginning. Because this was indeed the central question that was paralyzing all the possibilities of progress.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General if someone wants to be optimistic, then we see the agreement that the cup is half full, the glass is half full so can be optimistic on this side. Can I ask you what… Can the United Nations be a guarantor to the implementation of the three agreements and what will happen if one or both parties did not fulfil his commitment? And can I ask your Special Envoy: what was your suggestion for Sana’a and Aden airportand what was the sticking point which, let’s say, postponed the agreement?

SG: I would like to change the usual image of the glass half full and half empty. If this is the glass, the glass was empty. What we did was to start putting some water in the glass. But there is still a long way to go. So this was the beginning of filling the glass. What is important is that it is a beginning that is meaningful. If we only have an exchange of prisoners, it would be very important for the prisoners, it would be very meaningful for the families, but it would not really mean progress on central issues. But everybody agrees that the most difficult problem we had on the table was Hodeidah. And the fact that it was possible to have an agreement on Hodeidah proves that we are really, still, with the bottle ready to go on pouring water until the glass is full. And the glass is full is: peace in Yemen with a full Yemeni political solution for Yemeni problems. So it’s not yet even half full. We are beginning to fill the glass, but we are determined to move on.

Now, I do not have the possibility to decide what the Security Council will do. My wish is that there will be a robust Security Council resolution in relation to the agreement that was reached, to allow for a very effective mechanism of monitoring. And there were a number of countries that put their services at our disposal with the technologies that are necessary for that, to make sure that the redeployment of forces will be effectivelymonitored and that the agreements will be effectively implemented. Implementation is crucial. Obviously, if one of the sides does not implement the agreement, that will kill the agreement. And we hope it will not happen because there was such a commitment to come to this agreement and many obstacles were removed. This was not an easy thing to do. I remember when we left yesterday at 2:00 in the morning after serious discussions. And when I in the early morning asked him [Martin Griffiths] an important information, when he got it he sent it at 4:00 in the morning, so I believe this gentleman did not sleep. So there was a lot of work on this. But what I feel is that that work demonstrates that there is a serious commitment to make sure that the agreement is implemented. And the proof is that in other areas, we are not yet there, and we will go on discussing. Questions related to the economic dimensions, questions related to the airport –and I will leave it to Martin– are not yet solved. They are being discussed but… So we concentrated a lot, as you can imagine, on Hodeidah because of the importance, strategic importance of the issue from all aspects and also the symbolic aspect, to give, I’d say, a clear demonstration that we are indeed moving forward. But in relation to the airport, please.

Martin Griffiths: As the Secretary-General says, we are still going to be negotiating on a few issues which we had hope to cross the line on today. And in fact, as we were here for the closing ceremony, behind the scenes, we had our colleagues bringing texts to and from both sides of the room. I don’t think it would be right to give you a specific outline of the kind of things we would like to see on the airport but it is clear – and it is public knowledge – that the starting point on the airport is opening it up to commercial flights, maybe domestic first, and that the UN wants to see that airport open as soon as possible, as agreed by the parties. And I would like to think that over the next week, maybe less, we might find an agreement. We don’t have to be here to get an agreement and that, I think, is the point the Secretary-General made in the closing ceremony. We are going to keep on negotiating. Sweden will continue without Sweden. Can I just reinforce the point the Secretary-General made: Hodeidah was a difficult one to do – as you know, you’ve been following it. It’s the center of gravity of the war in Yemen. It has been a consistent issue of negotiation. We are very proud. I think the parties have asked the United Nations, perhaps with a good mandate of the Security Council – there will be a meeting of the Council tomorrow-, to take a real role in ensuring that their commitments are properly and robustly monitored and reported on. This has not happened in Yemen before. This is a first.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, when will the port of Hodeidah be opened up for traffic so aid can start to arrive in Yemen?

SG: To give you a perfectly honest answer: I don’t know. We will do everything possible to make it happen as soon as possible.

Q: Then how can we trust this agreement?

SG: I don’t ask you to trust the agreement at this moment. Let’s see how the agreement is implemented and if the agreement is properly implemented, as we believe it will be, you will then find the trust in it.

Q: Mr. Guterres do you plan on trying to involve the foreign parties in this conflict such as Saudi Arabia and Iran in coming talks? And can there really be a lasting solution without their direct involvement?

SG: It is clear that these are Yemeni-led negotiations, intra-Yemeni negotiations. But of course, the countries you mentioned and several others are very relevant in the context of the region and are very relevant in the context of the Yemen conflict. And so, obviously, there has been very relevant consultations with the two that you mentioned and all other regional parties. I must say, I am deeply grateful for the very constructive approach that I felt in the last few weeks in order to facilitate the creation of the conditions for this agreement to be possible.

Q: With regard to Hodeidah, are there any particular regions that it will be withdrawn from? Do you have support from the United States with regard to you going tomorrow tothe Security Council?

SG: First of all, there are clear indications on how this will be implemented on the ground. There were maps that were discussed and seen. So we are not talking of things in the abstract. We are talking [about] very concrete things. And there is an annex to the agreement with the details that will also be available for the Security Council. I do believe that all the permanent members of the Security Council and all the electedmembers of the Security Council will be supportive. But I mean, I cannot speak for them today. In the contacts I had with the Security Council before, I felt that there was a clear indication of a positive inclination for a resolution of the Security Council post-agreement. And of course, that resolution, from my perspective, would be very important to give a robust mechanism of monitoring and verification. And I have to say that the United States, that you have mentioned, not only have showed positive indications in relation to that but also the availability of technological means to allow for the monitoring to be very effective.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, we have not seen the parties signing the Hodeidah agreement. Why? When are we going to see them sign the agreement? Also, what are the main areas of disagreement regarding the Central Bank and Taiz?

SG: It was never foreseen that there would be a signature. We agreed on a text and the two parties were very clear on their support to that and on the support to the implementation. So there was not… As this is an ongoing process with different areas, we have now reached agreement on three of them, and there will be new agreements on new aspects as time goes by. We did not foresee a signature ceremony. That, in our opinion, would not be necessary. In relation to Taiz, there was an understanding and so I believe that we will have no difficulty in what we now want to have in relation to access, corridors, demining and all the other aspects. I believe that there was complete agreement between the two sides. In relation to the other aspects, there is still a lot to discuss. I believe we all felt how important it is, namely for people to receive their salaries. We all felt how important it is for people to Sana’a to be able to travel. So these are things that still need more time to find the formulas that can be acceptable for both sides – even if in principle, both sides agree that these things should move forward. But, as you know, there are still many areas in which there is a clear division and so it will take some time to be able to overcome the differences of position that still exist. But our determination is to move forward as quickly as possible and to push more as quickly as possible for salaries to be able to be paid and for the measures of economic reform that are necessary to be taken, and at the same time, to make sure that we find a way to allow for the Sana’a airport to be open.

Griffiths: Can I just add to that? As the Secretary-General said, there are very specific texts. This is not just wishful thinking. There are texts which have been agreed word by word — that is why it has taken us some time. The withdrawals, you had the question: “How do we know if it’s happening?” There are phases by the days, of what needs to happen from what are to the other in Hodeidah. This is tangible, real, verifiable, monitorable agreements. Of course, you can’t get agreement on everything. These two parties still have a lot to do to come together on the issues of sovereignty and so forth – of course they do. But Hodeidah is a practical agreement worked out by experts on both sides. And I think the reason why we are being slightly careful about giving any details is that this will be something that will be put before the Security Council tomorrow and it will be for them to decide how they would like to see it implemented. But every sign is that they would be very willing to do so and that is a first. These will be the first withdrawals of any forces in the history of this conflict. And it will be done in the area of the greatest sensitivity, difficulty and danger. That’s whatthose two sides have agreed.

Q: You mentioned that the UN will play a role in the port in Hodeidah. Can you expand on that? And secondly, officials from the Yemeni Government have been saying that we canexpect some kind of pullout in the second phase from the Houthis within 21 days or so and we should also see them withdrawn from the other ports. Can you comment on that?

SG: Yes, it was agreed that there would be a withdrawal, not only from the port, from the city, of all forces. The timeframe that we are preparing to make sure that they work is short. There will be two phases – which are agreed. It will be short. We need to now put in place the mechanism of verification on the ground. It is obvious that the UN will play an important role in the port, probably a monitoring role, of course there is a management of the port that exist. There is a lot to be done to make sure that the port fully corresponds to our expectations, which is to be an infrastructure able to provide what was lacking: the capacity for the Yemen population to have all the humanitarianassistance they need and the Yemen economy to benefit from a safe entry point. And as you said, it is not only this port, the three are covered by the same agreement.

Griffiths: And if I may just add and reinforce that last point, Secretary-General. This agreement on Hodeidah, made in a very difficult place, is of extraordinary importance for humanitarian reasons. We’ve had with us throughout the 6-7 days here, people from humanitarian agencies that are present. The design of the withdrawal, first of all from the ports – three ports – very quickly, within days, and then from the city, of both sides disengaging, is designed in order to open up that east-west road so that humanitarian pipeline – which is crucial for the survival of those people in Yemen who need humanitarian aid, is opened up again, as it is not at the moment. This has been agreed by both sides. Thank you.

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL — REMARKS AT CLOSING OF THE INTRA-YEMENI CONSULTATIONS IN SWEDEN

Rimbo, 13 December 2018

[as delivered]

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and the Swedish government for hosting this event and for your warm welcome. I would also like to thank my Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his team for their tireless efforts in this endeavour.

Many governments played a crucial role to make this happen. I would like to thank the Saudi-led coalition, the Sultanate of Oman, and the Government of Kuwait for their concrete support to make this happen. And also the international community and especially the group of Ambassadors to Yemen that have been here in Sweden to support these talks. Your input has been very valuable.

But most of all, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you, distinguished members of the Yemeni delegations. Thank you for coming here to discuss a better future for Yemen. What you have achieved so far is an important step for the people of Yemen and I thank you.

The conflict in Yemen has been going on for four years now. Four devastating years of suffering for the Yemeni people.

As we all know, Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. More than 24 million people – three-quarters of the population – need some form of assistance and protection. Some 20 million people are food insecure. And 10 million of these people do not know how they will obtain their next meal.

You, the parties present here today, have the possibility to change this. You have the future of Yemen in your hands and we have a precious opportunity. And I am glad to see that you have made real progress here in Sweden. You have been working hard during this week. And it has yielded several important results. That is an achievement. But there are also pending issues and we will move on with those pending issues without interruption. We want to make sure that we make progress at any moment for the benefit of the Yemeni people.

I spoke to President Hadi this morning and he expressed his full support and appreciation of all the accomplishments you have made here, and I thank him for this. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the leadership of Ansarallah and their allies for their constructive engagement with our proposals.

You have reached an agreement on Hodeidah port and city, which will see a mutual re-deployment of forces from the port and the city, and the establishment of a Governorate-wide ceasefire. The UN will play a leading role in the port. This will facilitate the humanitarian access and the flow of goods to the civilian population. It will improve the living conditions for millions of Yemenis.

You have reached a mutual understanding to ease the situation in Taizz. We hope this will lead to the opening of humanitarian corridors and the facilitation of demining.

Before you came here, you had already agreed on a prisoners’ exchange. Now, you have agreed on a timeline and details for implementing the exchange, allowing thousands – I repeat, thousands – of Yemenis to be reunited with their families.

And finally, very important step for the peace process, you have agreed to engage in the discussions on a Negotiating Framework in the next meeting. This is a critical element of any future political settlement to end the conflict.

Based on your constructive engagement here in Sweden, we have a better understanding of the positions of the parties. And you have agreed to meet again to continue to discuss this further at the end of January during the next round of negotiations. But between now and January, we will always be available to go on discussing and trying to reach progress in all the dossiers that are still pending for discussion and agreement.

What you have agreed here will mean a lot for the future of Yemen. It will mean a lot for the Yemeni people who will see concrete results in their daily lives.

And allow me to make a personal statement and to pay a personal tribute to the people of Yemen.

I was High Commissioner for Refugees during 10 years and during these 10 years, I visited Yemen several times. Somali refugees were coming to Yemen – a country that is of course a poor country, and with enormous problems. The borders of Yemen, the doors of the Yemeni people, the hearts of Yemeni people were always open to Somali refugees. They were granted prima facie refugee status. And when we look at the world today and the difficulties refugees face in so many parts of the world, we need to pay tribute to the generosity, to the hospitality of the Yemeni people.

The Yemeni people has demonstrated a solidarity with other people in need that deserves our tribute. And that deserves us to do everything possible, as the international community, to support Yemenis in finding Yemeni solutions for their own problems.

The agreements today mean a lot, not only for the Yemeni people but for humanity if this can be a starting point for peace and for ending the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Shukran. Thank you very much.

THE YEMENI WOMEN’S TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP PLAYS AN ACTIVE ROLE DURING THE SWEDEN CONSULTATIONS

 

12 December 2018

On the sidelines of the Sweden Consultations, the Yemeni Women’s Technical Advisory Group held meetings with the two parties as well as members of the diplomatic community and the Foreign Minister of Sweden, Ms. Margot Wallström.

The Technical Advisory Group discussed possible ways of bringing the voices of Yemeni women to the peace-making process. The Group has also engaged in presenting strategy papers and proposals that guide the Special Envoy in his mediation role to bring the war to an end.

The Yemeni Women’s Technical Advisory Group was formed by the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen (OSESGY), in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325(2000) and 1820 (2008) as well as the outcomes of the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference, which calls for a 30% quota for women in public positions as well as in negotiations delegations and committees. The Group which comprises eight women working with the Office of the Special Envoy for this round of consultations are:  Afraa Al-Hariri; Afrah al-Zuba; Asmahan Al-Alas; Balqis Abu-Osba’a; Enas Al-Arashy; Maeen Sultan; Najat Jumaan; and Sumayya Al-Hussam.

MARTIN GRIFFITHS COMMENDS THE POSITIVE SPIRIT IN THE SWEDEN CONSULTATIONS

8 December 2018

The Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, commends the positive spirit the two parties are demonstrating in the Sweden Consultations.

“The two parties are engaged in a serious and constructive way in discussing the details of confidence building measures, the reduction of violence, and the framework for negotiations. We hope we will achieve progress during this round of consultations”.

Griffiths reiterates the importance of continued restraint on the ground and calls on the two parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. “We are working to the background of a very fragile situation in Yemen. We hope that de-escalation will be maintained on different frontlines, to give a chance for progress to be achieved on the political consultations”.