Background

Yemen has been facing a tragic and complex political military crisis since 2011, with grave implications for the country’s future and the whole region.

In 2012, the United Nations Secretary-General established a Special Political Mission for Yemen, upon a call by the United Nations Security Council, and its decision  2014 (October 2011)  urging the Secretary-General to continue to exercise his good offices to support Yemen.

As specified in Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012), and reaffirmed through subsequent resolutions in 2014 and 2015, the Mission focuses on supporting Yemen’s return to a peaceful political transition in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue and Security Council resolutions.

Working closely with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the government, key political groupings and civil society, a process for peaceful dialogue was established under the auspices of the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism

The United Nations provided diplomatic, political, technical, logistical and financial support for the national dialogue process, which was concluded on 25 January 2014 with the adoption of an Outcome Document. It stipulated a roadmap towards the full transition of Yemen into a state that upholds democracy, freedom, rule of law, human rights and good governance. The agreement also included commitment to inclusive participation in the political process, including for women and youth. A Constitution Drafting Commission was formed in March 2014 and worked intensively on a draft constitution until January 2015, which has not been voted, while violence continues to affect many parts of the country.

As at September 2017, two million people remained displaced, according to OCHA’s reports. 15 million people were lacking adequate access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and health services; 17 million Yemenis were food insecure and 7 million people were faced with the threat of famine; and all this is exacerbated by the largest single-year cholera outbreak ever recorded.

On 25 April 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania as his Special Envoy for Yemen. The Special Envoy is currently scaling up his efforts to help the parties reach a political comprehensive agreement.