Secretary-General in Geneva to Attend Consultations on Yemen, 15 June 2015. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Yemen is facing a tragic and complex political military crisis with grave implications for the country’s future and the whole region. The intense ground fighting and airstrikes have led to a devastating humanitarian situation and extremely high levels of civilian causalities. Continued conflict in Yemen will, without doubt, lead to deepening polarization in the country as well as to expanded activity by extremist groups.

On 21 October 2011, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2014, which urged Secretary-General to continue to exercise his good offices to support Yemen’s political transition. The United Nations Secretary-General established a Special Political Mission for Yemen to facilitate the political transition, 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 through:

  •  Engagement with all sides in Yemen, including the Government, political parties, civil society organizations, women, youth and other actors in support of an inclusive Yemeni-led transition;
  • Leading United Nations support and coordinating international assistance to the key processes of the transition;
  • Working closely with the members of the, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Security Council and other international partners to ensure strong and consistent international backing for peace and stability in Yemen.  

On 25 April 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania as his Special Envoy for Yemen after Jamal Benomar of the United Kingdom stepped down from the role.

Since his appointment, the Special Envoy has worked to secure a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire as well as agreements which will return Yemen to a peaceful political transition. To achieve this, the Special Envoy has conducted numerous rounds of consultations with regional and international stakeholders, Yemeni political parties and civil society.

Initial consultations between the parties were held in Geneva in June 2015 and the first round of peace talks took place in Switzerland in December 2015.

The Special Envoy provides briefings to the Security Council, ,on behalf of the Secretary-General, on developments in Yemen, including on the implementation of the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference, every 60 days.