The Special Envoy's Statement at the Press Conference

16 May 2016

The Special Envoy's Statement at the Press Conference

Kuwait- The Yemeni-Yemeni Peace Talks in Kuwait are continuing; a number of joint meetings with the Heads of the two delegations were held in the past few days, in addition to extensive parallel meetings of the three committees.


The Political Committee discussed a range of issues, among them the mechanisms needed to regain control of state institutions and the resumption of the political process. The two delegations presented their proposals and debated each other’s suggestions. The delegations discussed a number of solutions incorporating the considerations and concerns of the two delegations. I also presented some ideas to bridge the gap between their respective visions; the delegates discussed those ideas in the Political Committee, a plenary meeting, and in the joint meetings of the Heads of the two delegations.


The Security Committee discussed the mechanisms needed to implement the security arrangements referred to in UN Security Council resolutions, including withdrawals and the handover of weapons. The committee members reviewed similar processes in other countries and contrasted them with the unique situation in Yemen.

The Prisoner and Detainee Committee is formulating an implementation plan which covers a range of short and long-term objectives in addition to implementation mechanisms. The ultimate goal of the committee is the release of all prisoners and detainees.


We have regularly assessed progress achieved in the three committees. The following references govern the discussions of the three committees: the GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanisms, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), and relevant UNSC Resolutions.


We aim to set up a practical structure that contains a strategic framework to ensure the safety of Yemenis and to bring the country back to a peaceful, political process. Implementing issues that the parties may agree upon will require both meticulous planning and time, what we are missing are the guarantees.

We relayed our vision concerning the upcoming phase in Yemen to the international community and they reiterated their full support to our vision. The ball is now in the court of the delegates in the Peace Talks.


Will the delegates pay attention to the voices of 25 million Yemenis who are calling for peace, or will they resort to 25 million reasons to avoid peace? Will they act on the basis of national responsibility, of ensuring the rights of Yemenis or will they intentionally keep the situation in its current form?The situation is complicated, but the time has come to make clear decisions and to determine the fate of the country.


An improved security situation has enabled the various humanitarian agencies to expand their operations and provide aid to more than 13 million people. Aid centers in a number of locations such as Ibb, Al Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Sana’a, and Aden have been established. In addition, medical assistance has been provided to a greater number of people in need. The De-escalation and Coordination Committee (DDC) is liaising with the Local De-escalation Committees (LDCs) in order to record violations of the cessation of hostilities. A stable security situation will facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian agencies in the most affected areas.


The Peace talks are continuing despite the disparaging comments by some media outlets. Some of those outlets reported ‘the suspension of the talks’ while others created unrealistic expectations. We do not want to generalize in this regard; we respect and value the media’s efforts, however, we hope that they will check their facts thoroughly before broadcasting a particular story.


The political parties must not exploit the media or rely on inaccurate stories. Let me take this opportunity to thank each of one you, whether local reporters or representatives of the various regional or international media outlets. We value your efforts and depend on your experience and political maturity to relay impartial news items.

The coming days are crucial for Yemen. Be assured that the UN will work tirelessly to urge all those concerned to adhere to their national and humanitarian commitments.

First to the resilient people of Yemen: you are the ones most affected, you are the ones paying for the war, and you are the ones opposing it. Your youth are an unparalleled example of defiance and reliance and so I ask you, is it possible for your aspirations to remain hostage to political manipulation?


Throughout history, Yemenis played a positive and influential role on more than one front. Do not allow anyone to hijack your voices that call for peace and respect of human rights.

Second, to the Yemen delegations of the talks:

This is a historic opportunity that might not come around again. Providing concessions is not unusual, what is unusual is the determination to continue the conflict and not provide any concessions.


The population of Yemen demands peace. Unite yourselves around that demand. The UN, the international community, and the State of Kuwait are providing all political, logistical, and diplomatic support to you. Do not miss this opportunity. Look to your conscience, favor the good of the public, save Yemen, and be aware of history may say about you.

You can return with peace if you want. Do not go back to Yemen without peace.