Statement by Group of Ambassadors for Geneva Conference

June 12, 2015

Ambassadors of the ten countries fostering the GCC Initiative have been meeting regularly since February 2011 with their colleagues, Ambassadors of key countries supporting Yemen in the Friends of Yemen group represented by Germany, Japan, Turkey, and the Netherlands and the European Union.  Our aim has been to support the demands of the Yemeni people to complete the political process stipulated in the GCC Initiative which the GCC states proposed in order to help prevent Yemen from sliding in to civil war and for the purpose of creating a genuine and profound change.  Since that time, we have continued to stand by the people of Yemen in their aspirations for dignity, security, a successful political process, and improving the economic situation and opportunities.

We reaffirm our belief that the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the National Dialogue Conference outcomes, and UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and prior resolutions, are the only means for achieving the aspirations of the Yemeni people and preventing the loss of all that has been achieved since the transition began. Together, the Yemeni political leaders and Yemen’s friends in the international community owe the rising generation of Yemenis, including women and youth, our best efforts to work collectively to complete the peaceful transition process and usher Yemen in to a new era of security, stability, and prosperity.

We welcome the convening of a political dialogue in Geneva by the UN Secretary General and reiterate our full support for Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as Special Envoy for Yemen.  This gathering is a necessary step to build on the many efforts that have been made to follow what we believe is the only way to resume a peaceful, inclusive, orderly, and Yemeni-led political transition process that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people.

This transition process has been and must remain a Yemeni led process.  We welcome the convening in Geneva of those prepared to commit to resolving differences through dialogue, rejecting acts of violence to achieve political goals, and refraining from provocation and all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition.

Today we are extremely concerned by the grave humanitarian consequences of the continued violence in Yemen. We call on all parties to begin a dialogue with urgent and serious steps to implement important procedures to begin a humanitarian pause in all parts of the country, suspend military operations credibly and transparently, and start to take serious and verifiable measures on the ground to begin implementing the United Nations Security Council resolutions in preparation for additional positive steps to complete the political process.

We welcome the generous pledges of assistance that have come from many countries and organizations, most notably the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has pledged $274 million dollars to the relief of Yemenis and the State of Kuwait which has pledged $100 million to meet humanitarian needs.  We urge all parties to deliver those pledges promptly.  Over the past year and especially over the past two months we have witnessed conflict that has affected civilians to an extent that now approaches a humanitarian disaster.  The entry and delivery of essential relief items to the civilian population, including urgently needed food, medicine, and fuel, and facilitation of the field activities of humanitarian agencies, in coordination with the Government of Yemen and the United Nations relief organizations, must take precedence over all other considerations.  We urge all parties to facilitate the urgent delivery of commercial goods, humanitarian assistance, as well as rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to reach people in need of assistance. The conflict is also contributing to continued economic deterioration; the needs of the Yemeni people in the longer term can only be met through a viable economy able to create jobs.  Following a political solution, continued international commitment to Yemen’s economic stability and development will be crucial, to help the country stabilize and rebuild.

We look forward to the day in the near future when we can reestablish our presence in Sanaa. Working there with the legitimate government and with all Yemenis from every political group and every region we hope to assist in concluding on an expedited basis the remaining tasks of the peaceful transition.