Yemen war: UN-backed talks to silence the guns due to begin in Stockholm

Giles Clarke/UN OCHA A man sits in the destroyed, former Assembly Hall of the Governor of Saada. Since the escalation of conflict in Yemen, millions have been forced to rely on life-saving assistance and much of the country lies in ruins.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Hopes are high that the warring parties in Yemen will begin long-delayed consultations on Thursday over ending the conflict that has ravaged the Middle East nation for over three years, leaving millions of civilians dependent on international assistance.

According to a tweet early on Wednesday from the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, the “restart of the intra-Yemeni political process” is scheduled to begin in the Swedish capital, Stockholm within hours.

He extended his “appreciation to the Government of Sweden for hosting the political consultations, and the Government of Kuwait for facilitating the travel of the Sana’a delegation” to the talks, referring to representatives of the Houthi rebel movement, who were allowed to fly out of the Yemeni capital a few days ago.

The UN attempted to bring the parties together – the Houthis and officially-recognized Government delegation – in Geneva in September for consultations, but conditions to allow the Houthi delegation to reach the Swiss city, did not materialize.

The conflict’s impact

Across Yemen, more than 22 million people – over three-quarters of the population – are dependent on humanitarian assistance or protection, of whom over 8 million are severely food insecure and at risk of starvation.

The conflict, which escalated in early 2015, following a Saudi-led military intervention against a Houthi rebel insurgency, at the request of the Yemeni Government, has also wrecked the country’s medical, water and sanitation systems, resulting in multiple outbreaks of cholera and other deadly diseases.

Thousands of civilians have also perished in airstrikes and fighting.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), all parties to the conflict display a disregard for international humanitarian and human rights law and have impeded the principled and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Critical confidence-building

Prior to Mr. Griffiths arrival in Sweden, a UN chartered aircraft successfully evacuated some 50 badly injured Yemenis from the opposition-controlled capital, Sana’a, to medical centres in Oman for treatment, a development seen as a critical confidence-building measure, ahead of the talks. Top officials from many nations also welcomed the medical evacuations.

While there have been many regional and global attempts to silence the guns in Yemen, bringing the parties together and finding agreements has been challenging.

Mr. Griffiths was appointed the Special Envoy in February this year, succeeding Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who had shepherded the UN’s efforts to resolve the conflict in Yemen since April 2015.

In his last briefing to the Security Council Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed cautioned that a “destructive pattern of zero-sum politics” has continued to plunged Yemen into ever deeper poverty and destruction, emphasizing that while the UN and the wider international community can try to bring about a favourable environment for a path to peace, Yemeni decision-makers must stop the fighting and bloodshed.

Humanitarian urgency

Humanitarian aid agencies, which have been providing life-saving assistance to millions across Yemen, have underscored the urgency of talks, warning that the situation on the ground has deteriorated “dramatically” in recent months.

Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, returning from his latest mission to the war-torn country on 1 December described the situation as being on the “brink of a major catastrophe.”

This message was reinforced by the Principles of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee – a group of agencies including many UN entities, international organizations and non-government organizations.

In a joint statement on Monday, they called on all parties to participate in the talks and “engage seriously to agree actions to ease the situation.”

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here’s why leaders need to care about mental health

Air pollution could be responsible for 1 in 7 new cases of diabetes

UN agency helps stranded Ethiopians return home, ending ‘harrowing migration ordeal’

Business is a crucial partner in solving the mental health challenge

Strength in unity: Commission makes recommendations for the EU’s next strategic agenda 2019-2024

Rising political extremism in Europe escapes control

To protect trust in the 4IR, we need to become experts in distrust

Why skills are keeping CEOs awake at night

Guterres in Davos: ‘Dysfunctional’ response to common problems, shows need for effective multilateralism

The gateway to carbon pricing? Air pollution policy

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Coronavirus (COVID-19): truth and myth on personal risk perception

Sustainability is now mission critical for businesses. Here’s why

The digital skills gap is widening fast. Here’s how to bridge it

This is how countries compare on gun deaths

Universal Health Care: can it exist only in utopic society?

How do we make artificial intelligence more humane?

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

‘Our goal is to democratize the air.’ How aerial transportation will shape cities of the future

“If the job market doesn’t exist, then even the most brilliant Youth Guarantee cannot ensure a job to these young people”, European Youth Forum Secretary General Giuseppe Porcaro on another Sting Exclusive

Syria: ‘Deplorable’ violence in Idlib against civilians, humanitarian workers must ‘stop immediately’: UN Coordinator

The new assembly lines: Why AI needs low-skilled workers too

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

This is how Copenhagen plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: prizewinning journalists freed in Myanmar, new tracking tool for suspected terrorists, and a global bid to stop snakebite deaths

Despite funding crisis, Palestine refugee classrooms set to stay open, says UNRWA

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

Bank resolutions set to remain a national affair

These dogs can smell tree disease – and could help save the world’s orange groves

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Aid stepped up to Syria camp; new arrivals say terrorists blocked their escape

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

UN Security Council condemns Taliban offensive as a blow against ‘sustainable peace’

MEPs to debate priorities for 28-29 June EU summit

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high – UN

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

African migration: what the numbers really tell us

Why today’s leaders need to know about the power of narratives

AI will drive the societies of the future. Will the governed consent?

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

London, Berlin, Paris to fight over EU budget

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Migration crisis will keep deteriorating as common EU political will is simply not there

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

The ‘yellow vests’ undermined Macron in France and the EU

A question of trust: the UN political chief working behind the scenes to prevent tomorrow’s wars

European Union supports survivors of sexual violence in conflict

What would happen if we removed cars from cities?

EU Ombudsman must continue push for more transparency in Council and Commission

Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps

Australia wants to build a giant underground ‘battery’ to help power the nation

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s