Yemen: Envoy says UN-backed consultations ‘important start towards return to political process’

Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (left) meeting on Tuesday 16 June 2015 with the delegation which arrived from Sana’a to participate in the Geneva Consultations on Yemen. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (left) meeting on Tuesday 16 June 2015 with the delegation which arrived from Sana’a to participate in the Geneva Consultations on Yemen. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Yemen, 17 June 2015 – The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has deemed the fact that both Yemeni delegations are in now Geneva to participate in the UN-facilitated consultations “an important start towards the return to a political process,” a spokesperson for the world body said today.

Speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, Farhan Haq said Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed had spoken to the press in Geneva last night, and had said that the significance of having in Geneva both delegations to the Yemen consultations should not be underestimated.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the opening of the consultations on Monday and told the press that the parties in Yemen had a responsibility to end the fighting and begin a real process of peace and reconciliation. “Yemen’s very existence hangs in the balance. While parties bicker, Yemen burns,” Mr. Ban underscored at that time.

Today, Mr, Haq noted that Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that after meetings with both parties, he clearly communicated to both delegations that the number of participants should be limited to an overall number of 10 persons per delegation.

According to the spokesperson, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said both the Yemeni and international community are looking to the Geneva consultations as a peaceful way out of the conflict and to safeguard the achievement of Yemen’s transition as set out in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreement and its implementation mechanism, and supported and followed by various Security Council Resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2216 (2015) and the outcome of the National Dialogue.

“He added that discussions will hopefully foster mechanisms that create confidence, increase the chances of implementation of the different Security Council resolutions and ensure that compromises on one side will not be abused by the other,” said Mr. Haq.