Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Security Council Draft Statement on Yemen

The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress made to date in Yemen’s ongoing political transition process and the Yemeni Government’s efforts to reconstruct the economy and safeguard security, including the National Dialogue Conference which has generated a peaceful, inclusive and meaningful dialogue about the country’s future amongst diverse actors, including youth, women, civil society representatives, the Houthi Movement and the Hiraak Southern Movement.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern, however, about the significant delays in concluding the National Dialogue Conference and emphasised the importance of concluding the National Dialogue Conference as soon as possible in order to begin constitutional drafting and electoral preparations.  They called on all parties to engage constructively in a spirit of compromise to address the remaining critical issues necessary to conclude the dialogue, in particular those concerning the southern question and the structure of the State.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their concern over continuing reports of interference by those intent on disrupting, delaying or derailing the transition process and undermining the Yemeni Government. The members of the Security Council condemned any such attempts, whether by members of the former regime or political opportunists, notably by abstaining from participation in the National Dialogue Conference, threatening to do so or standing in the way of a consensus agreement to conclude the National Dialogue. The members of the Security Council called on all parties to adhere to the guiding principles of the GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanism for the transition process.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support to the Yemeni Government to safeguard security, promote social and economic development and push forward political, economic and security reforms. They underlined their commitment to follow closely the peaceful political transition in Yemen, and emphasized that the conclusion of the political transition should be based on the completion of the steps contained in the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism. They reaffirmed their readiness to consider further measures in response to any actions by individuals or parties that are aimed at disrupting the transition process.
The members of the Security Council noted the expectation of the people of Yemen that a National Dialogue and transition process will lead to outcomes and actions that would improve security, governance and delivery of basic services to all Yemenis.
The members of the Security Council welcome the good offices of the Secretary -General and, in particular, reaffirm their support for the efforts of Special Adviser Jamal Benomar. They also commend the ongoing efforts of the Group of 10 Ambassadors in Sana’a and other international partners to support Yemen’s transition.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Strictly Confidential" Amos's letter to Security Council on Syria: Exert pressure on parties

Bashar Ja’afari (back, in grey suit), Ambassador of Syria to the UN,
listens as Valerie Amos, USG for Humanitarian Affairs, speaks to
journalists on the humanitarian situation in his country.
 25 October 2013
In this "Strictly Confidential" letter, Valerie Amos, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), called on the Security Council to take action on priority areas "where sustained attention from Council Members could help us to make an immediate difference on the ground in Syria."
This document was obtained by UN REPORT. Click here to read the original copy.

 Note to Security Council Members
    Following my recent briefing to the Security Council on Syria, I thought it would be helpful to set out the points I highlighted when summing up the discussions. One of the key messages is the need to learn the lessons from the Security Council’s handling of the chemical weapons issue and the success of that and understanding how these positive lessons could be applied to make progress on humanitarian issues. Effective operationalisation of the Security Council Presidential Statement requires sustained political support from Security Council members.
     Please see below priority areas where sustained attention from Council Members could help us to make an immediate difference on the ground in Syria:

* Use leverage with parties to the conflict to allow the evacuation of civilians from areas besieged by either the Government or opposition forces. The recent case of Moadamiyeh is an example of what is possible.
* Use leverage with parties to the conflict to facilitate humanitarian access to hard to reach areas under their control. Attached please find a map of the hard to reach areas where 2.5 million people are trapped and a list of the areas which are besieged.
* Exert pressure on the parties to the conflict to implement a weekly humanitarian pause or area specific pauses to access those in need, especially in hard to reach and besieged areas.

* Use contacts with the Government of Syria to enable the expansion of humanitarian relief  operations and lift bureaucratic impediments, especially:
a. Facilitation of visas for humanitarian workers, including for UN DSS staff;
b. Facilitation of customs clearance procedures for humanitarian supplies and equipment;
c. Facilitation missions;
d. Agreement on additional humanitarian hubs in Dara’a, Aleppo and Qamishly;
* Use contacts with the Government of Syria to facilitate agreement that humanitarian assistance can go directly to affected communities through the most direct route when supplies are imported from neighbouring countries, for example from Lebanon, Jordan or Iraq, rather than supplies first having to go through Damascus to then be redistributed throughout Syria;

* Exert pressure on the parties to the conflict to publicly declare that it is unacceptable to target medical facilities, staff and ambulances, and to occupy such facilities, and ask them to immediately demilitarize and evacuate such premises;

* Use leverage with all parties to the conflict to allow medical equipment, including surgical equipment, in all conflict areas;

* Engage with countries ahead of the pledging Conference in Kuwait in January 2014 to ensure adequate level of funding to meet increasing needs for 2014.
* Fund the winterization plan. The immediacy of the situation makes it a priority.
We are monitoring the progress being made in implementing the recommendations in the Presidential Statement. I will present to the Council a paper which will help Council members to monitor the timely operationalisation of the PRST. 
Valerie Amos, 1 November 2013"

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